squirrels

plantermunnMarch 3, 2013

The squirrels at my house have started to eat everything. I have luck for a time spreading ground red pepper. But I need to do it often.

Any ideas. They are thick out here. I can't clean up all the food sources. I live in a forest of acorns and pecans.

They ate all my seedums and all but 2 kinds of hens and chicks.

They even gnawed on my dessert rose last summer.

I do thin out some the old way but they bail when they hear m door open now.

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slowpoke_gardener

We will have to put you on our prayer list. Prayer and a .22 hollow point seems to be the best deterrent I have used against squirrels, the prayer is for my improved aim.

My son has feeders across the hwy from me. I think that helps draw them to his yard.

I also have a major problem with deer and crows.

Larry

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 4:01PM
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chickencoupe

Those darned tree rats are smart. They had burrowed into this house several times with the previous owners, chewed through telephone cables wood structures of every kind. Their old nest in the attic causes allergy problems. I can't even thinking about wall repair and clean up until the allergens are worn down.

We just had to "rid" ourselves of them prayerfully hoping we don't do any damage. Bill's a sharp aim and steady foot. It did the trick for a while. I think he shot one of the main squirrels. Not sure how they work in packs?

Then we got dogs - primarily to protect our bunnies from vicious predators and they seem to keep the neighbor tree rats at the perimeter.

bonnie

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 9:40PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Plantermunn,

Well, this must be very frustrating! I never knew squirrels would eat sedums. I know that spreading red pepper gets tedious, and it must be applied often during periods of rain.

I have had some luck deterring squirrels by spraying plants with hot pepper wax. I've also used homemade hot pepper and garlic tea (just run some hot peppers and garlic in the blender with water, strain it so it won't clog up the sprayer, add a couple of drops of dish soap to make it stick and spray on the squirrels favorite plants). I think the purchased Pepper Wax adheres better and lasts longer, likely because of the paraffin was it contains. I'll link an example of pepper wax below. I usually cannot find it in stores, though every now and then I'll stumble across it in a nursery/garden center in the D-FW metero area that specializes in organic products. I usually just order it online. Although Hot Pepper Wax is, technically, sold as an insect repellent, in my garden it repels squirrels from some fruiting plants. This year I am going to spray my ears of corn with it to see if a little hot pepper on the paws and face will repel raccoons.

We had a dog who was great at keeping the squirrels away, but when she was about 12 years old, she lost her hearing and the squirrels were able to sneak around the yard without her noticing them. I miss that dog! (And not only because she was good at chasing away squirrels. She was just a great dog.)

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Example of one of the Hot Pepper Wax repellents

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 10:04PM
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pamchesbay

Hi Plantermunn,

We often use a trap with smaller critters. Last weekend, Pete trapped a coon on the deck (drawn by bird feed). He wasn't easy to trap because he was fat and almost too big for the trap. We took the cage with coon up the road few miles, released him into a forested area.

Squirrels are easier to trap but are more plentiful so they may keep you busy.

Cougars and coyotes moved into our area - not good news. They are dangerous to our animals. We have a Marlin 60. I like the Marlin - it's easy to use and accurate.

Good luck,
Pam

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 10:41PM
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OklaMoni

friend of mine cooks a garlic potion, and sprays it. She swears by it.

I have used a live trap but it wasn't to successful.

My problem is cat poop!

Cats just seem to love my newly dug up and bermuda grass free areas.

Moni

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 10:06AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Moni, To deter the cats, I break bamboo skewers in half and stick them into the ground, leaving sharp ends sticking up several inches into the air. It makes the cats ignore that area and go someplace else.

In a newly planted area, I often put PVC hoops over it with bird netting over them. That keeps out the cats. Once the plants are growing well, I can remove the netting and the cats aren't interested because by then the soil is packed down and isn't loose and fluffy.

I also have been known to keep a Super Soaker water gun in the garden. After being sprayed a few times with water, the cats learn to stay out of the veggie beds for the most part. If you add a little lemon juice or ammonia to the water, the cats like it even less than plain water.

If you have a sweetgum tree or know someone who does, you can collect the sweet gum seed balls, which are prickly, and put them down in the area where you want to deter cats from digging.

I love my cats, and don't even mind when the neighbor's cats come to visit and play, but I have to set boundaries about what they're allowed to do in the garden, and sometimes we have strong differences of opinion about what they are or aren't going to do. If they ignore what I am telling them, I put a cat in the house in time out and it stays in for the rest of the day. That works better than yelling at them!

Dawn

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 11:46AM
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