Destructive Squirrels

I would like to know what to do about the squirrels here in Camden, New Jersey. I used to think they were cute but never realized how destructive they can be. Not only do they get into attics and chew the wiring, which can start a fire, they also chew the tops off all the flowers, tiger lilies, peonies and impatiens and the tiny tomatoes before they can mature. I have put hot pepper, mothballs, black pepper and blood meal in the flowerbeds, and it still hasn't discouraged them.

--iVillager mardeanne

Question:

You are not alone in your dismay at the havoc squirrels can cause. They can be tremendously damaging to gardeners' hard work. Here are a few ways of dealing with these mischievous little critters.

In order to stop them from gaining entry to trees, trim lower limbs near the trunk, and wrap barriers around each individual trunk. You can cover shrubs, fruits and certain veggies with wire netting to protect them. Newly planted bulbs will also benefit from being covered by wire netting. It will keep the squirrels from digging them up. If you're desperate, you can also resort to squirrel traps and bait.

A remedy that I have not tried that I read about from a gardener on iVillage is peppermint oil. She swears that squirrels are immediately repelled by it. Another organic ingredient is capsicum, which is the spicy part of hot peppers. Try an animal repellent with capsicum in it. Or look for it on www.Deerbusters.com. Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress.

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