One common enemy that all gardeners have is squirrels. Gardeners are always looking for ways to prevent squirrels from entering their gardeners. Although keeping squirrels out is a difficult task because these small mammals have a way of getting through wires and going into homes. But can squirrels climb chicken wire successfully?
People use chicken wire in their garden to prevent any squirrel damage. Unfortunately, squirrels are great climbers and can climb chicken wire.
The only way to get good use out of the chicken wire is to make a roof out of it as well. By having a roof, you will provide no access to the squirrels to your plants.
You can also use plastic wire to keep out squirrels as they cannot climb it because it is too flimsy. In addition, plastic wire is cheaper than steel, galvanised chicken wire.
Will 1-Inch Chicken Wire Keep Squirrels Out?
A smart option to get the maximum benefit from using chicken wire is to use the 1-inch chicken wire. Squirrels, like all rodents, have small heads that can fit through small spaces.
However, if you use a 1-inch chicken wire to produce a barrier against squirrels, it will be too small for them to fit their heads and get through it.
Many people assume that there is not much difference between a 1-inch chicken wire and a 2-inch wire. However, squirrels and rodents have tinier heads than we believe.
Installing a chicken wire with two-inch holes is not small enough to stop squirrels from entering.
There is no point in investing and putting in hard work only to find that it is useless. Therefore, it will help if you opt for the 1-inch chicken wire to keep out squirrels.
Can Squirrels Get Through Chicken Wire?
There have been cases when squirrels were able to get through chicken wire. However, as aforementioned, the only way to make efficient use out of chicken wire is to make a roof out of it too.
Moreover, squirrels are small animals and can get through small spaces. Hence, it would be best not to use anything greater than 1-inch wire; otherwise, squirrels will easily get through.
Can Squirrels Chew Through Wire Mesh?
Everyone is aware of how strong a squirrel’s teeth can be. Squirrels have long and strong teeth that never stop growing. To keep them filed, squirrels gnaw on things. Squirrels are good at gnawing and can gnaw through any hard material.
A squirrel’s diet comprises hard things like walnuts; therefore, they find it easy to chew materials like wire mesh.
Wire mesh comes in different materials. How strong the wire mesh you use depends on which material it is made from. The wire mesh made from galvanized steel protects against any gnawing squirrels. Moreover, this wire is covered in zinc, making them rust-free, leading to a longer life.
Finally, there is the chicken wire which is made from flimsy plastic but a cheaper option.
However, apart from material, the gauge’s thickness dictates whether squirrels will chew through the wire. Hence, the thicker the wire gauge, the less likely squirrels chew their way in.
What Factors to Consider When Buying Chicken Wire
There is not only one type of chicken wire available in the market. There are certain factors that you must look for when buying chicken wire. Most people use chicken wire and still find their garden being terrorized by squirrels.
However, the trick lies in buying the right kind of chicken wire:
Chicken wire is available in different widths that each serves a different purpose. How wide you need the chicken wire to depends on the space you intend to cover. If you have a big garden, you will, of course, require more chicken wire.
On the other hand, if you only choose to create a boundary for a certain section of your garden, you will need less chicken wire. It would be best to get enough chicken wire that goes 12 inches in the ground with enough room to cover above.
Unfortunately, squirrels are great at chewing through things. However, you can avoid this problem if you get a chicken wire with the right gauge. For people who are unaware, a gauge determines the thickness of the wire.
Therefore, a thicker wire will prevent squirrels from chewing it. A 19- or 22-gauge wire is a good choice.
Mesh size is important because it determines whether the squirrels will get inside your garden through the wire or not. Since squirrels are small animals, they can get through small spaces with ease.
Therefore, you should not get a chicken wire with a size greater than 1-inch.
You will find that majority of the chicken wire available is made from galvanized steel. Therefore, this steel is coated with zinc and can stay in the sun longer and have a long life.
The zinc also prevents the steel from accumulating any rust.
Hence, it is best to get a strong wire that is not prone to getting weak over time. Weak wires will be easy for squirrels to chew and find their way in.
Squirrels are great climbers and are not easy to avoid in gardens. People use chicken wires to create a barrier for squirrels not to pass through but it might not be the best way to get rid of squirrels.
Squirrels are great climbers, so it is best to create a roof with chicken wire too. It would help if you also used a chicken wire which is 1-inch because squirrels have small bodies and heads. Anything more than 1-inches will not prevent squirrels from entering.
It is easy for squirrels to chew wires if they are not thick. Moreover, it would be best to keep in mind certain factors when shopping for chicken wire. Some of the factors are material, mesh size, width, and gauge.
Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden