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Keeping Squirrels from Digging in Plants

Squirrels can cause a lot of damage in plant containers and the garden. This guide is about keeping squirrels from digging in plants.

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September 23, 2013 Flag

I have lost hundreds of dollars and many man hours due to squirrels digging in potted plants. I would come home from work only to find many pots knocked off a wall or bench. The plants, sometimes expensive, would be lying beside the pots with roots having been exposed to hot sun all day. Many plants could not be salvaged.

In the picture, the pot on the right shows what I've had to resort to in order to keep the squirrels at bay, mounding the pots high with small rocks. Moving large pots with all those rocks was quite a chore.

The pot on the left shows an experiment I started today. I have cut blackberry vines covered with merciless thorns into small segments and placed them very close together in the top of the pot, sticking up in the soil and lying down on the soil. There's no way a little paw can dig in the pot without encountering many thorns.

As I said, this is an experiment I started today. If the vines prove to be an effective squirrel deterrent, I will post back with the good news.

Wish me luck!

Stop Squirrels From Digging In Potted Plants
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March 30, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

Squirrels come onto my patio and dig dirt out of my plant/flower pots. How can I keep them from doing that? I know they like to dig (ground squirrels), but why my flower pots? This is the second year in a row.

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July 25, 20160 found this helpful

I have a neighbour who feeds the squirrels peanuts. They run directly across from her house to my flower pots. I've tried all the recommended remedies: cayenne pepper, chicken manure, blood meal, and the latest - chicken wire. Nothing works. Sorry.

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July 25, 20160 found this helpful

I wonder if a couple layers of rocks would help. The rocks, about the size of quarters, would let water through to water the plants but wouldn't be great for burying the peanuts. Of course, this would be for plants that are already growing, not for seedlings. I see little bags of polished stones in the Dollar store, if you don't have access to a beach or the like.

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July 30, 20160 found this helpful

My yard is the favorite for squirrels in my neighbourhood, they have killed many seedlings and dig up houseplants that summer outside. They are attracted to potted plants because the soil is soft and easy to dig. Depending on the situation; for plant trays, or large areas or bulb gardens, I use chicken wire. The squirrels (or chipmunks, or pooping cats) can't dig through the wire but the plants can grow through no problem, the wire can be left on a bulb garden year after year. For Pots I put stones. They have the same effect, can't be dug through. Use larger stones so that the animal can't lift it easily and give up.

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June 5, 2007 Flag

During the summer, I plant vegetables in containers and keep them on my deck. In the past, I've had a great deal of difficulty keeping the squirrels from digging up my new sprouts. A friend gave me an idea which has worked well. What you do is get a package of bamboo skewers, which usually runs about a dollar, and stick the skewers into the soil, with the points sticking up out of the soil and over the edge of the pot. This deters the squirrels from climbing into the pots to dig up the seedlings. It's worked very well, no squirrels have been injured, and my vegetables are allowed to flourish.

By Marie from West Dundee, IL

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August 12, 2013 Flag
1 found this helpful

Don't bother with the tip about scattering moth balls. I did this and next morning, they were all GONE. The squirrels must have loved them.

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March 14, 2010 Flag
3 found this helpful

I tried to plant seeds and then actual plants in my porch flower boxes. The squirrels keep digging them up and destroying them. I live across the street from a park. I tried putting mesh on top of the soil, I tried moth crystals, no help. Anybody got an idea? Planting season is soon here in Milwaukee and I want some flowers.

Hardiness Zone: 5a

By Kathy from Milwaukee, WI

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Anonymous Flag
June 1, 20160 found this helpful

One of the most effective remedies I found is to use gutter guard around the perimeter of the planter. Make sure to cut the top with a tin snip or sharp scissor so the edges are sharp. Also, since gutter guard contains small openings, you can place sticks and such through them. This seems to keep squirrels and chipmunks away

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June 20, 20160 found this helpful

I think squirrels are digging in my window boxes on my deck. What can I put in the boxes to deter the squirrels. Without killing my plants

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July 3, 20160 found this helpful

They sell squirrel repellent. A little expensive but it works like a champ. No squirrels oround my plants

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August 24, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

What is the best way to deter squirrels from digging up flower pots and gardens?

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March 16, 2010 Flag

The day before yesterday I planted over 50 sunflower seeds against our fence post in the back yard. Later that day and the next morning I noticed a squirrel over by the fence. I checked and do you know he dug up and ate all of my sunflower seeds all down the row of the fence. They were all cracked open and just laying there.

My mom said, because we have them on hand to stake some disposable red plates just around the line of the seeds when I plant them until they sprout.

Will this work? Any suggestions will help, because of course I want to plant more, but not for the squirrel to eat. Do they watch you do this or do they actually smell the seeds underground? Help.

Hardiness Zone: 10a

By Laura from Ocala, FL

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June 17, 20160 found this helpful

Does this work well with stopping birds from eating from blueberry bushes?

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August 15, 20160 found this helpful

RAT POISON!!

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August 27, 20160 found this helpful

Try powered Cayenne Pepper and the put in some wooden spikes(shih ka bob type) upside down with the points up. They don't like the pepper, and the spikes stop them from getting into the soil without getting poked.

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September 10, 2011 Flag

The squirrels are destroying my plants by digging in all the pots. Anyone have any methods to preclude this?

By Elizabeth A.

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Anonymous Flag
April 19, 20160 found this helpful

place moue traps (the kind that are spring loaded) so it clamp down onto their hands. they quit digging in there really fast!

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Anonymous Flag
May 17, 20160 found this helpful

Doesn't work for me, they eat them.

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Anonymous Flag
May 28, 20160 found this helpful

That was asked in another post - said it did NOT work.

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October 5, 2006 Flag
1 found this helpful

If you have pets or animals that roam your area try adding chicken wire under your plants.

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