get squirrels out of garden

How To Get Squirrels Out Of Your Flower Bed

Are you fed up with squirrels digging in your potted plants or eating your flowers? We are hearing more and more customer complaints about the battle between gardener and squirrel. Squirrels can cause a lot of damage in potted plants and the garden, and we know many of you have gone out to tend to your carefully planted containers only to find chaos, with pots knocked over, bulbs gone, and plants and flowers uprooted. On investigation of the remaining soil in the pot you may have found buried whole nuts or shells. The squirrels from H-E-double hockey sticks have visited….

How to stop squirrels from digging

Here are a few tricks to stop these pests from becoming a serious nuisance. These work best with container gardening but they can also be applied directly to small areas of your garden beds.

The most obvious way to stop squirrels in their tracks is to put physical barriers in their way.  One of the most commonly used tricks to keep squirrels out of potted plants is to put something in the pots that the squirrels won’t like. We aren’t encouraging poisoning or harming the critters, just keeping them away from your potted plants and garden. Here are our top 7 ways to deter squirrels –

  1. Try covering the surface of the pot with attractive rocks and stones. The squirrels won’t be able to budge them and yet they’ll enhance the appearance of your garden containers.
  2. Try laying chicken wire just under the top level of soil when planting bulbs to prevent squirrels from digging them out. Remove it when shoots appear.
  3. Mix in fresh, strong smelling coffee grounds with the top layer of soil. The odor is repellent to squirrels but does them no harm.
  4. Or make your own hot pepper spray. You can make pepper spray by combining a couple of teaspoons of washing up liquid with a small bottle of hot pepper sauce and water. Put it into a plastic spray bottle to apply. Commercial pepper sprays are also available specifically for keeping squirrels away from plants and gardens. If you don’t want to actually spray your plants, sprinkle hot red pepper flakes or powder in the soil around the plants to keep squirrels away. Of course you’ll need to repeat this regularly, especially after each time it rains. They do not like the spiciness at all and they will avoid any area that has been treated. You can make pepper spray by combining a couple of teaspoons of washing up liquid with a small bottle of hot pepper sauce and water. Put it into a plastic spray bottle to apply. Commercial pepper sprays are also available specifically for keeping squirrels away from plants and gardens. If you don’t want to actually spray your plants, sprinkle hot red pepper flakes or powder in the soil around the plants to keep squirrels away. Of course you’ll need to repeat this regularly, especially after each time it rains.
  5. Bone meal is also repulsive to squirrels. It is a natural fertilizer high in nitrogen and ammonia, and has a strong scent that deters squirrels. The added bonus is that you will be adding nitrogen to your soil at the same time!
  6. There are organic products on the market with non-toxic repellents such as Nature’s Defense..  It is safe to use around children, pets, plants and food crops.
  7. Ultrasonic technology is also available and very affordable like this Solar Yard Guard Ultrasonic Animal Repeller from Target.

Squirrel repellent can be a valuable tool when you are trying to protect your bulbs, flowers and plants. Squirrels are tenacious and we know this is an on-going battle, but hopefully one of the above tricks will work for you.

First Response Lawn Care is here for you. If you need any help with lawn maintenance or just want to talk about squirrels, give us a call at 214-