How to keep pests from digging into pumpkins, melons, squash? - Knowledgebase Question

Studio City, Ca
Avatar for wendy764
Question by wendy764
June 30, 2010
My first ever experience planting watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, butternut squash and pumpkins is going well so fra. I have a few tiny squash starting to come in. How can I prevent pests from digging into them and ruining the crop? We probably have squirrels, cats, mice/rats at night (YUCK!) Will coffee grinds keep them away? For that matter will that keep pests away from my entire garden?

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010
I'm glad your garden is doing well. Unfortunately, the only sure-fire method to keep larger creatures out of the garden is to exclude them with fencing. You can try various repellents, but they don't work for all creatures and they need to be reapplied periodically. The best way to deter cats and squirrels is to put a barrier between them and the soil. The cats will learn quickly and you can remove the barrier in a few weeks. Try chicken wire over the soil - cats and squirrels don't like to walk on it. Mice and rats need to be trapped or let those cats take care of them!

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