Protect Your Containers and Plants From Digging Squirrels

2 Materials
5 Minutes

I’ve been battling with the squirrels digging in my containers and destroying newly planted flowers. I was looking for a deterrent and solution that won't harm my plants and hopefully will keep the squirrels away!
protect your containers and plants from digging squirrels
It's so frustrating to plant your pots and have the squirrels dig them up, breaking them and destroying the roots. It's as if their squirrel radar goes off and they can sniff out fresh garden dirt!
protect your containers and plants from digging squirrels
We have a very healthy squirrel population with all our trees. We’ve been to war with squirrels in our attic, under our porch and had a  squirrel stowaway on our boat a few years ago. I’m determined keep them out of my containers. . .
protect your containers and plants from digging squirrels
I picked up some cayenne pepper and plastic forks from Dollar Tree. The forks work as a physical barrier with the tines pointed up and inserted into the soil. You can also use wood/bamboo skewers (that you use for kebabs on the grill) inserted in your containers. The mini wood stakes also work as a deterrent to keep the squirrels from pouncing in your pots and digging around.
protect your containers and plants from digging squirrels
I sprinkled the cayenne pepper liberally on the surface of the soil and on the edges of the pots. The 2.25 ounce bottle of cayenne is a bargain for $1, compared to purchasing it at the grocery store.
protect your containers and plants from digging squirrels
The cayenne pepper won’t hurt the plants and hopefully with one lick of the hot pepper off their paws and they’ll scurry away never to return! I’ve had to reapply the cayenne with our rain showers and after watering the pots, but it’s worth the effort until they get the ‘do not dig here’ memo. I'll keep you updated!
protect your containers and plants from digging squirrels
You can see more garden blooms around the Potting Shed, here.
Keep Calm and Cayenne On!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 20 questions
  • Lavernezimmerman
    on Jun 1, 2019

    Beautiful Bichons. I have one & don’t have a big problem with eye stain but with black stuff Harding at the corner of his eyes. Do you have any suggestions for me? Thanks and I’m headed to the Dollar store right now to get my forks & pepper to try to train those pesky squirrels to go somewhere else.

    • Debra
      on Jun 8, 2019

      As far as the eye stain on your dogs eyes..I use contact won't hurt our eyes and neither does our dogs..and we don't put it in their eyes..just on works for me..use it liberally..

  • Carol Ocheltree
    on Jun 1, 2019

    Will this work for chickens ?

  • Debbie
    on Jul 1, 2019

    will this work on my husband? any suggestion?

Join the conversation

3 of 91 comments
  • Diane Hamilton Hinkle
    on Jun 1, 2019

    A squirrel would surely not eat a mothball! The strong aroma might mean a hasty exit, I hope. I buy unsalted peanuts in their shells for the squirrels and feed them away from my plants. And they still dig up everything and plant black walnuts everywhere, even in my big potted plants. Walnuts emit some sort of substance into soil and many plants will not grow where they do. I know personally that no tomato plant will grow near a walnut tree.

    • Sal1603
      on Jul 6, 2019

      I have a neighbor that feeds them, they bring the peanuts to my home and destroy my lovely flowers, this is not being very thoughtful to your neighbors, not only are they destroying your plants, have you given consideration to the damage they are doing to the neighbors? Squirrels are cute but not when they do damage!

  • Diane Hamilton Hinkle
    on Jul 6, 2019

    I actually have been feeding a family of crows for years. The squirrels just showed up uninvited. Neighbors on both sides know I feed the crows. It is a rural area on the river with no neighbors across the street. The walnut trees are not on my property. The squirrels have planted them in every pot, every flowerbed, everywhere and I had nothing to do with them. I would never do anything purposely to upset any neighbor.

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