Pesky Squirrels

This week’s tip about squirrels and outdoor planters/gardens.

A bit about squirrels::

Squirrel reaching for the bird feeder
Squirrel reaching for the bird feeder

Squirrels are members of the family Sciuridae, consisting of small or medium-size rodents. The family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots (including woodchucks), flying squirrels, and prairie dogs. Squirrels are indigenous to the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa, and have been introduced to Australia. The earliest known squirrels date from the Eocene and are most closely related to the mountain beaver and to the dormouse among living rodent families.

Squirrels are generally small animals, ranging in size from the African pygmy squirrel at 7–10 cm (2.8–3.9 in) in length and just 10 g (0.35 oz) in weight, to the Alpine marmot, which is 53–73 cm (21–29 in) long and weighs from 5 to 8 kg (11 to 18 lb). Squirrels typically have slender bodies with bushy tails and large eyes. In general, their fur is soft and silky, although much thicker in some species than others. The color of squirrels is highly variable between—and often even within—species.

In general, the hind limbs are longer than the fore limbs, and they have four or five toes on each paw. Their paws include an often poorly developed thumb, and have soft pads on the undersides Unlike most mammals, Tree squirrels can descend a tree head-first. They do so by rotating their ankles 180 degrees so the hind paws are backward-pointing and can grip the tree bark.

Squirrels live in almost every habitat from tropical rainforest to semiarid desert, avoiding only the high polar regions and the driest of deserts. They are predominantly herbivorous, subsisting on seeds and nuts, but many will eat insects and even small vertebrates.

Tired of planting flowers and have them dug up by a squirrel within hours?

Tried the sticks, Zest Soap and moth balls to keep them out?

Here is our weekly tip::::buy and cut up jalapeno peppers (small green ones) at your local grocery store.

Lay them on top of the soil of your planters to keep the squirrels out. They compost, and once they do, you can always add more. Squirrels have avoided my planter boxes when these are in place. 

Kathy Dowsett

Other suggestions? Please add to comments!


One thought on “Pesky Squirrels

  1. This is a wonderful idea, I’m going to try this tomorrow.. Thanks for the info.. Take care and happy gardening to ya, from Laura~


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