Squirrels are digging in my plant pots. HELP!

goldenvocals(8a NE LA)May 4, 2004

We have a very large yard and a large deck on a lake in NE LA and squirrels are digging in our potted plants and flowers. They are destroying some of them. Does anyone know how to keep them out of our pots?

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Papa_LA(z9a LA)

I have found that a little blood meal sprinkled around is very helpful. Don't put much because of the high nitrogen content. But, then, it does not take much.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2004 at 7:42AM
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live_oak_lady(Zone 9)

Try cayenne pepper. Too bad I didn't put it in my pots in which I had planted my rare acorns. The little devils worked their way into the cage and destroyed everyone. I have used cayenne pepper and black pepper. Moth balls, also.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2004 at 5:29PM
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Wilson54(Z9 LA)

They are going to HAVE to associate pain with your plants. The dangerous ground red pepper might be better than cayenne as it is stronger but a nice well made (not toylike) pellet rifle (Beeman, RWS) will drop them dead as a hammer. They will learn via their dead brethren that your "area" is verbotten. They are not stupid. Hope this helps, Wilson

    Bookmark   May 9, 2004 at 6:08PM
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katiebythegate(z8 Louisiana)

I don't know about the pepper idea. With our heavy rains, we'd have to constantly reapply. But the squirrels have left the birdseed alone that I've treated with cayenne powder; so, it seems it could be an effective deterrent.

My parents are prolific gardeners, and they love to feed the wildlife. The red squirrels were never a problem. Once grey squirrels moved into the area, they seemed to chase the reds away. Now, there seem to be all greys along with "hybrid" squirrels...greys with red tails, for example. Due to the damage they cause in the garden, we've all begun to feel rather murderous towards the creatures we used to enjoy watching. They don't seem to be eating the plants, just digging them up and knocking them off of things.

Once the greys came in, they started digging in all the potted plants...mainly uprooting them. They also plant acorns fairly deeply in the pots. They knocked all the bromeliads down that my parents had hung from brackets here and there along the trunks of trees in the garden.

Nothing deterred the squirrels from their mischief and destruction...until my parents started covering the exposed soil in the pots with oval river stones they've collected on trips to the mountains. No more acorn seedlings or uprooted plants.

As for the bromeliads, I think my parents plan to find a firmer way to mount the bromeliads so that they can't be knocked off--rather than hanging the bromeliads from brackets and lattices, wiring them to the items so that they can't be knocked or tugged off.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 12:03AM
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Try the pepper it should work you may try feeding them with corn they would like that I enjoy watching them as well as plants Good luck Jim

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 4:19PM
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tamivileine(z8b OS,MS, US)

I pop mine with a bb gun. Don't kill 'em, but it stings like Hell - they've not only left the pots, but also the nearby bird feeders. Only EVERY here-and-there a brave probably 'newbie' tries it.

Worked when hot pepper didn't...

sea ya

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 11:38AM
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Take plastic forks and stick them in the pots tine side up close enough that the squirrels can't walk between them. That has kept squirrels out of my planters.

An alternative: When you are planting, place chicken wire on top of the soil and cut a hole in the chicken wire to put the plant through. Cover with mulch.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 2:30PM
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When the digging becomes a real problem in potted plants or the garden I use Katie's method. Scatter river rocks on top of the soil in potted plants or strategically place larger rocks around plants in the garden. Works like a charm!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 7:25PM
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I've used bamboo skewers inserted with the pointy end facing out to keep cats from using my beds as restrooms, I'd assume thst would work on Squirrels also. I handfeed squirrels in my back yard and have found them to be little problem, of course I'm not plantng rare acorns.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 4:00PM
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Try Flaked Red Pepper (like you put on pizza) it doesn't dissolve as easily as the ground stuff.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 4:59PM
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I realize this is 6 years later in this thread, but maybe someone else will answer. I have a squirrel problem (digging in my pots) and am just afraid to pot hot pepper flakes. Won't that burn the plants?? I have citrus trees in pots, among other things. Just worried when I start watering them and the flakes go into the soil if it'll damage the roots.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 10:34PM
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These poss have been so helpful. I'm trying the stone method right now but I've got little sprouts coming up an I don't want to squish them, so on those I'm trying the pepper flakes. So far, so good. The little buggers used to come every night, but it's been 3 days and the plants are untouched! Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 6:29PM
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