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Squirrels

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Squirrels

Post  Coelli on 6/5/2012, 7:47 pm

I feel like Bill Murray in Caddyshack. Every time I come home I immediately head out back to see what the squirrel(s) have gotten into this time. Sad (My daughter called me when she got home from school - today it was her baby morning glories.)

Spent a ton of money on hardware cloth this weekend and then a couple of hours making covers for the tubs. The beds in the back are covered with bird netting, too. *sigh*


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Re: Squirrels

Post  KDeus on 6/5/2012, 7:53 pm

This worked for me, but I don't know if it will work for you. I started putting out sunflower seeds and corn for the squirrels in one of the feeders. It's actually in my garden area so they do come in, but they only eat the food that I put in the feeder. Perhaps that will change, though. But for now, it seems to be doing the trick!

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Re: Squirrels

Post  Coelli on 6/5/2012, 8:01 pm

@KDeus wrote:This worked for me, but I don't know if it will work for you. I started putting out sunflower seeds and corn for the squirrels in one of the feeders. It's actually in my garden area so they do come in, but they only eat the food that I put in the feeder. Perhaps that will change, though. But for now, it seems to be doing the trick!

I would totally try that if I thought it would work! I know someone nearby has a feeder, because I was always finding the buried corn and sunflower seeds in the holes the squirrel left. It's actually not as much the eating as it is the digging that is the problem. They dig holes in everything!

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Re: Squirrels

Post  Coelli on 6/6/2012, 2:50 pm

Came home to survey the damage and found a big hole in the marigolds box and my daughter's baby morning glories eaten down to the stems. There was a hole in the dirt next to the hardware cloth covering the strawberries, but it didn't get inside. There was also a hole in the Meyer Lemon's pot, but no damage.

It DID get into one of my 4x4s and dig a hole next to my pepper, exposing the roots, and dug up 3 tiny baby carrots that I've been waiting forever for, and it ate the leaves off of a chard plant and some nasturtiums. *sigh*

So now there's cayenne pepper all over the garden. I sprayed down the morning glories and sprinkled it in open pots and around the 4x4 beds. Suck it, furball!

Hopefully lizards don't mind it. Sad

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Re: Squirrels

Post  Lindacol on 6/6/2012, 3:22 pm

This is the only thing that works around here with the ground squirrels:

http://squirrelinator.com/

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Re: Squirrels

Post  Coelli on 6/6/2012, 5:09 pm

@Lindacol wrote:This is the only thing that works around here with the ground squirrels:

http://squirrelinator.com/

I will check it out - trap & release is our next step if we can't come to an agreement! Thanks!

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Re: Squirrels

Post  Fantasma on 6/6/2012, 10:07 pm

The little buggers are digging up my garden too. I feel your pain.

I've taken a bunch of small twigs and placed them sticking up out of the ground like one of those spike traps that impale people who fall in. No digging as of yet, and I get a little giggle imagining one of those darn squirrels getting impaled.

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Re: Squirrels

Post  Coelli on 6/7/2012, 12:06 pm

I came home yesterday to a relatively untouched garden! Yaaay! It might have been the cayenne.

However, in an empty square where I'd pulled up my peas the other day there was a mass of corn and sunflower sprouts coming up from one of the squirrel's previous invasions. *sigh* I guess he wants to SFG too...

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Re: Squirrels

Post  Goosegirl on 6/7/2012, 2:19 pm

@Coelli wrote:However, in an empty square where I'd pulled up my peas the other day there was a mass of corn and sunflower sprouts coming up from one of the squirrel's previous invasions. *sigh* I guess he wants to SFG too...

lol! I know what you mean! If only my intentionally planted corn last year had done as well as the stuff this year randomly popping up from the local squirrel gardeners.....And why do the rabbits know to only munch on my plants, not the ones the squirrels plant!

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Re: Squirrels

Post  Coelli on 6/8/2012, 1:19 am

Welp, it's ON.

I came home very late tonight to find that the furry @#$% had gotten into one of my 4x4s and caused major havoc. It ate chard down to the ground, dug up carrots, etc.

Then it moved to the zucchini's tub and dug down between the side and the hardware cloth cage. As I was surveying the damage with a flashlight, I realized I was seeing fur in one of the holes! It had gotten stuck inside the cage!



I let it go... I felt sorry for it, clearly it was terrified. And we didn't really have a way to contain it and relocate it.

I think that's it, though. I just spent a ton of money last weekend on hardware cloth trying to keep it out of the tubs. And it's destroying my raised beds, which were only planted a month ago. I'm tired of having to deal with bird netting on the beds, and trying to make sure it's tight, etc. etc.

This weekend I'm buying traps and will start relocating them to a park a few miles away. Enough is enough! After all of the time and money spent trying to grow some freaking carrots that keep getting dug up, I'm not giving up because of some freaking squirrels.

Sad

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Re: Squirrels

Post  Coelli on 6/8/2012, 9:31 pm

I intended to buy a Squirrelinator today, but my daughter got sick at school and I had to pick her up and stay home for the rest of the day. We took a nap and when we woke up she felt much better, but I looked outside to see my nemesis sitting in the previously-pillaged raised bed, munching away. This time he ate the rest of the tops off the radishes that I had not pulled yet because they were stunted from having their tops eaten a couple of weeks ago, and pretty much the rest of the baby chard plants in the box. *sigh* This box is wrapped pretty tightly with bird netting but the irrigation tubing leaves just enough of a gap so it can get in I guess.

Later it had the audacity to show up again but this time it was just eating some grass outside of the bed, which is fine. If he'd stick to that I wouldn't want to kill him. I scared him away, and when I looked outside again later I saw... baby bunny! Oh no! I don't want to trap the bunny... he's not the problem.

Tomorrow I head to the feed store and get the Squirrelinator and electric fence. And then I guess I re-plant the ravaged box. Sad

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Re: Squirrels

Post  jmsieglaff on 6/8/2012, 9:36 pm

Squirrels taste a LOT like chicken thighs.

Just saying....

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Re: Squirrels

Post  greatgranny on 6/8/2012, 9:49 pm

Since I have had outdoor cats the little varmints stay away. Stripped gophers, chipmunks, squirrels. My cats are great hunters. As of right now, the cats stay out of the garden. Used to have a dog but she died last year. Never had a rabbit problem. Well, I wonder about this year without a dog. I don't think the cats will battle a rabbit - I could be wrong.

I live in a very heavily wooded area - deer are a problem. Maybe I should get me another dog.

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Re: Squirrels

Post  greatgranny on 6/8/2012, 9:52 pm

@jmsieglaff wrote:Squirrels taste a LOT like chicken thighs.

Just saying....

My uncle was a squirrel hunter and tried to convince me that they did taste like chicken. When the platter came around to my turn - I made sure I knew which pieces were the real chicken.

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Re: Squirrels

Post  Goosegirl on 6/8/2012, 10:12 pm

@greatgranny wrote: I don't think the cats will battle a rabbit - I could be wrong.

One of my old teachers had a hunter cat. It had no problem with rabbits. Always brought its kills home to 'mom', big or small, and would smack them against the patio door until 'mom' would come out and tell it what a 'good cat' it was. Then it would proceed to crunch half the night......

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Re: Squirrels

Post  greatgranny on 6/8/2012, 10:23 pm

@Goosegirl wrote:
@greatgranny wrote: I don't think the cats will battle a rabbit - I could be wrong.

One of my old teachers had a hunter cat. It had no problem with rabbits. Always brought its kills home to 'mom', big or small, and would smack them against the patio door until 'mom' would come out and tell it what a 'good cat' it was. Then it would proceed to crunch half the night......

GG

My cats do the same thing. Sometimes I don't want to know what they got but they always appear by the back door with their kill. Baby rabbits were on the menu last week. Yeah.

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Re: Squirrels

Post  Lindacol on 6/8/2012, 11:12 pm

@Coelli wrote:I intended to buy a Squirrelinator today, but my daughter got sick at school and I had to pick her up and stay home for the rest of the day. We took a nap and when we woke up she felt much better, but I looked outside to see my nemesis sitting in the previously-pillaged raised bed, munching away. This time he ate the rest of the tops off the radishes that I had not pulled yet because they were stunted from having their tops eaten a couple of weeks ago, and pretty much the rest of the baby chard plants in the box. *sigh* This box is wrapped pretty tightly with bird netting but the irrigation tubing leaves just enough of a gap so it can get in I guess.

Later it had the audacity to show up again but this time it was just eating some grass outside of the bed, which is fine. If he'd stick to that I wouldn't want to kill him. I scared him away, and when I looked outside again later I saw... baby bunny! Oh no! I don't want to trap the bunny... he's not the problem.

Tomorrow I head to the feed store and get the Squirrelinator and electric fence. And then I guess I re-plant the ravaged box. Sad

I've never caught a rabbit in the Squirrelinator and we do have rabbits around here. Hot wires would have to be very close together to stop a squirrel or be electric netting ike these:
http://www.premier1supplies.com/fencing.php?species_id=8&

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Re: Squirrels

Post  Coelli on 6/10/2012, 12:15 pm

Thank you SO MUCH for the advice on the Squirrelinator - we picked one up at a feed store yesterday and caught two squirrels this morning!

Unfortunately it was too late for my okra, which sprouted yesterday morning and was eaten in the afternoon. Mad I'm starting it again in the house on a seedling mat to give it a couple of days head start while we get the electric fence up (which is another issue - my boxes are pretty close to the chain link fence and there's going to be an issue with clearance. I think once the fence goes up there won't be enough room to get back there).

My SO hates yardwork and isn't a fan of gardening - he doesn't dislike the garden, he just doesn't enjoy it, so all of this extra work and money is not making him a happy camper. He's a great guy though so now he's talking about building TTs at some point to avoid some of the problems we've been having.

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Re: Squirrels

Post  Coelli on 6/15/2012, 12:14 pm

Bumping with an update.

We caught 4 squirrels the first day, 2 the next, then 1, then 1, and yesterday none. My garden hasn't been touched since we put the trap out; we haven't put up the electric fence yet, but we installed an 18" barrier fence (that the wires will be attached to) and put the trap right by the gate, where they come in through a gap, so they see it first. We "dispatched" 5 of them, but 3 of them died in the trap just from the stress or the exposure (no clue).

I feel really horrible about it, but after a lot of research we decided against relocating them.

1) It's actually illegal to relocate them here, because they're pests
2) They carry fleas that can carry plague, and don't want them in the car to transport
3) Apparently it's worse to relocate them because the resident squirrels where you drop them off will attack and often kill them

There was also the option of just electrifying the fence and hoping for the best, but we discovered their burrows are eroding the slope that our yard backs up to, and my dogs recently had fleas which they must have picked up in the yard. The squirrels are the most likely suspects for bringing the fleas.

I never thought that gardening would make me question my own ethics! This has definitely taken some of the joy out of it for me (though I have to say, having the garden constantly under attack was much worse).


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Re: Squirrels

Post  Lindacol on 6/15/2012, 12:37 pm

Coelli,

I do understand. Most of the time they are dead when I find them in the trap and that is the way I prefer it.

We have to do what we can to control them as they were undermining our garage and house. I find that I catch squirrels nearly every day for a while, then nothing. I put the trap away for months (just getting ready to start setting it now as I spotted a squirrel in the yard this week for the 1st time since last fall). I bait mine with dry dog food so have to find a place where dogs can't get to it and I usually have to stake it down.

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Squirrels

Post  memart1 on 6/15/2012, 1:00 pm

Last night I had left the door open about 2" all night. Got up in the morning and was sitting in the living room in just my nightie, reading. I heard what sounded like something in a cardboard box on the porch. Suddenly I saw a squirrel come out of a cardboard box, but it was in my foyer! I was startled, and so was the squirrel! He ran down the hall toward the bedrooms. One guest room door was closed, but my bedroom was open, as were the other guest room and the bath. I could not see where he went. And I had bare feet, so I did not want to confront him. I opened the front door all the way and propped the storm door wide, too. Then I opened the patio door off the living room. But how could I get him to go out one? After about 20 minutes he finally came hopping down the hall, jumped up on the desk in the foyer, then went out the door. What an experience! I will definitely make sure the doors are shut tight from now on!

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Re: Squirrels

Post  Coelli on 6/15/2012, 4:10 pm

Goodness, memart, what a bold little squirrel!

Linda, we are baiting ours with dry cat food, so the dogs are also really interested in it. For now I'm using a puppy pen to barricade off the area from them because they want in there REALLY BAD. I also don't want to risk them finding a live squirrel in the trap and getting bitten when they sniff. Luckily my guys are only 7 pounds and 15 pounds, so they're easier to manage than a bigger dog would be. Once the fence is electrified though I won't be able to put one end of the puppy pen against the barrier fence so I'll have to figure something else out!

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Need help in San Antonio TX

Post  Gail Turner on 6/15/2012, 9:11 pm

Good evening to all you SquareFoot gardeners! I am a newby at this, and a transplanted Californian to San Antonio TX. My back yard backs up to a large park, which has so many critters that devour everything I try to grow. I want very much to have a garden, but need to deal with keeping the pests out. Chester in particular, a ground squirrel who digs under the chain link fence. Can anyone please tell me more about this Squirellinator, and where I may purchase one?
Thank you so much.
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Re: Squirrels

Post  Coelli on 6/15/2012, 10:56 pm

Hi Gail!

We got ours at a local feed store - the first one I called, in fact. I bet you can find it just about anywhere. And if not, you can get it from Amazon. Smile

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Re: Squirrels

Post  Lindacol on 6/15/2012, 10:58 pm

http://squirrelinator.com/

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Re: Squirrels

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