spikey gum balls as deterrent?

lilionMay 2, 2011

As many do, I have problems with that most evil of creatures, the horrible squirrel. They also have two of their minions, chipmunks, living under the slab that makes up my front stoop. I don't have much of a garden, a raised bed I cover for as long as I can and planters, but eventually, the tomatoes are going to get too tall and I have to take the cover off, then the digging will begin. Also, the planters in the front really can't be covered and I am TIRED of the chipmunks making off with my veggies I grow there.

Has anyone tried mulching with the spikey gum tree balls? I was thinking that maybe the sly little rodents wouldn't like having their feet poked. Or, will they just push them to one side and laugh their furry butts off?

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Most everything I have seen about the fruit of the Osage Orange as a repellent is anecdotal and what little I find from research says too little research has been done to know whether the fruits really are effective. I have seen squirrels and chipmunks repeled, apparently, by fresh fruits and I have seen them ignore fruits a couple of weeks old.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 6:56AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

I used to use liquidambar seed pods for cats. They work for a while. Not sure if they would work on squirrel. Give 'er a whirl and find out.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 9:27AM
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kimmsr, I mean sweet gum tree balls, not osage orange; that's a whole different thing. I know those will keep cockroaches out of your house though...at least that's what they say here. I know where to get a bunch of gum balls, so I may try it. Thanks guys!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 7:20PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'd expect that the gumballs would be more useful for cats than rodents. Be sure to report back with your observations.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 9:07PM
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I can almost hear the squirrels laughing. And we're talking EVIL cackles at that. I came home yesterday to find the three of the petunias in my window boxes dug completely up, just sitting there like I'd never planted them. So, I got my spiky gumballs and mulched away. Tonight I come home to find....my petunias dug up. It was even the SAME petunias they pulled up yesterday. And the gumballs were just shoved aside, or tossed on the patio. Nasty foul little rodents. But now I know.

Thanks to all who answered!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 8:58PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Something that has always worked for me is a heavy sprinkle of Cayenne powder. Helps keep them out of the bird feeders, too.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 9:53PM
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I find about the same thing about sweet gum, "Liquidambar styraciflua" as Osage Orange. Some people report good deterrent capabilities while others report none.
The rinds of citrus fruit are a good deterrent, until they dry out so that may be the same thing with these.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 7:07AM
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