The Q&A Archives: Pesky Squirrels

Question: My aunt told me she uses moth balls in her garden to keep squirrels and small critters out. Do you know if this works? I just purchased some (Stay Away) dried coyote urine to put out because the chipmunks are determined to dig up my Astilbe Sprite root plants and chew them up. The squirrels must have a small township in this neighborhood because of our tall, very old oaks here in Old Emerywood - High Point, NC. They are an even bigger nuisance and dig and plant acorns all over my postage stamp yard. Any advice?

Answer: Here are a few deterrents you can try; unfortunately, there's no sure-fire way to eliminate squirrels from your garden. Try sprinkling the plants with cayenne pepper, or sprinkling red pepper flakes around the soil. (You can purchase these inexpensively in bulk at many natural food stores.) Since squirrels' natural predators include snakes, owls and hawks, look for inflatable or concrete versions of these predators at your local garden center. Placed conspicuously around your garden, they just might scare the squirrels away--at least for a while. Spreading lime around the base of your plants may deter them for a while (and it's good for the soil.)

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