Squirrels are adorable animals that cause no harm to people. However, like other animals of their kind, they like to dig and feed on things that are beneficial for them such as plants, bulbs, and fruit trees.
The problem is, their dig can be damaging so when you let them feed on fruit trees in your yard, the trees have a high chance of dying in less time. No one would want that to happen since we plant fruit trees to continuously grow and bear delicious fruits.
In this article, we will discuss the squirrels feeding on fruit trees, why they prefer fruit trees, how much damage they can cause, and how to address this problem safely and properly.
Where Do Squirrels Feed?
Squirrels like to eat a lot of food. But, they prefer highly nutritional native foods such as seeds, leaves, grass, roots, and fruits that can be acquired even without a person giving them. So, they feed on trees that they see in their surroundings, and keep finding more in the entire neighborhood.
Well, fruit trees are sources of food for both humans and animals. The only negative side about this is that most animals, including squirrels, have a strong feeding and digging behavior thus can be destructive to trees.
Some animals could be harmful and can cause damage to our surroundings. Squirrels could destroy our crops and trees lying in our backyard. Like squirrels, gophers are a threat to a lawn as well due to their digging habit.
How can Squirrels Damage Fruit Trees?
When squirrels like a certain fruit a lot, they tend to be unstoppable and uncontrollable in feeding on the tree.
Because of this, they don’t just chew fruits but also other parts of the tree such as the buds and bark. This causes tree wounds that lead to the weakening of the tree and being prone to decomposition and fungal diseases.
Why Do Squirrels Keep Coming Back in Your Yard?
The reason why squirrels keep coming into your yard is simply that they like the environment. A yard with lawn, flowers, plants, and fruit trees is their ideal place since it gives them access to fruits.
Hence, you have to make your yard a bit unattractive for them. How do you do this?
How to Keep Squirrels Out of the Fruit Trees
Squirrels are hard to control so you can’t make them go away the same way you do with your dogs or cats. Especially if they really like the place where they feed, they will keep coming back, and you won’t notice them multiplying. These animals like insects are hard to keep away from our territory—may it be on our lawn or inside our car!
Therefore, what you can just do instead of trying hard to control them is to work on your yard. There are many things you can do in order to protect your plants and fruit trees from these silly squirrels.
Providing A Larger Space Between Each Tree
If you are just planning to plant a tree, make sure that you locate them far enough from one another. Trees that are planted closely give squirrels the chance to jump off from one to another. Therefore, your place will be preferable as they know they can easily access fruits. In consequence, it is easier for even one squirrel to feed on multiple trees, meaning a single one can damage them all.
Remove Covers that Makes It Easier for Squirrels to Hide
Get rid of any covers in the ground which makes the squirrels unnoticed. Another reason why they always come back to a place is that they can easily enter, exit, and benefit without getting caught.
Use Repellents to Make a Strong Odor for Squirrels
Repellents are helpful because their strong smell is unpleasant for squirrels. With this, they will be uncomfortable in a place and won’t desire to stay longer.
Don’t worry, it won’t cost you so much. In fact, you don’t need to buy repellent in the market because you can already find them in your house.
For instance, you can sprinkle ground coffee in your yard or spray a mixture of vinegar and jalapeno peppers on your flowers, and plants. Aside from these, squirrels also hate the smell of garlic, peppermint, and many more which you can easily find in your kitchen.
Furthermore, effective squirrel deterrents for fruit trees are capsaicin, Ro-Pel, and sticky topical applications for trunks and limbs.
Putting a Metal Baffle
Make an improvised boundary between the tree’s trunk and its branches. You can use sheet metal. This is functional in blocking the squirrels so they don’t get to climb to the top where the fruits are located.
If you think it doesn’t look well in your garden, you can make it presentable by making DIY designs with appropriate colors.
This can also be called a metal baffle. Put a durable metal baffle around the trunk of your tree. Since it is metal, it is not elastic.
So, it’s advisable to make one that is a little larger than the trunk’s circumference. This is to allocate a space in case the trunk grows.
If you have no idea how a metal baffle looks, it is a cone-shaped metal. It is placed in the trunk of the tree with the smaller part on the top.
On the other hand, the squirrel baffle can also be made not in the form of a cone. A smooth metal sheet can be put directly to the tree. Its surface will not make it possible for the squirrels to continue climbing up to the top since they will slip right away.
In the proper placement of the sheet metal, you need to put it higher, approximately 6 to 8 feet, since squirrels can jump and pass on to it if it is placed lower.
Should You Kill Squirrels?
Although squirrels proofing fruit trees are annoying, your way of dealing with them shouldn’t be cruel. Some species of squirrels are protected by the law thus killing them has a corresponding fine.
It is hard to determine what squirrel species you have in your home landscape so it’s better to not apply deadly methods in eliminating them.
That said, just follow the ways mentioned above and never use lethal traps or poisons.
Squirrels are undeniably cute animals. But, it takes many years to grow and maintain a tree in your yard.
Hence, you should not let these animals get you with their cuteness then ruin your trees.
Take note of everything you learned about this article so it will be easier for you to understand why it is not ideal for them to feed on trees and how to prevent them from coming