Are you growing pumpkins? Backyard gardens are great for growing your own veggies and fruits. While gardening can be great fun, you may sometimes have some visitors that can wreak havoc on your harvest. For example, squirrels in your garden are not the kindest visitors.
Do you need to be worried about squirrels pillaging your garden and eating your pumpkins?
Just like you, squirrels love pumpkins. Squirrels will frequently enter your garden and destroy your pumpkins if you give them the chance. You will need to take precautions to protect your pumpkins if you don’t want them being gobbled up by squirrels.
How do you prevent squirrels from entering your garden? Should you feed your backyard squirrels or squirrel pets with pumpkins?
Squirrels and Pumpkins
Squirrels do eat and enjoy pumpkins. When they find your pumpkins, they will seek them out and eat them until they’re gone. While squirrels look cute, they can very quickly destroy your garden plants, vegetables, and fruits if you give them access to your garden.
Aside from squirrels, there are many other pests that eat pumpkins, so if you want to prevent squirrels from eating your pumpkins, you have to make sure that it is actually squirrels that you are dealing with.
How do you know that squirrels are the culprits behind your missing or destroyed pumpkins?
Signs That Squirrels Are Eating Your Pumpkins
The most reliable way of knowing the specific pest that is eating your pumpkins is to catch them in the act. If you have not seen the squirrels in action, but you feel that squirrels are responsible for the loss of your pumpkins, here are useful signs to check for:
- Holes with Seeds and Nuts Across or Around Your Garden: Squirrels love digging holes to store nuts, seeds, and other plant parts. They forget the location of many holes that they dig. If you find such holes in or around your garden, it means that squirrels are near you.
- Tree Barks Stripped Off: Squirrels always look for fibrous materials to chew (because of their teeth). If you find trees with a scratch on their bark (or a region of the bark is stripped), you should check for squirrels.
- Squirrel Footprints: Squirrels are not difficult to recognize when they are around. From their footprints on wet floors to the sounds they make, you should be able to tell if squirrels are in your garden or not.
A combination of two or more signs above indicates that squirrels have access to your garden.
Parts of Pumpkins That Squirrels Eat
What parts of your pumpkins do squirrels eat?
Pumpkin vines are the stem, branches, petiole, and other elongating and fibrous parts of your pumpkins.
Squirrels eat the vines of plants in the same way they eat tree bark. They need to chew fibrous materials because of their teeth.
Pumpkin fruits are both delicious and nutritious for squirrels. Squirrels enjoy eating the fiber-rich flesh of pumpkins. They really enjoy the taste of pumpkins.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in proteins and squirrels love them. Remember that squirrels love seeds and nuts. Squirrels will probably take more seeds than they need and bury the ones that they don’t eat immediately.
Even the leaves of pumpkins are not spared by squirrels. Squirrels love the nitrogen-rich leaves of pumpkins and will eat the leaves when they can’t find fruits to eat.
The fruit peel or rind is an awesome meal for squirrels. They enjoy chewing the rinds to help the growth of their teeth.
Feeding Pumpkins to Your Pet or Backyard Squirrels
Pumpkins are rich in antioxidants, minerals, carbohydrates, etc. They are delicious and healthy treats for squirrels. So long as you are okay with squirrels visiting you often or you have some pet squirrels, you should give pumpkins to your squirrels as treats.
Even though you can feed your backyard or pet squirrels with pumpkins, there are certain times that you should not give them pumpkins.
When to Prevent Your Squirrels from Eating Pumpkins
Here are some instances when you should not feed your squirrels pumpkins:
- When They Eat Pumpkins Every Day: Pumpkins are rich in carbohydrates, vitamins, and other nutrients, but not proteins. Aside from pumpkin seeds, most parts of pumpkins do not help squirrels to grow quickly, and giving them too often can make them sick.
- When They Are Young: Young squirrels need more proteins so that they can grow. You should feed them with protein-rich foods and treats.
- If the Pumpkin Has Mold or Is Rotting: Do not feed rotting pumpkins to your squirrels. It can make them sick.
How to Prevent Squirrels from Eating Your Pumpkins
I’m sure you already know that it is not very easy to prevent squirrels from entering your garden as squirrels are not large like rabbits nor deer. Squirrels can climb trees and they are very fast.
To prevent squirrels from eating your pumpkins, the best thing to do is to protect the plants with a mesh. Here are more tips for you:
1. Leave No Trace of Delicious Pumpkins in Your Garden
Do not feed the squirrels. Squirrels will not visit your garden if they don’t have anything that is attracting them. When disposing of your waste pumpkins, do not do so near the garden as you may be inviting squirrels.
2. Use Tree Guards
Tree guards can prevent squirrels from climbing trees. You should install tree guards in trees in or near your garden.
3. Use Sprinklers (Motion-Activated)
Some motion-activated sprinklers can detect the movement of squirrels and spray them with water. Squirrels will run away from your garden when they are sprayed with water.
This technique is completely safe and does not harm squirrels.
4. Prevent Access to Your Garden
If some trees outside your garden have branches in your garden, you should cut off those branches. Also, install squirrel-proof guards in your garden fence to prevent squirrels from climbing it.
5. Call the Professionals
Professionals will not just help you to get rid of squirrels in your garden, they will also do so within the guidance of the law and local regulations. Even though squirrels are pests, there are guidelines that professionals follow when getting rid of squirrels.
Professionals will also tell you the best method of preventing squirrels from entering your garden in the future.
Other Garden Vegetables and Fruits That Attract Squirrels to Your Garden
Here are some other fruits and vegetables that may be attracting squirrels into your garden:
Just like pumpkins, squirrels eat every part of cucumber plants. From the vines to the fruits, squirrels eat it all.
You should prevent squirrels from getting close to your cucumber plants because cucumbers are easier to destroy than pumpkins.
2. Beans and Peas
These protein-rich seeds are big attractions for squirrels. Don’t allow squirrels to go near your beans and peas as you might not harvest any seeds if they do. Squirrels can be disastrous.
3. Peanuts and Other Nuts
Squirrels love their nuts. Squirrels can dig and uproot your peanut plants to reveal their seeds underground. Uprooting peanut plants kills them immediately and prevents them from growing more seeds.
These are just a few of the fruits and vegetables that squirrels love to destroy and eat.
Squirrels do eat pumpkins and they can be disastrous to your pumpkin harvest.
Don’t give squirrels access to your garden or they can destroy your garden crops.
The tips above should help you keep squirrels from getting to and decimating your garden crops. How will you prevent squirrels from entering your garden?