How to Kill Squirrels Out of Deck Planters?

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Are you a gardening person? Then, you must have experienced deck planting at least once in your gardening history. Deck planters provide a safe space for your favorite plants to thrive well.

But deck planters also bring in new problems, or, let’s say, cute but intolerable problems. You will likely find rodents, such as squirrels raiding your deck plants. They do so in search of food, including nuts, flowers, fruits, vegetables, etc.

Hence, squirrels can be a headache for you as you come across fallen pots frequently in your deck. They wander around year long and show most of their power in fall, searching for places to hide food.

So, digging into your potted plant can be a part of their search mission, either for food or storage space. But at the end of the day, squirrels make it difficult for your deck plants to survive amid so much chaos. Hence, it becomes necessary to find ways to get rid of them.

Most Effective Ways to Kill Squirrels Out of Deck

You might want to choose toxic ways and kill them with poison. But it also puts your plant and pets at risk. Hence, we have brought you a list of the most effective ways to kill squirrels out of deck planters (with pictures) for you to get rid of them once and for all.

1. A Cat or a Dog

A Cat or a Dog
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First of all, try scaring the squirrels away using the best of your strategies. The easiest one among them is getting a cat or a dog. Squirrels are afraid of cats and dogs, which can be a reason enough for you to get a fluffy friend.

If you already have a dog or finally manage to get one, you should not just tuck them inside your house. Your dog must stay outside near the deck planters to chase the squirrels away.

Once your dog scares them away, they are less likely to return to your deck planters. If they return, it will only be to face their predator again. So, you can use a pet to get rid of squirrels.

2. Dog Hair

If getting a dog is too much for you or your dog won’t wander about your potted plants all the time, here is another solution for you. Squirrels have a good-smelling sense, which helps them search for food. However, you can also use it against them.

You can outwit the squirrels by placing dog hair around your potted plants. The smell of dog hair makes the squirrels believe in the danger ahead. You can also tuck the hairs in the top layer of the soil around your potted plants.

Hence, you can start by saving dog hair every time you brush your dog. An interesting fact is that you can also employ human hair to chase squirrels away from your deck planters. Dog or cat urine also works the same way.

3. Bone Meal

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Bone or blood meal is also an effective way to kill squirrels out of deck planters. Bone meal comes with fertilizing properties, thus adding nutrients to the soil. But it being a squirrel repellent is like a cherry on the cake.

Bone or blood meal comes with a strong smell besides being a source of vitamins for your plants. The strong scent tends to repel squirrels as they dislike it. Hence, adding bone meal power to the soil before planting can be a great way to deter squirrels.

But here, you should be careful. Bone meal is toxic to dogs and cats. Hence, you must use it with care or avoid it if you have pets. Just like bone meal, you can also use fish emulsions, which also come with an unpleasant smell for squirrels.

Also Read:- How To Kill Gophers With Bleach and Ammonia?

4. Coffee Grounds

Another addition to the hate list of squirrels is coffee. The strong smell of coffee is hard for squirrels to withstand. Hence, you can use it as a method to chase them away. The best part here is that coffee is easily available at home, and you need not run errands.

You can use the coffee grounds from the waste panel of your coffee machine. Sprinkling the coffee grounds around your plants works against squirrels and also add a nutritional boost to the plants. You can sprinkle the grounds before or after your plants bloom.

But you must ensure not to sprinkle the power directly on the plants as it might be a fungus source. Also, your potted plants will most likely suffocate due to coffee grounds. Hence, you can make a layer of ½ inch and cover it with a four-inch layer of mulch.

5. Decorative Rocks

Decorative Rocks
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Decorative rocks serve a dual purpose when it comes to keeping squirrels away. Placing rocks on the soil layer of your potted plants gives them an attractive look. It also prevents the squirrels from digging into the soil of the deck planters.

It forms an effective barrier between the roots of the plant and the poking hands of squirrels, preventing them from uprooting the plants. Moreover, decorative rocks are hard enough for squirrels to pick or move, thus protecting the plant at all costs.

But you must not crowd the pot with large rocks as it might hinder the soil’s water intake and the plant’s growth. The best way to approach this method is to collect small to medium-sized smooth river stones and place them as a 1-inch layer on the potted plant’s soil.

6. Bamboo Skewers

Just like decorative rocks, bamboo skewers can also help keep your potted plant out of the reach of squirrels. Placing sharp bamboo skewers or sticking them around the plant can shock the squirrels enough to prevent them from returning.

You can use sharp-edged bamboo sticks to surround the entire plant with their edges on top. You must ensure not to leave gaps between the skewers so that the squirrels do not find any space to dig into the soil.

7. Chicken Wire

Chicken Wire
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Chicken wire is another solution to your squirrel problem. It can prevent squirrels from reaching your potted plants as it forms a strong barrier. Hence, you can surround your deck planters with wire mesh or chicken wire; rest assured, there will be no squirrel attacks.

You can substitute chicken wire with a fishing net or hardware clothing. Making heavy-duty cylinder cages to safeguard your plants is also a great option. After installing your plant, you can place the chicken wire over the pot and then weave the shoots.

8. Repelling Plants

Some plants squirrels absolutely despise. Hence, you can plant those squirrel-repelling plants in your deck so that they never make it back to your planting space.

You can go for colorful and highly aromatic plants such as marigolds, nasturtiums, mustard flowers, etc. The squirrels dislike the strong aroma of these plants, which helps keep them at bay.

Other flowering plants that repel squirrels are daffodils, geranium, hyacinth, etc. Besides helping you get rid of squirrels, these plants add an exceptional vibrance to your planting space.

Also Read:- Do Skunks Climb Fence? How to Keep Them Away?

9. Ultrasonic Squirrel-Repellent Device

Ultrasonic Squirrel-Repellent Device
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Now is the time to put some technology to use. Besides taste and smell, you can also use sound to deter squirrels. You can use ultrasonic squirrel-repellent devices for this purpose. Ultrasonic-repellent devices produce an ultrasonic sound that is inaudible to humans. But squirrels can hear ultrasound and hence react to it.

So, placing these devices under the soil or near the pots can detect the movement of squirrels. On detecting movement, it produces a high-frequency sound that chases them away. Also, rest assured that these devices do not affect other pets in your house. However, you must consider removing these devices if you notice some changes.

You can also use wind chimes or hand-empty cans. These objects produce sound in the wind due to clattering, which is scary enough for squirrels.

10. Food Distractions

Food Distractions
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Food distractions always work with rodents. You can apply the same to keep squirrels away from your deck planters. You can make a separate spot for feeding squirrels far away from your planting area.

You must ensure to make food easily accessible to them so that they do not make their way toward your deck planters. You can use their favorite food, such as nuts, fruits, berries, etc., as food distractions.

11. Hot Pepper Spray

Hot pepper spray is another best solution to keep squirrels away from your deck planters. Squirrels despise the smell and taste of hot pepper spray, which effectively eliminates them.

You can make hot pepper spray at home. Mix a bottle of hot pepper sauce with water and a few spoons of washing liquid. After mixing and shaking thoroughly, you can pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

Next, you would find yourself spraying the hot pepper on the soil of the potted plants, pots, and the surrounding area and successfully deterring squirrels.

12. Garlic Powder

Garlic Powder
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Garlic powder is also a great repellent for squirrels. It has a taste and smell that squirrels hate. Hence, just like you did for coffee powder, you can sprinkle garlic powder around the deck planters and never see those squirrels in your yard again.

Cayenne pepper can also substitute for garlic powder for the same reason. Hence, you can try out various squirrel repellents and make an effective spray out of them.

13. Squirrel Traps

If none of the methods work, violence remains the only option. So, you can go for squirrel traps. Squirrel traps capture the squirrels, and there are least chances for them to escape. You can use the favorite food of squirrels, such as nuts, berries, etc., as bait.

You must ensure to place the traps at the right place near the potted plants so that the squirrels do not bypass them. Once trapped, you can take the squirrels far away from your spot so they never return.

However, you must take care of other pets while using the traps and avoid trapping them.

Also Read:- Can You Eat Squirrel from Your Backyard? Here is What to Know


Now that you know various ways of getting rid of squirrels from your deck plants, here are a few recommendations you can use to not invite them to your yard in the first place.

  • You must trim your trees so the squirrels do not nest on them.
  • You must seal the garbage cans to keep eatables away from squirrels.
  • You must clean your grill immediately after using it in your yard so that rodents do not find any sign of food.
  • You must remove any nuts, berries, or acorns from your yard or near the deck planters, as these make up the list of the favorite food of squirrels.


What are the smells that squirrels hate?

Squirrels hate the strong aromas of garlic, peppermint, alliums, cayenne pepper, essential oils, vinegar, mothballs, etc.

Which plants serve as squirrel repellents?

Plants such as marigolds, mustard flowers, daffodils, geraniums, nasturtiums, etc., repel squirrels due to their strong fragrance.

How can we use sound to get rid of squirrels?

Ultrasonic devices can produce high-frequency sounds to scare away squirrels. You can also use wind chimes and empty soda cans for the purpose.

Why is coffee powder effective against squirrels?

Coffee powder sprinkled over potted plants is effective against squirrels due to its strong taste and smell.

What is the cheapest way to keep squirrels away?

Placing dog hair or human hair around potted plants is the cheapest way to keep squirrels away.


Squirrels can be a nuisance for your deck planters. They are most likely to get their paws into the pots and dig into them in search of food or a space to store them. But it ends up uprooting your precious plants and hindering their growth. Hence, you can use these effective ways to kill squirrels out of deck planters and create a safe space for your plants.

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