I HATE Squirrels! Chicken Wire?

pdxwindjammerMarch 3, 2010

Although the little buggers are fun to watch running through trees, cheerfully jumping from branch to branch, they lose ALL of their cuteness when they dig up my garden!

I have battled them for years. This year I built a new raised bed, filled it with dirt and after a week, still no squirrel holes. I figured maybe they would just continue to tear up my older raised bed so I planted all my greens on Valentine's day. My 8x4 bed was looking good, everything had sprouted and BAM! A week after everthing was up I went out one morning and found that half of my bed was completely churned through!! Arghhh!

I bought some chicken wire and it is currently keeping them out. My questions is if anyone has ever just left the chicken wire in place and let lettuce, kale, mustard, spinach, pak choy, etc. just grow through it?

It seems to be coated with petroleum so if it is recommended that I leave it and let the plants grow through, I should use warm soapy water to wash the coating off of it.

I really don't want to go through another replanting so any help is appreciated.

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paully1(6A)

I don't know about letting the greens grow through the wire, but last year the squirrels enjoyed almost all of my corn. They may look cute, but I think of them as rats with fluffy tails. Personally, I think they need some 22 calibre justice! Too bad I live in the city. Well, too bad for me, lucky break for the rotten squirrels!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 11:08PM
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homertherat

In the SFG book, there's a design for a "box" made out of chicken wire and 1x1 boards which is supposed to be great for keeping pests out. Basically, you make a square equal to the dimensions of your box out of 1x1 boards, then you make a cage a foot or 2 high out of chicken wire and staple it to the 1x1 boards. It's light and can be lifted off for when you want to harvest.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 7:39AM
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pdxwindjammer

I am going to head to the book store today to take a look at that setup, homer! My greens growing and are now up to the chicken wire. Thanks!!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 12:13PM
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alouwomack(Zone 7)

So, I'm curious...its been almost a month now...how is the chicken wire doing? and the dreaded squirrels? I hate those critters too! I just finished seeding my boxes a few days ago and have already found a few digs in the dirt! I want to build a fortess around and tall enough to create a human-sized cage for my garden!!!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 1:53PM
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bamasfg

I wonder if that is what has been digging up our yard? Neighbor said it is probably armadillos looking for grubworms, but we've never seen any of those around here. We have lots of squirrels, but my husband doesn't think they can do as much damage as was done to our landscape beds (or that they hid any nuts that close to the house...) Who knows.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 2:35PM
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pdxwindjammer

I have the chicken wire over the top of the beds and I have placed empty plastic pots upside down throughout my 4x8 bed to keep the chicken wire off the plants. Last year once all my plants were mature the squirrels stopped digging, or at least did less damage. I hate the little suckers!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 2:55PM
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dragonfly_wings(Z8 - Central TX.)

I'm trying something a little different this year (not so cumbersome) to deter squirrels, cats and birds. I'm simply going to use light plastic bird netting and attach it to some vertical boards at each corner of the bed, with a line of little nails running vertically up those boards to hook the netting onto to keep it in place and so I can just remove it easily when I want to get into the garden and put it back when I'm done). And I can stretch some over the top as well. I'll be curious to see if it works!

Something to consider about the squirrels and birds is that often when they dine on fruits and veggies they are simply attempting to quench their thirst. So if you make sure they have a bowl of water or a pond/fountain to drink from (placed far away from the garden) they may not mess with the fruits of your labor.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 6:00PM
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bryanb1(7)

Squirrels are real pests. For us, they are more a problem with fruit trees than the SFG. When I first plant seeds or transplant seedlings in the spring, I cover them with black plastic netting. After it has rained and the soil has settled, I can usually remove the netting without having squirrels try to dig up the plants. I think they initially attracted by freshly dug soil.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 11:21PM
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cross_stitch

I have had great luck frustrating squirrels with bird netting. It comes on a huge roll and you can just cut a piece and spread it atop your plants. No need to build a frame... just lay it out there like a sheet. The mesh is about 3/4" so plants with broad leaves will not grow through and get trapped. Since the net is black, it is almost invisible from a few feet away. So it's not as unsightly as chicken wire. It's easy to cut with household scissors and it won't scratch you.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 12:33AM
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wordwiz

Why not repel them?

Blend 2 eggs and a cup or two of cold water at high speed. Add this mixture to a gallon of water and let it stand for 24 hours. After 24 hours, spray on foliage. The egg mixture does not wash off easily, but re-application 2-3 times a season may be needed. For a larger quantity, blend a dozen eggs into 5 gallons of water. This mix is also said to repel rabbits and deer. For added protection, add a dash of garlic and cayenne pepper powder.

Human hair (ask a barber or beauty salon for some) and yes, human urine, also works.

YMMV,

Mike

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 5:57PM
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maximum(9/10)

If you live in the city and can't shoot 'em, catch them in a live animal trap and drown 'em. After a couple of months, end of problem.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 12:24AM
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woodlandthyme

Thank you for all the help. I will try the netting on our roses (they actually eat the branches right off of the knockout roses), and the egg/garlic spray. A note: it's been my experience that even a little finely ground cayenne pepper will clog every sprayer that I use. I'm going to simmer a couple jalapeno pepper slices in the water, then cool it, before adding it to the eggs. No clogging. Thanks again. We have to band together against squirrels! :-) (True confession: I love the little brats...they make us laugh when they're not making us swear.)

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 1:12PM
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japus

Forget repelling those varmints.
I want them dead and in a garbage can.
I've done to darn much work that these critters destroyed,
and that includes those striped rats..(chipmunks)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:33PM
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Ray_Scheel(z8b/SS31 E. TX)

You can also ferment the peppers into the water you are going to use to spray. I have previously made a nasty teabag of crushed cayenne, garlic, loose tobacco, and old coffee to use as a general pesticide / repellent, mixing with a bit of Safer Soap on occasion just before I sprayed.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 11:50AM
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