You just moved into your new home and spent the whole weekend aerating, and planting new grass seeds. One morning you wake up and notice that the straw and freshly planted grass seeds are now a pile up upturned dirt. “What happened here?” Who messed with my hard work? The answer? Squirrels.
How To Keep Squirrels From Eating Grass Seed?
To prevent squirrels from eating your newly planted grass seeds you can use galvanized wire, plastic netting, motion detector sprinklers or set up a friendly squirrel area to keep them at bay.
Even if you are an animal lover, you need to prevent them from tearing up your properly, plants, flowers, and grass. These critters love to eat anything they can get their paws on.
I totally understand not wanting to hurt or kill them, after all, they deserve to live too. That’s why we’re going to look at the best way to keep them from eating your newly planted grass seeds.
I’ve put together an article that will show you how to keep them out of your hanging potted plants.
Before we look at ways to stop squirrels from eating grass, let’s get a better understanding of why they love eating grass seeds.
Why Do Squirrels Eat Grass Seed?
It may seem like squirrels are picking on you, because they’re not eating your neighbors grass. But the truth is that your yard is inviting because it has fresh grass seeds.
Squirrels love eating seeds of all types.
For instance, gray squirrels (the most common type found in the United States) thrives on acorns, seeds, nuts, berries, fungi, insects, bugs, plants and etc.
The red, black, and flying squirrels have similar diets, which makes your fresh lawn seed, vegetable garden, and potted plants a healthy buffet!
Most squirrels prefer to eat nuts, but they will eat food that is readily available!
For instance, if a squirrel wants to eat an orange, they have to climb up the tree and fight through thick branches and leaves which may scratch them. While they have thick fur to protect them from the branches and thorns, it’s much easier to eat the grass seed that doesn’t take any effort on their part.
Is Grass Seed Harmful For Squirrels?
No, as long as it hasn’t been sprayed with any pesticides squirrels will gladly eat your grass seed. They will even take some of the seeds back to their den to share with their babies.
So now that you understand why they eat seeds, it’s time to learn how to protect your lawn.
How To Keep Squirrels Away Naturally?
Many people are quick to turn to inhumane methods to stop squirrels. While these critters can be stubborn, there are some humane methods you can use to protect your fresh grass seeds.
Here are some methods you can use to keep them off newly planted lawn.
One of the easiest ways to protect your grass seeds is to use a physical barrier that makes it challenging to get to the seeds. It’s easy to use an won’t take a lot of effort.
Depending on the type of netting you get, the prices will range between $10 – $45. This can be quite expensive, depending on the size of your lawn.
If you’re repatching a small piece, then it can be an easy fix. The downside is that squirrels have sharp incisors which enable them to chew through plastic, wood, and even PVC.
So there’s a good chance that you’ll have to replace the netting before you know, especially if you have more than one squirrel trying to eat your grass seed.
Wire Mesh Fencing
People who love to garden use chicken wire or some type of mesh fencing to keep squirrels out. They do so because it works!
Galvanized chicken wire is made of thin wire that has one-inch hexagonal openings. It’s normally used for rearing ducks, geese, chickens, and other poultry animals, but it is also a great way to protect your garden or lawn from squirrels.
You can buy wire mesh fencing at your local hardware store like Home Depot, Lowes or even online at Amazon.
When installing the mesh fencing, make sure you put a foot of it into your yard. This will prevent squirrels from digging a hole and crawling underneath.
The top should be arched enough that if the squirrels try to climb the fence, they will just fall to the ground.
This method works, and it’s not that expensive. If you do some research and online comparison, you should be able to find some inexpensive mesh fencing that ranges between $10 – $30.
If you have a big yard, you can consider seeding the front and then seeding the back. It may sound funny, but your neighbors will only see your front lawn, unless you don’t have a privacy fence.
If not, then you’ll have to do the entire yard at the same time.
Setting up a galvanized fence is more time consuming and you’ll need someone to help you. However, if set up properly you won’t have to worry about the squirrels eating your grass seed.
Motion Detector Sprinklers
Finally, you can try using motion detector sprinklers that will cut on when they sense a squirrel on your lawn. These can be used day or night and will help you deter the squirrels when you’re not home or just can’t monitor your newly planted grass.
If you have a big yard, you may have to get more than one sprinkler. They can range in price from $50 to $120 or more depending on the type and brand you buy.
Before purchasing one, you’ll need to know how many square feet your yard is. Without this knowledge, you won’t know how powerful of a sprinkler you need.
For instance, if you have a 1500 square foot yard and purchase a sprinkler that covers 50 feet, then it won’t do you any good. You will end up buying more than one sprinkler, when you could’ve just got one that covered 1500 ft.
Before you can get the exact footage of your lawn, you first need to determine the shape of your yard.
For example if your yard is more rectangular, you’ll want to multiply the length times the width. you’ll have to pull out those high school match skills that you thought you would never use.
If your yard is 11 feet by 15 feet, you would multiply 11 by 15 to get 165 square feet. Then you’ll know if one sprinkler will do the job, or if you’ll need more than one.
Either way in the long run it’ll save you money if you measure you lawn before trying to buy a motion detector sprinkler.
Create A Squirrel Friendly Area
One of the best ways to deter squirrels from eating your grass, plants, veggie garden, fruit trees and etc is to create a special place just for them.
Buy a squirrel house, feeder, or squirrel picnic table and fill it with their favorite food. This should deter them from eating things you don’t want them to eat.
The downside is that squirrels can eat up to a pound of food per day. So you’ll want to make sure you keep their feeder filled with their favorite foods to keep the occupied.
If you let the feeder run out, they’ll be back to eating the foods you don’t want them to eat.
Use these tips above to see which ones keep your grass seed safe from these critters. If you use one method and it’s not working, then switch to a different one.
For the most stubborn squirrels, you may have to build a fence, use plastic netting and get a motion detector sprinker all at once to protect your grass.
The great thing is that once your grass grows, it should be safe from your backyard squirrels!