Squirrels in pots

neuf(5 Indy)April 13, 2014

I have been having problems with squirrels foraging in my pots. I am looking for a non-violent method to keep them from uprooting my plants that is less time consuming and fuel-costly than my, very effective, squirrel relocation program.


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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Completely cage in the area the pots are in.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 3:35PM
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Some garden centers sell coyote urine, but it has to be reapplied after you water.

Got pets? I've had some luck with cat and dog hair (after brushing pets) as a ground cover. I don't know if it's the smell or if they don't like digging through it, but it seems to work. The dog fur didn't work as well right after he'd had a bath, so I think it's the smell.

Lynn T

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 5:46PM
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I don't have that issue.. they end up in my pot... my cooking pot. Squirrel is good eatin'!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 11:17PM
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neuf(5 Indy)

I thought they were too high in cholesterol.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 7:12AM
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I lay pieces of chicken wire cut to fit across the top of the pot (around the plant). I cover that with mulch if I want it to be invisible.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 8:23AM
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I grow lettuce in flowerboxes on my front porch -- for those, I use small-mesh chicken wire, with a piece cut to fit inside. I've also had some luck with hot sauce in my flowerpots to discourage digging. (You'll need to reapply it after a few waterings.)

Believe me, I feel your pain ... we have black walnut trees in our back yard & in neighbors' yards, and the squirrels run rampant all spring and summer.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 5:55PM
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Yes those darn squirrels... Every year we plant a few veggies in containers or nice annual flowers and every year we have a few plants that are either knocked with soil removed over or have plants pulled out of their containers. Sometimes the plants can be saved, but most times the roots have been exposed to air or sun too long before we find them.

The only sure way I know of to keep squirrels, rabbits and other small animals, or deer, away from containers or gardens to to completely cover them with wire mesh. Its a pain to do and not very attractive, but it IS effective.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 7:49PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Do something that they would feel sorry for what they did and will never come back. Probably it is just one squirrel because they are solitary.

Here what you can do(Just sample ideas)
-- leave them some snacks like highly HOT peanuts , bird feed..
-- fix some of those sticky glue things used for mice. Make sure the glue pad is fixed so they cannot run away with it and have to struggle hard to free themselves. I had and incident that I lost a rat trap. An squirrel tail got in it (LOL)

--- ( your ideas here )
I can bet it/they will never again come back.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 6:20AM
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rebuilder(7a-7b Snellville, GA)

Jodik and neuf..... that cracked me up the comments "cooking pot" and especially "too high in cholesterol" a reference to one of my favorite movies Christmas Vacation.

Clark: [a squirrel is loose in the house] Where is Eddie? He usually eats these ___ things.
Cousin Catherine Johnson: Not recently, Clark. He read that squirrels were high in cholesterol.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 5:39AM
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neuf(5 Indy)

@seysonn; I wish it was a solitary incident. I am in a very urban part of Indianapolis that has a HUGE population of old trees - oak, walnut, maple, etc. On any given day, I can see at least three to five squirrels chasing each other around or digging in the yard. Maybe more...they all look alike. Three years ago I moved 28 (I kept a hash mark tab on the inside of a kitchen cabinet) to a nature preserve over the summer. They're kind of cool until they ruin one of my potted plants...then I get really pissed off and they're not so cool anymore!
@rebuilder: there a few conversations around our house that don't end up with my daughter quoting from "Christmas Vacation" or "Mystery Men".
Did you hear it? It was kind of a funny squeaky sound.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 6:20AM
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neuf(5 Indy)

Rat caught in the act!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 4:33PM
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I have a similar problem and use cardboard around the plant, which seems to be working.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 5:14PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

My wife feeds the birds so have a constant supply of squirrels lol. I put lava rock on top of all my pots . larger sizes are easier to remove than crushed when repotting. Tried various types of rocks but too heavy .
Have the worst problem with long fibered sphagnum moss
they will dig all the way to the bottom . Very cheap ,never rots and .reusable i think the rough texture keeps them from digging?? Works for me lol gary

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 4:04AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

We have lots of problems with squirrels, one of which is the mess they make on the lawn when building their nests. You have to rake it up. They also get into my pots and damage emerging tulips and other spring bulbs, so I approach it from several ways. I have a 'feeding station' for them. At the very back of my yard, near the fence, I have a little pail which I fill with leftover nuts, usually in the shell, and that keeps them back there. For small pots and emerging bulbs, I use cut off 2-litre pop bottles pushed into the earth to cover the greenery. For larger pots, I sprinkle cayenne pepper. I sometimes have to resort to mesh wire. I have fashioned some covers: rectangular wooden frames with domes of mesh wire attached. These are moveable which helps with tulips...the squirrels snap the flowers off to get at the seed in the middle. Recently, I have used mouse traps, just to scare them off and that definitely helps. I have come to the conclusion that they are very stupid animals. They do not like or eat tulip bulbs (I have left some of them out for them) yet they continue to dig them up. Go figure!!!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 4:32AM
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Try sprinkling some crumbled eggshells on top of the soil in your pots. It has worked for me to prevent squirrels from foraging in my pots. I also provide water and occasional snacks for squirrels in the backyard away from my tiny garden and bird feeders. That might have helped too.

Another alternative is to place stones and gravels on top of the soil in your pots. I haven't tried that nevertheless it should work.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 10:39PM
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I put landscaping marble rock sized pieces of broken cement on the soil in my buckets. Seems to work pretty well.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 11:59PM
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How come you don't use a very easy solution?

They do have natural sprays to keep squirrels away once and for all...It works wonders for me...
Try looking up ' I must garden'...Their stuff is amazing and really works..Not like crap you can buy locally..

Well worth the investment for my whole yard and pots.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 9:06AM
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