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Help! Squirrels are digging holes in my mulch and storing nuts

Help! Squirrels are digging holes in my mulch and storing nuts


Old 09-26-00, 04:36 AM
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Red face


I recently put down about 600 sq feet of 1 to 1.5 inch depth of cedar mulch.

Unfortunately, the local squirrel population has decided to dig holes in the mulch, and store the acorns/nuts, etc. that are falling from the surrounding trees. Basically what once was a nicely raked layer of mulch is now beset with scattered holes.

Any suggestions on how to prevent this?

I heard that spreading around human hair (after a haircut) will fend off deer from gardens...Do you think this will work in my mulch area?

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Old 09-26-00, 07:31 AM
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Good morning newhomeowner:

How discouraging after all the work you've done. Since I know you have more work to do let's see what can be done to frustrate those squirrels.

First, call the Cooperative Extension Service. They have people on staff who can advise best method of dealing with this.

Second, there is a barrier method that I recommend for keeping cats from depositing their presents in flower beds which should work here as well. Try a small area and see if the squirrels test it and then avoid the area. It means some more work for you - sorry - but it is the only way that I know that would have a chance of being effective.

Rake the bark to one side and lay down a layer of 1/2"-1" mesh chicken wire then replace the bark over the top. They will test it but unable to bury they should move on to better digging territory.

Do call the Extension Service first for their input.

NOTE: If you are ever told by "anyone" (including the Extension Service) to put down moth balls please read the following and also check your bank account to see if you have enough money to cover the liability before doing it. You'll find that garden hints abound for controlling critters but not all of them are valuable

Per the Washington State Poison Control Center:

Caution! Before using moth balls people need to be aware that there are 2 types of moth balls. BOTH are toxic to children and can also be toxic to pets.

The kind that feels wet has paradichlorobenzene as its active ingredient. Consuming over three moth balls can produce ACUTE TOXICITY in children.

The kind that feels dry has naphthalene as its active ingredient. Over 2 moth balls produces ACUTE TOXICITY. A black male child or male child of black ancestry who has a specific gene missing can go into ACUTE TOXICITY with just a TASTE of one moth ball - less than 1/2 of 1 moth ball.

If you have small children, if you have pets, if small children live or visit neighbors in your area do not under any circumstances use moth balls.

Acute toxicity means you call 911 NOW! Children can, will, and do put the most awful things in their mouths. It's not worth the risk.

In short - if you are ever told to use moth balls - don't.

All my best - Ladybug
Old 09-28-00, 04:48 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I spoke with my wife about this and we agreed to just rake over the holes and "just deal" with the problem. Although your suggestion was welcome, it seems like a hassle to dig up all the mulch and then put down chicken wire.

Perhaps in the next couple of years when all of the mulch has degraded we'll take your suggestion to heart.

Thanks again.
Old 09-28-00, 05:32 AM
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I resisted the urge to post yesterday, but I'm weak today. Count your blessings!!! So what if a squirrel or two is digging holes in the mulch. As you realized, a simple rake will fix the problem!

We moved to a brand new house (and new neighborhood) 7 years ago. I saw the first couple of squirrels this week! I was thrilled to see them. So what if they get into the bird seed - I'll get more!

I wish a few holes was my only serious issue!

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