When I first moved, I witnessed a neighbor throwing a bucket of water on a squirrel. My initial reaction was one of horror. But it didn't take long for me to realize that might not be such a bad idea. Unfortunately, we both live just a few houses down from a squirrel-fanatic neighbor. She feeds them peanuts. She talks to them. She even has named them. While I used to find these critters to be quite cute, lately they are just a nuisance...I planted a beautiful container garden on my balcony last year, only to find the squirrels had their own plans for it. They ripped out plants and scattered soil everywhere while hiding their peanuts. And don't get me started on the droppings I have to sweep off daily. So far I've tried the water and shooing them with a broom — neither worked. I bought large stones to put around the base of the plants, which works sometimes, but is expensive. I would like to post a few signs around our block about reasons for not feeding the squirrels, but I'm unsure if that is proper neighbor etiquette. I've lived and gardened all around the city and never had this problem, which I believe is a direct result from the peanut lady (can't help the rat situation either).
So I'm wondering... is a polite sign ok? Have others found successful ways to keep squirrels out of their plants?
(Image: Flickr member exfordy licensed for use under Creative Commons.)