Does anyone know how to keep ground squirrels from eating my bush beans and cucumber plants? They eat the blossom on the bean plants before the beans have formed and they are eating the leaves on my cucumber vines.
By Diana W.
Sprinkle "Bon Ami" around the plants and on them. I also use this when planting bulbs in the winter and it keeps all the animals from eating my bulbs. Bon Ami is a cleaner like "comet" but has no bleach that would hurt the animals.
Place a set rat trap on the dirt. You don't have to use bait. I have had squirrels digging up the peat pellets that I've seeded vegetables in. My husband came up with the rat trap idea. So far, they spring it, but don't get caught in it, it just scares them away.
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Any ideas on how to keep squirrels from digging up my seeds and small plants from my container gardens? I don't want to scare them from the entire yard, just keep them out of my pots so my veggies can grow!
That is a good question, however, I know what I would do if it was legal to shoot pellet guns in the town where I live.
Squirrels always hit me in the spring. I don't know how many peanuts I've found buried in my raised beds, and I sure didn't plant them there! The best thing I've found is to protect them with garden netting. I set up a kind of tent which helps keep other curious critters away too. If they're really determined chicken wire can help.
I had the same prob. every year with squirrels and chipmunks in my container gardens, pots and even in the flower beds. They use to dig and eat my seeds as fast as I could plant them. Now I cover the area where the seeds are planted with a black plastic mesh that I picked up in a huge roll at a garage sale (woohoo .25). I think it's the stuff that you put in your rain gutters where the downspout is to keep leaves out. But screening of any kind would work, hardware cloth, etc.
I watch closely until the seeds start to sprout then I cut a circle out where the plant is coming up and leave the screening to combat the critters digging to bury nuts and such--so they won't disturb the new plants. This has worked perfectly the past 4 or 5 years. Oh, I just secure the screen in place with twigs or rocks or whatever I have handy.
Liberally sprinkle everything with Cayenne Pepper. You can get big containers of it at most dollar stores. The squirrels will get the message.
How do I get rid of chipmunks and squirrels in my garden, without hurting them?
Live trap them, remove them to another area. My husband transported them about 10 miles out in the country.
We had tried all sorts of deterrents, spent lots of money doing it. Spent much more replanting and replanting.
I completely eliminated the problems of both squirrels and rabbits in my garden by following the below advice. Thank you Jerry. Your advice is not only effective but also soulful.
According to Jerry Baker, master gardener, the squirrels eat things in the garden primarily because they're THIRSTY. He suggests keeping a couple of bird baths full of water for them instead of killing or torturing them. They are funny and fairly harmless in TX, at least. The children love, name, and hand feed them nuts/seeds. It would be fairly cruel to see them with a mouthful of pepper. God bless your reconsidering your anti-squirrel techniques. Good luck with your garden. (10/07/2006)
Do not move squirrels to another area. They will not be accepted by squirrels who already live there, and will be driven from food and eventually starve. If you can't live with squirrels, then kill them. It's more humane.
BTW, Jerry actually said the following about keeping squirrels out of the garden:
"Or douse your plants with my Hot Bite Spray: 3 tbsp. of cayenne pepper, 2 cups of hot water, 1 tbsp. of hot sauce, 1 tbsp. of ammonia, and 1 tbsp. of baby shampoo."
It may be cruel to pepper them but when they are eating the food that you have planted to feed your family over winter because it is less expensive to grow and preserve it than to buy it in winter what would you have us to do?
I have a plot in our neighborhood community gardens. This year we are being plagued with ground squirrels. I do not want to kill them with poisonous stuff (we are an organic garden), but I would like some ideas on how to repel them. They are very bold. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
I don't know how you can actually get rid of them permanently, but I know how you can get them out of their holes and probably discourage them from hanging around. Water! My dad used to catch and sell ground squirrels and prairie dogs here in Texas. Ground squirrels holes are smaller and they are easier to flush out.
Get the largest bucket you can find, a large paint bucket and fill with water and pour down the holes. They will come out in a hurry to keep from drowning (prairie dogs take considerably more water, my father used a water truck on them.) Anyway, I imagine if you flush some out of their holes, they will definitely not go back to those holes, although they may go make some more.
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How do I keep squirrels out of the garden?
To keep squirrels away from or eating your plants, mix a gallon of water with 6 capfuls of Murphy's Oil Soap and 2 Tbsp. of cayenne pepper, spray onto plants.