Remedies for winecup squirrel attack?

bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)June 5, 2013

Looks like a squirrel decapitated this recently planted winecup (callirhoe involucrata): ate flowers, buds, and leaves down to the stems, so guess he liked it. Any thoughts on whether it can recover from this..... or should I start shopping for a replacement? Also, does anyone know of any effective DIY squirrel repellants that can be applied to plants now that the thiram-based products are no longer available without a pesticide applicator license? TIA

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Hishigata

I have had quite a few plants eaten to the ground by squirrels. None of mine recovered but there was really nothing left of them to make a recovery. I have tried mothballs, hot pepper sprays, and a motion sensing targeted water cannon. Nothing dissuades a squirrel for long. The best solution I have found is to completely fence every bed on the sides and top to physically keep squirrels out.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:54PM
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cynthianovak

Might not help this plant, but if you do replant, pour coffee grounds on the soil and about squirrel size around it. They don't like them. Yes, you will need to replenish. Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 10:00AM
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bossjim1

Year before last, after squirrels had systematically dug and eaten 60 L.A.Lily bulbs, I trapped and 'relocated' 22 squirrels from my city lot garden. You could not tell that I even made a dent in the population.
Jim

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 1:10PM
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marti8a

After squirrels or rabbits decapitated some of my little trees, I wrapped tomato cages with chicken wire and placed over the trees until they could recover. Ugly, but it worked.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 9:44PM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

Thanks for the suggestions (and empathy). The squirrels around here are pretty obsessive; once one "patterns" on a plant, pool equipment, bird feeder, patio furniture, car, or whatever, there's almost no discouraging it. Guess we'll see if coffee grounds can thwart the one that has decided winecup is a favorite.

Hishigata: ... and a motion sensing targeted water cannon.
Well, if your targeted water cannon didn't work, the noise and motion producing robotics I was considering as a next step are likely doomed to fail. Thanks for the heads up... lol just thinking about that water cannon.

cynthianovak: ...pour coffee grounds on the soil and about squirrel size around it
The plant is making an effort to put out new shoots, so am giving this a try. Any sort of incantation needed to be said while spreading the ring of grounds around the plant? :-)

bossjim1: ...trapped and 'relocated' 22 squirrels from my city lot garden
Our former neighbor, an avid gardener and retired east Texas farmer, apparently had a similar program going. We were literally overrun with squirrels at about two years of his moving out. The population has swung back a bit, but the squirrels (or at least some portion of them) are now more destructive and, frankly, appear to be less sharp than the earlier generations.

marti8a: I wrapped tomato cages with chicken wire and placed over the trees until they could recover.
Thanks for the idea on a quick fix using a tomato cage - will give this a try if the coffee ground magic fails.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 6:46PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

winecup are a favorite of dear also. Maybe one should find another plant that they won't eat. OR plant a whole bunch of them . Maybe they will leave you one or two.

Please do not bring the trapped squirrels out to the country and let them go. Bellevue it or not , some of us out here are squirrel free BUT we have deer, coons, skunks, and dillos to contend with. I would hate to have squirrels also.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 11:30PM
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bossjim1

Actually Mara, I released the squirrels on a friend's acreage, near here. I was complaining to him about them, and he asked me to trap some and relocate them to his place. I wouldn't wish these vermin on anyone who didn't want them.
Jim

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 12:04AM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

wantonamara: ....some of us out here are squirrel free BUT we have deer, coons, skunks, and dillos to contend with.

Which may help explain why you're squirrel free. :-) The most aggressive squirrel predator in our urban environment is probably the wide-tired SUV.... though I do prefer contending with squirrels on our city lot over the bobcats, coyotes, foxes, racoons, snakes, and other critters that would eat 'em.

Feeding wildlife is one of our secondary objectives in using more natives, so more winecup are on the way. I would already have more than one plant if I could ever figure out how to start them from seed, but this is one of a few that still eludes me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fox squirrel management in east Texas

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 12:27AM
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ocgf(Z8)

C'mon, Jim. We already know about you and your taste for squirrel dumplings...

Omar

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 11:10PM
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mistigardens(TX 7/8)

cayenne pepper powder sprinkled around any plants, this also works for armadillos, wild boars, rabbit and other pesky animals that eat or uproot plants. yes, you will have to reapply until they learn they do not like your plants!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 12:53AM
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bossjim1

Oops!
Jim

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 8:32AM
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