As adorable as squirrels seem, they can potentially destroy your garden in no time.
Spending time, money, and effort growing your plants only to have them wrecked by pests is devastating.
Luckily, there are several methods to keep your plants safe from squirrels.
Aloe Vera is not particularly a source of food for animals like squirrels as its thick exterior protects it from being eaten.
But in the quest for other food, some animals may take a few bites off the plant and ruin the succulent.
Do Squirrels Eat Aloe Vera Plants?
Furry and mischievous, squirrels can wreak havoc on your garden if you have vegetable and flower beds.
Squirrels love nuts, berries, vegetables, and seeds.
Succulents like Aloe Vera are also sometimes attacked by squirrels.
Squirrels do not usually target succulents as they are not the animal’s primary source of food.
You might still find a few chunks or parts of a leaf missing from your plant.
In some cases, the plants might even be uprooted or torn apart completely.
It is easy to notice when a squirrel has visited your garden, as they might take a few bites off your aloe plant.
Unlike a pest infestation, squirrels leave behind sizeable bite marks or tears on Aloe leaves.
What Animals Eat Aloe Vera Plants?
Aloe Vera is not an attractive food for most animals, and they will leave the plant alone for the most part.
The tough exterior of the plant protects it from animals.
However, if you notice your plants are being uprooted or torn apart, it might be the handiwork of an animal.
Here are some animals that may attack your plant:
Dogs And Cats
Dogs and cats can surely take a few bites of your Aloe plant, but they won’t eat it entirely.
You will only experience this kind of behavior from these pets when they are super hungry.
So, you don’t have to worry a lot about it if you feed them properly.
Gophers are burrowing rodents that are generally found in Central and North America.
This animal eats the Aloe Vera roots first and then makes its way upwards.
You might notice the damage it causes the plant until it is too late due to the way it eats the plant.
Warren Laboratories of Abbott in Texas noticed that roadrunners prefer to drink the gel of a certain kind of Aloe called Aloe Barbadensis Miller.
Unless you have this kind of Aloe Vera, you do not need to worry about this bird!
Apart from the above-mentioned birds and animals, rabbits, deer, and squirrels may try to eat an aloe vera plant as well.
The hard outer covering of the plant makes it hard for animals to bite through it.
However, if an open Aloe leaf is lying around, it will try to consume the sap of the Aloe.
6 Tips To Prevent Squirrels From Eating Your Succulents
In general, keeping your garden clear of any dropped seeds, vegetables, fruits, and seeds should be the first step you take in maintaining a squirrel-free garden.
A few other steps you can take to repel squirrels are:
A safe and effective repellent that most gardeners swear by is peppermint.
Planting peppermint alongside your other plants, especially succulents will surely keep the squirrels at bay.
Some gardeners also dip cotton balls in peppermint oil and spread them throughout the garden.
Spraying pepper or homemade spices can also deter squirrels as they do not enjoy spicy food.
Boiling a few chilies, a bit of onion, and garlic and making it into a spray is a practical way of keeping the garden clear of squirrels.
Spritzing this spray on the plants will not harm the plant or the animal who sneaks in.
Dried spices being sprinkled on the soil is also a good idea, as squirrels will not dig up the soil.
Alternatively, planting mustard, marigolds, and nasturtiums along the border of the garden is an excellent choice as these are natural repellent plants.
Another squirrel deterrent is mothballs.
Mothballs are extremely useful when it comes to keeping squirrels away from your succulents.
Squirrels abhor mothballs, so placing them on the outskirts of the garden can stop the pests from destroying your plants.
However, if ingested, mothballs can be harmful to wildlife, which is why it is preferable to wrap the mothballs in a protective covering before putting them out.
Animals are known to circumvent any kind of wrapping as well, so this method should not be used unless absolutely necessary.
2. Fences And Netting
Creating barriers with nets or fences may help in keeping the plants safe.
Squirrels, however, are excellent climbers and can scale any sort of gate, net, or fence.
Mesh netting can be used for plants so that they receive water, air, and sunlight and be protected from animals at the same time.
Every plant owner does not prefer netting as the garden might look less attractive.
Fences made with PVC or plastic materials can be installed, as these materials are slippery for squirrels to grasp and climb over.
Having fences can prove futile if there are trees nearby for the squirrel to climb and jump from.
Be sure to dig the fence deep enough, as these critters are skilled diggers as well!
3. Bird Feeders
Seeds, nuts, and berries are a squirrel’s favorite food.
Having a bird feeder in your garden will definitely attract squirrels.
If the area below the feeder is filled with seeds, you should expect squirrels to visit regularly.
Keeping the area clear of seeds might help for some time, but eventually, the critters will return for more bird food.
Try switching to safflower seeds as these taste bitter to squirrels but are consumed by birds.
If the squirrels are too much of a nuisance, consider removing the feeder and placing it away from the garden.
Predators are a surefire way to keep squirrels away.
If you have a pet dog or cat at home, squirrels will likely be chased away from the garden.
Even if your pet does not do this, animal urine is enough warning for the squirrel.
Spraying animal urine around the garden is a strange but helpful way of keeping wildlife away.
If you do not have any furry friends at home, local garden centers will have predator urine, which will effectively keep the plants safe.
A more squirrel-friendly solution is to set up feeders around your property.
These feeders will provide the squirrel food they are looking for, and they will leave your plants alone.
For best results, use a squirrel feeder and use natural repellents like peppermint in your garden.
6. Pest Control
If squirrels constantly raid your garden, they might even find empty spaces in your attic or walls and take shelter there.
This can lead to significant damage over the years.
A pest control company will safely remove these animals, so it is best to call them immediately to get the squirrels out.
While Aloe Vera is not a nutritious food for animals, it is likely that animals like squirrels, rats, and rabbits have taken a bite from your succulents while on the prowl for food.
The animal which attacks your Aloe depends on your location.
If you live in an apartment, it is most likely mice.
Aphids, scales, and mites are commonly found on Aloe Vera plants.
These bugs pierce into the skin of the Aloe and consume its sap, draining the plant of its resources over time.
If the plant is within reach of rabbits, they might take a bite, but this should be avoided as Aloe Vera is not good for rabbits.
No. there are barely any plants that are deer-proof.
Cacti are exceptions, but other than that, deer can eat almost any plant, especially when they are hungry.
Aloe Vera is fully safe for parrots to consume.
They can eat the leaves without any issues and also drink their gel.
It is said that Aloe Vera is beneficial for parrots.
Mixing Aloe gel with water is probably the best way for parrots to ingest this plant.