You may often see squirrels foraging in your grass. Sometimes you may see grass missing in spots. This is especially true if you have new sprouts in your yard.
Are the squirrels eating your grass? Do they even like to eat grass?
Squirrels can eat grass and, at times, will eat grass. It has been reported by homeowners that squirrels nibble on newly sprouted grass more then mature grass. This doesn’t mean they don’t eat mature grass. It just means they enjoy newly sprouted grass more.
Depending on the environment, and the particular squirrels you are dealing with, you may find them eating your healthy grass. In this article, I will share with you what I have learned about the parts of grass squirrels eat, why they eat grass, and how to prevent them from eating your grass.
Squirrels eating blades of grass
If you’ve never studied the anatomy of your grass, you may not know there are several different blades of grass on a grass plant. There are new leafs, mature leafs, and tillers (also called daughter plants).
The most desirable blades for squirrels to eat are the new leaves and tillers. These blades are tender and sweeter then the mature blades.
Squirrels eat grass seeds
Your grass seeds are even more wanted then the blades of grass by squirrels. Grass seeds contain more nutrients then the blades of grass. They also have a more nutty flavor that squirrels like.
Squirrels can harvest grass seeds from the flowering culm of your grass plants, also known as the seedhead. They can also glean seeds from the ground that have fallen from the grass plant or that you have thrown down when overseeding.
The thatch layer of grass is of interest to squirrels for food. The thatch layer contains mostly dead grass, but it is also loaded with seeds that haven’t germinated. In addition, if you have other trees around your yard, seeds that have fallen off are often hidden in the thatch layer of grass.
Types of grass
Are there any types of grass that squirrels like to eat more then others. Squirrels will eat just about any type of grass and seed.
In particular, though, there seems to be one type of grass they really like. They have been observed eating st. augustine grass many times. Some homeowners have even noted squirrels preferring st. augustine grass over other types of food left out.
Is any grass poisonous or dangerous
There aren’t any known grass types that are poisonous to squirrels. There are, however, certain types of fungus that can be harbored in grass that could potentially hurt squirrels.
How can I stop squirrels from eating grass
You can stop squirrels or at least deter them from eating your grass by using one or a combination of the following techniques.
Place squirrel repellent in and around your yard. Most squirrel repellents are not dangerous for squirrels. To be sure, buy a repellent made of natural ingredients. This will prevent you from putting something out that may accidentally harm the squirrels.
A good natural solution you can use if you are in a hurry or don’t want to buy a commercial grade repellent is cayenne pepper. You don’t have to cover your entire lawn to keep squirrels from eating your grass. You can sprinkle some around your lawn. Make it a complete border of cayenne pepper about two feet wide.
The cayenne will irritate the squirrels noses and burn their mouths if they eat some. A two foot border should be enough to keep them from crossing into your lawn and eating your grass. If you have trees, shrubs, or other vegetation hanging further into your lawn, you may need to add some cayenne pepper in the areas where the squirrels will land. Or you may need to employ a different measure to prevent them from climbing on the trees and other vegetation so they can’t enter that way.
Dog or cat
A dog or cat is a great way to keep squirrels from eating your grass. Dogs love to bark at squirrels. Squirrels see the dog and its barking as a threat. They will generally try to avoid the danger.
Cats love to chase other animals. They will chase after squirrels. Although a cat may not keep squirrels away from your grass, it will help prevent them from eating it.
If you can’t find a good squirrels repellent, you can use deer repellent. Deer repellent has a lot of ingredients that will deter squirrels. And it is safe to use for squirrels.
Fence or chicken wire
A fence won’t help you in this situation. Squirrels can easily climb a fence. Your lawn is to large to cover with chicken wire.
Put squirrel food out
You can also try putting food out for the squirrels to eat. If you give them what they want they may leave your grass alone. There is no guarantee this will work, and it could attract more squirrels. The probability of attracting more squirrels is low because the squirrels in your area will already be visiting your property. It should only bring more squirrels if there is not much food in your area.
It could bring other critters around that want to eat on the food too.
What else do squirrels use grass for
Sometimes it may look like squirrels are eating your grass when they are not. Squirrels collect grass to use in their nest. Grass, combined with leaves, feathers, and other things they find, help to provide a safe and warm place for squirrels to live.
Love the squirrels and keep your grass
Squirrels may seem like a nuisance, and if they’re eating your grass, they are. But you can live in peace with squirrels and have a nice lawn.
Put out some type of safe repellent that will deter squirrels from eating your grass. Make sure it won’t poison the squirrels. Or get a dog or cat to run the squirrels off your grass. You will find that squirrels really aren’t trying to harm you or your grass. They are only trying to enjoy life just like you.