Keep squirrels out of your garden using ‘effective’ 70p kitchen item

This Morning: Alice Beer shares tips for removing pests

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Whilst many like to see squirrels bounding around the parks, most are not so happy to see them in their own garden, or even worse the house. Squirrels can be a complete disaster for property owners and cause thousands of pounds of damage, by nibbling through wires and woodwork or tearing into insulation and plasterboard. These pests can also wreak havoc in gardens, digging up flower beds, lawns and gnawing on hose pipes and at bird feeders.

To put a stop to squirrels coming into gardens, gardeners have taken to Mrs Hinch Gardening Tips Facebook page to recommend a few natural methods – one of which you may already have in your kitchen cupboard.

According to the gardening enthusiasts, chilli powder is the answer to keeping squirrels out of gardens.

Balvinder Lally said: “I have three squirrels in our garden and I enjoy watching them play and being part of our garden. However, they do create damage for keen gardeners. 

“They dig up bedding plants in pots and baskets, eat bulbs, eat rose buds and more recently gnawed our garden lightening. Plus they make holes in the lawn where they hide their acorns – all of which causes cost and upset.

“Cayenne or chilli pepper seems to help in keeping them out of pots and beds, but it has to be reapplied if it rains.”

Sian Watson agreed: “Cayenne pepper aka hot chilli powder, that works for me. They are destructive sods! As much as I think they are cute, I don’t like my plants getting destroyed.”

Tracey Davies said: “Use chilli powder. Ours does not come in our garden anymore.”

Jacquie Brown wrote: “I sprinkle extra hot chilli powder on mine. It also keeps the foxes, rats, snails and slugs away. Once they smell it they’ll just run away.”

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Marie Richardson commented: “If an animal is digging in your pots then it’s likely to be squirrels. Chilli powder is very effective. Also mix it your bird food to keep them away.”

According to the experts at The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), using chilli powder is an effective way to keep squirrels out of gardens.

They said: “Strong chilli powder or pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco) can be dusted onto bird food. Birds are not bothered by the chilli, but most squirrels cannot put up with the burning sensation, and will leave the food alone.”

Chilli powder can be picked up from local supermarkets for under £1. They retail for 70p at Asda, 90p at Tesco and at Sainsbury’s for 95p.

Some Mrs Hinch fans suggested making bird feeders inaccessible to squirrels to deter them by using vaseline.

Sylvia Grace said: “My bird feeder is on a pole so I use vaseline on it to stop the squirrels climbing up it. It works a treat.”

Vicki Simmonds commented: “I’ve been using Vaseline for a few weeks now – it stops the squirrel from getting to the bird food.

“Every time it tries to climb the pole, back down it goes. It then eventually gives up and moves on.”

The RSPB also recommended this method. They said: “Use a downward-opening cone or a biscuit tin fixed to the pole below a bird table to prevent squirrels climbing up it. Vaseline or other grease on a smooth pole will also help.”

Other gardeners suggested adding soap around the plants they want to protect to deter squirrels.

Trudy Greenwood said: “Just saw a tip on TV, grate some hard soap on them, the smell puts the squirrels off.”

Carol Redfern commented: “Grate soap over the soil you put the bulbs into and also some under the soil as it will smell the soap and stop digging when it tastes it. Plus it’s harmless.”

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