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Help! Squirrels Eating my Pumpkins!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I do Halloween up big--lots of cornstalks, pumpkins, lights, etc. Unfortunately, the squirrels are attacking my pumpkins and chewing fist-size holes in them! Does anyone have an idea of how to keep the little rats away from them? I obviously don't want something to hurt the squirrels (there's one that sits outside my back door until I bring him a cookie), but pumpkins are kind of expensive this year and I really didn't intend for them to be squirrel food. I've wondered about soap, black pepper, hot sauce; any ideas?
post #2 of 22
A big rubber black snake laying on the pumpkins may help!!
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
A big rubber black snake laying on the pumpkins may help!!
Ugh! No, no, no! I have a phobia about snakes--I'm deathly afraid of them, even pictures of them. It might work, but not at my house!

Oh, btw, I do have some of those realistic looking foam pumpkins, but you just have to have some real ones to carve and light. Nothing beats that flickering candle for spooky atmosphere.
post #4 of 22
You could get the plastic ones that still do the glowy thing?
post #5 of 22
Are you sure its squirrels??? I've never heard or seem them do this. Do they do this during broad daylight??? How about that bitter apple(?) that one is to use for cats and dogs??
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Are you sure its squirrels??? I've never heard or seem them do this. Do they do this during broad daylight???
Oh yeah, I'm positive. DH and I were in the yard yesterday when a squirrel went right up to one of the pumpkins, took a bite out of it, and ran off with the piece in his mouth! I even have pictures I've taken in the past of a squirrel sitting on my patio table nibbling on a pumpkin in broad daylight.
Grrrrrrr.

Would a pet supply store have bitter apple? I've never used it before.
post #7 of 22
Yes, pet stores usually have some sort of bitter spray in stock. I put cayenne pepper in the holes when I plant tulip bulbs and it stopped the squirrel buffet

The problem is getting it to stick to the pumpkins...maybe make a solution?
post #8 of 22
If you have some craft paint could you paint circles or fall themed stuff on the pumpkins-perhaps they won't like the taste of paint!!
post #9 of 22
Put some moth balls around your patch. They hate the smell, and won't bother them.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
I like the moth balls and the cayenne pepper ideas (especially the tip about the tulip bulbs). I'll probably try both of them; maybe one of them will keep the raccoons away, too. They almost demolished my cornstalks last night; isn't a plate full of cookies enough for them?!
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JellyBella View Post
Yes, pet stores usually have some sort of bitter spray in stock. I put cayenne pepper in the holes when I plant tulip bulbs and it stopped the squirrel buffet

The problem is getting it to stick to the pumpkins...maybe make a solution?
Cayenne pepper is great for squirrels
Maybe you could mix some with some kind of oil and "glaze" the pumkins?
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JellyBella View Post
Yes, pet stores usually have some sort of bitter spray in stock. I put cayenne pepper in the holes when I plant tulip bulbs and it stopped the squirrel buffet

The problem is getting it to stick to the pumpkins...maybe make a solution?
You could try spraying them with pepper spray, or maybe just get a bag of roasted peanuts and feed those to your squirrels.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
Are you sure its squirrels??? I've never heard or seem them do this. Do they do this during broad daylight???
I had a hit and run yesterday by a squirrel! I have a mum with a small pumpkin on the porch. I heard a thump and saw a squirrel running off with the pumpkin spinning in circles at the bottom of the porch steps, with it's stem cracked off. It was a run by.
Last year my pumpkins had a few teeth marks where it was being gnawed, I suspect squirrels, but no eye witness evidence. I still like them though.
post #14 of 22
Sorry, I can't be of any help!

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbysMom View Post
Sorry, I can't be of any help!

Oh my!!!!

Caught in the act! Little mischievous thing
I had no idea they ate pumpkins until this thread
With so many of the little fluffy bums around here, I better keep any pumkins I buy inside
post #16 of 22
You could rub finger nail polish remover on the pumpkin.
post #17 of 22
The only thing I've found that keeps squirrels off of vegetable patches is making a chicken wire "cage" that you can place on top of the patch and then lift off when you need to tend to them. Make sure the wire is the fairly tightly knit kind though or they'll squish their grubby little paws right through the holes. It's more time consuming than putting down mothballs but it seems more sanitary/less toxic to me, plus you can keep it once its made and use it from year to year.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
maybe just get a bag of roasted peanuts and feed those to your squirrels
You wouldn't believe how much money I spend on squirrel and bird food every week, plus 2 big bags of cookies to feed the raccoons for a week!

I tried the moth balls; now my patio smells like the house of my 83 year old aunt! (sorry, Aunt Mary, but it's true) It's keeping the squirrels away, but the raccoons don't seem to mind a bit. This morning my fake gourds and cornstalks were all over the patio; the pumpkins, however, had no new chew marks! Yea! I do believe I'll clean up the moth balls and try the cayenne pepper, tho. Maybe I could spray some cooking spray (like Pam)on the pumpkins then sprinkle the pepper on them. The smell of those moth balls is just overwhelming!

And that pic, Karen, is exactly what my pumpkins look like, altho' my squirrels are a reddish brown.
post #19 of 22
Moth balls do work for squirrels, but I can understand you don't want the smell on the patio! Honestly, if you can find a deterent for raccoons, let me know. I love the little guys, but nothing will keep them away here (except the dogs).

Honestly, I think the main problem is they are used to your cookies!
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by libby74 View Post
You wouldn't believe how much money I spend on squirrel and bird food every week, plus 2 big bags of cookies to feed the raccoons for a week!

I tried the moth balls; now my patio smells like the house of my 83 year old aunt! (sorry, Aunt Mary, but it's true) It's keeping the squirrels away, but the raccoons don't seem to mind a bit. This morning my fake gourds and cornstalks were all over the patio; the pumpkins, however, had no new chew marks! Yea! I do believe I'll clean up the moth balls and try the cayenne pepper, tho. Maybe I could spray some cooking spray (like Pam)on the pumpkins then sprinkle the pepper on them. The smell of those moth balls is just overwhelming!

And that pic, Karen, is exactly what my pumpkins look like, altho' my squirrels are a reddish brown.
I forgot to tell you they smelled horrible. Sorry about that. My Dad used them to keep rabbits out of our raspberry patch, and I think I got used to the smell.
post #21 of 22

I've found that if I spray paint them with a shiny clear spray paint it helps stop the squirrels and it helps keep them from rotting.......you can also take hot sauce and spray it on or around.  I have also heard to put hair clippings, like we all have those laying around, but they will sniff it and it suppose to deter them.  I keep mine close to the house by the door and my pooch Charlie also assists during the day :)

post #22 of 22

Brunswick stew??????

Shy of that, there are animal repellants that kinda work. Maybe soap shavings or liquid soap and water squired on the pumpkins..........squirrels are nasty things, make a mess of everything. Rats in fancy dress.........

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