What pulled up my herbs?

I planted some containers of herbs on my front porch and yesterday found 3 of the basil plants missing. Just completely pulled up and gone, no roots, no leaves, no nothing left but a hole. Some of my sage leaves have also been cut off. This is on a third floor balcony so I can't blame it on the neighbors or their pets. I have known squirrels to steal tomatoes but whole herb plants? And usually they dig but in this case the mulch around the missing plants was undisturbed. Any ideas on what could be doing this and how to prevent it in the future?
TIA!
LauraJ
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My sister's dog does this. She couldn't figure out where her little potted herbs were going and then one night she let the dog out and caught her in the act.
Don't suppose you have a pet you let out on the balcony?
marcella
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wrote:

Nope, no pets, just my DH and he swears he didn't touch it...
LauraJ
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Sounds like squirrels to me.
Penelope
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wrote:

That's what I was afraid you were going to say. ARGH. I hate those things. Any ideas on how to prevent? They never touched the herbs last year but the tricks I used for the tomatoes didn't seem to stop them at all. Now they have a taste for hot sauce.
LauraJ
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I put habanero flakes on our porch railing when they decide to start eating the porch. They never came back.
John!
Laura J wrote:

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Thanks for the advice - maybe I just need to try something hotter than I used last year.
LauraJ
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A wire cage around the herbs is probably your best bet... unless you feel like putting out rat poison for the squirrels?
The only time I ever poisoned squirrels was when they knocked out my internet service. The service guy from Grandecom said there was squirrel pee on the router box which leaked in and corroded the connections, and there were chew marks on the cables.
He was delighted to put the rat bait blocks up on the router and cables..... He hated squirrels because of the damage they did to electronics. They are worse than rats.
I've also learned to hate squirrels/tree rats! I used to think they were cute.
Not anymore!
--
Om.

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." -Jack Nicholson
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wrote:

I am well-entrenched in the squirrel-hating camp. Not too psyched about the poison but I did finally give in and put a fence around the garden in the yard. We'll see what that does. I'm not sure what I can do for what's on the balcony though - a wire cage isn't really an option because the herbs take up approximately half of the space so there is no avoiding having them up close to the railing and roofline which is how I suspect the squirrels are gaining access. I only have one cherry tomato up there along with the herbs. Last year the cherry tomato (Sweet Millions) produced enough that I didn't mind sharing too too much and this year I have another heavy producer (Sungold) so hopefully I'll still get to eat my fill. I'll be really pissed if this herb-stealing thing keeps up though.
LauraJ
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wrote:

plants this time of the year.
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wrote:

Hm, now that is an interesting idea. My DH the bird-lover says we don't have blackbirds around here but maybe it's another type of bird. I had some extra basil seedlings so I put them in the same spot the missing ones were and, lo and behold, those were gone the next day. The weird thing is that I have about 20 other basil seedings, along with many very small parsley, marjoram and a couple others and they haven't touched the other ones. Just the ones in that one large pot. Bizarre. Anyway, I'm not going to replace those and I got some netting to cover up everything else so hopefully that will keep the critters off for a little while at least.
LauraJ
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I'm having squirrel trouble on my 3rd floor balcony. They jump from an adjacent tree.
I don't have herbs or vegetables, just plants. They have been digging up my New Guinea Impatiens, hostas and coleus. I hate them
I went to a garden store today and she recommended a powder made from coyote urine. Unfortunately, this was $21 and seemed a bit too much for my little container garden. She also recommended blood meal (which is also a fertilizer) which I decided to try at $4 a bag.
A friend has a neighbor who is a hairdresser. She saves "nasty" hair (hair from clients that is oily, dirty, etc.) and puts it around her tomato plants. I asked my hairdresser for some "nasty" hair today and he said that his clients all use so much fruity smelling stuff on their hair that it would probably encourage the squirrels.
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la_fleur_de snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Bird netting? It's inexpensive and comes in big rolls.
That and some "tomcat" brand bar poison rat bait.... I won't use poison grain as birds will tend to get that. Just the big solid bar baits. Pin it down so they can't carry it off, or use suet cages like I do.
Sorry, but I'm sick to death of squirrel damage! They just are not cute anymore.
Both items are sold at Lowe's.
Good luck!
--
Om.

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." -Jack Nicholson
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wrote:

Since I was the OP, just wanted to come back and say that I tried the bird netting and haven't had any more damage (so far - we'll see how long it lasts though).
Good luck, I hate them too.
LauraJ
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Ah, excellent! :-) A simple and, hopefully, affordable solution! I'm glad it's working for you.
Cheers!
--
Om.

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." -Jack Nicholson
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wrote:

Yup, less than $5 for more than enough to cover the plants on the porch. Many times less expensive than the exterminator we had to hire to get the damn things out of our attic...
LauraJ
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My mom had trouble with squirrels getting her potted plants. They too
her eggplant plants right out of the pots. Now the weirdest one wa when the squirrel called 911 for my mother in law! :) she had a knoc on the door at #;00 am from the police and it scared her to death. the later the next day the phone company found where a squirrel had chewe on the phone wires and it called 911. Those squirrels do wild things!
Laura J Wrote:

-- Maryc
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Squirrels knocked out my internet service by urinating on the cable router boxes causing corrosion, and chewing on the cables.
Evidently squirrels munching cables is a very common problem. The cable guys hate them too and the guy that came here was quite happy to put some bar bait up around the router box to give the squirrels "something else" to chew on..........
--
Om.

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." -Jack Nicholson
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Hi All,
a 22 air rifle works wonders on squirrels. and I believe you can eat them, but have not tried them myself.
R. M. Watkin.
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Due to local firearm laws, I have to use an air rifle.
They are delicious, but wet them well before skinning them to keep them from shedding fur onto the meat!
I'm serious........
I skin and gut them, then cut them into quarters with the poultry shears, then fry them slowly in olive oil with a little lemon pepper.
They are REALLY good!!!!!!
--
Om.

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