Douglas Squirrels digging in planters

Asked August 25, 2018, 1:13 PM EDT

In 2017 I acquired a couple Douglas squirrels in my yard. I now have a couple more. While they are charming and industrious, they are a digging my in planters. The plants are tolerant, but the dirt is spread all over the deck. I need to be on top of refilling the holes in the planters. I do not want to kill the animals just deter them. I got some Shake Away (both coyote and red fox urine). This has some benefit but I need to put it out every other day. Also tried Cayenne pepper and Root-tone fertilizer (no appealing to them) on the planter dirt Now they are attacking/digging up the dirt in my hanging plants. Other suggestions?

Clackamas County Oregon squirrels container plants horticulture

1 Response

You need to rig a means of blocking the squirrels access to the planters. This can be easy to do or difficult, depending upon what's in the planter.

One technique is to lay chicken wire or hardware cloth on the surface of the pot .Or rig a "cage" over the plants.

Another Expert suggested the following:
"They tend to mess with plants in smaller stages, so keeping them way from new plants and seedlings is important. That's where objects that make noise- pie pans, pinwheels etc. help. While it may seem counterproductive, feeding them in another location well away from the garden can distract them. Also, scents such as peppermint, garlic, pepper sprays can be used as repellents but need to be reapplied after a rain. You might consider planting small gardens in patio containers, where you might be better able to manage the situation. There's no easy solution to a squirrel problem"