Gardeners share 19p hack to stop squirrels digging up bulbs

Grey squirrels are ‘destructive’ says Douglas-Home in 2020

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Squirrels are lovely creatures to have visiting your garden, however, they can cause trouble after you’ve planted out your bulbs. Squirrels can often be seen digging up bulbs in beds, borders and even containers. Most squirrels won’t dig further than a few inches beneath the soil but when they do, it can look unsightly.

Luckily, fans of cleaning sensation Mrs Hinch, whose full name is Sophie Hinchliffe, have shared their simple solution for deterring squirrels from gardens.

The cleaning and lifestyle influencer has more than 4.5 million followers on Instagram and often shares her garden and home tips online.

Fans of hers have taken to social media in recent years to share their own hacks for solving common household problems.

On one such group, Facebook user Judith McKew asked: “I can’t believe the squirrels are digging up all our bulbs! Never had this happen before!”

The post was inundated with advice but the most suggested solution was to use “grated soap”.

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Helen Collings said: “On This Morning, the gardener put soap with the bulbs to stop the squirrel’s eating the bulbs.”

Judith McKew replied: “I can confirm the soap has worked! Well this once anyway!”

Maureen Briggs wrote: “Grated soap. Saw it on the telly this morning.

“You just grate it over and around as you plant them and then a little bit more as you cover them up.

“The squirrels are attracted to the smell of the bulbs and this distracts them. They also hate the taste of soap. It doesn’t harm your plants. Good luck.”

Jan Swinson commented: “I saw on This Morning that you should grate soap into the hole when planting the bulbs then squirrels won’t get them!”

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Geraldine Spruce said: “Saw on This Morning. Make your hole ready for the bulb, grate a little bit of soap into the hole, cover finely with soil to cover the soap.

“Put the bulb in the compost. Apparently, the soap gratings take the scent of the bulb away so squirrels can’t detect them hence no digging up.

“You can do this on top of soil too afterwards as obviously rain will wash soap away after a while. Just keep repeating until they get the hint and stop.”

Sue Daykin replied: “Squirrels are attracted by the smell of bulbs. Their advice is to put grated soap into the hole when you plant the bulb.

“Squirrels don’t like the smell or taste. It doesn’t harm the squirrel and the rain eventually washes it away.”

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Andrea Wilkie commented: “Just learned that if squirrels are a problem in your garden you should grate a bit of a bar of soap on top of the bulb then cover it with dirt.”

Most homes have bars of soap but for those who don’t own a bar of soap, they can be bought from most local supermarkets, beauty stores or online.

Wright’s traditional soap costs just 19p from Waitrose & Partners.

Pears Transparent Amber Soap is £1 from Amazon while Pears Oil Clear Bar Soap is 89p from Superdrug.

Sainsbury’s Tea Tree Cleansing Bar Soap costs 65p.

Other suggestions for to stop squirrels digging up bulbs included using netting, coffee granules, pepper, peppermint oil and nuts.

Rachel Claire commented: “I’ve just bought some netting to stop the little blighters!”

Gail McFadden replied: “I use netting, coffee granules, orange peel – never knew about soap.”

Dorothea Evans said: “I have heard that you should sprinkle pepper or chilli on top.”

Margaret Hesketh wrote: “Dip some cotton wool buds in peppermint oil and put then around your bulbs. They hate peppermint oil.”

Pauline Richards said: “Put monkey nuts away from your bulbs…They may be satisfied with them.”

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