Squirrels can be fun to watch gamboling about your garden, but at some point, they will make a beeline for your fruit trees. They’ll do so pretty quickly, and after that, the novelty wears off.
Fruit trees are fantastic plants to have in your garden, and more likely than not, they have been there for years, providing you with privacy, delicious fruit, and a lovely view.
Squirrels won’t leave you any fruit on the trees, so if you do see a squirrel taking advantage, it’s time to keep them out.
Read on to discover what fruit trees need protection from squirrels, what fruit trees squirrels will avoid, and how to deter squirrels from your fruit trees to begin with.
Fruit Trees That Need Protection From Squirrels
Fruit trees are a great source of food for many animals, not just us! Unfortunately, squirrels aren’t very picky eaters and will eat many types of fruit, but there are a few they try to go for first.
These fruit trees need protection from squirrels the most:
- Apple trees
- Fig trees
- Orange trees
- Plum trees
- Peace trees
- Nectarine trees
If you have one or more of these types of fruit trees in your garden, don’t despair. You can take steps to protect them from hungry little paws.
Fruit Trees That Squirrels Avoid
There are some fruit trees that squirrels will avoid, mainly because they will pick easier targets that aren’t so difficult to take apart.
Those fruits with thicker skins can prove too challenging, and squirrels will always go for the easier option.
There are also some types of fruit tree that it seems squirrels just don’t like, as well.
So if you want to plant a different type of fruit in your garden, and you already know squirrels are around, it’s worth growing one that isn’t a squirrel’s first choice.
Squirrel resistant fruit trees include:
- Lemon trees
- Lime trees
- Kumquat trees
- Pomegranate trees
- Avocado trees
How To Protect Fruit Trees From Squirrels
Without knowing where to start, protecting your fruit trees from squirrels can seem like an overwhelming task, especially if you consider that squirrels are very clever, quick, and enterprising creatures.
Unluckily for them, there are lots of tricks you can use to get the upper hand, and protect your fruit trees from attack.
Use Wildlife-Proof Netting
Netting is one of the most effective ways to stop squirrels from eating all your fruit. However, as squirrels can chew through some mesh, it’s worth avoiding plastic mesh, using metal ones instead.
Make sure the mesh is pulled tight, cannot be bent or bullied away from the trees, so that no squirrels can get in, and you will also avoid trapping any unlucky wildlife, too.
Some gardeners resort to fruit cages – some are designed to be big enough to walk in (about the size of a shed), and this may be something else to consider, as it repels all manner of pests.
Apply A Homemade Repellent
One of the most natural and inexpensive ways to protect your fruit trees from squirrels is to look in your kitchen cupboards for some ingredients to make a repellent.
Chili powder, and black pepper are great deterrents, as squirrels hate the fiery taste, as well as the smell.
You will need to reapply when it rains or when you water your fruit trees or the surrounding plants, as water will wash it away.
Occasionally use a different homemade repellent – such as a different type of spice, as this will stop the squirrels becoming accustomed to the smell.
Use A Baffle On Your Fruit Tree
A baffle is a collar-shaped barrier that goes around the bottom of your fruit trees, making it impossible to climb up to get the fruit.
This will only work if the squirrels can’t jump from a neighboring tree onto the fruit tree, however! These barriers are sold by garden centers and nurseries, but you might want to make your own if you have the right materials lying around anyway.
Thin flexible sheets of plastic or metal can be wrapped around your fruit trees, making sure that it flares out at the bottom. Secure it tightly to the base of the tree.
Use Decoy Predators
One thing that works for both squirrels and chipmunks (see also Keeping Chipmunks Out Of Your Yard) is decoy predators. Fake owls, hawks, snakes, and scarecrows are certainly worth a try, but one thing to remember is that they only work if you move them around occasionally.
Otherwise, the squirrels will realize that these predators aren’t anything to be afraid of. Moving them to new locations every so often, will stop the squirrels from becoming used to their presence.
Talk To The Professionals
If you’ve tried everything you can think of, but the squirrels keep coming back, it’s time to get the opinion of someone in pest control. Professionals will usually trap and relocate squirrels.
How To Stop Squirrels From Eating Your Fruit
One thing to keep in mind is that squirrels are very clever, and it’s unlikely that one method on its own will stop squirrels from eating your fruit, especially if they’ve learned your garden is a tasty place.
You’ll need to use a combination of methods to teach the squirrels that they need to go elsewhere.
Squirrels can be difficult to get rid of, but using several methods is more effective than trying one solution. And if all else fails, call in pest control, who will trap and relocate the squirrels elsewhere.