Squirrels #653408 - Ask Extension


Squirrels #653408

Asked June 19, 2020, 5:24 PM EDT

My neighbor and I have been feeling like the squirrels are extra destructive this year. I've had them get into my container plants before but only a few times per season. This year they are jumping into ever container, hanging basket or newly planted annuals. They get into the middle an break the plants as they dig and throw dirt everywhere. I have been using "Repels All" in spray & granules. Only seems good for one day. My neighbor is using a squirrel spray. Same, seems only good for one night. We are so tired of replacing and sweeping up the mess. Any suggestions?

Ramsey County Minnesota

Expert Response

I put rocks in all my containers so that there is no bare soil for them to dig into. I have wire mess cages to cover newly planted plants. The beds can also be covered with chicken wire and the plants will grow through it. Liquid fence works the best. It is the juveniles that cause the most mischief. I can relate the nasty little tree rats dig if I dig, chew through metal bird feeders and chew up my patio cushions. Excluding them works the best. They do get older and usually quit by July. Of course the plants have grown up and the dirt isn’t freshly turned. Squirrels think fresh dirt means another squirrel has buried food.
Claire Kari Replied June 19, 2020, 9:26 PM EDT
I thought I was cleaver by putting rocks in my containers until I came out the next morning and found the rocks all over my front steps along with the dirt! Thank you Evelyn for your response. I know I'm not alone but I'm getting tired of fighting the battle. But you have given me some new info to carry on. Also the black birds are nuts too. They have eaten all my swallowtail caterpillars. I will try to protect future caterpillars. The black birds are chasing all other birds out of my garden. And trashing my cherry tree. And so much ruckus. It's reminding me of the movie "The Birds".
I appreciate your response! Thank you.
The Question Asker Replied June 19, 2020, 10:28 PM EDT
I use heavy rocks, fist sized usually. The squirrels toss light ones and can dig under small ones. They keep me busy. If I am not vigilant they do a lot of heart breaking damage.
Good luck.
Claire Kari Replied June 20, 2020, 6:46 AM EDT

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