The Halloween pumpkins were on our steps for no more than a few hours before my husband looked outside and slapped his forehead. The squirrels had already taken a hefty chunk out of one and left their little rodent teeth marks in another.
As he is wont to do, my husband went immediately to the Internet and typed in "How to keep squirrels from eating your pumpkins." The first advice he came across said to rub the pumpkins with hot sauce and sprinkle some around them.
Well, our squirrels must be from south of the border because, by the next morning, both pumpkins had even more gouges and evidence of overnight feasting. I pictured them all sitting around the pumpkins with napkins tucked under their chins, toasting us with their little acorn cups for making the squash even better tasting.
Another article suggested using the kind of bitter apple spray used when training dogs or buying a product called Squirrel Away, which is made with peppers. We didn't think our neighborhood squirrels should be giving us another errand, so we rejected those ideas and kept searching.
Yet another article said to offer squirrels an alternative by putting nuts and seeds in a bowl some distance away from the pumpkins. Seriously? We should reward our Jabba-the-Hut squirrels — who would carry off the entire pumpkin if they could — with even more food? Not gonna happen.
So what worked? We finally read that spritzing your pumpkin with hairspray will keep the squirrels away (or at least help them with their grooming). They haven't gone near the pumpkins since we spritzed them with Dove - Extra Hold, and the pumpkins look shiny yet still touchable.
I'm sure hairspray isn't the only solution — or the most environmentally friendly one — but it worked.
What's your secret for keeping squirrels away from your pumpkins?