bagging peaches for squirrel protection

alan haighMay 22, 2012

I think this has been discussed here before but I don't remember the details beyond that it is only partially affective. Is bagging peaches with something like nylon stocking material at all affective and will it be possible to control brown rot with peaches "protected" this way.

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Harvestman, you are reading my mind! I'm going to net my tree and pray for the best. Bagging peaches or apricots that don't have a tough skin like apples, sounds like one is asking for rot. I wish I could bag them, as the squirrels would have much less of chance to eat them and destroy the tree. Frustrating ain't it? Mrs. G

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 3:04PM
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alan haigh

I generally keep them from going up long (4' to first branches) straight trunks but the trees in this instance are abutted to forest type trees.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 3:09PM
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birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)

So how do you keep them from going up the trunks? Because that could work for me.

Although I expect as the peaches ripen, the branches will bow down in reach of a jump from the ground.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 3:17PM
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alan haigh

You use mylar or aluminum smeared with axle grease. If you start a foot above the ground three feet of either should do it although I haven't tried mylar (metalized polyester plastic sheeting) yet. I bought a 100' foot role of the stuff at high dij so I hope it works.

There's where the idea of mylar came from. The man who wrote about it has two unrelated patented inventions and was pretty scientific in his evaluations and execution.

I only hope that the narrower diameter of most of the fruit trees I manage will not enable the squirrels to pull themselves up.

I'm confident about grease and al. flashing as I've seen it work for sure. Some did say that he had a squirrel who would keep going up the tree and slipping down until all the grease was removed. The mylar should be slicker than flashing or vent pipe.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 4:02PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

Harvestman, I think I remember the thread. I bookmarked the source mentioned for cloth bags.

Here is a link that might be useful: Packco coin bags

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 4:19PM
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H-man, I had that experience with a squirrel, but it was going up a metal bird feeder pole with sunflower seeds as its goal.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 5:01PM
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alan haigh

It, if a squirrel can go up a greased metal pole it can probably go up a tree with greased aluminum flashing. I remember you said it was jut one particular squirrel out of the general population so we shall see.

I'm tired of killing birds with tangle trap so I'm going to try axle grease over flashing on some trees and the mylar on others. Hungry squirrels sometimes aren't deflected by tangletrap anyway. I'll report back on success or failure.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 5:12PM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

You do not have to grease aluminum if it is high enough. If you do grease anyway it will get dirty and it will be very easy for them to climb.

They can jump straight up 4 feet and more but you might get by with it if the current squirrel population has not tasted a peach. The young ones can't jump that high but the older ones can and will if there is a reason.

One thing I am testing this year is putting water(not food) out for the squirrels. During the drought they would do anything to find moisture. I want say this works for sure but I will say I think it helps keep them from trying so hard. Food is a bad idea because it just brings in bigger populations.

I have been testing squirrel preventive systems for the last 3 years. I saved all the peaches through harvest this year but there is more testing to be done. The water I think helped by reducing the need to beat the system.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 5:25PM
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austransplant(MD 7)

Bagging is no protection against squirrels; rather, they now get their meals neatly packaged. I had bagged apples and pears last year, and the squirrels would take the bags in their mouths and run along the fence and up a nearby oak.

If I was restarting my home orchard from scratch, I would follow either Harvestman's advice to have a four foot trunk or would grow small dwarf trees, where I could put a frame around them and easily net them. Unfortunately my trees fall right in between these two. What does seem to work reasonably well is to net the bottom half of the tree. This keeps squirrels out, provided there are no nearby trees from which they can jump into the fruit tree, and I have not found birds to be a major problem with apples and pears (though they are for cherries -- no nets, no fruit).

Squirrels were my number one pest last summer, and I just hope this is not repeated this year.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 5:52PM
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I think you need to bag the squirrels for peach protection.

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 6:04PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I finally ordered a Kania trap. Sooo many babies this year. I wish I had bought the trap last winter.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 6:20PM
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My neighbor is a good shot with a pellet gun, I'm happy to say.

I have certainly seen the varmints running off with a bagged fruit or ripping it open. I was contemplating Tangle Trap and wish there were better reports of it. I'm currently not in a bird-positive mood.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 7:19PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I have had good results with cotton bags tied tightly to the limbs themselves so the squirrels could not steal them. But I was also trapping at the same time so maybe I was reducing the pressure. Now I don't bag but have four Kania traps, one at each corner of my yard. The Kania traps take some experience to get them working correctly but once you have it figured out you can get all those squirrels bagged.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 8:21PM
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austransplant(MD 7)


Thanks to your generosity I tried the cotton bags you gave me on stone fruit. The squirrels simply ripped out the bottom of the bags. Or, perhaps -- heaven forbid -- it was racoons! In any event, they did not stop fruit stealing.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 9:56PM
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Last year, I bagged my peaches with Surround-soaked footsies (nylon). Worked out very well, no bugs at all. I don't know about protecting against squirrels. They were busy stealing my Asian pears.

I also oiled my bird feeder pole with cooking oil (very generously) to see a squirrel made many attempts and finally succeeded in climbing up to get bird feeds.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 10:15PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I am including a link to a previous post regarding bagging peaches.

Here is a link that might be useful: Can you bag peaches like apples?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 10:56AM
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Squirrels are pretty smart animals. There is no good method that is 100% effective against squirrel. You have to use all the methods you know of to protect your fruits.... set the trap, adopt a armyful of cats patrol the yard, train your dogs chase off the quirrell, put up the fence, get the gun, bag the fruits, feed the squirrels.........

Peaches can be bagged just like apples, pear. As far as I know, the original idea of bagging the fruit is not against squirrels, but to protect fruit from insect damage. If I can remember it right, it is just a papper bag, nothing fancy. I eat bagged peaches every year. There is no noticable differences in flavor but there is noticable difference in color. The bagged peaches are much greener/pale compare to full ripe peaches with red/blush skin. if you put both side by side, you can tell which one is bagged, which is not.

Yes, they like Asia pears too, the tasty riped ones. I guess they have same taste as we do. It proofs that we did shared some root in the evolution at some point back....

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 5:22PM
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alan haigh

Randy, I've seen them go up aluminum flashing ungreased.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 9:15PM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

Yep! I agree with the above comment about squirrels eating right through cotton bags. I lost a bunch last year that way. Bags and peaches!

I took Scott's advice and ordered 3 Kania traps and will be picking up some bait (unsalted peanuts) on the way home from work today. Does anyone know of a better bait? Peanuts were recommended by Kania.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 2:37PM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

Harvest man I make them about a foot in diameter. Maybe I can find one of my videos of then busting their little butts. One piece I greased after a few mower passes they climb up it without any problem.

On pecan trees down here some put a ring just above the squirrel jumping sweet spot. Once on the tree trunk below the aluminum section about two feet wide, they can't jump past the aluminum.

I am testing this week a new more economical system that takes advantage of their peach tree attack profile.

I still recommend you keep your squirrels watered. It want stop all of them but it helps best I can tell. I don't think they love peaches all that much, they just need the moisture. I think they would eat watermelons if they knew they could.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 3:47PM
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alan haigh

Randy, a foot would probably work as it takes much more strength to pull weight up, but then you have to stop them from going inside.

The site I'm trying to protect has ample water, it's a water wonderland with pools right next to the peaches but this doesn't stop them from taking every peach green. I'm told squirrels need to constantly file down their teethe or they will kill them so when nuts are not around they need to chew on something else. They also seem to get some nourishment from green peaches because they don't always leave the shreds of green peaches.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 5:12PM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

I have not had them go under a tube.

I wonder if you stuffed newspaper in the top then sprayed in that foam in a can if that would work. The foam will stick to both the aluminum and the bark as long as kept the depth a few inches.

I built a good size R/C airplane out of aluminum and two-part injection foam several years ago.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 6:40PM
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The kind of baffle that worked on the bird feeder was an umbrella-shaped piece of metal that wrapped around the pole and fastened together. I'm sure any competent metal-worker could fabricate such a thing, with adjustable fasteners.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 8:08PM
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alan haigh

I've also heard of using the collars that are fashioned for injured dogs. My sister is a vet so I think I might have her send me a few.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 9:17PM
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There'd be a market if the design was right.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 10:47PM
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you must kill the squirrels in the off-season.

save some of the peaches in the fridge, and put them in one of those big Havahart cage traps when there are no peaches left on the tree.

You can also dangle apple cores from the top of the cage to lure them.

they should then come down and go for the fruit bait in the cage.

When baited correctly, you should be able to catch a lot of squirrels so they don't come back next season.

I have a persimmon tree which the squirrels would destroy every year. During the last off-season, I caught 20 squirrels. This year, I should have more fruit to harvest.

A few squirrels from other areas have moved in recently, and have eaten a lot of my peaches. But I plan to kill them off this winter.
It's a constant battle.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 7:10PM
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I fought with a squirrel over my apricots and got down to one generous branch I was trying to protect. I ended up using bird netting wrapped around the entire limb and that worked. But it is cumbersome to do and I doubt one could remove and reuse the netting, as it tangles.

If I ever succeed with my potted 'cot I plan to build a little screen enclosure.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 7:43PM
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I have harvest my peach before they are really ripe as squirrels come everyday. Now they come for my Asian Pear. I have catched about half dosen using woldlife-traps but now they are getting smart and won't touch the trap at all.
I just ordered a Kania trap 2000 based on Scott's recommendation. Can't wait to see its action. Hope it really works.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 9:21AM
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No bagging need if the squirrel population declines.

I use an assortment of the following always baited with sunflower seeds in shells:
1. Kania Trap
2. Rat Zapper Ultra
3. Havahart

Unfortunately my neighbor loves to feed the birds year round and does not understand fully the effects of seed dropping on the ground.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 10:49AM
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I tried using traps for my rabbits and squirrels but ended up catching skunks. Try emptying those traps. I'd use a .22 but don't have time to babysit the trees etc every day. I'm tempted to use Randy's water with a little something in the water to help discourage them.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 11:22AM
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I've been trying for a week to trap the squirrels getting into my sweet corn. They just don't take the bait.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 1:05PM
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