Ask Holly: Squirrel Control

Damn squirrels!

You decorate your house with pumpkins, your kids’ Jack O’ Lanterns and other autumn decor and the squirrels have a feast.

How do I prevent squirrels from eating my pumpkins and off my cornstalks?


Method one: Apply hot pepper sauce. This is rather messy and if then pumpkin gets wet, you have to re-apply.
Method two: Acrylic spray. I have circled the areas where the squirrel has chewed, despite the spray, to demostrate how well this works.
Spray stinks.
Method three: This is what has worked for me, I put the pumpkins on pots or in urns and take one sad pumpkin and throw it into the bushes for the squirrels to eat as kind of a peace offering. You can put  pots of mums around the pot to cover it and also act as a barrier for the squirrels.
Pedestal pumpkin!
Now as for those cornstalks…..TAKE OFF THE CORN! You can use it to throw out to the birds or squirrels in the winter.
There's a shucker born every minute.
Any questions?  Just Ask Holly!

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  1. We just carved our pumpkins last weekend. Luckily, the squirrels have not taken a bite out of them yet. But, do you have any suggestions on how to keep the pumpkins looking good until Halloween — before their teeth start sinking in and they look like grandpa forgot to put his dentures in?!?!?

  2. Correction: both the hot sauce and the acrylic spray work. The hot sauce does need to be re-applied. The circled areas are where the squirrels snacked before the hot sauce or the spray was applied.

  3. Ladyjustice,

    This is what you do: fill a cooler or big bin about 3/4 of the way up with water and add a half a cup of bleach. Put the carved pumpkin in upside down (as pumpkins float) and soak for 8 hours or longer. When you take it out dab a bit of petroleum jelly on the cut parts. The bleachy taste squirrels don’t care for either.

    We carved two at a party on Saturday and they look like we just did them today!

  4. These suggestions are rather cruel. Poisoning or hurting an animal for the sake of preserving a pumpkin, which is food, is just nasty and selfish. Try to imagine how an animal feels after tasting hot sauce, even just a little lick of it.

    Display your pumpkin inside in the window or wait until the 30th or 31st to carve it if you wish to place it outside. The squirrels won’t touch it when it has a lit candle inside; after the holiday ends it’s THEIRS.

  5. To madisonpark: I’m sure your heart is in the right place and you have the best of intentions…but you may want to take that waaaay down. My guess is the squirrel felt just like all three of my kids felt when my wife or I splashed some Red Hot on there tongues after they used a 4 letter word for the first time. Worked like a charm for the first two…my youngest was a bit more stubborn and we had to kick it up to Tabasco. Mission Accomplished.

    Call me nasty and/or selfish but I have three happy kids that don’t swear…and 2 of the 3 really like spicy food too…Ole!

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