love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)February 20, 2014

The squirrels are really bad this year: running through everything, tearing stuff up, no regard to my hard work. So inconsiderate. So whenever I read that any particular plant that I have is poisonous (seeds, flowers, berries, whatever), I think "oh please, oh please, oh please, let the squirrels try them". Never seems to happen. :) Do the squirrels run through your plants?

Carol in Jacksonville

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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

Ya they try them but don't like them. I saw one going from pot to pot one time taking a little bitty bite from each brugmansia stem of older seedlings. I went out and looked and saw teeth marks but no actual bites so I guess they sampled to see if it was good or bad lol. We have a lot of stray cats around here and they keep the squirrels pushed back to the woods area now days.

One morning (a few yrs ago) I found a baby squirrel in the yard and no mama. About dark I went out and checked again and still no mama. It still had its eyes closed so it fell from a tree. Lots of tom cats around so I took it and gave it to a nice mama that happened to have some kittens and she totally adopted it and raised it as her own!

Here he is nursing with the other kittens.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 7:31PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

love those little tree rats lol Wife feeds the birds so have an endless supply Particularly rough on the epiphytes ,don't actually eat them but when running up the trees pull them off or dig up the baskets . Seem to have an agenda with orchids once established they leave them alone but when newlly planted will dig them up Also have possums raccoons cats dogs and kids lol Oh well part of the joy of gardening ?? lol gary

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 5:11AM
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Ooooh squirrelsâ¦. Gave up on having a bird feeder because of them. They plant the palm dates everywhere, I have Queen Palms sprouting from all my potted plants. They chew off all the bottle brush flowers and let them drop on the ground. At least they keep the dogs exercised, they love chasing them.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:17AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

I don't necessarily love or hate squirrels. Sometimes I enjoy watching them scurry and chase each other, but I don't necessarily like it when they are demolishing my bird feeders. I have found that using nyjer and safflower seed makes for a problem free feeding station as the squirrels don't care for either of these. But sometimes I get cheaper Finch Mixes and that's when they will try to empty the feeders in three hours. So recently I installed a squirrel baffle and it seems to do the trick for now as they can not find a launch point from which they can get over the baffle. But its funny watching them circle the feeders, sizing up different vantage points. My wife felt bad for them so I came up with a simple ground feeder that I fill about once a week with a 'wildlife mix'. They seem to have to fight the crows over this stuff.

As for digging up plants, I haven't had much issue with this. Usually when I plant something new, I will go out the next morning and find that they have been digging near the new plant, but not at it. The holes are usually about 3-4" from where I was digging, like they were just curious or checking on the roots for me. Only once did I find a new seedling dug up, but the squirrel was kind enough to dig up the entire bag of peat without damaging the plant itself. Still, I imagine the reason I haven't seen worse is merely because I just have not yet planted anything that they want.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:47AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

Echo, I'm confused... are the dogs chasing the squirrels or are the squirrels chasing the dogs... I would imagine the former, but with some of these Toy and Teacup sized dogs, I can definitely see the latter. And it makes me laugh.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:52AM
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" Do the squirrels run through your plants? " Not anymore....

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 10:15AM
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We stopped feeding the squirrels - er I mean the birds - too. We got the squirrel proof feeders and they soon figured them out. I told my husband that every time you try to put something else out to foil them they are out in the woods watching with little white lab coats on, along with their little slide rules and clipboards figuring it out.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 5:54PM
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@Lekle2ManE: It's the dogs chasing the squirrels. I have two greyhounds who love chasing them. Luckily there are plenty of trees they can make a quick escape to. We've only had to bury one squirrel, and we've convinced ourselves it died a natural death before the dog found it on the ground and shook it and threw it in the air.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:32AM
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We used to have tree rats (squirrels) when we tried feeding the birds from feeders. Now we plant things for the birds to eat and have no problem with tree rats. Of course, they will steal a whole sunflower head from time to time.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 9:18AM
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I've got one and I swear he's eating all my strawberries! I enjoy watching him and the mockingbirds battle so don't really want to chase him away..

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 2:12PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

you might want to make sure you don't have actual rats. As I stated earlier, I haven't had issues with my squirrels attacking my plants, though they will definitely go after fruits and berries. But ever since the very first Norwegian Brown Rats showed up in my yard last autumn, I have had nothing but problems keeping my peppers and onions from being gnawed upon (plant stems, not fruit). They even seem to be going after my pipevine.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 2:23PM
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We did have some rats but my husband took care of them. they did get some of my peppers, but never touched the onions. But no more!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 3:19PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

All of you made me laugh with your squirrel stories! Sultry J.N., I would love to know how that story ends... was the baby released back into the wild or did she remain a pet? Those pictures are too cute!


    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 12:42PM
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Yes, I have only been able to eat one strawberry from my strawberry patch this year as the damn tree rats eat them before they're ripe. They're fortunate that it's illegal to shoot them where I live.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 3:42PM
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My cat constantly chases the squirrels. Brought this home and left it at the door

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 1:11AM
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I thought only lizards dropped their tails to make a getaway..... I guess I was wrong:)


    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 11:26AM
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