As an avid nature lover and experienced observer of squirrels, I can confidently tell you that yes, squirrels do eat succulents. However, there are a few simple steps to take if you want to protect your beloved plants from these hungry critters. In this blog post, I’ll share everything you need to know about why squirrels like succulents and how to keep them away.
- Leaves: Succulent leaves are a great source of food for squirrels as they offer a high-calorie diet.
- Stems: Squirrels will often chew on stems to get at the juicy interior.
- Buds: Squirrels may also snack on succulent squirrels-eat-flowers/”>flower buds if they can reach them.
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Do Squirrels Eat Succulents?
Are you a succulent enthusiast that’s concerned about the potential of squirrels munching on your prized plants? You’re not alone. Succulents have become popular in home and garden culture, yet their frailty can lead to them being targeted by certain animals. While much of the damage incurred is done by birds, rabbits, and deer, one particular creature is known for its voracious appetite: the squirrel.
Squirrels are notorious plant-eaters and will devour whatever edible matter they can find in a garden. In terms of succulents, these opportunistic omnivores may be tempted to snack on common succulents such as cacti, aloes, agave, meconiums, and more. However, not all succulents are equal in value; it turns out that some offer more nutritional benefit than others which will likely attract an ever-hungry squirrel.
How To Protect Your Succulents From Squirrels
There are several approaches one can take when it comes to protecting your succulent from curious creatures like squirrels. Here’s how to keep squirrels out of your yard:
1. Physical Barriers
As omnivores, squirrels can find food pretty much anywhere – so it’s important that you protect your garden from these pests if you want your succulents safe from damage. A physically secure barrier around your garden is essential for keeping out squirrels (as well as other large animals). Consider building a fence (higher than 3 feet) or installing mesh covers over areas where squirrels may gain entry.
The Best Squirrel-Proof Barriers
2. Visual Deterrents
In addition to physical barricades, visual deterrents can also help keep squirrels away from your garden. Placing bird feeders near areas where squirrels tend to traverse can distract them away from other desired food sources. Reflective surfaces such as silver balloons or Mylar tape may ward off these creatures as well due their sensitivity towards light and sound.
Try using smells to keep away pesky critters: synthetic predator urine have been known to work.
You could also use soaps and other commercially-produced oils that create strong odors, such as citronella, eucalyptus, and orange oil. These should be sprayed directly onto the impacted succulents or near their vicinity since the scent dissipates quickly.
4. Chemical Repellents
Commercial chemical repellents contain ingredients that are designed specifically for humanely deterring unwanted animals by emitting strong odors that only animals can detect. These products should always be used with caution according to manufacturer’s instructions and in accordance with local laws governing their use.
5. Natural Repellents
When it comes to protecting your succulent plants from squirrels, natural repellents are a great option. There are a variety of ways to naturally deter squirrels, including homemade solutions such as peppermint oil and hot sauce mixtures, and even items such as bars of soap or human hair shavings. The scented oils will discourage the animals from coming close to the plants, while the soaps and hair act as physical barriers.
6. Sound Repellents
Another interesting way to prevent squirrels from eating your succulents is by using sound deterrents. This can come in the form of mechanical scorers such as motion-activated sprinklers which produce sudden jets of water when triggered. Additionally, there are ultrasonic sound emitters available on the market, which operate within frequencies that humans cannot hear but that cause rodents to flee.
You can also opt for audible noises such as bells and whistles or even recordings of a distressed animal sound which will send out an alert call within nature’s ecosystem and serve as a warning signal to nearby critters.
The Best Squirrel Repellent
7. Get a Cat or a Dog
If you don’t want to get a pet, you can always use a decoy of a squirrel predator, like an owl. Here’s the best one:
8. Squirrel-proof Bird Feeders
Allowing birds access into your garden via bird feeders can also act as a natural deterrent against pesky pests—especially since most animals prefer scavenging over hunting when given a choice—while providing additional food sources for our feathered friends. As long as you remain diligent about replacing old seed stock, taking down wet feeders before mold sets in, etc., then bird feeders can prove quite useful.
Just make sure to use squirrel-proof bird feeders like the one below:
Best Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder
9. Companion Planting
Companion planting involves interplanting crops to either attract beneficial insects or repel pests. Marigolds, garlic, and alliums are effective at repelling squirrels, so consider planting those alongside your plants.
10. Feeding and watering squirrels
Providing squirrels with food and water can help deter them from digging up your garden in search of sustenance. Consider setting up a squirrel feeding station away from your garden.
Other Succulent Eating Animals
Rabbits are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to eating succulents. They love munching on aloes, agave, and meconiums and can cause considerable damage if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are a number of methods that you can use to deter rabbits from devouring your succulent plants.
Physical barriers such as fences or chicken wire are highly effective in keeping rabbits away. Visual deterrents such as Mylar tape and bright-colored flags can also be effective. You could also try using smells and sounds to repel them – natural repellents like ammonia, commercial repellents like Predators® and electronic sound devices have been known to work in some cases.
Deer might not eat your succulent plants directly, but they can cause extensive damage by rubbing up against them or otherwise stomping on them. To keep deer away from your garden, you’ll need to create a physical barrier around the perimeter of your garden to prevent them from entering.
Visual deterrents can also be used for deer – hang colorful flags around your garden or use scarecrows to give the illusion of human presence. If you don’t want to put up physical barriers or visual deterrents, commercial chemical repellents like Liquid Fence® may be an option worth considering.
Excellent climbers, rats and mice are another common pest when it comes to succulents. These pesky rodents love aloes and will quickly make a meal out of your succulents if given the chance. To prevent rats and mice from getting at your plants, consider surrounding them with a solid physical barrier (like fencing) and bait traps with rodent-friendly food.
Motion-activated sprinklers may also help deter these rodents – this type of system senses the presence of an animal trespassing the vicinity of plants and responds by spraying water at them in order to drive them away. Keep in mind that toxins should only be used as a last resort since they pose risks to native wildlife populations.
Identifying Succulent Eating Animals
When trying to protect your succulents from being eaten by animals, it is important to identify what type of animal is causing the damage. Signs of damage include chewed leaves and stems or gnawed bark. Tracks and droppings may also be visible around the plants or garden. You can also observe if you spot any animals in your garden or around the affected area.
Squirrels may have a particular preference for succulent plants, but they aren’t the only culprit out there. Keep an eye out for other animals such as rabbits or deer that could potentially feed on your plants. Knowing which animal is responsible can help you identify the best method to prevent further damage.
Signs Of Damage
If you have succulents, you should know the signs of damage caused by animals. Look for holes in the leaves, bitten stems and any missing pieces. Also, check around the plant to see if there are tracks or droppings that could be from a pesky intruder!
Tracks And Droppings
Tracks and droppings are an indication that animals are actively visiting and feeding on your succulents. Raccoons, squirrels, skunks, and other critters will leave behind footprints, fur, urine, and feces around the area. To deter pests, look for signs of disturbance such as tracks, gnaw marks, uprooted plants, or empty seed shells.
Animal sightings in your garden may vary from squirrels to raccoons, rabbits, and birds. Protecting your succulents from pesky animals may seem difficult, but it can be accomplished with a few simple steps. To identify animal visitors, look for tracks or signs of digging or nibbling around your plants. You may also hear noises coming from the bushes or see animals scurrying away when you approach. Take action quickly by using fencing, motion-activated sprinklers, poisoning, caging techniques, or releasing predators to fend off these unwanted guests.
Which insect is causing damage to my succulent plants?
If your succulent plants appear to be suffering from bugs, it is likely either spider mites or fungus gnats. Spider mites leave behind webbing on stems and leaves, while fungus gnats look like tiny flies that swarm around the soil. To figure out exactly which bug is attacking your plants, carefully inspect them for signs of activity.
Do wild rabbits consume succulent plants?
Wild rabbits may eat succulent plants if they have access to them. They typically feed on grasses, clovers, and other vegetation, but can also consume flowers and vegetables. If a wild rabbit finds a succulent plant it may nibble on it, but because of its tough leaves and stems the plant may not provide much nourishment. For these reasons, it is unlikely that wild rabbits will seek out succulent plants as their primary food source.
Do rabbits consume any type of succulent plants?
So, do squirrels eat succulents? Yes, they definitely do. While it may seem like a minor issue to some, for those with succulent gardens or plants, it can be a major problem. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your plants from hungry squirrels. By removing access to food sources, installing physical barriers and providing deterrents such as loud noises and smells, you can keep squirrels away from your succulents.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to do your research and take the necessary steps to ensure that your succulent plants remain well protected! After all, the better you treat them now, the longer you’ll enjoy their beauty in your garden.
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