by Adam Pasco

What's up with the squirrels in my garden? Why can't they stick to the peanut feeders and keep off my lawn!

SquirrelWhat's up with the squirrels in my garden? Why can't they stick to the peanut feeders and keep off my lawn! For the past few weeks they've been relentlessly digging holes here, there, everywhere in my lawn.

I think they're burying walnuts collected from a neighbour's tree, then coming into my garden to find places to bury them. The lawn's really looking worse for wear, but their activities aren't restricted to the green sward. Pots, raised beds and borders are all alive with their scratching excavations.

For many years I boasted to friends that were complaining about squirrels that I didn't have any visitors, but they've now arrived in force. On one occasion I counted three on my lawn!

My squirrels are as bold as they come. When I open the door and shout "shoo, go away" (or nice polite requests like this in slightly raised tones) they just turn, give me the eye, then return to whatever mischief they were up to.

They're quite happy walking right up to our glazed patio doors to taunt Magic, our black poodle. While Magic goes ballistic, jumping and barking up at the door, the squirrels just ignore her and continue ferreting in the pots and beds.

Burying nuts is one thing, but I know they'll be back in spring to dig them up again. And when those they miss germinate I'll have a veritable forest of walnut seedlings to dig up. Anyone want a tree?

What's the answer? Is there a deterrent that works (and no, I haven't got a shotgun)? Live and let live...that's fine, but I wish they'd stop digging holes in my lawn!

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Talkback: Squirrels
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Gardeners' World Web User 05/11/2007 at 22:07

Chicken wire on pots stops my bulbs being dug up - lawns no idea. Would love to sort the problem out!!!

Gardeners' World Web User 06/11/2007 at 02:10

They don't like chili powder. That's about all you can do really. It'll wash away every time it rains, but at least you can cover your tulips next spring. (yes, they eat tulip flowers too!)

Gardeners' World Web User 06/11/2007 at 14:31

To be honest I love squirrels - I have a special maize feeder for mine - they love it and leave everything else alone. I like to try to get on with nature instead of trying to deter it!

Gardeners' World Web User 06/11/2007 at 19:26

You are lucky! We don't have the furry nuisances here in Guernsey. Enjoy your squirrels!

Gardeners' World Web User 08/11/2007 at 15:59

i have the same problem with the squirrels. i spent two days digging up oak tree spalings. in the garden of the house we moved into in july. but there so much fun to watch what the hell i like them.

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