anyone ever tried cayenne pepper to keep squirrels away

lycheeluva(6/7)May 8, 2010

i read online somewhere that a liberal dose of cayyane pepper sprinkelled onto a peach tree will keep the squirrels away. anyonw tried this and found it to work?

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myk1(5 IL)

I would say it would depend on the squirrel. My sister put hot sauce on her baseboards to keep pet rabbits from chewing. It worked like a charm for one and seemed to be a condiment for the other.

Plus wouldn't it be hard to get the cayenne off the fuzzy peaches?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 11:19AM
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alan haigh

I tried an extremely hot homemade recipe I distilled from habenaro powder and found that the squirrels were all over peaches that would have been too spicy for my Ethiopian wife!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 3:12PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I tried various concoctions and had mixed luck. I did have some luck with deterring deer this spring, they were visiting every day or two for a munch but a liberal spray of the rotten egg/hot pepper stuff has kept them away since.

Get a Kania trap, I tried every squirrel cure in the book and thats the only one that worked. That reminds me, I have a dead one I need to pull out of the trap.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 11:47PM
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It seems to work for chipmunks! I liberally sprinkle extra hot red pepper (way cheaper at the Indian food store) around and in any holes the chippys dig in my garden beds and they dont usually come back more than once!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 7:53AM
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It can work but only if you use the capsaicin as a teaching device. Any mammal will get a burning mouth, but you must get them to eat a sample first. Dip some squirrel goodie that looks like a green peach in the hot stuff and teach the squirrels how yucky it is to eat it. It can work.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 8:19AM
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scott- in which way is the kania trap more effective than the haveahart traps? also, im wondering what i would do with the dead squirrels in the summer heat- our garbage is picked up twice a week- if i had a dead squirrel sitting in my garbage can in 80-100f degree weather for 2-4 days, that could be a disaster. what do you do with your dead squirrels- if i had an urban lot, i would bury them in compost heaps, but alas city-living- my garden is about the size of a compost heap- so no room for compost heaps. Any ideas what to do with the dead squirrels to prevent a major maggot fest in the summer

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 8:50AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


With a major squirrel infestation, I think trapping, or possibly exclusion, is going to be the only means of effective control.

In the past few years I've perfected my squirrel trapping techniques. Of the 7 different traps I've tried (although I've not tried Kania) the best is the Tomahawk single door (measures 24" X 7" X 7").

I would encourage you not to go with Havahart. You'll catch some squirrels with a Havahart, but their solid panel doors inhibit the squirrels from entering. I've watched them from my window, they just won't go in a Havahart like they will a Tomahawk that has a wire mesh door.

My opinion for this phenomena is that a wire mesh door is more open and appears like a bunch of twigs to the squirrel, whereas a solid panel door looks like an enclosure from a squirrel perspective. Tomahawk also has a better trip mechanism.

Scott has mentioned before that Kania's work well for him, but my preference is for an open trap in which the bait is highly visible. It has worked very well for me, in spite of people dumping their live catches in the area.

One advantage of Kania is that it is a lethal trap. This can be a real advantage, as there is a lady that will come on my property and let my squirrels loose if she sees them in a live trap. It makes the squirrels trap shy. For those few squirrels, I bought a pellet gun with a scope.

I'm not understanding why disposal should be a problem. Can you simply dig a shallow hole and bury them? If you mulch your trees, you could bury them there, and they would give you the advantage of feeding your trees.

I suppose another option would be to put the squirrels in plastic bags and stick them in the freezer until trash day. They are loosely considered a game animal, and it's appropriate for game to go in the freezer.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 11:34AM
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I found it better to protect the area around the plants, than the plants themselves. I encircled an area with cayenne pepper and the squirrel bounced up the tree because her nose was looking up, but on the way down she got the point! IÂve never seen a squirrel run so fastÂthe short lived revenge felt sweet! It doesnÂt work for longÂany rain or watering washes it out, and it can leave an orange residue behind.

If itÂs a peach tree that youÂre trying to protect, they are very creative creatures and will find a way to eat the peaches. I had a squirrel and a rabbit that actually teamed upÂthe squirrel would take a bite or two, and then throw down any which were not exactly to his liking to the ground where his partner in crime, a rabbit, was waiting. I always knew when that squirrel was in the tree, if I watched for the rabbit on the ground! I switched my focused to controlling which peaches they ate. During my clean up I tipped over a flat sided trash can a few feet from the tree to toss in any fallen or imperfect fruit with an unexpected result, the concentrated aroma of the ripening fruit drew the peach thieves to the barrel and away from my tree! This is year 3 and itÂs still working for the most part. By keeping a pile toward the front, they feel free to feast on my throwawaysÂwhich has dramatically reduced the number of peaches taken directly from the tree! When IÂm done stripping my tree, sanitation is a breeze. I simply tip up my trash barrel and roll it away.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 11:38PM
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alan haigh

Oh you lucky folks with a finite number of hungry squirrels. I can't imagine keeping squirrels satisfied with my throw aways as they often strip every peach and pear while still small, green and hard. The only long term solution I've found is to eliminate the animals altogether from your area and hope there will be no population explosion that pushes the hungry horde back to your territory.

Olpea is a master trapper, I wish I'd saved his description of his careful methods. I can never get enough of them in the traps and rely on my shotgun instead. I can see the varments in the distance and one occassionally comes by, but the moment it sees motion through my window it is out of there! Opea's trap springer would get a well aimed shot over her head if she entered my property.

Meanwhile, all bird feeders should be banished until they come up with a design that stops birds from knocking seed to the ground.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 5:12AM
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