when I was a kid one of the neighbors took me squirrel hunting. it wasn't really 'hunting' as they just sat up there thinking you couldn't see them, but he made them into stew. if they eat your plants, eat them! last year when I had peppers, tomatoes and herbs in 10 gallon pots outdoors, I was concerned about cats and tree rats getting into the pots, so I just used fencing mesh over the tops of the pots and let the plants grow up through the mesh. cheap and effective. though I like the laugh-factor of adding hot pepper to the soil! maybe it will keep slugs away as well?