squirrels eating flowers

Phil - 7
January 11, 1970

Squirrels are eating my pansy and petunia blossoms. Is there something I can spray (garlic, hot pepper) that will discourage them?


Comments (85)

  • spambdamn_rich

    I think a cat's ability to catch and kill squirrels depends not only on the size of the cat, but also whether or not its mother knew how to hunt and whether or not the mother had a chance to teach the kitten how to hunt.

    I once had a big male outbred Siamese, very strong cat, but he didn't have a chance to learn how to hunt. He had no idea what to do with mice. He'd bring them into the house, live and unharmed, and let them go. He passed away a few years ago, and now I have another big male outbred Siamese (looks like a Himalayan), who grew up under a shed, whose mom taught him how to hunt. The squirrel population has decreased considerably in my yard since he arrived. Not that squirrels bother me. They never seemed to cause much damage in the garden. The only problem I had was that they were nesting in a cavity created between the house eave and a patio shed roof. I screened that off and the problem resolved.

    Now the squirrels (those that are left) really set up a loud fuss now whenever they see my cat. ;-) I know he's killing and eating them because occasionally he'll bring in an offering - like a leg or tail. I've seen him climbing up the ivy covered fencing (12 feet tall) at the back of the yard, looking for squirrel nests.

    In this state, certain species can be considered fur bearing animals, or pests - such as raccoons. I don't know about squirrels, but I can't see the common gray squirrel as being a protected species. In any case, if the animal is causing depredation on a property, the homeowner has the right to humanely trap it, turn it over to animal control, or dispatch it and then bury it on the property. It is not legal to use any part of the animal for food or clothing, and it is not legal to transport it off the property, for the reasons mentioned earlier in this thread.

    I don't believe in feeding most wild animals (I will feed hummingbirds, though), as it can cause a population explosion and more problems down the road. I also think it's important to try various non-violent means of controlling depredating animals before resorting to capital measures.

    I sympathize with those who get angry with depredating animals. I was very upset when I discovered first raccoons, and then egrets, attacking the koi in my ponds. The egrets were the worst - silent, efficient predators. Unlike raccoons, which make a big mess so you know they've been there the night before, the egrets consumed half of my koi over the course of a week or two, before I realized what was happening. I resolved the egret problem by netting the pond area. The raccoons are kept more or less at bay with Fidoshock fences, although sometimes trapping is necessary. I used to think raccoons were cute and entertaining, and egrets were beautiful birds. Well, I now think raccoons are disease-carrying murderers and troublemakers, and egrets are aerial gluttons. Any koi club member will say much the same. Egrets still are beautiful, though, just not in my...

  • Judith_in_NY

    We are overrun with squirrels here in N.Y. too. Gray squirrels, which apparently, are not the indigenous ones. The story goes that small red squirrels were the native species and someone introduced the big gray ones from England. Well, like the Pilgrims, they have settled in and made it their own. I have never seen a red squirrel in my neighborhood, but you can't walk around the block without seeing at least half a dozen big gray ones, looking very fat and happy.

    Mind you, much as I hate them, I still find myself swerving to avoid hitting them with my car when they sit in the middle of the road like that commercial--sheesh! I hate them, but I won't kill them. A little pain in their direction wouldn't upset me though. We have to paint our Halloween pumkins with cayenne paste to keep the squirrels from re-carving our designs. I once caught a squirrel INSIDE my daughter's pumkin, the face design all chewed out. It can make you think violent thoughts, so I guess I understand the sentiments expressed in this discussion.

    I have found a new use for the thorny branches I cut off my citrus trees when I prune them to take them inside for the winter-- those branches don't break down very easily and the thorns are wicked. I lay them over my garden beds, under the mulch. I figure the squirrels can work a little harder to earn the meal of my tulip bulbs. Share the pain.

    I've also given up the bird feeder. None of the squirrel-thwarting measures like the big dome, etc ever worked. They chewed big holes in the feeding ports. It was more agravation than it was worth to me. I have cats, but I never let them outside-- it's a jungle out there! I'm more worried about them getting hurt than anything else, but I don't want them killing birds either.

    So what's the solution? Yes, we are living in what used to be wild habitat. Can't undo it. Humans are here to stay. I love animals more than people some days, but I also know that I'm not willing to self-destruct to make room for them. I have these debates with my kids a lot. One's a vegetarian and she's very soft hearted. She thinks I'm just brutal in my attitude towards squirrels. What can I say? We are part of nature too, and nothing is more severe than nature can be.


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    I feel your pain! I had the same problem when we first bought our house. It was January when we moved in and the squirrels had nested in our trees, used our fence as their playground, our potted plants for digging practice, and our house as food. They even hissed at my dogs from high up on the trunks of trees. The previous owners had installed wire mesh under the eaves of the detached garage to keep them out. It was so bad my husband bought me a slingshot, though I never had the heart to use it. I did try various mixtures of cayenne pepper sprays but they wash off when it rains. Interestingly, the squirrels have now mostly moved on to someplace else in the neighborhood. My best guess is that we removed their source of nesting material by picking up all the leaves last fall, which the previous owners had not done. Our next door neighbors had a play set installed in their yard last year in the area near our fence, so they got all their leaves up, too. If you find a solution let us know! We had woodpeckers too Curt, and you are correct that they are eating bugs in the wood.
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  • cactus_jeff




  • weebus

    I would hate to admit a squirrel could out smart me and the only means I had left to deal with them was a gun or poison. It takes all kinds.

  • Organic_johnny

    You guys might get a kick out of this site...someone's obsession gone wild (think "conspiracy theory", where "they" are squirrels).

    One warning though, don't buy the coffee mug...I got one and the ink wore 1/2 off after an unfortunate dishwasher experience.

    Here is a link that might be useful: All Squirrels Must Die!

  • Meeni

    We have squirrels too and, while they are cute and very clever, they're terrible to my flowers!! Someone wrote that they don't eat yellow tulips - well they sure ate mine! One morning I saw one pull one up, bulb and all and carry it away up the tree! (this had a nice big yellow bloom on it too :( ). What they don't eat, they chew up and pull out of the ground! I have two dogs in the yard but that doesn't even discourage them. They know to watch for them. And one dog is a chow and loves to try to catch them (she's caught 2 in 2 years - they're FAST!)
    I don't want to put poison in peanut butter because the birds love peanut butter. We have a kind of bird sanctuary in our yard :)
    We've tried feeding them but they don't care. I guess they like more variety! We have learned to keep them out of the bird feeders by going to the dollar store and buying a large plastic bowl (the kind with no rim), two large plastic glasses, and a plastic funnel. Thread these over the feeder on the wire that it hangs from. The squirrel slides off the plastic and falls to the ground. Looks kinda weird, but it works :) (Got the idea from Birds and Blooms magazine).
    What I would like to know is a list of plants and flowers that the squirrels don't like.
    I've heard that they don't like daffodils and it must be true because they've left mine alone while decimating my tulips!!

  • markeyd123

    I have read some of your posts regarding various methods for alleviating the squirrel problem. If catching them in a have-a-heart trap to tie cinder blocks to their little feet before dropping them in the quarry does not work you might want to try this: detonating a small tactical nuclear device known as The Eliminator, available from BLAM-O pest elimination products. It will be sure to rid your property of all squirrels with only minor collateral damage. It will turn your garden to toast, but consider it fertilizer i.e. slash and burn technique.

    I am clearly joking, but want to illustrate a point. Some of your methods are ridiculous. I am not going to get into a philosophical debate on whether it's o.k. to kill a pest, or which ones are o.k. to kill, etc. Do what you want as long a it is legal, and ethical. Specifically, poisoning is illegal (as stated) becasue pets, and neighborhood children could eat your poisoned "peanut butter pops." Also, believe it or not the air gun method is considered poaching if done outside of squirrel hunting season without a hunting license. Most NE stated do have a squirrel hunting season. I know this sounds a bit crazy too, but you should act resposibly, and legally.

    I will get off my soap box now. Thanks.

  • kermitthefrog

    My next-door neighbor leaves peanuts out for the squirrels (and raccoons, skunks, and possums). The raccoons come into my yard at night looking for food (and trouble). They are like 15 year old skater punks...all attitude, no fear. I spray them with a hose and they slowly leave. Skunks come into my yard rooting for grubs. I got rid of the grubs and they haven't come around. Possums are pretty dangerous...they can really rip up a dog...or cat, I'd imagine. I shine a 1 million candle-power light on them and they leave.
    Squirrels I can't live with. I've spent hundreds of dollars and tried for five years every way to discourage them. They are very destructive, not to plants, but to anything in my front or back yard not made of titanium. They chewed up my dad's flag that was flown over the Capitol Building in Wash. D.C. when I had it out for Sept. 11 anniversary.
    I used to trap and transport, but they just come back. I trap (use peanuts, like my neighbor) and drown them in a large waste container. The trap must be completely covered by the water, obviously. Then out they go with the trash. Don't leave the trap baited overnight, or you might find a skunk in there in the morning. In that case, throw a blanket over the trap, wait a while, and carefully open the door. They will come out in a few seconds, but you'll have enough time to clear out.
    For the squeamish or those against killing, try to imagine how long you could live without killing, or having someone else kill for you. Unless you eat nothing but plants, wear only cotton, don't pay taxes, etc., it's an illusion. We can only kill in the most humane way possible. If you want to try other methods first, fine. I did. But if you make the decision to thin out the squirrel population, I do recommend dropping the cage in the 4 1/2 foot trash bin and closing the lid. I don't recommend watching to see how long it takes. It usually takes 5 to 10 seconds, but may take 15-30. It's not something I want to do, but it is something I will do. You will feel guilty, because you wish you lived in a world where you didn't have to kill, or have someone else kill for you, but in fact you do. An animal kills another animal without guilt. We aren't so lucky.

  • cydonia33

    I'm crazy--- I keep the squirrels from messing w/my yard by keeping them, and the birds, VERY well fed. I have feeders everywhere and so do most of my neighbors. It works for me.


  • annaneaves

    I've mentioned this before, but My grandmother-in-law feeds squirrels raccoons, stray cats, and whatever else might wander into her yard. They don't do any damage to her gardens (and they are beautiful) or house or anything else. But boy do thoose coons get impatient when she's late with the food!!! They had more than 20 of them at the peak time this year. there were four females with litters. If they could I'm sure they'd come right into the house. She has a special feeder just for the squirrels, Its basically a big glass (or plastic) bottle hung from a tree with a hole or two cut in the side. They climb into the bottle and then they are safe from predators (like hawks and cats) And then you get a perfect view of them as they snack.

  • Gorfram

    Hi, I'm new to this forum, hope you don't mind my jumping in...

    I've had pretty good results with a multi-layered strategy:
    - cat door for cat who hunts
    - bird netting stapled down around all my plants, with a mulch including cat hair (the hunter's) and coffee grounds (the smell puts them off) on top
    - safflower seed in the birdfeeder
    - and, last but not least, a $2.99, perfectly legal, non-toxic bright green water pistol.

    The water pistol was great fun for about a week, and then all the local squirrels learned to stay out of range (about 16 ft on the level). That was 2 or 3 years ago, and still the squirrels scurry like mad if I even begin to reach toward where the pistol might be. I can't be out there 24/7 of course, which is why the netting, repellent mulches, and cat back-up are also important.

    I highly recommend the water pistol. Up until the squirels get wise, good lord it's fun! :) :) :)

    - Evelyn

  • october17

    Paintball gun works good for scaring them away. But they are back in less than 10 min. Maybe I just have to be more persistent, but who has time? I have three squirrel-proof feeders and now have had to squirrel-proof the suet. Twice now I've found a squirrel inside one of the squirrel-proof feeders (I guess the feeder is over 10 yrs old)!!!! Scared the bejesus out of me!!!! I'm thinking about the trap/drown solution. Don't know if I can do it tho. (I never hit them with paintballs, just get close. My BF did kill one, we all felt terrible!)

  • christy2828

    Jack Russels do the trick. Especially if you teach them the word SQUIRREL. You should see her go!! They unfortunately caught one last week, and were kind enough to bring it to me. Ugh.

  • rudysmallfry

    Boogie Bass!! It works with cats. Maybe it'll scare squirrels too!

  • youngardener

    After growing continuously frustrated with squirrels digging up my seeds, I planted garlic cloves in the soil along with the seeds. I then sprinkled wet minced garlic on top of the soil along with garlic powder and spices. My concoction was smelly but also effective. The squirrels were warded off. My advice is the more garlic the better.

  • jbann23

    Squirrels, like rats, will multiply in accordance to the available food supply of an area. Feeding them is like feeding grass, all of a sudden there's twice as many around. If you remove their favorite food, like the peanuts you put out, they'll pay you back by going after your bulbs, etc. Usually a squirrel can beat a cat in a fair fight so no luck there. Chicken wire fencing, unsightly as it is, has kept our critters at bay and they're slowly leaving the area - now there's only a couple left.

  • lyttol

    Okay, I've read the lot, here are my two cents:

    a) Poisoning: irresponsible
    b) Air pistol: fair enough if you are an excellent shot. I would not want the responsibility of only wounding an animal -> long painful death
    c) Trapping and drowning. Honourable. If you check the traps regularly and are prepared to get your hands "dirty" and kill the creature yourself. We live in a nanny state, nature is cruel. Better to compost the remains rather than trashing them, at least then you are recycling.

    For me, I suspect the solution is to feed them. I live in a city, and my garden is between two rows of houses. There are only a few trees. I've seen the squirrels being very territorial and fighting amongst themselves. I guess that however much food I leave out, there will never be more than 3 squirrel nests between the houses. I'm happy to live with this many squirrels (but sympathise with those of you who live in areas with more trees.)

    So my question is, what do the little furry critters like to eat more than my tulip bulbs?


  • jbann23

    lyttol, if you're going to feed them they love peanuts and/or sunflower seed. You'll get a number of birds that like peanuts too. Keep them (peanuts) elevated or you might end up with other vermin sneaking around.

  • lyttol

    Thanks jbann I go buy some peanuts!

  • reeve1

    I have two suggestions:
    First, there is a product called Shake-Away that is out now. I have not tried it but some people have appeared to have had good success with it.

    Secondly, I had heard that moth balls will keep possums out of your garden. This is my first year to have trouble with digging squirrels, so I purchased some moth balls and placed them out in the garden in 1 or 2 in each of my pots. The squirrels usually hit me first thing in the morning. So far, no sign of the cute little buggers.

    I'll let you know if the moth balls work or if I will be investing in Shake-Away!

    Good luck and happy gardening!


  • wally43

    We inadvertently caught and killed a squirrel in a Victor Electronic Rat Trap. Since that didn't sit well with a certain member of the household, we will start feeding them with peanuts, etc. If enough of us do this, it might stimulate the farming economy.

  • gashg

    I have certainly learned a lot here. I have been stumped as to why the squirrels I had in Memphis, TN left my large garden alone while the squirels here in my Georgia neighborhood are digging up everything in sight. Now I know, partly.
    I had a large walnut tree in Memphis and my neighbors had two pecan trees. My garden wasn't worth the climb down the tree trunk.
    Here in Georgia I only have oaks. Now that all the acorns are gone, my seedlings and seeds are a buffet waiting to be taken.
    My plan is to try the blood meal and try to find a commercial repellent that won't harm them. I'm not above getting out the pellet gun, but I'd rahter not do that if I can find something better for all parties.
    Feeding the squirrels continuously is becoming less of a real option as most of my spare cash is going into my gas tank these days.
    Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
    Good luck to everyone with your fights against these fuzzy little saboteurs - be they intentional or just hungry.

  • grainger

    IÂve read this entire thread and am amused at the ÂcanÂt we just all get along comments. Those who have had gray squirrel problems know thatÂs impossible. Many of us have tried non-lethal means to keep squirrels from causing damage, and most of us have found that the only way to keep a squirrel from chewing up your house or destroying your garden is to either kill them or relocate them. And that only keeps their population down for a few months. Whatever means you use to reduce their population, it will be an ongoing campaign, year after year.

    Scary Squirrel Facts
    - Females reach sexual maturity at about one year on average, but 6 months is not unheard of. Males reach sexual maturity at about one year of age.
    - Squirrels usually have two litters per year with up to five pups per litter, and an average of three. Do the math. Even if you manage to eradicate every squirrel in your neighborhood, the excess population from surrounding areas will move in quickly. Aside from an occasional hawk or domestic cat, urban squirrels have no predators.
    - A squirrelÂs teeth never stop growing, with their incisors growing about six inches per year. They clean and sharpen their teeth by chewing on wood. This is why you see so many cut twigs and branches under your trees, and why your occupied attic is chewed to bits.

    Why squirrels will tear up attics, gardens and trees in one area and not in another is unknowable. Feeding squirrels works for some people (a few) while for others it simply increases the population, causing even more problems. From my own experience, feeding squirrels only attracts more of them, resulting in more damage. Also from my own experience, it seems that pepper additives do not keep squirrels from raiding your bird feeders. After mixing liberal doses of the stuff to my bird seed IÂve seen squirrels eat their fill and then rub their irritated faces along the entire length of the top of my wood fence  much like a cat rubbing their face on a catnip toy, only to go back for more seed (and pepper). It simply was not effective for me. For others it may be effective, but I have my doubts.

    I live in a townhouse neighborhood with lots of mature oaks and a few people who love to feed the squirrels. I used to feed the birds but the squirrels considered every obstacle I put in their way to be a challenge. There were a couple of them that would sit on my wire encased squirrel-proof feeder for long periods chewing on the wire. Unbelieveably, they were making progress and it was only a matter of time before they gained access. Others would jump at the feeder, knocking seed to the ground. So, I finally gave up.

    Because of the local squirrel population, I no longer feed the birds but I do maintain a full birdbath for the local birds. Of course the squirrels also use the birdbath, and they use my ornamental dogwood as part of their access route. They have chewed so much bark off this mature tree IÂm...

  • ziibiikwe

    I just found this site and love it. I am trying to learn as much as I can about gardening and this helps me out. Very interesting conversations both for and against terminating the little buggers...I am from Michigan and it has been said that we have a season for everything...and thats pretty much true..well except people. I will tell you that squirrels "are some good eatin...LOL" Seriously, we have a small game season and that helps to thin out the squirrel population....I would be willing to bet that if you put an ad in your local paper or posted signs at the grocery stores, you could get someone to trap them for you and take them away...most likely to never come back. I know that most people can't imagine eating a squirrel but my Grandma taught me how to prepare them and nope, they don't taste like chicken. My hubby is the Director of Natural Resources for our tribe and employees two wildlife biologists...I will ask them how best to keep them away and send word to you all. I live in the middle of a forest and I don't have any squirrel troubles....just rabbits and deer. If someone could tell me a sure fire way to get rid of them...I would appreciate it. We can shoot them because we enjoy both rabbit and deer but its not the right time of the year to take them....I have done my research and found that I can use hair, kid pee, amonia, hot sauce with water, smelly bar soap, dirty socks or socks with dryer sheets in them....and I did almost all of those today....Kid pee...thats a good one..two of my boys volunteered to help me out right away...was pretty much the funniest thing I have seen in a long time....Help, I need to stop little bunny foo-foo from hopping through my forest....

  • grainger

    @ziibiikwe: I read years ago that the most effective deer deterrents are those based on rotten eggs. Check out this link - It's a short artice from Auburn Univ. that summarizes a test to see which products were best at deterring deer from eating your plants. Of the products they tested, they found a rotten egg product from Havahart to be the best. They didnÂt say how long the treatment would last, but IÂm sure Havahart has a web page with more info. I don't know if any of the rabbit deterrent products work.

    As for harvesting squirrel - in most urban areas squirrels are protected and it's against the law to trap or kill them. In that situation, your only (legal) option is to call the local gov't and see if someone will come out and live-trap them and then take them away. (Don't worry, we're from the government and we're here to help you.)

    When I was a youngster my Dad and I went hunting every year for both deer and small game - mostly squirrel. Like most wild game, if cooked properly squirrel (and rabbit) is very tasty.

  • andsu

    Squirrels DO NOT like daffodils! Plant them everywhere!

  • allysonj9

    Last year my dad and I planted Strawberry and cucumber seeds on our back patio. And just when the strawberries were ripe... WHAPA!!! The squirrels ate em up That same year my mom bought some expencive bulbs from QVC and planted them in our front yard. The next day the places where my mom planted those bulbs are empty. This year my mom bought some bulbs from Shoprite and planted them 2 days ago with me and my brothers. My mom and my 9 and 2 yr old brothers and I are trying everything we can to stop the annoying pests. Before we planted our bulbs, my mom sprinkled Cayenne and Crushed peppers all over the place. IT STILL DIDNT WORK!!! They already ate 4 bulbs and counting. After looking at the suggestions here on this page, we are gonna try garlic, mint, repelents, and uhh.. lol..Urine... We are very desperate but not deperate enough to resort to poisons and traps and drowning and all that. If u guys have any ideas to stop the little varmits or if there are any kinds of plants they dont eat, plz let us know. But no killing or injuring. Im against animal cruelty and stuff. But I HATE those adorable and devilsh varmits!

  • dreamtime

    Sparky- I have purple bachelor buttons and the squirrels immediately began eating them when I introduced them to my garden. I noticed they left my chive flowers alone so I took several of my chive flowers, crushed them and spread the petals around my plant and rubbed the oil on the leaves of the plant itself. So far so good! My gerbera have yet to bloom but I plan on doing the same, that will be the real test. I will keep you posted.

  • heidi55

    Squirrels just want to live and raise their young just like people do. How are they supposed to know that they arenÂt supposed to do what comes naturally to them?

    If they go after your plants, just plant some extras. If you live in an area with wildlife, you need to learn to co-exist. If you donÂt like that option, move to an apartment and problem solved.

    When using poison, did you even consider that you might end up poisoning a small child or someoneÂs pet? If your conscience doesnÂt get you - the law will.

    Just learn to live with the squirrels and youÂll be less stressed in the long run.

  • cherylmc

    Just a couple suggestions:
    If you have a cat or access to a can spread soiled cat litter around the plants or cat hair and the rabbits, squirrels etc, smell predator and will avoid the area. This doesn't work all the time, but it does work a lot. Note the litter has to be dirty...I mean cat feces included. I've had success with the litter and hair.

    Also, it's sort of interesting to note that in the last couple years there has been a bumper crop of squirrels, while there was a shortage of acorns in a lot of different parts of the country. Consequently the squirrels were more agressive than usual in the last year or so. (and that's saying something!!) Let's hope the acorns return or we'll all be developing rock gardens for less stress

    Here is a link that might be useful: CNN article on squirrels and acorn shortage

  • billybob1999

    Keep in mind that a properly cleaned and dressed squirrel can be delicious. I often compliment my squirrels with fresh tomatoes and herbs from my garden. Ironically, these are some of the things they are trying to get when I get 'em. Here is a good recipe - enjoy:
    Squirrel Pie
    Clean, skin and cut two squirrels into small pieces, use a good sharp knife (makes it easier). Soak in salted water, or water with a little vinegar added, changing water several times. Drain, dry and roll in seasoned flour. Sauté in pork or bacon fat until slightly browned, then place in greased pie dish or bowl, add two cups liquid (made up of wine, cider, beer, crushed fruit , or a little vinegar, and water or stock), salt and pepper, one thinly sliced onion, herbs of your choice. Cover and cook on top stove for 1 ½, or in moderate oven for two hours. Remove and thicken the stock with a little flour. Take out part of the gravy and add tomatoes, sauce or catsup, to serve with the pie. Meanwhile, cover meat dish with pastry or biscuit dough, slit for steam to escape, and bake for 20 minutes in hot oven.

  • spicy_007

    If I soak Peanuts in rat poision solution will they eat them? Everyday they are attacking my plants, I tried critter ridder and that worked for about 4 weeks then they just dug rite through.

    Palm Harbor, FL

  • bruce 40205

    This has been the funniest postings I have ever read. My girlfriend and I laughed so hard we about died liked the squirrels. Yes we have bulb eating squirrels but have found that the way to stop the madness is to simply set out a big big plate of nuts like "Texas roadhouse" nuts squirrels are territorial varmints and you won't get a population increase because you keeping moving your plate of nuts farther and farther away from your garden it teaches the critters if they want a large cash of nuts they won't get them from the garden. Get a big big lots lots of acorns and feed them away from your garden it works and then once you have a trusted relationship with the fat critters you can easily catch them or shoot them although we recommend you just try the method and be at peace you can actually move tem anywhere you choose if the ain't got no baies in the trees next to your garden.

  • ruby

    ok ... this is all very interesting but i'm still waiting for someone to let me know what plants squirrels WON'T eat (if any?).

  • steelskies

    I thought I heard somehwere that putting moth balls near the tulips worked? Anyone hear of this?

  • Spellbound

    Yes, the moth balls idea was mentioned several times in this thread.

    What I want to know is how to prevent them from eating flowers. I plant morning glories and they climb along the vines and bite the buds off before they've bloomed, and sometimes I can't grow any flowers at all because they bite the heads off over and over so that the flowers can't grow - I'm left with leaves and a stem that just keeps getting shorter.

    I'm going to get some chickenwire to protect my bulbs (many of which have been chewed up this year) but what do you do when they're eating the flowers?

    I'm finding this thread very depressing.

  • 3WOOD

    The thought of harming one squirrel because they have eaten your flowers is disgusting. I'm amazed how easily we can justify ourselves as we go through life not respecting God's greatest gift.I'ts not about cute or not cute it about right and wrong. I suspect when you shoot or lay out your poisons you feel what your doing is wrong but you do it anyway.

  • Helen Gallegos 5

    I didn't find any flower suggestions amont all these answers. Except daffodils which only flower in spring. If we just grow flowers they don't like, they won't come around. Anyone what flowers?

  • tammy

    Last year I had planted Colius and Impatiens.. had NO problem at all with squirrels. (Therefore, they would be good ones to plant). This year I made the mistake of changing it up... planted begonia, petunia, and salvia.. they are going to town on the begonias and salvia!!! (So far they haven't touched the petunia.) I plan to plant colius, impatiens, and petunias next year... seems to be pretty safe.

  • Cara Mia 5a (No. IL)

    I've read alot about how cruel it is to kill the animals that are reeking havoc on gardens. Most often, the creature doing the most damage is the cute furry lovable little creature known as a squirrel. God's beautiful creature to be sure. This is a wonderful statement about God and his sacred creature. If you believe this, great. Don't do anything to disuade them from ruining all of your laborious efforts to make your home and life more tolerable in these very trying times in history. Beauty in our lives is sometimes the only thing that keeps our heads and hearts sane.

    However, if you find this warm and fuzzy creature to be a helacious little monster that brings nothing but grief to your colorful happy place, then get rid of them. The problem lies in the method of disposal. Many are available, but only one is permanent, death. There are various ways to do this, but my personal preference is getting the old Benjamin Sheradin out and waiting in the upstairs window for their digging frenzies to begin which is my cue to shoot. They really never know what hits them if you are a good shot (and I am). If poisons are used, you take the risk of not only injuring the neighbor's pets, but you may inadvertantly poison your own beloved housemates. Also, watching them die slowly is insane if you don't have to. These little creatures have their place as we do ours.

    In reality, the little squirrel is a rat with a bushy tail. They are disease carriers as they harbour tiny creatures that are not as cute as their hosts. If infected with something that came from the host or it's guest, it can bring about serious long lasting problems or even death to you or your animals. Most of these cute furry creatures carry a rabies gene. If infected, you may have serious consequences. Think they're cute now? Feed them and love them at your own peril, but for me, they gotta go. In my little part of this planet, there is not enough room. Shooting is THE most humane way to rid them from your gardens and attics. They multiply rapidly so eradicating them completely or getting them on the endangered species list is not likely to happen in our lifetimes. Everyone has to use their own judgement in deciding whether they are friend or foe. Just be humane about it.

  • Krissy

    I CAN NOT believe my eyes!!! How can u heartless people do such horrible things to such adorable creatures? True they can b a problem but to poison them? It's not like they just stop breathing, THEY SUFFER and suffer horribly!! And picking them off with pellet guns? Disgusting!!!!! I grow a garden and u know what they eat mine too but I say screw it let them eat it! If u can't find a HUMANE way to deter them then grow a garden! Ur all just heartless!

  • dread fairy

    Gee, it must be nice to live in an area where you don't have enough squirrels to have a problem. Or where you have enough money AND space to 'just share your bounty.' I only have space on my RENTAL property to plant things in containers. I have to buy every container AND all my dirt AND all my seeds AND all my fertilizer AND all the pest control for bugs and critters AND all my water.

    I live in an area with one good paying company employer near by and even there I make just baaarely enough to get by with TWO people in the house working. I am not gardning simply for the heck of it, I am trying to grow some food. I am ONLY growing food, nothing ornamental because in my instance, ornamental things would be a waste of money. SO when I go outside to find that all the hard work that I went through, all my money spent, and all the precious small amount of time I have off was all wasted because those 'adorable, wittle furry critters' decided they wanted to just digg around in all my containers seemingly for fun, sorry I'm not so inclined to just share. WHAT TO SHARE! The buggers won't let ANYTHING grow. And how can you share when they take it ALL?

    I have had some success solving the 'digging for fun' problem by mulching with grass clippings and red pepper flakes and powder. It seems they only dig when they can see the nice soft dirt. But I know when my plants start fruiting I am going to have the worst onslaught yet. I live in a state just TEEMING with trees, right in a small town super close to the woods. CRITTERS EVERYWHERE. It must be nice to live somewhere where they only take a little, or you have the space to grow mass amounts. Someday I will have that too. But for now if I have to resort to heafty measures I WILL go there.

  • skippy05

    Squirrels pulled my gerber daisies apart.............
    But I could never hurt them, I 'll just have to find a different flower to plant.........
    I give them peanuts but they still wrecked my flowers.

    IN DEFENSE of POSSUMS!!! Possums do NOT eat flowers! They have NEVER destroyed a flower or dug a hole in my yard!!!
    PLEASE do a search on possums & you will discover they are very docile creatures! They really do not bother anyone! They eat all the things we hate - slugs, bugs, roaches, mice etc. They also like cat food & LOVE flavored yogurt. PLEASE be kind to possums! They are NOT rodents, they are marsupials, they are related to kangaroos, they have pouches. I put yogurt out every nite for the little possum who comes for dinner. She usually just hides in the corner, comes out for yogurt. Possums & cats seem to get along, they do not bother each other. PLEASE DO NOT HURT a POSSUM!
    Animals were here before us, we all need to live together!
    Personally, I prefer animals to some of the disgusting, filthy people that live in our neighborhood!

  • Siobhan 10012

    Arghhhh!!! I have had it! I live in NYC and have 5 large tomato plants and an herb garden on my fire escape. When Spring began I had a squirrel hanging out eatting his breakfast every morning 5:30 am like clockwork next to my a/c which is near but not on my fire escape window. He would scratch or eat or something in which he banged on the accordion thing on the a/s side waking up me and my dogs. After trying to block his gateway unsuccessfully I put a broomstick outside leaning on that sill so I could pop up and scare him. I actually made contact with him & the stick a couple times before he got away so he finally got the hint and stopped coming. I had maybe 3 weeks of peace. I wrapped chicken wire around my planters but the last few days I found loose dirt all around. I went out today and found nuts buried in my planters so clearly they figured how to get around the chicken wire.

    Being in NYC - I realize there are not many places for them to bury their nuts but they need to find another person's planter! I won't consider poison. I bought window screening today and placed it around the beds covering the dirt so burying is not an option. My herb garden planter is one of those long ones so I leaned it against a pen I have out there so the dogs don't fall off and put the screening over the side of pen and the planter. Will this screening block the sun? I'm not worried too much about the tomato planters since it's just the dirt I covered but Im a bit concerned about the basil & parsley. Will the sun be blocked to much? It is literally window screening.

  • Phyllis Lavender

    I use to love the little things but they have eaten all my flowers that I spent a lot of hard earned money on. I wish there was something I could do to get rid of them but I have tried everrything. I think they are just rat's with a better tail!

  • jesse james

    i don;t have a problem with sqirrels ever since i invested in a high powered pellet gun-only takes one shot- if you're good- lawn and garden have never looked better--

  • Deb

    I have dealt with the squirrel problem for 13 years +. I love and enjoy them and it is not true that they carry illnesses. Even rabies is quite rare . I also have two pet rats which are extremely clean and smart like my dogs I have rescued little squirrels, I love them as a species but they are not having anymore of my hard work, And it is hard working clay soil, never mind having to watch it all day. After 13 years I still cant fill even one basket of tomatoes or cucumbers. They ate the young watermelons broke the tomato plants, uprooted just about everything else. I have been wanting to help my neighbors with fresh veggies but I am not left with even enough for me . In spite of my love of this animal I must do something or this will be my last year because it is physically and mentally killing me. Shooting them is illegal ,trapping is useless and expensive.... so I am bringing out my slingshot been a while ! (hot pepper sauce is temporarily uncomfortable but does no permanent damage)so if someone gets that to work it would be better then having to resort to this option. (I tried it many times)I also heard from someone who tried it predator urine it only works if the animal knows its a big predator. Mine are city dwellers who are not afraid of a rottweiler or my four dogs. As soon as they go in they are there. Haunting :o) or soon they will be. Sorry skippy these veggies and flowers are all for me now you little thugs are too greedy and destructive. Move on or be mowed under. I still feel bad but this is insane like a gang here only to destroy. Last year they bit almost every tomato in the garden. The ones not bit were on the ground. Its not a hobby garden but serious hard work.... My husband will be pleased he was all for killing them the first day. I tried every legal means,tried to live with them nothing worked. No other choice left sadly. And for the record I know its probably been said before but If you want to feed squirrels wait till fall and use native foods they actually need like acorns,chestnuts,,, NOT PEANUTS EVER if you love them and your neighbors just don't PLEASE, because you are contributing to the problem. It has no nutritional value. The squirrels will have mangy coats, they wont forage for the proper food, which could mean starvation but most likely you will just have ugly bald squirrels digging up your garden to bury or find those peanuts . Hey I hit my practice target the second shot, but can I actually do it? I can only hope because I need my garden and my sanity intact.

  • mamalaoshi

    Wow, lots of opinions on here. I surprised to read through the whole thing and not one person mentioned that gray squirrels are an invasive species, driving out native squirrels and other wildlife, besides just annoying us humans. Something to consider when making decisions.
    I am a green gardener- don't like pesticides, like native plants, and I like to co-exist with the bugs and animals. However, when my babies can't play in the yard without getting bit by fire ants (another invasive species), I get out the pesticides. And when my garden with food I was planning to feed my family with gets dug up repeatedly (not eating the majority of the seedlings, just digging them ALL up to look for the ones they like), I am really tempted to let my husband go buy a gun and look up squirrel hunting season. I've replanted several times now- out of 5 or 6 packages of sunflower seeds, I've gotten 4 plants, peas- 1 plant...

    Thanks for all the ideas (and laughs). I'm going to try the chicken wire on the ground and pepper flakes, and if that doesn't work, we are getting the gun.

  • PonyMann

    Well. I have tries all of the above except poison which is prohibited.
    Finally got tired of planting vegetables and flowers for the benefit of the rodents
    First I built an 8x12 hothouse with chicken wire (1 inch squares)for starting and some exotics.
    Worked great but too costly to build one that will produce enough food to be reasonable.
    Note I live in a suburb which adjoins Farm land. We have tons of cats. Barn cats, Indoor outdoor, cats Feral cats, etc.
    What do cats like? Catnip!!
    I have about 20 catnip plants started from seeds in pots wrapped in hardware cloth all over the place
    When the leaves get big enough they pop through the wire and the kittys eat them but don't destroy the whole plant.
    The squirrels have vanished.
    And on a nice summer evening the momma cats bring the babies to drink from the fountain Further discouraging the rodent population. Not sure if the cats ate them or scared them off and I don't care. My veges and flowers are growing just fine.
    I grow black sunflowers in the "waste" areas of my yard along with wildflowers as a ground cover. The song birds eat them right off the stalk
    Northern Cardinals love black sunflowers. At times I have had as many as 20 munching away I even have pics.

  • SiriElizabeth

    WOW. what a bunch of nutcases with the drowning, poisoning, etc. good luck in your next stink bugs!

    excluding ppl who truly survive on their produce and must kill squirrels to live. anyone posting on the internet for help with a squirrel problem fit into that category? LMFHO!

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