Ahhhh Squirrels

habjolokiaMay 24, 2011

First aphids now squirrels, they dug up a few of my pepper plants all in pots. The bigger plants they dug down to the roots. Any one run into this issue? Any ideas out there to ward them off? so far they are alive after I placed them back into the soil, I'm sure they are in shock and this will slow their growth.

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sjetski(6b NJ)

For something more natural, try google searching the phrase "squirrel repellent".

Here's a couple of articles you would likely find useful:

- http://www.ehow.com/way_5600750_home-remedies-getting-rid-squirrels.html

- http://www.getridofthings.com/get-rid-of-squirrels.htm

Apparently human hair, hot pepper mash, predator urine, ground white and black pepper, or anything bitter tasting would work. I'm sure a combined strategy would work even better. I'm now seeing that WD40 works also but i imagine you'd have to be creative with it's placement so it doesn't poison your soil and plants.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 10:40PM
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I have squirrels constantly digging in my pots but never have they removed the plant all together. You must have some super crazy critters in your parts. Maybe set up some squirrel traps and relocate the bad eggs.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 8:59AM
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Chicken wire (1") fencing around the perimeter of your pots and above the top, flared out. Also, they will not walk thru bird netting. Cut a piece about 1' wide by as much as you pot size needs. Loosely twist it end to end and secure around the perimeter of your pots. Their feet/claws get tangled in it. I line my 12' x 60' garden the same way and they don't cross it.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 9:38AM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

I am sorry to hear you are having squirrel problems. Once they begin, they tend to get progressively worse until something is done about it. Squirrels are an incredibly destructive and frustrating pest, and a lot of people do not even believe they are capable of causing the amount of damage they do. Digging is only the first step, soon they will be chewing off flower buds and/or running away with all of the baby fruits your plants produce. I was raised in the country with rabbits, raccoons and deer, and I can tell you that squirrels are worse than all of them.

Unfortunately, none of the natural remedies listed above have ever worked for me. I tried them for years before finally realizing that trapping is the only way to control the squirrels well enough for me to actually enjoy a small harvest of anything. IMO, predator urines are a rip-off and pet hair and pepper sprays only seem to *attract* more squirrels than before. Any bird netting I used to cover plants was chewed through within two days of setting it out.

I now use lethal tube traps. In my area, I could probably catch thousands every year and not really make a dent in the overall population. But at least now I have reached a point where the damage is reduced to about 25% of previous levels, since any new squirrel that moves into my immediate area will eventually get caught.

Another thing that I do is cover the soil in any pots that I have. It is not the most attractive option, but it does help. Spread plastic or tin foil over any exposed areas up to the base of the plant, and then cover the whole thing with rocks. Squirrels get annoyed with this and will soon give up trying to dig as aggressively (digging will still happen though). An added benefit is that the pots will not dry out as fast in hot summer weather.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 10:15AM
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Thank you all for your comments. I moved my peppers to the back yard on the back deck on a glass table for now. No attacks so far back there. I will try some suggestions listed. Thanks all!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 8:24PM
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haven't tried any of these myself.. definitely not the $4k lawn mower... but there's a device in this article that talks about squirrel prevention. hope this helps.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 8:26PM
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Set a few old type spring loaded mousetraps on top of each container around the plant stems.

The fluffy tailed rats jump up to dig and set off the traps. They're too fast to get caught in the traps, but it scares the crap out of them. They'll stop bothering your pots.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 9:17PM
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Robeb: I seriously doubt that a few mouse traps will deter them. I battle them every year and have shot them with my BB gun only to have them return minutes later... I have trapped them with live traps and spray painted their tails only to catch them again in the same trap within a day. They are very persistent and even ten pumps with my BB gun sometimes wont even get them to leave my deck....beleive me it has to hurt....I have killed more than one by accident. Those are the only ones that don't come back.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 10:57PM
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The traps work for squirrels & chipmunks, I've watched and seen the proof.

When they realize that every time they jump up to the top of a container that those traps snap quickly & loud, they stop coming around.

When you're popping them with your bb gun, they're only getting the message when you're out there with the gun. With the mouse traps they get frightened every time they jump up to dig.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 11:58PM
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For cats I put rat traps and mouse traps in my pots.
I put them upside down.It makes them hop up and the cats think something is chasing them...works better.

After a while they stay out of the pots when they just see a trap in the pot.wether it's set or not.

Downside is that you have to re set the traps several times a day during the first week or they figure out it's safe to go to whatever pot they already set the trap off in.
I put several traps in each pot and get a domino effect of traps going off as one trap sets off the next one.
If you put the traps in your pots right side up you'll catch a lot of pepper eating birds.
I don't know what kind of bird it was but i had a problem with birds eating holes in my bigger peppers and taking the seeds out.
That particular kind of bird came around every Aug.-early Sept. every year.
I assume they were migratory...
Only had a couple of them,but they went through my peppers pretty fast.
All they ate were the seeds,but destroyed the pods with holes big enough for their heads to fit through.

I sometimes got mice that would zero in on the sweet peppers only , but they were stupid and the traps got them pretty fast when baited with a sweet pepper remain they already started eating from before.
Mouse traps are 4 for $1.+ at the 99 cent store.

But I grow peppers that cost me at least $10.+ each anyway-seeds,Pots,soil,benneficial bugs,ferts. etc.

Same thing for the fish I catch,they probably cost me $100.00 a LB. by the time I get my boat all the jewelry she needs,tackle,gas,lake entrance fees etc.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 1:52AM
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