Do Squirrels Eat Basil? (and How to Keep them OUT of Your Garden)

As a seasoned nature lover with several years of experience in observing and interacting with squirrels all around the world, I can confidently answer one burning question buried deep in many minds: Do squirrels actually eat basil? Join me as I share my knowledge about this delicious truth – you won’t be disappointed!

Squirrels are omnivores, which means that they eat both plant- and animal-based foods. basil leaves are a type of plant food, therefore squirrels can eat them. Other examples of plant-based food that squirrels may eat include fruits, nuts, buds, and seeds.

Do Squirrels Eat Basil?

Squirrels are small, adorable creatures that inhabit many of our gardens, parks, and woodlands. They are known for their playful antics and acrobatic skills as they skillfully climb trees, scamper around on the ground, and store food in hollows or in burrows.

One question that comes up a lot about squirrels is if they eat plants such as basil. The answer is a resounding yes! Not only do squirrel enjoy snacking on basil when it’s available in the wild or through human-provided feeders, but it can also provide them with many nutritious benefits.

Nutritional Benefits Of Basil For Squirrels

Boasting high amounts of numerous nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper, basil provides a number of health benefits for squirrels. Additionally, it can help boost their immune system by providing certain antioxidants. As with most herbs and spices basil also acts as a natural insect repellent.

How Much Basil Can Squirrels Eat?

Although basil is packed with nutrients which makes it highly beneficial for squirrels to eat it should be eaten in moderation-in other words given to them in small amounts as part of their diet rather than making it the main part. Too much basil could potentially upset a squirrel’s digestive system due to its strong flavor.

What Other Herbs Do Squirrels Eat?

Common Herbs Squirrels Enjoy

  • Thyme: “Thyme” is a perennial herb native to tropical regions and often used in cooking to add flavor to dishes. It contains high levels of vitamin C and other essential minerals while also offering anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Oregano: “Oregano” is another fragrant herb commonly found as an ingredient in many dishes. It’s rich in essential vitamins including Vitamin K which helps promote bone health & reduce inflammation.
  • Sage: “Sage” is an evergreen shrub which grows mostly in sunny climates such as the Mediterranean region. Its leaves contain carotenoids which give them antioxidants properties. Sage also provides antifungal benefits against bacterial growth too.

What Are The Most Nutritious Herbs For Squirrels?

Squirrels benefit from a wide range of herbs that provide them with vitamins and minerals for optimal health. This includes common spices like oregano, basil, thyme, and sage as well as plants like nettles, squirrels-eat-dandelions/”>dandelion leaves, clover, alfalfa, and cilantro.

All of these plants are packed with antioxidants that contribute to the prevention of disease and aid in protecting against damage caused by toxins. Certain herbs also offer plenty of fiber which can help to promote proper digestion and keep your furry friends feeling full longer.

Should You Feed Squirrels Basil?

Basil is definitely safe for squirrels to enjoy, but it’s important that you follow some simple guidelines when offering it up as a treat or supplementing their main diet.

Tips For Feeding Basil To Squirrels

  • Offer small amounts at first until you gauge how much the squirrel likes the taste before increasing their portion size.
  • Feed basil outdoors in a secure area such as alongside a fence or within a designated feeding station.
  • Use fresh basil rather than pre-packaged varieties.
  • If possible grow your own basil so that you can guarantee its freshness.

How To Avoid Squirrels Eating Your Basil

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Keeping squirrels away from your home and yard can be tricky, but here are several methods you can use to deter them:

1. Physical Barriers

One of the simplest ways to protect your home and garden from squirrels is by covering the plants and any potential entrances like chimneys with something like chicken wire or other protective barriers. This will keep squirrels away while still allowing sunlight and moisture to reach the soil. It’s also important to make sure any cages used are tall enough but also that they don’t block out light completely.

These covers should be applied as soon as possible after planting your garden in order to dissuade any curious critters. If you’re short on time before planting season begins, consider pre-building cages at home that can be placed over the top of flower beds swiftly when needed.

2. Avoid Smelly Fertilizers and Plant Among Other Plants

Another easy way to deter squirrel visitation is by decreasing odors near the flower bed. Fertilizers often create strong smells which attract squirrels, so it’ s best to opt for slow-release varieties instead. Placing potted plants around your bulbous flowers can also provide added protection since these odors may mask their presence.

3. Use Natural Repellents

Natural repellents such as cayenne pepper, garlic powder, fox urine, or castor oil can help prevent scavengers from noshing on your flowers. Sprinkle this deterrent around each area you would like to protect a few times a week in order make sure it’ s effective.

Using hot pepper wax or a spray of cayenne pepper over foliage may also help keep these critters away from your garden for good. You can create the squirrel repellent spray DIY or purchase some commercially available options.

In addition, you can also spray around scents that squirrels don’t like, there are many of those that are commercially available.

4. Sharp Gravel

You might want to place sharp gravel around your plants as this makes it more difficult for furry critters to burrow into the earth. Alternatively, mulch your plants with a thick layer of wood chips or straw around their base. This will make it harder for squirrels to dig up your bulbs in search of a snack.

5. Provide Alternate Food Sources and Clean Up Areas

Adding extra food sources in nearby areas may distract the scavengers away from your home. Consider putting out unsalted nuts or fruits in feeders throughout your yard during springtime. Just bear in mind if you leave out too much food then this might actually draw more wildlife than necessary!

Additionally, reducing decaying material such as fallen leaves will limit habitats for rodents looking for shelter near flowers beds.

6. Get Plants and Trees That Don’t Appeal to Squirrels

Protecting your home and garden from hungry squirrels is possible! If the climate in your area allows it, plant a citrus tree as well as onions, mint, garlic, chili peeer and other spices: squirrels hate those!

Additionally, you can also use garlic powder or cayenne pepper on the soil around your yard to help repel them away.

7. Delay Planting Time for Maximum Protection

To protect your garden from hungry squirrels, delay planting time of your flowers until the ground is thoroughly cold and squirrels’ food sources have become scarce. Planting some crocus flowers in early autumn will also help, as you’ll be able to enjoy blooming crocus flowers before some of the more temperamental springtime weather hits.

8. Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Adding a motion activated spray device onto the fence may provide an additional layer of protection against furry burglars, although this option can be pricey. Plus, if you have any four-legged friends who like to sunbathe near the fence line, you may want to avoid this option.

9. Coffee Grounds

Squirrels don’t like the smell of coffee grounds, so you can put those around your garden and mix them with the soil to deter squirrels. Moreover, coffee grounds will also act as a fertilizer.

10. Offer Alternative Food & Water

A counterintuitive trick to keep squirrels away from your basil is to offer them food and fresh water somewhere near your house but far enough from your flowers in your garden.

Once the squirrels will start noticing that there is a constant supply of threats and freshwater over there, they are less likely to enter your house and garden, especially if you couple this with some additional deterrent. Squirrels will prefer the food and water option that requires them less effort.

11. Use Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeders and Unsavory Seed

Keep them away with squirrel-proof bird feeders and unpleasant tasting seed. Bird feeders can be found at most hardware or pet stores and are designed to keep the squirrels out while still allowing birds to access the food. To deter squirrels, use seeds that have an unpleasant taste such as hot pepper, which they won’t eat. You can also buy pre-treated bird seed mixes or make your own with cayenne pepper.

12. Get A Watch Dog (Or Cat!)

While no pet can completely prevent all rodent intruders, having a guard dog (or cat!) around your property has been found effective by many homeowners. Despite being domesticated animals, cats still have natural hunting instincts while dogs give off territorial smells which tell trespassers “stay away”. Training your pets regularly never hurts either, so when problem arises they quickly react with utmost confidence!

13. Decoy Predators

Motion-activated decoy devices can also be used as a form of auditory deterrence against unwanted invaders such as squirrels. There are decoy predators available such as predator-shaped silhouettes or stuffed animals that contain pepper oil or cinnamon powder which emit strong odors or sounds when activated by motion. These devices scare away unsuspecting trespassers.

Just remember to move the decoy around and place it in different spots or after some time the furry critters may notice that it is not a real owl.

14. Ultrasound & Lights

Ultrasonic devices and lights are both effective tools for protecting your yard and house from unwanted visitors. Ultrasonic devices emit high-frequency sound waves that can scare away squirrels and other animals, while motion-activated lights can startle them with a bright flash of light when they enter an area. These solutions are easy to install and provide long-lasting protection for your trees.

15. Trapping & Relocating the Squirrels

As a last resort option, you may also consider trapping and releasing the squirrels in a different area. Trapping and relocating squirrels may be necessary if other methods of discouraging their presence are unsuccessful.

Live traps baited with foods like peanuts or sunflower seeds prove very successful in trapping them for relocation away from gardens where they will no longer cause damage to crops or flowers.

WARNING Always check local laws before attempting any type of trapping on your property. Some states in the USA and Canada may have regulations regarding animal relocation.

Once trapped, take extra care when transporting wildlife, choose containers designed specifically for animals and make sure you release them as far away from residential areas as possible.

Finally, consider hiring professional pest control specialists for the job. This will ensure compliance with any additional regulations that may exist in your State.


Is there a plant that keeps squirrels away?

Yes, there are several plants known to repel squirrels. Albums such as garlic and onions are said to have a strong odor that deters these creatures. Daffodils also emit an unpleasant taste and fragrance that can ward off animals. Additionally, white pepper and garlic powder can be used to help repel them.

What can I do to prevent squirrels from accessing my basil plant?

Protecting your basil plant from pesky squirrels is possible. Here are a few methods you can use:

  • Sprinkle garlic or white pepper around the plant
  • Hang aluminum pie pans around the area to scare them away
  • Plant albums (onions, garlic) nearby; their strong odor deters rodents
  • Grow daffodils for their unappealing taste and strong smell
  • Mirrors to scare birds which may eat your basil

What scent will make squirrels flee?

Squirrels are deterred by strong scents, such as garlic and onions. Additionally, the fragrant odor of daffodils can keep them away. Sprinkling white pepper or garlic powder around plants may help ward off pesky critters, too. Finally, mirrors have also been known to scare animals off because they reflect light.

What odors cause a distaste for squirrels?

Squirrels are known to be repelled by pungent odors. Common examples include garlic, onions, daffodils, white pepper and garlic powder. Their strong fragrances act as a deterrent and make it difficult for the animals to stay in the area.

What types of herbs are disliked by squirrels?

Squirrels typically don’t eat herbs including daffodils, garlic, onions and white pepper. These fragrant plants have a strong odor or taste that repels the furry rodents. Garlic powder or other spices may also be used in the garden to deter squirrels.


So, do squirrels eat basil? The answer is yes! Squirrels, being omnivorous creatures, can enjoy a variety of plant-based foods including basil leaves, fruits, nuts, buds, and seeds. Eating basil not only provides the squirrel with dietary variety but also some great health benefits too!

Basil is full of antioxidants and contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce the risk of illness for squirrels. Additionally, the vitamins and minerals found in basil leaves can help boost up their energy levels. So if you want to provide your neighborhood squirrels with an extra boost and some delicious treats, don’t forget to add some fresh basil leaves!

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