Squirrels Eating Plants

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.

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Hardiness Zone: 5a

By Kathy from Milwaukee, WI

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March 14, 20103 found this helpful

I understand your frustration, but since 2006, squirrels around the world have been going hungry because of weather disturbances/out of phase resulting in little or no nut crops. They are starving. In 2006 it happened in Poland, Russia, and I think it was last year or year before all along Eastern seaboard here as well as more westerly from there.They even attacked a dog, and here, were digging in garbage cans, etc.

Perhaps if you put out something for them to eat more to their taste, like peanut butter and oatmeal balls or nuts slightly away from where you want plants they might learn to look there. I realize that would be inviting
squirrel chaos, but I feel sorry for them.

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October 31, 20170 found this helpful

I appreciate your kind and caring approach to the problem of squirrels digging into plants to eat their roots and eating flowers. I will try just removing the main plant they are doing this to. The moth ball idea is not good in that they are ingesting poison.

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I don't think that every flower or ever plant is attractive to them. I notice that this squirrel likes the fat white roots that are underneath "spider" plants. Let's be humane to our fellow creatures, annoying as they sometimes are.

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May 22, 20181 found this helpful

The squirrels are digging up my plants to hide their peanuts in. Definitely not digging because they're starving

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Anonymous
March 13, 20190 found this helpful

Hi Penny, I been living in US for almost 30 years but I'm originally from Poland. First we don't have the grey American type squirrels there? No chipmunks either, we only have the small red ( actually burgundy colored squirrels, they are cuter and have pointy hair on their ears. The thing is we do not really consider them a pests in Poland, rather an animal that is loved and we actually feed them at the city parks, forests etc.

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I lived 20 years in Poland and I never seen a squirrel in our garden, my grandma's orchard neither, nor anywhere on private green grounds. I don't know how they do it in Poland, but its true...

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June 3, 20190 found this helpful

The squirrels at my home are not actually looking for a food source so much as a place to bury their food- and what better than nice soft potting soil.

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June 17, 20190 found this helpful

I actually tried this and they took the food i put out for them and still dug up my plants hiding the food. They are just a tree rat and best way to rid them is with a pellet gun. Garden hose works great. They hate being wet.

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June 17, 20190 found this helpful

I just sprinkle a generous serving of hot pepper flakes around in the pot. I do it about once per month. The older squirrels learn fast. But others new to the neighborhood and young have to learn also. A savings trick: Save hot peppers and crush them up and use what you have grown. I always have way more than I can use for cooking.

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July 10, 20190 found this helpful

My neighbor feeds these squirrels all yr long and I have pnut shells everywhere. They bury them in my stuff. Now they are digging in my garden and potted flowers. These fat squirrels are well fed.

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March 14, 20100 found this helpful

I use Twirlers from Kmart, the kind kids use to play with. They go around when wind is blowing, like windmills.

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I also save the tops that come on large cans that look like foil. Hang it in the garden. Or just use foil you have in the kitchen. Also, hot pepper sauce will do the job.

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March 14, 20100 found this helpful

I've used plastic forks to keep chipmunks out of my planters. Just push the fork in the soil, handle first, so the tines of the fork are just under the soil. You won't be able to see them, but the squirrels will get a poke as soon as they start to dig. It doesn't stop them from eating them, but it will keep them from uprooting them.

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September 30, 20190 found this helpful

We tried this. Planted flowers and used the plastic forks. Went on vacation and our daughter-in-law took care of watering while we were gone. She called us and she said, Your forks look wonderful! The flowers were gone.

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March 19, 20101 found this helpful

We have used cayenne pepper for most of the critters who visit us. It keeps the critters away and doesn't hurt the plants.

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Just sprinkle a generous amount around and see if that does it. Also works for deer.

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May 27, 20190 found this helpful

I tried cayenne pepper and turned my plants mouldy.

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Anonymous
June 18, 20190 found this helpful

It does not deter them at all. I used it twice and found the rat gymnast hanging on my feeder and then sitting right in a pile of cayenne eating seed. Rats, useless rats.

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March 22, 20100 found this helpful

There is a product called Ropel. As long as it in nothing you plan on eating you spray the plants. Various pepper sprays are suppose to also work but I have never had the same luck as I do with Ropel (I use it professionally).

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June 21, 20100 found this helpful

I'm having similar issues this year with the sunflower plants and morning glories planted on my deck. Though I've only been at it a couple of days, the ground red pepper/water spray and sprinkling of red pepper flakes around the plants seems to be working so far. Also, in specific response to Pikka's solution of feeding them because they are starving, the squirrels that are destroying my little container garden are *not* starving, they are quite robust.

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They also aren't even eating what they are destroying. They pull things out by the root, bite them in half and then then discard them. They've also chewed through 2 strings of lights and a phone line.

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March 18, 20110 found this helpful

Also if you put out ears of corn the squirrels may enjoy that as a treat. Think about it, if you were hungry and you saw free food growing fresh, would you not want to nibble?

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June 3, 20120 found this helpful

Lolll Please... Do not attract the squirrels with luring them to your garden with other food. Unless you plan on feeding them every day and putting more and more food out for them as they start breeding and burrowing close to the food source.

The moment you don't feed them, guess what they will eat. I put (not chicken wire because if they can fit their head-they can fit their body) but galvanized mesh under the soil (about a foot or more deep) then put the weed blocker on top then the soil. I use wooden stakes around the garden with mesh stapled to cover the top and sides. If you want to get fancy-Make a frame with hinges on the top so it opens up.

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Anonymous
April 30, 20160 found this helpful

Camphor tablets working magnificently well, and crushed cayenne pepper, crushed pepper, mint, all those herbs work great for me, I put them all over sprinkling it in my plant boxes, Google it!

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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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Anonymous
May 16, 20160 found this helpful

My squirrels relish red pepper. I bought a large container from an Asian market and found it much hotter than cayenne to my taste but the squirrels seem to relish it. I finally tried a mixture of fresh coffee grounds mixed with bone meal in a 1 to 1 ratio and broadcast on top of the soil. So far that seems to be doing the trick as I've not found uprooted plants for a week now. We've just had a long rain. I will see if it will be necessary to apply a new dusting once it stops.
By Dennis from Lakewood, CO

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Anonymous
June 1, 20161 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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Anonymous
May 25, 20170 found this helpful

Rocks. Squirrels will not dig in soil that is covered by rocks. I planted seeds in the ground and covered the area with the pea pebble rocks and they have not messed with them and the seedlings are growing very well. They will grow through the rock.

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April 10, 20170 found this helpful

Cheyenne pepper and mulch on top of the loose dirt. Than more pepper

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May 12, 20180 found this helpful

I place sea shells on top of the soil around the plants but rocks work just as (maybe work better). Please so not put anything that will hurt the squirrels.

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