Squirrels Eating the Roots of My Plants

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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October 10, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Here are a few things you can try.

  1. You will need to buy some cayenne pepper and sprinkle around the plant, soil and leaves. This will heat up their paws and they will stay away from the roots of your plants.
  2. There are some other home remedies that can be used to repel squirrels in your yard. You can try peppermint oil or vinegar. You would need to spray this on your plants and around your plants.
  3. If you are afraid to hurt them you can set up a food station for them in your yard. Give them some of their favorite foods to eat. They love sunflower seeds, peanuts and feed corn. Make a feeder for them in your yard and add these nuts and grain to the feeder. This will help keep them away from your plants.
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  5. You can also try mulching your soil so the squirrels won't dig in your soil.
  6. A dog or cat is wonderful to scare them out of your yard.
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October 10, 20170 found this helpful

Thank you for your advice. I'm going to put a food station out for them. These idiot squirrels seem to like Cayenne pepper. I've even tried blackening seasoning that includes red and black pepper and garlic powder. I'm just making a spicy meal for them. LOL! I do appreciate the response, though.

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June 22, 20180 found this helpful

I am going to try the forks and the skewers. I have 2 squirrel feeding stations through my yard that I keep full. I go through 20 lbs of food monthly if not more. Those little critters still insist on coming to my porch and dumping my bird feeder and dumping/tipping my plants over.


I found 2 turned over just this morning. My poor birds never know where to find their feeder. I just moved it again this morning. It is hanging by my hummingbird feeder now.

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October 12, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Before you plant your bulbs in the hole that you have dug, line it with either chicken wire, small stones or foil, then plant and cover with dirt. Squirrels will not dig up your bulbs.

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October 10, 20170 found this helpful
  • Try a cayenne pepper spray on the plants they go for
  • Hang high-reflective objects that flash lights at them as they're afraid of that
  • Motion-activated sprinklers in that general area
  • Sprinkle safflower seeds. They hate the bitter taste
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October 10, 20170 found this helpful

Ooh, Safflower seeds is something new! I'll try that, thanks!

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October 10, 20170 found this helpful

Squirrel repellent

Step 1
Boil 1 1/2 quarts of water.

Step 2
Add 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper.


Step 3
Add two onions,and one chopped jalapeno.

Step 4
Boil for 30 minutes,let cool and strain vegetables.

Step 5
Put in a spray bottle and spray around your garden to repell squirrels.

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October 17, 20170 found this helpful

I took 4 five gallon buckets to the butcher shop where they filled them with the slaughter blood. Gross, right? No big deal if you spread the blood immediately. By the way, the animal bood is not all liquid, therefore I had to strain the liquid from the solid in order to spread it with my half gallon buckets.
Yes, it works. It repels squirrels!
Now then, if you have pets, they like the blood so keep them at bay until you spray the bloody area with water.
Incidentally, this stuff is also excellent fertilizer.
Lastly, I buried the solid portion in my flower beds. Maximum 3 hours and very beneficial.

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October 17, 20170 found this helpful

A feeding station may be a temporary solution but they will probably return to your plants. Coleus plants are not from bulbs but have tubers and apparently there are some areas in your yard that are an attractant to squirrels.


  • 1. Try adding bone meal to soil around your plants or dig some holes. Bone meal can be purchased at any garden center and a bonus as it is very good for your plants.
  • 2. Purchase some small screen wire (any type - wire or plastic wire) and put around your plants. It can be cut to size and place mulch on top or stake it down.
  • 3. Add human or dog hair to soil around your plants. It does not take very much and can be scattered and covered or placed in small holes. Just ask for your hair to be placed in a bag when you get your next trim (or trim yourself). Dog hair works too.
  • 4. Cayenne pepper mixed with a little dish soap and sprayed around plants may help (I would not spray the plants).
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