As a nature lover with years of experience in observing and interacting with squirrels worldwide, I can confidently tell that yes, squirrels do eat peonies. In this blog post, I will explain what parts of the peony plant squirrels feed on and how to protect your flowers.
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Do Squirrels Eat Peonies?
Yes, squirrels do eat peonies. A squirrel’s diet usually consists of petals, buds, pollen, and fruits from the peony plant. While this may seem harmless, prolonged munching can significantly damage the flowers and lead to other issues such as nutrient deficiencies or even death. In order to ensure that your beautiful peonies remain untouched by these furry critters, there are some steps you can take to deter them.
How To Deter Squirrels From Eating Peonies
Use Repellents To Deter Animals From Eating Peonies
Commercial animal repellents come in liquid spray form and can be used in large areas around plants where unwanted visitors may feed on your peonies. These products emit strong odors that bother animals but are generally odorless and safe for humans and pets. Repellents should be applied regularly as instructed by the manufacturer in order to maintain their effectiveness against intruders.
- Cayenne pepper
- Garlic juice
- Dish soap
Ultrasonic devices are another option for deterring squirrels from your garden or home. These devices emit sound waves in frequencies that are too high for humans to hear but can annoy animals like squirrels and make them want to leave the area.
This method may take some time before results are seen since there is no immediate effect when using an ultrasonic device. Additionally, there may be times when the device does not work if there is interference in the frequency or if the animal has become used to its presence.
The Best Squirrel Repellent
Install A Fence To Keep Animals Away
If natural repellents don’t work for you, consider installing a fence around your garden. A good fence should be at least eight feet tall and made of sturdy materials like metal or plastic mesh fencing. It should also be buried at least two feet into the ground and angled outwards towards predators who may attempt to climb over it. Additionally, making sure there are no gaps in the fence will help keep animals out.
Cover Peonies With Netting Or Hardware Cloth
Another option for protecting your peony plants is covering them with netting or hardware cloth that has been securely attached around each flower bed. This will make it difficult for animals such as squirrels or chipmunks to reach inside and feed on the plant’s foliage or its blooms without being visible themselves. Make sure to check these covers regularly for any signs of damage or decay due to exposure outdoors (sunlight/rain). Also take note that some birds may still find ways into these nets, so additional measures may need to be taken in those situations.
The Best Squirrel-Proof Barriers
Remove Food Sources
Squirrels are attracted to gardens and yards due to the abundance of food they can find. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains should all be removed from the area as this food source will attract more squirrels. If you want to keep plants in your garden, attractive alternative options such as birdseed or dried flowers may be introduced instead.
Additionally, it is a good idea to store any pet food indoors and dispose of garbage in a secure container. If you have bird feeders, replace the seed often and limit how much time it spends outdoors.
Install Other Barriers
- Bury chicken wire 1–1.5 feet below ground around the base of trees that are vulnerable to squirrels.
- To protect flower bulbs, bury a layer of “Memphis Mesh” 4–6 inches deep around the planting area.
- Cover any open spaces where squirrels could enter with steel mesh.
Make Your Yard Unattractive
A safe way of discouraging squirrels from selecting your yard for foraging is by making it generally unfavorable for habitation. This involves cutting down trees (or trimming them regularly) and clearing away brush piles that may provide shelter for these creatures. Keeping grass short, free of debris, and clean will also help detract animals from settling into your garden space.
Having natural predators like hawks or owls living in proximity may ward off some squirrelly visitors. Since birds of prey view small rodents as a natural meal source, their presence alone can encourage wildlife to look elsewhere for nourishment.
One clever way to do this is to use decoys of predators such as owls. Those are not only effective, but they can also be a quite cute addition to your garden.
Cover Bare Soil
- One way of preventing burrowing squirrels from wreaking havoc on your garden is by covering bare soil patches with mulch! Not only does this keep away burrowers, but it also provides insulation against extreme temperatures and helps retain moisture within the soil.
- In addition to this, laying landscape fabric over areas that grow edible crops will make it difficult for them to dig up roots or nibble on fruits or vegetables.
Motion-activated sprinklers are an excellent tool for keeping squirrels away from your garden and home. These devices use sensors to detect movement and then trigger a blast of water that startles the animal and makes them run away. This method is both humane and effective because it does not require physical contact with the animal itself.
The effectiveness of these devices will depend on how often you set them off and how much area they cover. It is important to place the device in a location where it will get regular activity from squirrels, such as near food sources or at entrances to your property.
Scare tactics involve making loud noises or using visual deterrents like bright lights in order to scare off animals like squirrels. This method can work well, but results might vary depending on the animal’s level of comfort with these tactics.
What Other Animals Eat Peonies?
In addition to squirrels, deer are known to also feast on peonies. Deer tend to be attracted to blooming flowers due to their sweet scent, so if you live near woodlands or fields where deer often roam, you should take extra precautionary steps to prevent them from accessing the plants.
So, do squirrels eat peonies? The answer is yes! Peonies are a part of the natural diet of some species of squirrels, who primarily feed on their petals, buds, and occasionally pollen. Furthermore, they can also nibble on the fruits of these plants.
Remember: when it comes to keeping squirrels out of your garden, start by ensuring that there are no easy food sources for them to reach. Planting peonies that are out of reach should be one of your top priority if you want to keep these furry critters away from your beloved plants!
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