When you think of rodents that are harmful to your yard your first thought likely goes to moles and voles because they cause such obvious damage with their tunnels and mounds of dirt. Unfortunately, there are more types of rodents that can cause problems in and around your yard. One that you may not have considered as the culprit for damage in your yard is the squirrel. Squirrels may drive your dog crazy but other than that they can seem relatively harmless. In reality, they can be harmful to your yard, your garden, and the wood around the perimeter of your home.
Squirrels are the type of animal that prepare for winter by gathering up and storing food before it gets too cold. They bury the food in the ground and later find it using their strong sense of smell. It is amazing that squirrels can find food they buried weeks or months after the fact. The problem is, however, that this process means they are digging holes in your yard. The holes are small and are unlikely to cause any type of long term damage to your yard. If you are bothered by the holes squirrels make throughout your yard you can take some steps to keep squirrels away. They are in your yard because you have the type of food they like to eat and need to store up for winter. Try to make these things more difficult to get to in order to discourage squirrel activity. One way to do this is to put a metal collar around the tree that the squirrels are climbing to get food. The metal collar prevents the squirrels from being able to get a good grip and continue up the tree.
The damage that squirrels may do to your yard is minimal but they can do some major damage to your garden. If you have a flower garden you may have to protect your bulbs from squirrels. Tulip bulbs are a favorite of squirrels and they will dig them up and eat them. There are a few different ways you can protect your flower bulbs from squirrels. You can cover the ground where they are planted with some type of barrier such as chicken wire. There are also cages made specifically to protect flower bulbs from rodents. Another option is to soak your flower bulbs in a chemical squirrel repellant.
Squirrels can also cause damage to the wood around your house. They may gnaw on the wood of your deck and wooden patio furniture. This can cause unsightly damage and eventually weaken the integrity of your deck or furniture. You can apply squirrel repellant to your furniture and the perimeter of your deck. This will discourage the squirrels from gnawing as long as the repellant remains. You will have to reapply occasionally as the repellant wears off.
There are both chemical and barrier options that can protect your yard and garden from squirrel damage. If you already have a major squirrel problem you also have the option of bringing in professional help. A company that specializes in lawn care can advise you on the best squirrel control methods for your situation and work with you to implement them.