I live in a wooded area which is home to many local squirrels. They are constantly digging up plants in my garden and in my pots. They never eat anything, they just dig holes everywhere.

What is an organic way that I can deter them from digging up my plants?


You can use a hot pepper repellent spray, which uses the active ingredient, capsaicin (the compound extracted from hot peppers). There are commercial pepper sprays available, or you can mix up your own. There are a number of recipes available online, which use capsaicin, in some form (eg. cayenne, hot sauce, crushed red pepper flakes, etc.).

Wear gloves and goggles when applying pepper spray, because it is a skin and eye irritant. Also avoid spraying on windy days.

It won't harm the animal, unless you spray it directly onto the animal. It is suppose to serve as a repellent, and the animal won't want to go near it. Of course, you will likely need to reapply, as needed.


Mulching with largish rocks (3-4 inches in diameter or better) can help keep them out of your potted plants. If you pick rounded river rocks or other interesting stones, it can also create an attractive accent for your containers.

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