Do Squirrels Eat Macadamia Nuts?

brute(Florida 9B)March 8, 2013

I once read that the only wild creature able to open a macadamia nut is a MacCaw Parrot. However, lately I've been reading about squirrels causing problems.
My question is this: At what stage of the nut's development do squirrels become interested?
Do they attack little-bitty buds, completely hardened nuts, or something in between?

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jackslo

I caught 64 tree rats last year with traps in my macadamia trees. MATURE nuts are readily eaten and they have no problem chewing through the shell. Lots of nuts under the trees have large holes chewed in them. We have one red squirrel and he visits each day chewing through the nuts as I watch him. He doesn't eat much so I let him go on. But, tree rats (Rattus rattus) consume far too many. They are built with teeth to do what they do.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 7:43PM
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Doglips(8b/9a)

I think the hardness of mac shells are overrated. They are definitely hard, but rodents can rip into them.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 2:20AM
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sapote(10a)

jackslo,
what kind of trap did you use? We once had many tree rats on our Pomegranate and I only got one rat with the generic wooden snap bar trap. After that, not a single trap triggering. I ended up hiding under the tree with a lazer pointer light attached to the Daisy pelet air gun -- I hit about 15 of them and my eyes were blinded by the full moon from wide opened iris at night.

Brian

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 7:53PM
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jackslo

I'd love to shoot them, but nights here in the summer are in the low 50s or middle 40s, too cold. I have a nice .22 caliber air rifle. I use rat traps, on an 8 ft 2X2 to hang in the macadamia trees. I can put the trap up in the tree for the rat. The best bait is macadamia nut. The nut is drilled to stick on the trap's trigger. I had to encircle the trap-on-a-stick with wire mesh as I caught a couple of bluejays. No more birds, rats go in top or bottom of the cylinder of hardware cloth (usually the top where the trigger on the trap is). The end of last year and this year I only get small young rats, except now and then a big male. They are coming from neighbors. I have over 50 mature macadamias, always nuts around on the trees. They never bother other fruits except avocados, maybe citrus now and then.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 2:09PM
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huertasurbanas.com

Hi, Jackslo, please contact me by mail: marcos@ovejafm.com, thanks

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 1:55PM
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