How to Stop Squirrels Digging up Your Flowers and Plants
Signs that Squirrels have been Digging out Your Flower Pots
I love the little fella's but they can be a real pain where potted plants are concerned. You only get to see the end result when you check on your plants, and there are huge holes in the dirt.
The trouble is because our balcony is made from concrete and glass, it's very easy for the squirrels to climb up, dig the hole and scoot back down the wall and back up the tree.
Now that Spring is on its way the fight between man and squirrel is about to start. Many times we have stepped out onto the balcony only to find the flowers strewn on the ground, and dirt flung up at the door.
If you look carefully you will probably see a few nuts hidden in the pot where the squirrel has placed them for Winter.
In Britain we only have tree Squirrels, not ground squirrels, unlike the USA, so these do not hibernate like the ground squirrel. And this is where the problems lie.
Throughout October through to December, our squirrels are literally rushing around searching for food.
And a very good place to hide them.
Trouble is, they have very good memory capacity. So if they bury a nut in October, you can bet they will remember where they put it, and come to dig it back up in February.
I admit I don't have one of these, but my neighbor does. She swears by it, in fact. I have used one, however, on vacation when Mosquitoes were trying desperately to bite me! And yes it works, so it is well worth buying!
Squirrels can find food that is buried beneath a foot of snow. And did you know? Their front teeth never stop growing!
How to Stop them Digging holes
- Cover the surface with stones or rocks. You can buy loads of different colors from the garden center.
- Place sticks upright in the pot to deter the squirrel. They won't like the points and it should put them off.
- Chicken wire or something similar is a great idea. In fact, we did this last year. It works but can be a bit of a pain when you need to plant, or just check on seedlings. But it does work. Unless you have very determined squirrels as we have. But so far, so good.
- Sprays can be made out of hot pepper and add either a small amount of washing up liquid or egg so that the spray stays on the plant. It won't hurt the plant, but the squirrel will hate the smell.
- Unlike the rest of us, squirrels don't like coffee! Sprinkle the grounds around the plant and then top up with a layer of dirt.
- Bone meal. Sounds revolting? Well yes, but it does work. It is made from the blood of cows or pigs. I am sure your local butcher can help. And of course, it is great for the plant as it acts as compost.
British Red and American Grey - Squirrels in Britain
Squirrels are great for the environment purely because half of the buried nuts are left behind or forgotten, which then grow into trees.
Remove Anything That Squirrels Will Eat or Use
A few years ago, I placed an old mattress out on the balcony to be collected. I came downstairs one morning and noticed two squirrels sitting on top of it, pulling and tugging out the lining!
There was pink and blue wool everywhere. They were obviously going to use it to make their drey. It did look very cute, but the problem was after that they were constantly clambering up onto the balcony to see what else they could take.
Squirrels are very intelligent and inquisitive. Once they have you in their sights it's very hard to get rid of them.
So make sure you do not leave food, cloth, or anything else outside that will attract them.
One of the best ways to keep squirrels at bay is Outdoor Sensor Lights. There are loads to choose from, and they don't have to look out of place. I recently bought a . Dusk to Dawn Sensor Outdoor Wall Lantern
It looks amazing and definitely works to stop the squirrels in their tracks. And the added bonus is that the Lantern looks so cute on my balcony.
Sensor Outdoor Lamp
My Night Time Balcony with Sensor Light
Are Squirrels Protected? Yes and No.
Over here in Britain, we have two species of squirrel. The red and the Grey. Because the grey squirrel is an invasive pest according to British Wildlife, if one is caught it can be despatched by a professional. In plain English, the poor little blighter gets killed. I know, maybe I am soft but I personally have a problem with that.
On the other hand, the red squirrel is protected purely because it is rare to find one in Britain, apart from a few selected areas that have been chosen for them to live safely.
I remember red squirrels when I was a child, but sadly I haven't seen one up close for many years, but you can find them as I mentioned in various hot spots. These are mainly in Scotland, Ireland, and the Isle of Wight, England.
British Red Squirrel
Do you Like Squirrels?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Nell Rose