How to keep squirrels away from fig trees?
If your fig tree is being devoured by squirrels, you don’t have to just accept it.
When squirrels eat figs they also eat immature fruit and buds.
This slows fruit production for the entire tree, which has to devote its energy to healing and regrowing while the fruit is still maturing.
Fig trees that are exposed to squirrels yield less fruit overall, the majority of which is stolen.
You can fight back and protect your figs.
In this article, we’ll look at 10 of the best tricks for protecting your fig tree from squirrels.
A word of warning: It won’t be easy. Squirrels are highly intelligent and very committed.
They learn and develop new techniques to access fig-trees, and you might need to regularly switch up the techniques you use as squirrels find ways to work around them.
How to Keep Squirrels Away From Fig Trees
To keep squirrels away from fig trees surround the fig tree with a wire cage, use squirrel repellant, invest in an electronic owl, provide them with a bowl of fruits and nuts or use a squirrel trap. Aluminum foil and CDs as well as a trunk cover are additional ways to keep squirrels away from fig trees.
8 Ways To Keep Squirrels Away From Fig Trees
1. Wire Cage
If you have a small fig tree that is still maturing, you can protect it from squirrels by surrounding it with a wire cage.
As long as the holes in the wire are small enough, squirrels won’t be able to get to the tree.
However, this won’t work for fig trees that are growing taller than 4 feet or so.
It gets very difficult and costly after a certain point and expensive to construct a fence around the tree.
The fencing isn’t very aesthetically pleasing either, and it takes away from the look of the trees in a yard or garden.
2. Squirrel Repellant
You can whip up a batch of squirrel repellant quickly and cheaply by mixing these ingredients:
- 1 gallon of water
- 1oz of hot sauce
- 3 drops of dish soap
Apply this to the tree as well as to any growing figs.
It shouldn’t harm the growth of the fruit, and it will wash off with water when you finally harvest them.
Squirrels hate the capsaicin in the hot sauce and will avoid the fruit.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t work on every squirrel. Some of them have a taste for hot sauce.
3. Electronic Owl
Squirrels are smart, which is why they don’t take risks with owls. That’s what makes this strategy so effective.
An electronic owl detects movement and swivels its head to face the source of the sound.
Most squirrels are affected by this and will initially avoid the tree with an electronic owl in it,
but they also push boundaries and test limits. The squirrels in your area may eventually figure out that the owl is just a ruse.
4. Bowl of Fruit and Nuts
I guess this strategy could be considered bribery?
The squirrels are looking for a good meal If you want them to leave your fig-tree alone, you can leave a dish of fruit and nuts out for them to devour, instead.
This is effective in the short term, but it’s pretty expensive and you can end up drawing all of the squirrels in your area to a free buffet.
Plus, if they want the figs, they’ll just eat them too.
5. Squirrel Trap
You can trap the squirrels that are eating your figs with a humane trap, like the Havahart traps, and then release them several miles away.
This works in the short term, but it is a lot of work.
You need to trap and release not just one or two squirrels, but any squirrels in your area who happen to notice your fig tree.
6. Aluminum Foil
Wrapping the figs in aluminum foil works to keep squirrels from eating them.
Start by poking holes in the foil to allow some airflow, and then wrap it loosely around each fruit, tightening it around the stem.
The squirrels can’t get through the aluminum foil, and it doesn’t hurt the figs or impair their growth.
It is a time-consuming process since you need to cover every single fig on the tree, but should work to protect them.
7. Spinning CDs
Squirrels don’t trust bright lights that shine into their eyes out of nowhere. That’s exactly what reflective surfaces do when they move in the light.
Some clever gardeners figured out that you can hang CDs from the branches of the fig tree with fishing line or twine.
As long as they are free to rotate in the wind, they will appear to flash brightly to squirrels.
This usually works to keep squirrels away, but it won’t work after dark, even on a full moon.
Although squirrels are more active during the day, they are technically crepuscular animals who are most active at dusk and dawn.
In the dark, or even in low light, this doesn’t work as well.
8. Trunk Cover
This strategy works only for completely isolated fig trees. If the tree brushes up against any other tree, wall,
or climbable surface this will be pointless because the squirrels will be able to access the canopy by jumping over.
If you wrap the trunk of the fig tree in a smooth material, like smooth plastic or thin sheet metal, you can dissuade squirrels from climbing the tree to get to the fruit.
If they can’t access the canopy by any other means (like jumping from another tree), and they can’t climb the trunk, they have no other way to get to the figs and they give up.
This is a great strategy for isolated fig trees. Squirrels aren’t able to climb smooth surfaces.
However, you need to make sure that you cover the trunk completely from top to bottom, and you can’t create any climbable ridges.
Squirrels are excellent climbers and incredible jumpers, even vertically from the ground.
How to Protect Your Fig Tree from Squirrels
These strategies each have their benefits and drawbacks, and none of them are likely to be 100% effective in every situation.
To protect your fig trees from squirrels, you might need to use multiple strategies at the same time.
For example, you can leave out fruit and nuts for the squirrels to eat,
so they aren’t as hungry and don’t care to get past the scent of garlic and pepper to get to the figs in the tree.
You might also need to change your strategy from time to time. Squirrels learn quickly and remember what works.
If you use an electronic owl, for example, a brave squirrel might approach it and discover that it doesn’t act like an owl up close.
Squirrels can damage your fig tree and steal the fruit. If you want to keep them away, you need to make it as difficult, unappealing,
and unnecessary for them as possible, and keep changing your methods so they don’t figure you out.
Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.