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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Adventures in Decorating: War With Squirrels!

Do you have squirrels where you live? 
(Do they live everywhere? I'm trying to remember a place where I have been where I have not seen them...) 

I remember in college we had a squirrel that lived near our apartment. It had only part of it's tale. We would see it every day. Squirrel-with-no-tail. That's what we called it. And it kind of became out little mascot. Squirrel-with-no-tail. I wonder if he is still around...

ANYWAY, last year I got the best pumpkin ever. It was perfectly shaped, with a great stem as a handle. I put it out on our front steps as a decoration next to my pot of mums. 

And guess what happened next. 

A squirrel (that did have a tail by the way) came and started nibbling on my pumpkin. It started out with just a few bites...but one day I came home from work to see the pumpkin "guts" all over the front steps! Yes, that evil squirrel had chewed a hole in the pumpkin and hollowed it out to make a nice little pumpkin home on my front steps! When I would pull into the drive way he would stick his little squirrel head out of the hole in the side of the pumpkin and give me this look like "What are you doing driving a car this close to my home!" Ok, I may be exaggerating a bit, but it did stick it's head out when I drove up. That squirrel destroyed my beautiful pumpkin. This meant war! We tried a few things to keep the evil squirrel away - I would not recommend using chili powder mixed in water with a squirt bottle...and if you do, I WOULD recommend wearing some kind of protective eye ware and a breathing mask so you don't get it in your eyes and lungs...I'm just sayin'! 

This year, I decided to try a different approach to protect my pumpkins. 
Did anyone get soap in their mouth for saying bad words or talking back when you were little? Anyone? (I actually don't remember my mom doing that with me... but I know people do it!) Well, I thought if people don't like the taste of soap, maybe squirrels don't either! So I took my dish soap and squeezed a ring of soap around each to the stems at the top of the pumpkin. Then, using my hands, I gently rubbed the soap down the sides of the pumpkin, coating the outside with a layer of soap. Don't rub to much or else it will start to suds up! The soap actually makes the pumpkin nice and shiny almost like a glaze.

I have applied dish soap once a week for 3 weeks now. Each pumpkin has a little nibble area about the size of a dime, but that is all! Hooray! Dish soap is my secrete weapon in my war with the squirrels! 

How do you keep the critters away from your fall decorations? 

Remember to be taking those fall color pictures and come back on Thursday to show them off in the first annual 
Click {HERE} for more details! 


  1. Do we have squirrels?? Oh, my goodness, my the 100's! Our labs do a pretty good job of keeping them chased up the trees but they are such aggravating little critters. I can't wait to tell my Hubby about the dish detergent. That is so cleaver! Your window box looks great!

  2. I will be trying this! I once saw a squirrel eating a McDonalds cheeseburger out of a trash can on the U of M campus. I will always regret not having a camera :)

  3. I'm so glad that I'm following you! What a clever idea:) Thanks so much for sharing, I'm going to try that!


  4. I don't remember you ever saying any words bad enough to get your mouth washed out with soap, Veronica!

    And Dad says that a pellet gun works very well at keeping the squirrels away too = )

  5. You can also try placing a few moth balls near the pumpkins. Vermin don't like moth balls. I had a raccoon take up residence under my house so I dumped a couple boxes under there - he vacated within a few days.

  6. Good idea! Thanks for sharing.

  7. i need to keep them from digging up the plants in my pots. i'll have to do some research since i don't want to harm my plants... and i somehow think they also don't like soap too much :)

  8. I sprayed my pumpkins and gourds with bleach to keep them from rotting, soap sounds like a good idea. Around here, the kids are big into smashing pumpkins as a Halloween tradition. So mine usually go that route. :) Visiting from Kathe's blog. xo

  9. ok, i'm going to have to try this, b/c i hate squirrels. oh sure, they look cute, but those little buggers dig up all my bulbs, the pansies i planted for the cool weather, and of course destroy pumpkins. tell me, what actual purpose do squirrels serve? i mean, i hate bees, but i know we need them. i don't think we need squirrels.

  10. I'll be heading back round for your link party on the 11th. I'm doing a photo challenge and the topic for that day is "heavy" - wonder if I can mesh the two?

    Popped in from You're Gonna Love It blog hop.

  11. Oh, this is too funny! and only because we have our own war with the squirrels going on. Wonder if this would work on the bird feeder so the birds could get some food occasionally! We've never had a problem with the pumpkins, but that doesn't mean we won't. Thanks for the tip.

  12. LOL - I can't believe you had to wage war on the squirrels! That is too funny! Personally, I have never had a problem with squirrels eating my pumpkins. We do have a deer that eats the bush out front. That is truly a great idea though! Thanks for sharing at the Pomp Party! Hope to see you back next week!

  13. I really hope I'm not jinxing myself, but I've never had a squirrel (tail or no tail) go after my pumpkins. I'll remember this in case they do. Thanks