Unfortunately there are several rodents including squirrels which might try and eat your precious pumpkin plants! The good news is that I know how to keep squirrels away from pumpkins!
Fall is coming and you do not want all your produce and hard work going to waste so if there is a chance of squirrels in your area make sure you follow these tips to prevent them from eating your pumpkin plants.
I will start by considering why squirrels eat pumpkins and then how to keep them away!
Why Do Squirrels Eat Pumpkin Plants?
This is fairly explanatory! Squirrels are no different to you and I when they eat pumpkin. They simply do so because they like the taste!
They snack on seeds, nuts and lots of different legumes also. If they can get easy access to your plants and there are no deterrents they will munch on them! If you like in an area prone to rodents or squirrels you really need to employ tactics and techniques to keep them away!
The technique you employ will depend on whether you have a small number of pumpkins for decorative use or an entire pumpkin patch. Honestly a squirrel eating pumpkins is your worse nightmare!
Tips and Techniques on How To Keep Squirrels Away From Pumpkins
Growing pumpkins is a fantastic feat and very rewarding indeed! Unfortunately a few rodents can attack your produce and munch away all that hard work depriving you of delicious pumpkin recipes and amazing carved decorative pumpkins.
There are numerous things you can do. Some of these are brilliant for using on your doorstep if you do not want your carved pumpkin ruined and others will work for pumpkin patches.
Stop Squirrels Eating Carved Pumpkins
Decorative carved pumpkins on your front porch make excellent pumpkin home décor. The last thing you want is a hole in your pumpkin from some hungry squirrel having an afternoon nibble as soon as your back is turned!!
Bad news is as soon as they see your produce they will keep trying to get some no matter how many times you encourage them.
There are some useful repellents and scents that squirrels dislike.
Hairspray – I always knew I kept those old bottles of hairspray for a reason! I bought them in bulk 6 years or so ago when I was obsessed with curling my hair and putting it in up dos!
Basically you spray this all over the pumpkin. Squirrels absolutely hate strong smells as well as stickiness and they will not touch your carving! The bad news is that it gets washed off with rain, so every time it rains you need to reapply.
Living in the UK this is bad news because we get so much rain in October, right before we are due to harvest our squirrels.
Here is a video of someone spraying their pumpkins with lacquer spray to warrant off rodents!
As well as spraying your now glowing pumpkins you can also leave bowls of vinegar nearby. This is another substance that squirrels really dislike.
Obviously these will not work on a pumpkin patch as it would be cumbersome and take too long. You can put vinegar on your pumpkin, but over time this will cause it to rot so I would avoid this.
Wikihow has lots more suggestions including hot pepper sauce and repellent ideas on how to keep squirrels away from pumpkins. Squirrels and lots of other rodents absolutely detest pepper, and garlic as well. We know these foods give off strange smells so it might be what you need.
Prevent Squirrels Eating Pumpkin Plants From Your Yard
If you are like me and do not like the idea of spraying chemicals on your pumpkin plants as you are planning on eating them, then you can employ a few other techniques in a bid to keep squirrels away.
Give Them Another Snack – you might want to keep squirrels onside by placing a bowl of nuts and seeds as far away from your pumpkins as possible!! This is only a short term fix and will keep you busy especially if you have several rodents stopping by.
However we all know that they are hungry animals and a glimpse of the orange fruit is all they need to entice them to munch! Therefore we need additional tactics/
Predator Statue – We used an owl statue to keep birds from building a nest on our roof and it worked! We have not yet tried it on a pumpkin patch but these are widely available online. As well as having a purpose these also look great in the garden too.
I have shown some below! Some of these also have other scare tactics such a frightening screeches and lights! These activate whenever a squirrel is about to pounce!
Things You Should NOT USE To Keep Squirrels Away From Pumpkins
I think it is also important to mention some other ideas that people have tried, which are NOT recommended to keep squirrels away from growing fruits or vegetables! WD40 was one such suggestion.
Goodness it would keep everything away as well as humans!! It is poisonous and toxic and would mean your pumpkin would be essentially useless for human consumption.
If you have cats and are thinking cat litter could be used, think again!! This could cause deadly toxoplasmosis and is to be avoided at all costs.
Instead try the methods above and hopefully you will have some success on keeping your produce safe until harvesting time!
Unfortunately squirrels are not the only pests so find out what animals eat pumpkins!
If you are interesting in growing pumpkins, looking after them and harvesting you might also like
Have you Tried These Tips On How To Keep Squirrels Away From Pumpkins?