Squirrels are cute and a lot of fun to observe; however, that cuteness can quickly wane when you discover they are digging in your flower pots. If you can relate to this problem, you may be wondering how to prevent these cute little trouble makers from pulverizing the plants that you work so hard to maintain.
A squirrel’s clever and persistent personality can be challenging, but it is not impossible to deter them from getting into flower pots. There are multiple methods and theories about how to handle this issue, and finding the right one may be a frustrating process of trial and error.
If you are having a problem with squirrels getting into your flower pots, continue reading this article for helpful information that can safely keep the little rascals away for good.
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Getting Into Flower Pots – Understanding Squirrel Logic
Sometimes before you can solve an issue, especially where an animal is concerned, it is helpful to understand why a certain behavior is happening. If you understand the logic behind the action, then you can correctly address the issue and move on to bigger and better things.
So why do squirrels love to get into your flower pots? That answer is fairly simple. Generally, the soil in a flower pot or planter box is easy to dig in, which makes them a great place for the squirrel to hide its winter stash of acorns and other assorted nuts.
Another reason a squirrel may disrupt your flower display is that you have something growing that is tasty or smells good to them.
The next section will discuss the plants and flowers that are known to attract squirrels to your flower pots.
Plants and Flowers that Attract Squirrels
As previously mentioned, certain plants and flowers may be attractive to a curious squirrel. If you don’t want to abandon the dream of having lush flower pots to add beauty to your home and landscape, you may need to avoid planting some specific flowers and plantlife.
Here are the plants and flowers that squirrels are most attracted to:
- Knock-out Roses
- Monkey Grass
- Sunflower plants
The next section will discuss possible ways to solve your squirrel problem without harming them or having to compromise your plants and flowers.
Ways to Deter Squirrels From Getting Into Your Flower Pots
There are multiple ways to deter a squirrel from digging in your flower pots or sampling what is growing. What works with one squirrel may not work for another, which can make it a bit of a tedious game until you find the right trick for your local furry clown.
The following list may help you with your squirrely situation:
Add Distasteful Deterrents to the Potting Soil Mix
If you have a squirrel that thinks your flower pots are especially convenient for storing some wintertime snacks, it may be helpful to add some unpleasant things to the soil, such as:
- Cayenne pepper
- Crushed red pepper
Feel free to include more than one of these ingredients while mixing them into the soil. The more repulsive the scent and taste of the soil, the more likely you are to get rid of your pest.
As a reminder, what works for one squirrel may not work on another, so be patient and try different combinations until you find what works for you.
Avoid Planting Things That Attract Curious Squirrels
One very simple way to reduce the temptation for a squirrel to get into your flower pots is to avoid planting things that they are naturally attracted to. If you do not wish to compromise on your display, there are other methods you can try to stop a squirrel from disrupting your plants.
Plants and Flowers that Squirrels Try to Avoid are as follows:
- Lily of the Valley
Chicken Wire and Garden Fence to Keep Squirrels Out
It is also an option to use chicken wire or garden fencing to surround the area where your flower boxes are located.
The problem with this method is it can take away from the beauty of your flower pots.
You may not want to put your flowers in a cage or have to deal with moving the wire when you want to maintain the display, but for some people, this is a good option.
Create a Barrier Between the Soil and the Squirrel
Another natural way you can attempt to deter these destructive pests is to cover the top of the soil with a generous layer of:
- Glass marbles
- Landscaping rocks
- Other decorative materials
Materials like the ones listed above can help to create a barrier between the dirt and the squirrel. This method may not stop a highly motivated squirrel from doing what it wants, but it can definitely help.
Let Your Flower Pots Shine
Sometimes the simplest solution can be the most effective. Some people have found that incorporating shiny objects and decorations that light up into their flower displays helps to scare the squirrels away.
By incorporating these objects into the layout of your potted plants and flowers, you can create a visually pleasing display while accomplishing the task of dissuading some annoying squirrels from digging.
Mix a Homemade Squirrel Repellent Spray
You can make an all-natural squirrel repellent spray that can be quite effective for some people. The trick is to use ingredients that are extremely repulsive and also cause some discomfort without actually harming the squirrel.
Once these ravaging rodents get a sample of your concoction once or twice, they will conclude that your flower pots equal unpleasant tastes, smells, and potential discomfort.
These homemade squirrel repellents need to be sprayed regularly to keep the scent fresh so that the squirrels and other pests will leave your precious blooms alone.
I’m trying out cayenne pepper and black pepper combination to keep our squirrels from eating our hibiscus blooms that sit on our deck.
Some people use the following ingredients in their squirrel repellent sprays:
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Chopped jalapeno pepper
- Chopped onion
|Making Homemade Squirrel Repellent Spray|
|After gathering all of the necessary ingredients, you will need to add them to boiling water for around 15 – 20 minutes. |
Turn off the burner. Once the mixture has cooled for a little bit, carefully drain it through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a spray bottle.
The ingredients used in this solution will have an offensive scent and the potential to make the squirrel’s eyes and tongue burn.
Keep in mind; this concoction can also burn your eyes or any open wounds you may have, so it may be a good idea to wear eye protection and/or gloves while applying your repellent to the necessary areas.
Stick a Fork in Squirrels Digging in Your Flower Pots
Another way to deter these disruptive diggers is to literally stick forks in your flower pots. Push the forks into the soil until only a small part of the tines are visible.
Once your little friends begin to dig, they will find an uncomfortable surprise just below the surface. Once again, with this method, they will eventually equate pain with your flower pots and likely move on to a new target.
Some gardeners will also lay vines or plant stems that are covered in thorns on the surface of the soil as a deterrent instead of forks. It doesn’t matter what objects you use as long as they are pointy and can cause discomfort to the squirrels when digging in your flower pots.
The next section will discuss some fun ways to stop squirrels from ruining your flower pots.
Have Some Fun While Solving Your Squirrel Problem
If you really want to have some fun and have a good sense of humor, another effective way of eliminating pesky squirrels from digging in your beautiful flower pots is to scare the heck out of them with some unexpected noises.
There are some pretty cool options for motion-detected sound devices that make just about any sound you can imagine. Most sporting goods stores have devices that play different animal sounds used to attract or deter certain animals while hunting.
These devices are very loud, and many of them can be hooked up to make a noise when motion is detected in a certain area.
Enjoy Some Purposeful Entertainment
If you are in need of a good belly laugh and have some extra time on your hands, invest in an air horn. Air horns can be a very useful and entertaining investment.
Keep it handy while you are sipping on your morning coffee and enjoying the beautiful morning that nature has provided. When you see the little bugger approaching your flower pot, blast the horn and watch as they jump and run away in confusion.
For an added element of fun, try catching the squirrel’s reaction on camera; who knows, maybe your video will make you some money on America’s Funniest Home Videos. At the very least, the videos will be entertaining to you and your friends
Another device that can be used is one that uses ultra-sonic sound to deter squirrels and other critters from approaching your area. These devices emit a sound that is not audible to human ears, but many animals will be driven away when one is in use.
Trial and Error Paired With Patience Stop Digging Squirrels
As you can see from the information presented in this article, it can take a combination of methods to stop squirrels from digging in your flower pots. If you are creative and have patience, you will quickly find a way to end the destructive behavior, so you can focus your energy on more important matters.
If you want to keep squirrels out of your backyard, we’ve got more recommendations for that as well.