How to Keep Squirrels Out of Strawberries

How to Keep Squirrels Out of Strawberries
Gracie Owens
Gracie Owens she/her - Author at YardPrep October 01, 2023

Are you tired of squirrels getting into your strawberry patch and ruining your harvest? You're not alone. Squirrels are notorious for their love of sweet fruits, and strawberries are no exception. In this article, we'll discuss effective methods to keep squirrels out of strawberries and prevent future damage to your garden.

How to Keep Squirrels Out of Strawberries

To keep squirrels out of strawberries, use physical barriers like netting or cages, plant deterrents like mint or marigolds, or use squirrel repellents like predator urine or hot pepper spray. Harvest strawberries as soon as they are ripe, and remove any fallen fruit to reduce the attraction for squirrels.

Understanding Squirrels and Their Behavior

What Attracts Squirrels to Strawberries?

Squirrels are attracted to strawberries because of their natural instincts. They have a sweet tooth and are always on the lookout for their next meal. Strawberries are also easy to access, making them a prime target for hungry squirrels.

Identifying Squirrel Damage on Strawberries

Squirrel damage on strawberries can be identified by bite marks on the fruit and leaves. They may also dig up the plants and eat the roots. Squirrels can cause significant damage to your strawberry patch, resulting in a lower yield and poor-quality fruit.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

One common mistake people make is leaving fallen fruit on the ground. This attracts squirrels to your garden and encourages them to stay. Another mistake is planting strawberries too close to trees or other structures that squirrels can climb on to access your garden.

Effective Methods to Keep Squirrels Out of Strawberries

Physical Barriers

Physical barriers are an effective way to keep squirrels out of your garden. Netting can be used to cover your plants, while fences and cages can be used to create a physical barrier around your garden. Make sure the netting is secured tightly to prevent squirrels from getting inside.


Natural and chemical repellents can also be used to keep squirrels out of your garden. Some natural repellents include hot pepper spray, garlic, and peppermint oil. Chemical repellents can be found at your local garden center and are designed to repel squirrels without harming them.


Traps can be used to catch and relocate squirrels away from your garden. Make sure to use a humane trap and release the squirrel at least five miles away from your garden to prevent them from returning.

Preventive Measures for the Future

Planting Strategies

Choosing the right plants and planting strategies can help prevent squirrels from entering your garden. Plant strawberries in raised beds or containers to make it harder for squirrels to access them. You can also plant other fruits and vegetables that squirrels are less attracted to, such as tomatoes or peppers.

Regular Maintenance

Maintaining your garden regularly can also help prevent squirrels from entering and damaging your plants. Remove fallen fruit and debris from your garden, and prune back any trees or bushes that squirrels can climb on to access your garden.


Keeping squirrels out of your strawberry patch can be a challenge, but it's not impossible. By using physical barriers, repellents, and traps, and taking preventive measures such as choosing the right plants and maintaining your garden regularly, you can keep squirrels out of your garden and enjoy a bountiful harvest of sweet strawberries.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I keep squirrels out of my berries?

To keep squirrels out of your berries, you can try using physical barriers such as netting or fences around your strawberry plants. Another option is to use repellents like spicy sprays or predator urine. Additionally, planting strong-smelling herbs or flowers near your strawberries may deter squirrels from approaching.

How can I stop animals from eating my strawberries?

To prevent animals from eating your strawberries, you can employ various strategies. One effective method is to install a fence or netting around your strawberry patch to create a physical barrier. Applying repellents, such as homemade spicy sprays or commercial products, can also discourage animals. Regularly inspecting your plants for signs of damage and promptly removing any ripe or rotting berries can help reduce the attraction for animals.

Do rabbits or squirrels eat strawberries?

Both rabbits and squirrels are known to eat strawberries. These small critters are attracted to the sweet and juicy fruits. Protecting your strawberry plants with barriers like fences or netting can help keep rabbits and squirrels away from your precious berries.

Will squirrels eat my strawberry plant?

While squirrels are more likely to target the strawberries themselves, they may also chew on the leaves and stems of strawberry plants. To prevent this, you can try using physical barriers like netting or fences around your plants. Additionally, employing repellents or planting strong-smelling herbs or flowers nearby can help deter squirrels from damaging your strawberry plants.

How can I repel squirrels naturally?

There are several natural methods to repel squirrels. One option is to sprinkle cayenne pepper or chili powder around your strawberry plants, as the strong scent can deter squirrels. Another natural repellent is predator urine, which can be purchased at garden centers. Additionally, planting mint, garlic, or marigolds near your strawberries may help keep squirrels away due to their strong odor.

Are there any homemade squirrel repellents?

Yes, you can create homemade squirrel repellents. One recipe involves mixing water, dish soap, and a few drops of hot sauce or cayenne pepper. Spray this mixture on and around your strawberry plants to deter squirrels. Another option is to soak cotton balls in vinegar and place them near your plants, as the strong smell can repel squirrels. Remember to reapply these homemade repellents after rain or every few days for best results.

Do coffee grounds repel squirrels from strawberries?

Coffee grounds can potentially repel squirrels from strawberries. Squirrels dislike the strong smell of coffee, so spreading used coffee grounds around your strawberry plants may deter them. However, it's important to note that coffee grounds alone may not provide foolproof protection, and combining them with other deterrents like netting or fences is recommended for better results.

Can I use mothballs to keep squirrels away from my strawberries?

Using mothballs to repel squirrels from strawberries is not recommended. Mothballs contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful to humans, animals, and the environment. It's best to explore safer alternatives such as physical barriers, repellents, or natural deterrents like spicy sprays, predator urine, or strong-smelling plants.