I need advice on how to ward off crazy tomato-stealing squirrels!

raitchAugust 11, 2010

I have three tomato plants in pots on my back porch

(they're in pots because I'm renting, can't plant them ),

and something ( squirrels i think) keeps picking tomatoes off the plants even before they're ripe, and leaving the rotten remains around the backyard!

I've tried sprinkling cayenne pepper around the plants to stop squirrels (or whatever it is) to stop taking them, but to no avail.

two more are gone.

At this rate I'll have no yield at all! only one survived long enough to ripen!

Also crazy squirrels attacked my cucmber plants a few weeks ago and not only did they eat the cucumbers, but dug up the entire plant and tore it to shreds!

Does anyone have advice for me to ward of these crazy squirrels or other animals?!

Thanks!!

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jcheckers

There's been quite a discussion here lately, you might check out this thread that only recently moved down to page 2.

Here is a link that might be useful: Squirrels

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 2:51PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

Give them lead poisoning and have them for dinner. Fried squirrel and fresh tomatoes mmmmm.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 3:45PM
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cetompkins(5a)

LOL! taz, I feel the same but I have Black Walnut trees that seem to keep the squirrels busy and out of the garden, but I always have a good lead supply on hand if needed.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 4:17PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

raitch,

I made your tag red because I am seeing red this summer - squirrels!!!! Those monsters decimated my corn plants when they were only 4 feet tall and not a cob in sight! They came back and snatched approximately 80-90% of my raw green tomatoes most of the toms were small about the size of golf/tennis balls. I got really upset because I have a relatively small garden mostly in containers. I tried red hot pepper wax spray and it worked for about 3-4 days but during that time the squirrels bit into more and more tomatoes looking for some without pepper. I made a brew of water, 1/2 cup powdered red hot pepper and 1/2 cup red pepper flakes -- I put this in a small pot and simmered it for about 30 minutes and then added 1 teaspoon of canola oil. I let the mixture cool and strained it into my pump sprayer with a double dose of spreader sticker (Coco-wet) in gallon water. I sprayed this on everything. I also got large wood rat traps. I was still upset so went to farm store and got bobcat urine. Another gardener told me fox urine worked for him so I got some of that also. I put the urine in an old ketchup bottle and sprinkled it on the ground, fence ledge, fence post and all wood which squirrels use to 'run'. So far so good. You can not put the urine on your plants or in the pot with your plants but you can sprinkle it around the area. It stinks but after an hour you can not smell it anymore -BUT- the squirrels smell it. BTW - I only put the rat traps out when I could monitor them - did not want to catch any neighbor's cats.

Did it work?? Let us just say that for the past 2 weeks squirrels don't live here anymore. I'm generally an animal lover - I leave them be as long as they leave me alone - but this was just too much.

Dollar store has red pepper powder - don't get the more expensive stuff from your grocer.

DL

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 3:04AM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

I'd step up from the p shooter to the shotgun.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 4:21AM
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SusanC(9b/10a Sunset 17)

I had problems in the past with either squirrels or possums getting into the tomatoes. -Wrapping bird netting around the cages completed eliminated the problem for me.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 11:59AM
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jerrya

A commercially available product called Repels All works well for me.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 2:47PM
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garf_gw

I personally like the shotgun idea best, but that would require staying up all night, then waking all the neighbors with a shotgun blast. Not good. How about some traps? All you need is some bait that they like better than what you're growing.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 11:59PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

I recently put up an electric mesh fence to keep the groundhogs, bunnies, raccoons, etc. out of a new garden in farm country. Squirrels aren't a big problem there, but unless they can jump into the garden from nearby trees, it should help with them too.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 1:51PM
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robertz6

Predator urine?
Dog
Put out tins of water, they want the moisture

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 3:04PM
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raitch

Thanks for the advice! :)
So i kept sprinkling cayenne pepper around the plants, and
on the other side of my backyard, i now have a makeshift birdbath i made, and i haven't had a problem since! (the past 3 weeks)

Hopefully this will keep working b/c i have at least 13 new tomatoes growing, and i would love to finally eat some!

if not, I'll try the predator urine, (although I'm not sure if there's anywhere near here (Toronto) that sells it...)

and i could never do the shotgun thing, even if they eat my tomatoes and i HATE them i couldn't shoot one. (too bad).
and wouldn't that require guarding your tomatoes 24/7?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 6:56PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

wouldn't that require guarding your tomatoes 24/7?

No! Just go out when they are doing the damage. It's all in the timing. I'm sure they visit your garden around the same time each day.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 8:01PM
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geeboss(7)

Set up have a heart cages and take them 20 miles away to a state park with trees. You'll be happier after a few years of thinning down those pesky little buggers.LOL

George

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 11:29AM
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