If you’re anything like us, you love animals. Unfortunately, some animals are just too damaging or dangerous to keep around.
Enter the squirrel. They’re cute and seemingly harmless, but when they invade our homes and lawns they can cause costly property damage, not to mention spread fleas, ticks, and other pests to our pets and families.
So what do you do if you need to get rid of squirrels but harming them isn’t an option? Here are 5 ways to get rid of squirrels humanely, safely, and naturally.
Squirrels can leap anywhere from 7-10 feet, making a jump from your trees to your roof a piece of cake. In fact, this is among the most common ways squirrels sneak into our homes.
Not only will regularly trimming your trees help keep squirrels off your home, better manicured trees tend to house fewer squirrels and other pesky wildlife.
Accessible fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, and bird feeders are essentially just giant welcome mats for squirrels.
To limit squirrel populations on your property, ensure vulnerable crops are shielded with wire or other coverings, that your trash cans and compost piles are tightly closed, and that any bird feeders in your lawn are squirrel-proof.
Pick up your own squirrel-proof bird feeder here
If your yard has a ton of squirrels, it’s usually only a matter of time before they find their way indoors, which could end up costing you thousands in household repairs.
Save yourself the time, money, and headache associated with indoor squirrels and other pests by making sure your home is properly sealed. Do a slow walk around the exterior of your home, looking for potential entry points like holes, cracks, and other instances of wall, roof, attic, or basement damage. Then simply repair or replace any openings as needed.
Squirrels can strip a garden, plant, or tree of its fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds in only a matter of hours. But squirrels aren’t fans of every plant, and you can use this knowledge against them.
There are two main ways to go about it. First, you can try sprinkling black pepper, red pepper flakes, or cayenne throughout your garden, wherever you’re experiencing the worst squirrel problems. Just be sure to water the spices afterward to help prevent them from blowing away. This approach alone will often do the trick.
However, if you need a more permanent solution, try installing plants squirrels are known to avoid around your most vulnerable crops. Such as…
- Peppermint or spearmint
This approach works great, is super easy, and takes basically no time at all.
You have a few options here. You can adopt a rescue dog (canines and their urine are fantastic squirrel deterrents). You can purchase some of those cheap plastic owls and install them throughout your lawn and roof. Or, you can set up a motion-activated sprinkler, which gives your yard a quick spray anytime wildlife venture into unwanted areas of your property.
Fall and winter leaves might seem annoying at first, but they’re really a nutrient-rich blessing from mother nature! Instead of trashing this gift, which can leave your soil less fertile over time, why not repurpose it for a more beautiful and healthy lawn?
Here are 5 natural, eco-friendly ways to recycle your fallen leaves:
One of the best ways to recycle leaves is also the easiest: Mow them!
Switch your mower to the mulching setting, then simply shred those leaves throughout your lawn for an evenly spread nutrient-rich mulch.
Whether inside or out, potted plants can get a major boost from fallen leaves, which will slowly feed the plant as they decompose.
For best results, fill your chosen pot ⅓-½ full of densely packed leaves, then top off the remaining space with the appropriate potting soil.
Composting fallen leaves is an easy, free way to produce your own organic fertilizer.
Mix shredded leaves with grass clippings or other greenery and toss them in your compost pile. Mix the pile with a shovel every 5 days or so, keeping it warm with a tarp when necessary, and you should have ready-to-use fertilizer in about 2 months. Neat, right!?
Did you know fallen leaves can help suffocate stubborn weeds?
After shredding your leaves, mix them with grass clippings and Cedarcide Granules. Then, add a thick layer of this mix on top of your garden soil wherever you’re struggling with weed growth.
Surrounding vulnerable plants like smaller shrubs and perennials with mounds of unshredded leaves can help protect them from the winter cold.
When spring rolls around and the weather warms, simply remove any extra leaves as needed.
Trashed Christmas trees end up in landfills where they can take decades to decompose, and once they finally do, they release noxious methane, a greenhouse gas that’s worse for the environment than carbon dioxide
Here are 5 tips for recycling or reusing your Christmas tree instead:
But Before Your Recycle…
Make sure you remove ALL decorations from the tree, as well as the plastic bag you use to drag it to the curb. Items like Christmas lights and ornaments not only damage the chippers they use to recycle trees, but can also cause serious harm to the individuals operating the machinery.
Note: Unfortunately, if you have an artificial tree or a flocked tree—the ones sprayed in that fake snow—you’re not going to be able to recycle it.
Support Your Community
Often to benefit local parks and animal habitats, many cities collect Christmas trees and repurpose or recycle them to support the local community.
Search online or contact your city directly to learn how to take advantage of their recycling program.
Recycle it Yourself
Several local organizations—such as the Boy Scouts, game & fishery depts., even zoos and animal sanctuaries—accept trees from those looking to recycle them on their own.
Visit Earth911.com to find a recycling option near you.
If you have access to a wood chipper, your unwanted Christmas tree can be easily transformed into excellent compost.
For those without a compost pile, your Christmas tree’s branches are perfect for starting one. A 5-inch stack of thin evergreen branches makes for a great compost base, allowing plenty of airflow for a productive bin or pile. Then, add your compostable items like kitchen scraps on top and you’re good to go.
Return it to Nature
For those in rural areas, returning your tree to nature by simply placing it somewhere on your land is also an option. Not only will this provide food and housing for wildlife, but the tree’s needles can be harvested for an effective, slow-to-decompose mulch.