Squirrels are cute critters that can be surprisingly determined. When that determination is focused on tearing up your flower pots, it can feel like a nightmare. Squirrels can seriously damage your potted flowers to the point where the life of the flower may hang in the balance.
For all of these reasons, you may find yourself wondering what you can do to keep a squirrel out of your flower pots. Thankfully, there are several remedies that you can try to resolve the issue without having to call for professional help.
If you haven’t planted yet, you can solve the problem by putting a layer of chicken wire or cloth on top of the soil. You can also keep squirrels out of your flower pots by sprinkling cayenne pepper on the soil. Other home remedies include sonic deterrents, physical barriers, and bone meal fertilization.
Table of Contents
- Why Do Squirrels Dig in Flower Pots?
- How Do Squirrels Damage Potted Flowers?
- Home Remedies to Keep Squirrels Out of Flower Pots
- Moth Balls to Keep Squirrels Out of Flower Pots
- Use Physical Barriers to Keep Squirrels Away
- Tidy Up Your Yard
- Related Questions
Why Do Squirrels Dig in Flower Pots?
There’s a natural reason why squirrels may continuously dig in your flower pots. Put simply, squirrels dig to bury food that they’ve found but don’t wish to eat yet.
For example, a squirrel that lives by your yard might have found an acorn that it wants to bury somewhere. As it searches for the right location, it could zero in on your flower pots.
This happens for several reasons. First, flower pots are easier for squirrels to dig into than the hard, compact dirt that they typically find elsewhere. Additionally, your flower pots are an out-of-the-way location that seems, to a squirrel, like a spot that their food reserves will be safe.
How Do Squirrels Damage Potted Flowers?
Most homeowners don’t have any issues with squirrels. That changes when the squirrels begin ruining their potted plants. There are several ways that this occurs.
First, as the squirrel attempts to bury and retrieve its food, it may inadvertently dig up your bulbs or the seeds that you’ve planted. This can stop your potted flower from growing immediately.
Second, as the squirrel roots around in your pot, it may also begin chewing on plan stems. This can damage the plant tremendously and can even lead to its death if left unchecked. It’s for both of these reasons why outdoor enthusiasts are constantly searching for the best way to deal with a squirrel problem.
When these issues persist, many homeowners choose to hang their plants from the ceiling to solve the problem. However, you don’t have to take that step if you don’t want to. Instead, continue reading to learn how to resolve your squirrel issue in an easier way.
Home Remedies to Keep Squirrels Out of Flower Pots
Thankfully, homeowners have created a number of home remedies that can be used to deter squirrels from messing with your flower pots. Here are some of the best options that you can try to resolve this issue.
Use a Sonic Deterrent
One of the easiest ways to fix your squirrel problem is to install a sonic deterrent in your yard. These are devices that emit a high-pitched sound, which encourages animals like squirrels and chipmunks to leave the area.
Sonic deterrents emit noises that are too high-pitched for humans to hear. However, these sounds can usually be heard by dogs and cats. That makes this fix an option that will only work for homeowners who don’t have any pets. If you do have pets, move on to the next remedy.
Spray the Soil with a Homemade Repellant
If you visit a hardware store, you’re sure to find commercial repellants that claim to get rid of rodents like squirrels. However, many homeowners don’t wish to use these because of the chemicals they contain. Some of these chemicals could be harmful to the plant you’re trying to protect.
That’s why a better strategy is to create your own repellant spray. It’s easier to do than you might think. All that you need is:
- 1 bottle of water
- 1 tablespoon of ground cayenne pepper
- 2-3 drops of dish detergent
Simply gather these materials in an empty spray bottle, give it a shake to mix them together, and you’ll have a squirrel repellant that should do the trick. Even better, this repellant won’t do any damage to the plants that you’ve been trying to protect.
Once you’ve mixed this together, you won’t need to use much. A few good sprays should do the trick. However, you will need to reapply the repellant at regular intervals to make sure that its effects don’t wear off.
Try Fertilizing with Bone Meal
You can also solve your squirrel issue by fertilizing your plants with bone meal. It has an odor that squirrels hate. That means when you put some bone meal in your pot, you can be sure that a squirrel won’t be visiting it to hide away food anytime soon.
For the best results, just sprinkle a bit of bone meal on top of the soil. You don’t need to mix it in. By doing this, you’ll be sure that the squirrel smells the bone meal before it starts digging.
As an added bonus, bone meal is actually good for your plants. Just make sure that you don’t add too much, as doing so could harm your flowers more than it helps them. Regardless, this solution to your squirrel problem is a win-win.
Use Your Pet’s Fur
This remedy is only an option for homeowners who have a dog. If you do, then try to collect a bit of their fur the next time that you groom them. Then, sprinkle that fur on top of the soil of the plants that you wish to protect.
When you do this, the squirrels that have been terrorizing your flowers will pick up on the smell right away. This will cause them to keep their distance, as they’ll equate the scent from your dog’s fur with a nearby predator.
Try Planting Naturally-Repelling Flowers
There are some types of flowers and plants that repel squirrels naturally. Planting these near the flowers that you’re trying to protect is another way to solve your squirrel problem. Examples of plants that naturally repel squirrels include:
- Kaiser’s Crown
- Scented Marigolds
- Snow Crocus
- Garlic and peppermint
Moth Balls to Keep Squirrels Out of Flower Pots
Another option that you have is to put some mothballs near the pots that squirrels have been visiting. These have a scent that squirrels hate. Put a few near your flowers and you can be sure that no squirrels will disturb them.
If you decide to use this strategy, you will need to replace the mothballs every few weeks or so. The goal is to ensure that the smell they have is as fresh as possible.
That being said, it is worth noting that some humans dislike the smell of mothballs as well. If someone in your family hates this smell, then you’ll probably want to use one of the other strategies listed in this guide to solve your problem.
Use Physical Barriers to Keep Squirrels Away
If none of the remedies listed above work, then it might be time to put in some physical barriers to keep squirrels away from the plants you want to protect. Alternatively, this can be a good strategy to implement while you’re waiting for another to take effect.
There are several different barriers you can try. For instance, you might want to cover your plants with wire mesh, wire baskets, or another deterrent that prevents a squirrel from accessing the plant’s soil.
While this can sound inconvenient, it may also be an opportunity to add some flair to your garden. For example, some gardeners choose to grow their plants in bird cages or other decorative structures. These can keep the squirrels away while also making your garden look better.
Tidy Up Your Yard
It’s also worth noting that squirrels and other rodents are attracted to some yards more than others. Keeping your yard tidy can cause squirrels to look elsewhere when searching for a spot to bury their food.
There are a few ways you can accomplish this. First, make sure to keep your trees trimmed. You don’t want to give squirrels an easy place to rest in your yard.
Next, make sure that you rake up and remove nuts, acorns, and berries that fall on the ground. These food sources will attract all sorts of animals. The more animals that visit your yard, the more likely you are to have issues with your potted plants.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of eliminating food smells from your yard. These typically come from unsealed garbage cans and uncleaned grills. Fixing these issues can also prevent rodents from visiting your yard.
Do coffee grounds keep squirrels away?
Yes! Coffee grounds are another smell that squirrels hate. You can try sprinkling some on top of your soil the next time you notice that a squirrel has visited one of your potted plants.
Do squirrel traps work?
You should only put squirrel traps in your yard if you’ve already tried all of the remedies listed above. That being said, traps can be an effective last measure for solving a squirrel issue in your yard.
When purchasing them, be sure that you’re buying live traps that are meant specifically for squirrels. These keep the animals safe while still allowing you to catch them and get them out of your yard.