Squirrels: My Dreaded Garden Foe

As an urban container gardener, squirrels are my sworn enemy.

I'm sure any neighbor within earshot can hear me loudly swearing at any squirrel on my front or back porch.

I hated the way they destroyed my hard work in the past by burying their scavenged foodstuffs in my containers.  Littering both my front and back deck with the stems, petals and in some cases the whole flower I just planted.

They look cute, fuzzy and harmless until they start munching on your Petunias.

I curse their very existence.

Like most of you I thought of squirrels as  semi-tame adorable little creature gently romping through the urban & suburban landscape; prone to chasing one another, hiding acorns and chattering in the trees.

Until I met Frank the squirrel.  That was the beginning of the end.

Aside from the fact he was a fried chicken eating squirrel, he did his best to destroy almost every container I had personally planted for an acquaintance that season.

I don't spend hours planning, shopping, schlepping dirt & flowers up three flights of stairs and hundreds of dollars for a rat with a fluffier tail to undo all of my work.

It was on.  The war had begun.

The following spring, I noticed that my every planter that I planted on my back porch had died.  Scorched earth---nothing left.

I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong.  I'm a meticulous groomer and am careful about watering.  Upon closer inspection I saw that the plants had been partially pulled up exposing their roots--- leaving them to slowly die.

Over the course of the next few seasons I tried several natural remedies to get rid of these dreaded pests.  I tried black pepper, red pepper, even steel wool.  Nothing worked.

The squirrels were winning.

But the tide turned last year.

I finally found something named Repel All that won't harm my plants or those dreaded beasts but will keep them away.

So while I'm hopeful for this impending growing season, I know that the war still rages.  I saw a big fat squirrel giving me the eye from my back porch just yesterday.

Now that  I got their little furry number,  my flowers just may have a fighting chance.

At least one garden foe may be vanquished.  I wonder repels all works on bunnies?

They're next.



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  • I do a lot of urban gardening in Oak Lawn and coxist amicably with the squirrels. Whatever they need to stay alive, I'm glad to share it with them.

  • Squirrels are the @%?*! devil. See how they got Julie's hopes up then wrecked her garden?


  • Try coyote urine. Really. (You can buy this stuff; you don't have to go catching the coyotes ambling through our urban landscape to get it.)

    Aquinas, I love the idea of peaceable coexistence, but I'm with the Woodlawn Wonder. I think our critters are truly over the top, at least where Iive, smack in the middle of the city on the south side.

    We have had: flea-carrying possums infest our petless house with fleas; raccons have babies in our basement doorway; raccons and squirrels move in and do a time-share in the wall space in a back addition to our house; creepy bold daytime raccoons leer at us from trees and attack our dog in the grass (the raccoon lost); and the one time we actually managed to grow a pepper vine, a squirrel waited until our one pepper was full grown but not quite ready for picking, and bit the whole thing off. Sadly for the little gourmand, the pepper was too hot for him and he left it, half eaten, on our walkway.

    One summer at our old apartment we had sunflowers growing; our toddler was so excited for them to bloom when they were about six feet high. When they were just on the point of blooming, a squirrel snapped off all the flower heads right at the neck and hauled the whole bunch of them away to his evil hideout.

    These squirrels mean business, bad business.

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