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Keeping Squirrels from Digging in Plants

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 204 Posts
June 5, 2007

Squirrel in clay pot.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.

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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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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
September 23, 2013

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.

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August 12, 2013

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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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 170 Posts
January 6, 2020

Squirrels love to hide their food. In the process of doing this, they tend to bury the food in soft dirt which is usually a newly planted garden.

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October 5, 2006

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

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21 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 14, 2010

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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October 9, 2017

What do I do if the squirrels seem to like the pepper I've been putting down? I'm trying to get my coleus plants to thrive this year, and now that I realize squirrels have been digging holes in them and eating the roots. I know it's not me that killed them in the past. So, how do I keep them alive this time around? The goofy squirrels around me seem to like black pepper!

I didn't have red pepper so I used black over and over and over. It's weird, but they seem to actually like some of the coleus plants over the others (different colored ones). Any help would be welcome. I don't want to hurt them so the least invasive methods please.

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February 10, 2021

How do I keep squirrels from digging up my lawn?


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March 16, 2010

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.

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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 Lynn Jump from Ocala, FL

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March 30, 2016

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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September 10, 2011

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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April 20, 2010

What can I purchase to stop squirrels from digging up all of my plants? I need the name of a product and where it can be purchased.

Thank you.

By Beryl from Brooklyn

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May 23, 2019

This week I've noticed holes that have been chewed or pecked in the sides of my outdoor plastic plant pots. Any ideas?


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August 24, 2016

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


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July 5, 2012

How do I keep squirrels out of potted plants on the patio?

By susan

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June 8, 2012

I have a balcony one floor up from the ground. There are trees on either side, and the squirrels climb up them, then onto a ledge, then onto my balcony where they dig in my flower pots and eat through the wire on my string lights.

I bought tall planters which stopped them for a while, and now they've figured how to get into those and dig and kick the dirt all over the balcony.

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I'm wondering if there is some sort of a shield that can be attached to the trees that might have barbed wire or some other pointy/ouchy surface that would deter the little brats. Any ideas?

By Lynn G.

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March 16, 2017

You may want to keep squirrels out of your garden or bird feeders. This is a page about natural repellent for squirrels.

Close up of a squirrel.

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February 8, 2017

As cute as they may be squirrels can also make themselves into pests and lose their welcome in your garden. This is a page about squirrels eating flowers.

A squirrel next to a blue flower.

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 20, 2010

How can I keep squirrels from digging in my outdoor potted plants?

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March 14, 2010

Is there a home remedy I can use to keep squirrels from eating the plants in my garden?

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June 13, 2007
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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