Squirrel elimination

chris_chico(10A)October 11, 2008

After reading the loong post here http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/fruit/msg081636542006.html

I wanted to share my "Tools" for squirrel elimination.

My fruit trees are not producing yet so that is not my issue. The raiding of $15-20 worth of bird food per week is my problem for NOW.

I bought one of these pellet guns which are awesome, about $150+ with a scope. I am a prior USMC Scout Sniper and I must admit for the $ these are very accurate and easy to use airguns!


I solved two problems with one solution. We have a pet Black Throat monitor who was getting quite large and therefore eating $10 of rats per week. Why buy what I can provide?

My teenage son had his friend over and asked if they could shoot a squirell. Since I do not believe in waste I told them no, the monitor had just eaten. If they wanted to kill an animal they needed to put it to use by eating what they kill.

It was quite tasty actually!

I am as GREEN as the next guy and believe you can have your squirrel and eat it too! LOL...

Honestly, I tried everying before I started picking them off and I mean EVERYTHING! Nothing worked since they always figured a way to get thru my defenses, but after a few weeks of feeding Hannibal the Lizard I had a "controlled" problem and it stayed that way for a couple years. As I eliminated one a new one would move in just in time for Hannibal's next meal. My son got to get his marksmanship practice in and there was peace. Unfortunately, I lost the monitor to an infection and have not replaced it. 6 months later I once again have a problem and no solution. I am a avid chile pepper grower and have even tried concocting a "squirrel pepper dust" to deter them from the seed, but they eat it although it is evidently burning their mouths due to the constant rubbing of their faces as they eat. It is hot since I can eat the hottest chiles available and this concoction made me burn. They are very stubborn and can not be taught to stay away!

So, buy a pellet gun and start feeding something. Make sure you check the gut for worms first ;-)

P.S. To add to the list of negative side effects of a squirrel population on your property is they are usually covered in fleas! I will kill 100's of squirrels if it means protecting my dogs from being infested by disease carrying fleas and not having to douse my yard with chemical pesticides. I went 3 years with no fleas and 3 large dogs outside 24/7 never using flea meds or yard sprays. Once the squirrel population got bad I had to start using Frontline due to a flea population that was growing which I was not happy about!

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Well, I posted back in the original squirrel thread, recommending that the original poster forget about a pellet gun, because it never worked that well for my dad, who missed about 80% of his shots.

So, apparently, it wasn't the pellet gun that was the problem, but more likely, the lack of Marine corp sniper training. LOL!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 6:53AM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

We were cutting back the brambles all day Saturday. Everything went through the wood chipper and we moved the compost pile because it was too large for the front yard by the plum trees. Now I got 75 ft shots out the side kitchen door. My neighborhood is saturated with mature Oak and tall pine, so there is an endless supply of varmints. I need to take a tree rat every day in the growing season. I use a combination approach to tree rat control. I installed aluminum coil on the tree trunks of nesting and hiding trees. Two Havahart traps get one a day avg. I use also bird netting and and tanglefoot tree trunk wrap. My 1000 fps Crossman brake barrel rifle is inaccurate even in the basement with a bench mount. I am looking at 22 caliber Benjamin air rifle. My peach crop this season was mostly destroyed over one week I was away. I'm going to leave some BON BON treats next time.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 7:26AM
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Actually to be considered for a Sniper unit you must have inherent ability to shoot. The training does include marksmanship, but is so much more than that. So any hunter should be more than equipped to hit a target with an airgun as long as they understand it is not a firearm in regards to how it works and reacts to variables.

My point is anyone can shoot and kill a squirrel with practice as long as

-The airgun is in good operating condition (clear straight barrel,trigger pull is not too hard)
-The airgun has sufficient power to reach the target and penetrate. The more power in fps the more accurate the gun will be, preferably 1000fps+ rating
-A pellet is used and not a BB ( may work but unreliable)
-The shot is taken ideally under 50' and 100' max
-There is little to no wind
-Most importantly is WELL aligned sights or scope!!!

Just as someone should not expect to be able to hit a baseball from an overhand pitch the first few times they should not expect the airgun to hit the target for them without practice. My son has been able to hit them fairly well since he was 9 using a gun way too large and heavy for him to properly aim.

Don't shoot your eye out ;-)


    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 10:32AM
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If you don't feed them all to the lizzard, try this -- it's "peasant" food, but I always found it very good:

Squirell & Pea Stew:

2 to 3 squirrels, cut into serving sized pieces
about 1/4 cup of flour seasoned with a bit of salt & pepper
1/4 cup of butter or oil (or a blend of each) for browning
1/4 cup finely minced onion
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup potato, diced into 1" cubes (optional)
1 cup carrot slices, about 1/4 inch thick (optional)
1 can (15.5 ounces -- standard size) baby peas

Dredge the squirrel in the seasoned flour, shake off the excess. Heat the oil/butter in pan until gently bubbling, add the onion and cook until golden but not crisp or browned, add the squirrel and turn often until browned somewhat on all sides. Drain off the excess oil, and then add everything else at this point EXCEPT the peas. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for about one hour, or until squirrel is tender. (NOTE -- if you think the squirrel is going to be tough, and you are using the potatoes and carrots, don't add them right away, and cook the squirrel in the broth for about an extra half an hour, THEN add the potatoes and carrots -- this way, the veggies don't turn to mush.)

Finally, after the squirrel is tender, add the can of peas, liquid and all, to the pot, bring back to the boil, and simmer another 20 to 30 minutes. If the stew gets too dry or thick, add some additional chicken broth. If it's too thin for your preference at the end, thicken with some additional flour or corn starch.

This recipe was something my Croatian grandmother used to make -- don't know if it was something from the Old Country or just something she picked up after she got here -- she lived in a small town in S. Illinois for 74 years AFTER she came to the US.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 6:40PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Operative phrase perhaps "If you don't feed them..."

Out here at least, where eastern gray squirrels are not native I wonder how many we would have around if people weren't deliberately (peanuts) or accidentally (unprotected dog food(?), unused fruit and nut trees...) feeding them.

I also see wharf rats, a feature peculiar to maritime areas in fruit trees during the day here. These are genuine tree rats. Untended fruit trees are all over the place in my area, it seems people who may never do much other planting and gardening plant fruit trees - doubtless because they are thinking about eating the fruit at the time of purchase rather than the fact they are taking on trees that will have to be looked after.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 12:02AM
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Please describe:

I installed aluminum coil on the tree trunks of nesting and hiding trees

I use electric fence to exclude both deer and squirrels.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 6:46AM
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I often thought that a band of shiny aluminum flashing like is used to make ductwork around each trunk would probably make a most effective squirrel barrier -- it would probably have to be done in a manner so that it was wide enough (3 feet, I'd think) that they can't cross it, and there would have to be no hanging branches or nearby trees to jump from.

Alas, I have over 200 trees in my yard, and most overlap, so it would be vastly too expensive to do this here.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 7:06AM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

jel7, aluminum coil is used to cover outside trim on houses. It comes in 24" rolls with usually white painted on one side and chosen color on the other. I use 24" brown color to match the tree trunks. I have four 60' Blue spruce and Colorado spruce trees. Squirrels would run the gauntlet of pellet fire to bring back my peaches to their high spruce tree nest. I'll bet half the squirrel community came from this nest. No matter how many squirrels took casualties the peach pits kept dropping down. Once I nailed the trim coil 6' up the tree trunk it was over.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 8:56AM
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Aluminum sheet around tree trunks has been SOP for years in Hawaii to keep rats out of palm trees.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 11:25AM
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Thanks for the great rundown.

You wont starve if times get tough.

Do you go for head or body shots?

Found many worms in them?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 12:52PM
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Like I said I tried everything including wrapping aluminum flashing around the trunks. I tried 2 overlapping coils for about 44" of coverage up the trunk of trees with bird feeders. Some would use the jump and glide method from other trees and others were actualy able to get enough momentum and run up the flashing onto the tree! I have too many trees with many being saw palmettos clusters mixed in with pines and there is no wrapping the palmettos. So, unless I want to "clear" my property and strategically replant trees that method is useless.

I look at it the same way. If we get to that point in our society I will have some fruit and meat to eat or trade ;-).

I usually try to place the crosshairs on the upper chest/throat area to allow for some drift either to the head or main body mass for a good knockdown/kill shot. Shooting with a pellet gun at upward angles is not the best shooting scenario especially with a scope which increases your error by such magnification used. If you get a hit out of 10 shots average you are doing well. Ground shots are much easier, but you only get one of those at most before they scramble up a tree. Another note, if you shoot with pellets and then toss somewhere that another animal could eat make sure to remove all pellets since they are pure lead and can cause lead poisoning!

Honestly I did not usually check for worms unless we were consuming since the lizard should be equipped to handle mammalian parasites.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 9:04AM
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