There are wide varieties of squirrels, including flying, ground, and tree varieties. All of those squirrels like to eat strawberry plants. Here the question comes to my mind how to keep squirrels away from strawberries to protect the garden?
Following are ways to keep the squirrels away from strawberries:
- Strawberry Plants Should Be Covered With Netting Or Mesh
- Secure Fence
- The Sacrifice Tree
- Try Detergents Or Repellents To Keep Squirrels Away
- Removing The Hanging Branches Can Make Your Garden Less Attractive To Squirrels
- Use Metal Collars To Keep Squirrels Away From Strawberries
- Using A Fruit Cage
- Use Fresh Fruit Bags
- Hot Pepper
- Noisy devices
- Alternative Source Of Feeding
- Use Traps
How to defend the strawberry garden against squirrels might be a complex challenge. Hopefully, after reading this article, you will better understand what squirrels eat and how to prevent them from destroying your cultivated strawberries.
Do Squirrels Like To Eat Strawberries?
Yes, Squirrels love to eat strawberries. These bouncing creatures will eat every berry they can get their hands on. Strawberries appeal to squirrels’ appetite and strawberry plants devour them.
Squirrels consume ripe and unripe strawberries; squirrels prefer ripe strawberries to underride ones. When strawberries ripen, squirrels keep an eye on them and notice. They understand when to attack and take the fruits.
These pests not only gorge themselves on strawberry fruit but also wreak havoc on strawberry bushes. You can picture what would happen if squirrels got into your garden. Despite being minor, these creatures occasionally cause trouble.
Why Do Squirrels Eat Strawberries?
As is common practice, the squirrel consumes a wide variety of foods. Squirrels will eat strawberries in addition to berries. Strawberries are healthy as well as beneficial for squirrels to eat in small amounts, with the following health benefits.
- Vitamin C is required for growth, repairs cell tissue, and aids organ function.
- Potassium: This May lower blood pressure and balance fluids.
- Promotes heart health: A high polyphenol content may help prevent heart disease and even lower the risk of having a heart attack.
- Provides antioxidants: This may reduce the risk of many diseases, including certain cancers, and aids the body in cell tissue repair.
What Kind Of Squirrels Can Be Found In Strawberry Gardens?
There are many different types of squirrels, including flying, ground, and tree squirrels. Those squirrels all like to eat strawberry plants. However, because red squirrels have become extinct in many areas of the world, people mostly see grey squirrels in their strawberry gardens.
Greys fare better than reds in this environment. Red squirrels are rarely dangerous to humans, but they can damage trees. Despite their cuteness, grey squirrels are most seen in gardens and homes.
How Do Squirrels Harm Strawberry Gardens?
Grey squirrels prefer to munch on tree trunks and branches in strawberry beds. The tree dies when the bark is destroyed, girdling its partners and boxes. On a tree, the wood-rotting fungus can develop even after the tree has died.
In the spring, squirrels can harm trees and plants by nibbling on the blossom buds. They are to blame for the autumnal consumption of numerous recently planted plants.
Strawberries, raspberries, walnuts, and cocoanuts are examples of fruits and nuts in addition to vegetables. They are infamous for breaking into bird feeding apparatus.
 Ways To Keep The Squirrels Away From Strawberries
Strawberry Plants Should Be Covered With Netting Or Mesh
Installing netting and mesh is one way to start protecting strawberries from squirrels. Due to the lack of a fence made up of chicken wire, squirrels will be able to engage in their preferred activities.
Purchase rolls of garden mesh if the chamber is too tiny or there isn’t enough room for a significant area. Garden netting shields fruits, vegetables, and plants from squirrel damage. Wrap the strawberries around the little trees before they ripen to protect them from squirrels.
Secure the Fence
Gardeners should properly secure strawberry plants if they want to keep squirrels away from them. Make sure it is encircled from the sides and above. Additionally, they are unlikely to get through a wooden plank-based subsurface bed base. They can use materials like PVC pipe, wood, chicken wire, etc.
Install a 30-inch-tall wire fence around the strawberry patch with 1-inch-wide gaps. The wall should be submerged for at least six inches, and then another six inches should be planted at a ninety-degree angle to the garden. This barrier will prevent squirrels from digging beneath it to get at the strawberries.
The Sacrificial Tree
You are growing other vegetables in the same garden as the strawberries aid in keeping squirrels away from the fruit. If you put flowers, ensure the squirrels won’t enjoy them so that your garden still looks lovely. The blooms’ fragrance can put them off. For your garden, pick flowers.
Also, strong-smelling foods like peppermint, garlic, onions, and pepper irritate them. Instead of letting squirrels enjoy your garden, cultivate your own if you want to enjoy it.
Try Detergents Or Repellents To Keep Squirrels Away
Several items can deter squirrels. Irish spring soap works well when it comes to preventing squirrels from tasty strawberries and veggies. Because of the stench, squirrels will avoid the area.
The potent smell of Irish Spring will be detected by the squirrels’ great sense of smell, causing them to flee the strawberry garden.
Removing The Branches Can Make Garden Less Attractive To Squirrels
Squirrels that find plentiful and easily accessible food will stay indefinitely. Make the surrounding habitat less appealing to squirrels by removing strawberry patches.
To influence the environment. Limit the buffet. There should be no bird feeders or cat or dog food in the garden. Cover and include all trash, yard waste, and compost piles.
A strawberry garden scarecrow can deter birds and squirrels, but we’ve seen owls, hawks, and snake decoys work better. Owl or hawk decoys strategically placed around a strawberry garden could help keep squirrels away.
Please change the location of the decoys regularly so that the squirrels and birds do not become accustomed to their presence. Depending on the region and whether snakes live in that climate, hanging fake snakes in strawberry plants has also been reported to deter squirrels.
Use Metal Collars To Keep Squirrels Away From Strawberries
A smooth metal collar around the strawberry plant can help keep squirrels at bay. There are several types of collars that work well. The collar is a simple metal tube wrapped around the trunk of plants that range in height from about 6 inches off the ground to the first few branches, or about 2 feet tall.
Extra points if readers apply oil or grease to the metal collar. Because they won’t have a firm enough grip, the squirrels will slide back down as they attempt to climb the sheet metal.
Using A Fruit Cage
A fruit cage is similar to a bird netting over strawberry plants in that it surrounds the entire tree from the ground up.
Simple lumber hammered into the ground away from plants can be used to construct one. Then, cover the entire structure with plastic netting and staple it to the edges down to the ground.
This will keep birds and squirrels away from ripe strawberries, but depending on the type of netting used, it may also stay beneficial insects and pollinators out of the cage.
Use Fresh Fruit Bags
Fruit bags are small mesh bags with a drawstring or twist tie closure. Each bag can keep ripening strawberries safe.
Apply the bags as soon as the strawberries appear on the plants. Fruit bags also have the added benefit of protecting strawberries from pests such as birds and squirrels and other harmful insects.
The capsaicin in hot peppers repels squirrels. Commercial squirrel deterrents that use capsaicin/hot pepper oil are available, but you can easily make your own at home.
In a water-filled spray bottle, combine cayenne pepper and chilies and spray around strawberry plants. Alternatively, combine cayenne pepper and petroleum jelly and rub them around the base of the strawberry plants.
Sprinkle some loose hot/cayenne pepper powder around the strawberry plants, as well as in the squirrels’ likely path.
Squirrels and birds can be scared away by hanging old CDs or aluminum plates from the branches of strawberry plants. Most squirrels and birds will be put off by the noise they make when the wind blows against them and how the sunlight reflects off the aluminum.
The same results can be obtained by hanging a wind chime. With a slight breeze, the wind chime will make enough noise to frighten birds and squirrels away.
Alternative Source Of Feeding
Another way to keep the squirrels away from strawberries is to provide an alternative food source for squirrels in another garden area. A well-stocked squirrel feeder can prevent them from eating all strawberries. Because squirrels are territorial, feeding them will not attract more squirrels.
Whether or not the siding is damaged, squirrels will continue to chew it once inside. Their holes are large enough to let moisture in, causing rot or water damage.
Once squirrels have passed the siding, they will happily nest in the insulation.
These rodents are so curious that nothing will stop them from chewing on walls’ wiring. Chewing also aids squirrels’ dental health, as their teeth continue to grow throughout their lives.
Capture squirrels with various traps and release them elsewhere. Animals must be trapped with a state department permit in some states. Only use this method if all other options have been exhausted.
Remove tree branches that are 5-6 feet away from electrical lines/roofs. This will prevent squirrels from wandering around your property and discovering your strawberry patch.
Like humans, squirrels enjoy a sugar rush. Strawberries appear to be a squirrel’s signature sugar rush in the home garden. Yes, squirrels like strawberries. Our favorite fruits and vegetables include avocados, tomatoes, apples, peaches, and figs. They enjoy eating garden strawberries.
Strawberry plants should be actively protected from squirrels. Gardeners can save strawberries by erecting a fence, covering the plant, or planting plants that are unpalatable to squirrels.
Baker SE, Maw SA, Johnson PJ, Macdonald DW. Not in My Backyard: Public Perceptions of Wildlife and ‘Pest Control’ in and around UK Homes, and Local Authority ‘Pest Control’. Animals (Basel). 2020 Jan 30
Clucas B, Owings DH, Rowe MP. Donning your enemy’s cloak: ground squirrels exploit rattlesnake scent to reduce predation risk. Proc Biol Sci. 2008 Apr 7