Squirrels have been known to be repelled by certain strong smells. However, is garlic one of these smells and can you use it to keep your garden squirrel-free?
The Quick Answer
Does Garlic Deter Squirrels?
Garlic can deter squirrels. Squirrels are sensitive to strong odours and garlic has a strong scent that is off-putting to squirrels.
Do Squirrels Dislike Garlic?
Whilst the debate of vampire’s hatred for garlic has been raging for centuries, we can say with certainty that squirrels do not like garlic.
Squirrels are very sensitive to a lot of different smells and the stronger they are, the more off-putting they often are. So, now that we know squirrels dislike garlic, what can we do with this information to help keep our gardens undisturbed by these pesky rodents.
Should You Plant Garlic to Deter Squirrels?
Planting garlic is an effective way to keep squirrels out of your garden.
Whilst it is often stronger once peeled and chopped, squirrels can easily smell and identify garlic plants and will avoid it. Rather than having one large patch of garlic with an overwhelming smell, it is best to intersperse your garlic plants with other plants growing in your garden.
If you have flowers that are frequently disturbed by squirrels, then it is a good idea to plant a few bits of garlic in those areas.
Does Garlic Spray Deter Squirrels?
If you don’t want to plant garlic in your garden, then there are still other ways you can use it to deter squirrels. One example is to make a homemade garlic spray which you can then spray around your garden and make it very off-putting for any nearby squirrels.
To make this spray, all you need is water, vinegar and chopped garlic. Mix the three ingredients into a spray bottle and leave them alone for a few hours. Then you can spray this mixture either all over your garden or just on the specific areas that seem to be targeted by squirrels.
If you have more sensitive plants growing in your garden, then it is always a good idea to test your spray on just one or two leaves before applying it everywhere. Simply check back in a couple of hours to see if there is any damage and if not, then your spray should be safe to use all over.
Does Garlic Repel Other Pests?
As well as squirrels, you can use garlic to keep other pests away from your garden. You can use either of the above methods of planting garlic or making a spray and you will also provide your garden with the benefit of protection from these other pests.
Aphids are often a gardener’s biggest enemy.
These tiny green insects reproduce rapidly and can quickly take over and kill a plant. But they also hate garlic and will not inhabit any plants that smell strongly of the herb. It has been sited that using garlic is very effective in keeping aphids away from rose bushes.
Slugs are another pest that can quickly cause damage to plants by consuming their leaves. They are also big haters of garlic and garlic sprays can irritate them so they will avoid any plants that have the overwhelming smell of garlic.
Whilst garlic has proved to be effective against these pests as well as squirrels, it is not always 100% effective. The need for food can often overpower a squirrel’s hatred of the smell. The easiest way to keep your garden undisturbed is to prevent squirrels from coming in the first place.
You can use a combination of repellent garlic and other methods, such as squirrel repellent flowers and pepper. It is also a good idea to avoid using any bird feed that contains black sunflower seeds or monkey nuts as these are a favourite of squirrels.
To summarise the main points, squirrels dislike garlic and it will deter them from your garden. You can use garlic to repel squirrels by either planting it or applying a garlic spray over affected areas of your garden. Garlic will also help to repel other pests including aphids and slugs.
However, garlic is not always 100% effective so using a combination of squirrel-proofing methods is recommended.
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