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Name: Peggy
Youngstown, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Normal is overrated
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pgurney
Sep 22, 2013 9:29 AM CST
What, if anything, can I use to discourage SQUIRRELS them from digging in my plants?

I went out to the front porch this morning to tend the few container plants that are still out there..... and half of the small one were turned over and scattered around! The larger pots have holes dug in the dirt!

Upon further inspection, they have dug into my hostas, dug along the walls of my raised bed garden (I found 2 acorns buried), and completely dug up my hens/chicks out of their pot!
They were BUSY last night! Darn squirrels! I'm beginning to think they're not so cute anymore.

RODENTS!

[Last edited by pgurney - Sep 22, 2013 9:32 AM (+)]
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Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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goldfinch4
Sep 22, 2013 10:13 AM CST
After years of battling squirrels and other rodents, I'm now a firm believer in Plantskydd. http://www.plantskydd.com/Plantskydd-Deer-Repellent.html It's an all natural repellent that has worked great for me.
Cubits Store: The Sempervivum Patch - plants, containers, accessories!
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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Sep 22, 2013 10:20 AM CST
If the digging is taking place at night, then I doubt that they are squirrels. They (squirrels) are not nocturnal. Possibly some other type of rodent? Raccoon, Armadillo,rats, field mice? Cats? Confused Not sure what critters may be in your 'neck of the woods'. You could try sprinkling cayenne pepper around the plants on the soil. Do you mulch? I've found that even mulching my container plants has helped to keep critters out. I'm sure that there are products available to deter 'wildlife'.You might want to check with a Nursery or Hardware store that carry such things.
[Last edited by terrafirma - Sep 23, 2013 4:50 PM (+)]
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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
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chelle
Sep 22, 2013 10:26 AM CST
I agree

Overnight damage isn't likely to be caused by squirrels since they're diurnal.

"Because squirrels are diurnal (active during the day), it is usually pretty easy to see for yourself if squirrels are responsible for damage to plants and vegetables. And, of course, if you know the damage occurs at night, you can rule squirrels out entirely and should focus your efforts on nocturnal animals in your area, such as raccoons and opossums."
http://www.peta.org/issues/wildlife/squirrels.aspx

We get damage here in spring and fall; for limited amounts of time. I just cover target plantings with plastic mesh or tulle until it seems that the crisis is over.

Thumb of 2013-09-22/chelle/6348e1

Products containing blood meal probably won't be as effective since a lot of troublesome nocturnal scavengers are omnivores, but I'll second goldfinch4 and say that you might check out a repellent product called Plantskydd.





For reducing squirrel and chipmunk damage in containers, you might try placing rocks around your plants.
Thumb of 2013-09-22/chelle/4fc3c0

Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


[Last edited by chelle - Sep 22, 2013 10:32 AM (+)]
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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Sep 22, 2013 10:29 AM CST
Please don't be in tears.
There are solutions as outlined in the previous posts.
Squirrels do not like loose dry peat or sawdust.
Even ordinary pepper or talcum powder----anything which makes them sneeze.
Mulching is good too.
I also lay the rose clippings among perennials---they do not like walking on them.
Name: Peggy
Youngstown, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Normal is overrated
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pgurney
Sep 22, 2013 11:50 AM CST
Thanks everyone. I know for a fact that it's squirrels, as I've seen them in my raised flower bed, and among my hostas. I didn't realize they were digging tho!

Last fall I had two of those cute stuffed scarecrow-type 'people' on my porch, about 3-4 ft tall, stuffed, etc.
5 or 6 days in a row I heard scuffling around on my porch and didn't think anything of it because I know they like my porch for whatever reason. They chase each other across the railing on my porch. But about the 6th day or so, I went out on my porch when I heard the noise and here is 2 squirrels on one of my 'people' ripping it to shreds! I'm talking not only the straw hat, but the clothes, the stuffing, and eventually they lit into the styrofoam that forms the body. I couldn't believe it!


CHELLE! Thank you. I never would have thought of that. I just purchased a couple of bags of river rocks a week ago. I will be putting them in my pots today.
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Sep 22, 2013 12:01 PM CST
Blinking That is too funny! Those must be some ferocious little critters you've got there! I think I'd be keeping my distance from those guys! Hilarious!

Good luck! I hope you can find something that will work for you.
Name: Peggy
Youngstown, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Normal is overrated
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pgurney
Sep 22, 2013 12:14 PM CST
LOL ain't it the truth!!! nodding
I'm going to cover the soil in those pots with gravel and see what happens.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Sep 22, 2013 12:31 PM CST
Keep us updated, Peggy.

And good luck! Thumbs up
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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goldfinch4
Sep 22, 2013 1:13 PM CST
Yes - good luck with those monsters!
Cubits Store: The Sempervivum Patch - plants, containers, accessories!
Also stop by Timber Treasures and Garden Buddies on Cubits
Name: Peggy
Youngstown, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Normal is overrated
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pgurney
Sep 22, 2013 1:18 PM CST
Thanks!
Thumbs up
Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
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Claudia
Sep 22, 2013 1:44 PM CST
My squirrels and chipmunks are very neat. I often find nuts in pots when I empty them in the fall but I never have a mess with dirt all over or plants dug up. Guess I am lucky! Hilarious!

I second the advice on rocks....Good Luck!
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Sep 22, 2013 3:03 PM CST
Place peppermint oil on cotton balls and use knee highs to hang in the area. Buy fox/coyote urine at a sporting goods store. Place clippings of thorny roses around the area. Obtain pet hair from a groomer and place in the area.

Have you considered placing a squirrel feeder FAR away from the area?

I know that you are seeing squirrels during the day, but are the squirrels getting the blame for damage being done in the dark of night by raccoons, 'possums, skunks, rats? That being said, squirrels wake up a lot earlier in the morning than I do; is the damage being done very early in the morning and not actually at night?
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Sep 22, 2013 5:51 PM CST
We had this problem also, and I was in tears. Actually, I was furious. I wanted to kill the little buggers. Because my dog is a mind reader, she said she would tackle this problem for me, and she did! Now i have 2 dogs and they team up and make a good game of it. Between June 1 and the end of February, Red Ryder can scare them off. I've never hit one, but they hear that sound and know they need to move out.
Some squirrels will be scared off by a radio.
This scarecrow is pretty good, too. You Just have to remember it can't distinguish friend from enemy. Glare

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000071NUS/ref=dra_a_cs_mr_hn_it_P1...

Take a look at some of the reviews for this! Hurray! Hurray!
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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Sep 23, 2013 7:34 AM CST
I definitely feel your pain! I have found that a sure fire way to keep them out of beds and containers is to use chicken wire cut to the shape of the bed or container and let the plants grow through it. I also put hardware cloth on top of containers for winter sowing.


Thumb of 2013-09-23/Xeramtheum/1b1ce1 Thumb of 2013-09-23/Xeramtheum/f8e490

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Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Sep 23, 2013 9:57 AM CST
Brent, from Brent and Becky's Bulbs, recommends applying a repellent (like Plantskydd, Ropel, etc.) to the bulbs. That is for critters that eat the bulbs. But he didn't say, and I don't think he meant, that it would necessarily keep critters from digging.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Sep 23, 2013 10:52 AM CST
I remember reading a tip here on ATP that said to place pine cones in the pots & around plants anywhere you don't want them to dig so when you run out of rocks, you can use pine cones especially if you have pine trees near so you can harvest the cones for free.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Oct 2, 2013 3:10 PM CST
If rocks are scarce, or weight is an issue, an inexpensive pack of plastic forks can help keep squirrels out of pots. Stick them in handle-end first, with the points sticking out a bit.

The rock thing also works in the ground. A protective collar around newly-installed plants. For something that gradually creeps into a bigger circle like Hostas, you'd want to remove that later, next summer would be a good time.

The scarecrow thing probably had to do with building a good nest for winter. They probably thought, look at this great stuff somebody put here so we could build our nests! LOL!

They absolutely do play though, it's hard to not be amused by critters that have such joy in their lives. Also the busiest gardeners on the block, hats off that that, whether we agree with what they're doing or not. Don't you wish you could harness their power 'for good?' I think that often...! Like, if you squirrels go plant these veggie seeds and leave the plants alone, there would be tons of tomatoes, cukes and cantaloupe for all of us. I'll do the compost...
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Oct 2, 2013 5:02 PM CST
@purpleinopp, Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Yep, my dh & I often say squirrels seem to be electrified, they move so fast & have so much energy.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Peggy
Youngstown, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Normal is overrated
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pgurney
Oct 2, 2013 5:57 PM CST
I caught a squirrel making his way up my porch steps towards one of my big container plants with a large acorn in his mouth.
Caught him red handed!!!!!!!!!! Grumbling

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