Squirrels - How do you Get Rid of Them!!??

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Re: Squirrels - How do you Get Rid of Them!!??

Post  bobby little on Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:12 pm

djlen wrote:Very funny folks.
Now do any of you have any useful or helpful comments to impart?

I am serious. It is what I do. I make sure that there's not enough space between the sticks for them to fit in and they can't dig. This also works in cat poop prevention.

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Re: Squirrels - How do you Get Rid of Them!!??

Post  Smithy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:41 pm

It is not something i have done but i was advised to soak peanuts and then roll the peanuts in rat poison . Make sure the birds can't get to them. One of my gardens i work in has some real tree damage from the squirrels. The farmer next door has been putting the live traps down and then shooting them when he catches them.

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Re: Squirrels - How do you Get Rid of Them!!??

Post  Guest on Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:19 pm

[quote="Smithy"]It is not something i have done but i was advised to soak peanuts and then roll the peanuts in rat poison . Make sure the birds can't get to them. One of my gardens i work in has some real tree damage from the squirrels. The farmer next door has been putting the live traps down and then shooting them when he catches them.[/quote

Go get em Floyd Laughing

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Re: Squirrels - How do you Get Rid of Them!!??

Post  bobby little on Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:05 am

fiona wrote:We don't have a problem with squirrels so much a with pigeons, blackbirds and starlings. The latter two regularly pinch my moss (mesh wire sorts this out) and also dig into the potting mix in search of food. The pigeons sit on branches and generaly cause a mess.

Here is how I get rid of them. I don't fire the ball bearings that were supplied (it's a bit inhumane and neither do I trust my ability as a sure shot in such proximity to windows and greenhouses!). I used to fire peanuts but I am convinced the wee buggers learned how to catch them mid-air. Now I fire hydroleca clay pellets - it does the trick quite well and is biodegradable.

The Barnett Diabolo



I had to crop this pic slightly so it didn't look like I was lying and was still using ball bearings - an impression brought about by the extreme cold and my lack of jersey! Work it out for yourself, Bobby L.


peanut smuggling?

Anyhoo, do you still sit on a bucket and hang out with Fat Bob wee Eck and Soapy Soutar?

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Re: Squirrels - How do you Get Rid of Them!!??

Post  Barry M on Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:14 am

Frankly, I'm disappointed in the responses. Surely you have the ingenuity to find ways to protect your precious trees without harming the squirrels.

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Re: Squirrels - How do you Get Rid of Them!!??

Post  SamC on Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:32 am

Barry, here's my thoughts...

I know people who have issues with skunks, they live trap them and release them out in the wilderness. The original offenders may or may not return, (I have heard that they will travel up to 30 miles to return to their old territory). At any rate, considering squirrels, I would imagine that if you trap and relocate, the "squirrel vacuum" you would form would simply pull neighboring squirrels into a vacated territory. (There may also be legal issues with trapping and relocating, you would need to check your local laws).

Likewise, I don't find killing the miscreants to be useful for the same reason, neighboring animals will just expand their territories.

Unless you can be extremely discriminant in the use of poison, I just wouldn't go there. I would be concerned in the case of the English squirrels that the preferred red ones may be poisoned along with the grays...unless the reds just don't go for peanuts? We've also had friends who have lost both dogs and cats over the years to finding and eating poisoned rodents. Recently several protected raptors made the news as they were found near death due to the same sort of incident

Isolating your plants could be a solution. I have seem some wonderfully crafted bird enclosures that one might almost not notice. Mesh walls and ceiling around a large yard/lawn which keeps the people's birds in, and animals that prey upon the birds out. A smaller mesh cage would likely be a simpler solution, but may not be very aesthetically appealing, but one along the lines of a small greenhouse might be a nice option.

Predator scenting can be used, but has varying effectiveness. This came up in another thread. The principle is that many predators mark territory usually as "no trespassing" signs to other predators. Prey animals naturally don't tend to hang out where the predators mark. This can also work to ward off domestic and feral cats, since predators like wolves and larger cats (Bobcats and especially cougars) will kill them apparently to reduce competition for food. The scenting is somewhat noxious, and needs to be applied regularly, but can be obtained at some gardening shops and many hunting supply stores.

There are other repellents, but as others have noted, they have varying degrees of effectiveness.

Providing food to the squirrels may mitigate their desire to dig in your pots, since easily accessible food is less work. The problem there is that regular steady feeding ends up just creating larger overall populations.

The motion sensor sprinkler type devices sound like a hoot, but I have no familiarity with them.

Squirrels are, if nothing are fairly adept problem solvers. This leads to ability to train them. The embedded spikes others have mentioned could be a nice passive deterrent. I have seem some pretty amazing results using moderate sized capacitors Twisted Evil Charge them up, place them with the leads sticking up on the soil of your pots. They are good for a few hours and if a squirrel touches across the leads, they will find themselves a couple feet away on their furry little arses wondering what hit them. Just don't forget about them yourself! I have read of people have used this to even teach "untrainable" dogs and cats to stay OFF certain pieces of furniture. I really don't consider it inhumane (considering the alternatives), since there shouldn't be any permanent injury, and the ones that 'learn' will be around to keep the uneducated neighbors from wandering into their territory. My only concern would be to wire down small or light pots so they are shoved off a stand or bench by a spasming squirrel!

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Re: Squirrels - How do you Get Rid of Them!!??

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:03 am

Sorry, I suppose we have got a bit carried away. As mentioned above, either wire mesh over each pot, at soil level, or some kind of fruit frame to house your trees Very Happy

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Squirrels

Post  mountainrunner on Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:17 pm

Personally, I've tried moth balls buried in the soil, chilli powdwer sprinkled on the surface, etc., and nothing really works. Squirrels dig by nature - and are motivated totally by access to food sources. I would say that anything we do is at best a deterrent. Any one method used for an extended period of time will become less effective...all animals eventually learn to circumvent it. Keeping trees on pedestals/tables away from large trees or other structures is helpful, but I've seen squirrels easily climb up vertical rock surfaces, as well as telephone poles, so display tables are not really a problem for them if they really want up there. My observation is that the best defence is to try to simply reduce the risk of damage by working around squirrel behaviour - i.e. they do most of their digging in the fall, when storing food for the winter, and in the spring when retrieving it (they are most hungry then and will destroy things in short order at this time). They rarely dig in the summer when their food sources (nutes, berries, etc.) are abundant. I therefore protect my trees carefully during these two seasons. Although it is an eyesore, covering the bonsai with some kind of wire cage/chicken wire can help. I should mention that I live in an area in which squirrels are extremely plentiful, and that working this way has helped me to avoid too many problems...they still do occur occasionally, but damage is minimal.

I hope this was helpful!

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Re: Squirrels - How do you Get Rid of Them!!??

Post  djlen on Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:11 pm

Well, everything is still frozen up here and the trees are still in a protected area, so I haven't tried any of
the chili/pepper powder suggestions yet but I have noticed over the years that the worst of it is in the spring and fall as well. I will try the powder(s) and see if it helps and if not try to find a wire mesh solution during the early and late growing seasons.
I've found that the damage the little varmints can inflict can be light or quite heavy in some cases. I've had
them chew entire branches off Maples. No reason for it as there was plenty of forage available at that time. I've come to the conclusion that they are just out to be destructive. It's sort of a game for them. Twisted Evil Evil or Very Mad

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Squirrels

Post  mountainrunner on Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:16 pm

Squirrels are definitely destructive...sometimes I think they might just be chewing on things to wear down their teeth. Years ago I had a couple of mango trees in pots (not for bonsai...their leaves were too large), and was heartbroken when I arrived home one day from work to find they chewed right through the trunks.

Right now, everything is frozen solid around here, too - I still see the squirrels out there, fatter than ever. A few weeks ago, I saw one eating a whole bagel it had found. Last year, I remember finding an empty, and very chewed, plastic peanut butter jar in our garden.

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Re: Squirrels - How do you Get Rid of Them!!??

Post  Attila Soos on Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:36 pm

I had a serious problem, since my bonsai trees are under a large oak tree, and there is always a squirrel or two residing on it. They used to dig the soil of my bonsai, making a terrible mess.

But I've found the solution, and have no problems ever since.
I've purchased a roll of wire screen, the strong variety made of galvanized iron. I cut out a strip of about 4 or 5 inches wide. The width depends on the height of the bonsai pot. I wrap the strip around the bonsai pot, creating a ring (like a little fence) around it. Then I make cuts into the strip from above, about halfway into the strip, one cut at every 3-4 inches, and bend inwards the resulting ridges.
The end result looks like a kings crown, with the bonsai pot inside. There is no way that the squirrel can get to the soil. They haven't touched my bonsai ever since. It takes about 5 minutes to create one ring.

In addition, I also have a live trap that has some nuts in it. Occasionally, I find the squirrel inside. I take the trap and release the squirrel in the neigbouring forest, about 5 miles away from my house. Of course, there is always a new squirrel taking over my tree after a month or so. But the wire screen keeps my bonsai safe.

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Re: Squirrels - How do you Get Rid of Them!!??

Post  djlen on Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:51 pm

Attila - if you could take a picture of your creation for keeping them of your trees I'd be very grateful!!
I'm having difficulty understanding your instructions. Embarassed

Thanks.

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Re: Squirrels - How do you Get Rid of Them!!??

Post  Attila Soos on Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:10 pm

djlen wrote:Attila - if you could take a picture of your creation for keeping them of your trees I'd be very grateful!!
I'm having difficulty understanding your instructions. Embarassed

Thanks.

I'll try to make some time for it this weekend.

P.S.: It's a strange coincidence, I've just found a squirrel in my live trap this morning. Last night it rained here, so I was worried that the poor thing could have frozen to death in the trap, that's what happens if they become too wet (and I am not into torturing animals). But he was live and well. So on my way to work, I gave him a lift to the neighbouring hills.
I am aware that they may return, but so far, I've never seen any of them return (I mark one of the front claws with a yellow acrylic paint, to recognize a "former tenant"). It takes about a month to get a new resident on my oak tree.
Squirrels are highly territorial. In order to survive, one needs to find a personal residence right away, so if you don't see the same squirrel in a few days, it means that it won't be returning.

They may be annoying creatures, but I still love them. Very Happy

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