Posted: 30/10/2014 at 15:23
Yea, squirrels all right we have so many that a permanent state of war exists here - with them winning so far - but it's only been 18 years so I suppose I can't expect to win yet!!
However, one or two things we have learned over those years, including - cover all pots of bulbs with chicken wire and/or cuttings of holly and/or pyracantha - that does protect them quite alot as the horrible furry rats don't like getting there disgusting paws scratched. Lay branches of anything prickly over areas of beds with cubs in pinning them down with tent pegs or equivalent, we use holly and pyracantha because that's what we have growing and can this cut good bits from when needed. Crocus need especial defence as it appears to be caviar for them, especially purple ones - and yes, they do know the difference if you put single colours in blocks or in separate pots. The purple ones will be attacked before I have got the back door closed. The bulbs will come up quite normally in the spring, and when a decent size the prickles can be removed, and the flowers enjoyed - at least until the pigeons get to them, but that's another story! Use quite fine chicken wire if that is the route you go - it is surprising what small spaces the climbing rats can get through - which is why most 'squirrel proof' bird food feeders aren't. I've lost count of how many types of feeders we have bought, and the squirrels solve them all - many manufacturers have been quite surprised when I have told them their 'guaranteed squirrel proof feeders' are no such thing.
Please save yourselves the kindly efforts of telling me about chillies, garlic, pepper, soap or whatever else, been there, done that many, many, many times - and they thrive on it - especially the very hot chillies smeared neat all over the feeders, they just lick their chops and go on as usual!!