A Problem with Squirrels

by Carl Laws
(St. Louis, MO)

YOUR ROSE QUESTION: All five of my roses are in 15" pots and are thriving quite nicely for first-year plants.
A summer episode with powdery mildew was overcome thanks to your guidance.

Comes the fall now and a new problem has arisen.

A squirrel--hopefully just one and not a nest of them--likes to dig in the planters and for no apparent reason.
It's not stashing nuts or anything, just digging a hole 2" to 4" deep.

I've tried putting down a thick layer of blood meal topped with sulphur and that seems to work for a couple of days.

But the digging resumes a few days later.

A friend, who is not a rose grower, recommended putting moth balls in the planters, but I don't know what the chemicals will do to the plant, especially if it rains and they're dissolved into the soil.

Is there a way to keep this pesky critter away from my babies for good?

Thanks for your help.

Carl L.


Hello Carl,
I have squirrels where I live also. Quite a lot of them.
If you see one there will be more.

The reason they dig in your planters (and mine) is to hide their "loot".
And that is the ONLY reason for sure.

They are preparing for winter, and hide their food anyplace they can.

Ok: this is how I solved this problem: I went to Home Depot and bought bags of pebble rocks, about 4-5 inches big.

I put down 3 inch layer of those on top of my soil, and they haven't bothered my flower pots since.

The rocks have an added benefit, keeping the soil cool during hot summer months.

And the rocks look attractive as well.

My neighbors are doing the same, with the same results.

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