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it was all going so well

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it was all going so well

Post  hartge01 on 3/18/2013, 7:20 pm

Well, the seeds were planted and sprouts were showing (carrots, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, peas, beans, squash) and I was getting ready to harvest the last of the broccoli and cabbage and then....SQUIRRELS! they dug up almost the entire 4x4 and 4x10 gardens. does anyone have a decent suggestion for ridding the garden of these foul critters? i work during the day so my only true fire way to eliminate these creatures isn't possible. Smile

thanks!

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/18/2013, 7:24 pm

There are lots of topics on squirrels. Here are some results using the search feature:

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/search?search_keywords=squirrels&typerecherche=interne&show_results=topics

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  hartge01 on 3/18/2013, 7:32 pm

thanks Rooster,

I did try that it my iPad came back with zero results. believe me, I try the search function first...always.

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  Tris on 3/18/2013, 7:44 pm

@hartge01 wrote:thanks Rooster,

I did try that it my iPad came back with zero results. believe me, I try the search function first...always.
I have the same problem. Sometimes I'll just use google search, square foot garden and __________, and this site and others come up with answers. It's been my solution so far Smile

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/18/2013, 7:47 pm

@Tris wrote:
@hartge01 wrote:thanks Rooster,

I did try that it my iPad came back with zero results. believe me, I try the search function first...always.
I have the same problem. Sometimes I'll just use google search, square foot garden and __________, and this site and others come up with answers. It's been my solution so far Smile

You do know down at the bottom of the Latest Topics list is a Google search feature with sfg as an option.

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Now I'm scared

Post  Betty Ann c on 3/18/2013, 9:46 pm

I have squirrels in my yard since I don't have an outside cat anymore. I'm just starting my first garden !

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  jimmy cee on 3/18/2013, 10:50 pm

We have many squirrels in our yard.
When I made a new bed for garlic I made certain they couldn't get in.
Completely enclosed the bed using all the wire I had, top and sides.
Much of this wire was SS heavy mesh cut raggedly, if they did get in they wouldn't survive
from being cut up.
Squirrels did not want the garlic, they just wanted to dig up the nice fresh dirt looking for what they think may be items they recently buried.
My wife has quite an array of flower baskets, we must do the same with them till they mature, otherwise dig it up they will.
Sometimes it's a tough chore, in my opinion, just like deer, squirrels need a barrier they cannot chew to keep them out.

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  Coelli on 3/18/2013, 11:26 pm

Last year was my first year SFG and boy, do I feel your pain. Everything was planted and sprouting and looking beautiful - and then they started coming. It turned out that on the other side of the chain link fence from the gardfen, on the hillside, was a colony of California Ground Squirrels. I tried Repels-All, cayenne pepper, bird netting... and nothing worked. Every time a seedling sprouted, it was either eaten or dug up. I had corn and sunflowers sprouting where I didn't plant them because a neighbor had a feeder. My habanero pepper baby was eaten to nothing but stems on Mother's Day. I covered the cement mixing tub that my zucchini was planted in with hardware cloth and came home to find a squirrel IN the tub, he burrowed in and couldn't get out. I was literally crying with frustration. Finally Lindacol (here on the forums) recommended the Squirrelinator trap. We got it from a local feed store, but it's also available on Amazon.

We caught 3 or 4 the first day, and then more each day for the next 3 days for a total of 8. You do have to have a strong heart - we really wanted to be humane and let them go somewhere else, but it's illegal here to relocate them and even if we did, 1) any colony in the new area would kill them anyway and 2) their fleas can carry bubonic plague. So we wound up using the tub that came with the trap. It was pretty awful, especially that first time, and I really felt like a jerk.

I have not seen one since then and had a very successful gardening season and my dogs have not picked up fleas from the yard, which was happening before. I have the trap ready in case I think they're coming back. We used cat food to bait it.

Here's a link - ignore the bad reviews, I'm pretty sure most of them are shills from a competitor. The customer image of the 2 squirrels is mine.

http://www.amazon.com/Rugged-Ranch-Products-SQO-Squirrelinator/dp/B0046VE7VM

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  Triciasgarden on 3/19/2013, 12:42 am

Oh wow Coelli what an ordeal. You have to do what you have to do, especially with the squirrels carrying fleas, carrying the plague! I had to resort to trapping ferrel cats that were tearing up and pottying in my beds. I tried everything else. I ended up catching nine. It is hard but you had no choice! It also would have gotten worse when they multiplied.

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  Coelli on 3/19/2013, 1:10 am

@Triciasgarden wrote:Oh wow Coelli what an ordeal. You have to do what you have to do, especially with the squirrels carrying fleas, carrying the plague! I had to resort to trapping ferrel cats that were tearing up and pottying in my beds. I tried everything else. I ended up catching nine. It is hard but you had no choice! It also would have gotten worse when they multiplied.

Yeah, I think feral cats can be really destructive. There's a big debate going on here in Los Angeles about TNR programs because it's great that the cats won't reproduce, but they're being released back into neighborhoods where sometimes they cause a lot of problems (like the colony next to the preschool).

Where we live in the foothills, the local coyotes keep the feral cat population in check and you MUST keep your cats indoors because if they venture outside, they usually don't come back. Sad We don't let our dogs (17, 8, and 7 pounds) outside in the yard unsupervised under any circumstances either. The coyotes might be why there weren't more squirrels than the 8 we caught!

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Yipes! We're in trouble!

Post  Windmere on 3/19/2013, 1:44 am

My property has a small forest in the back. There are a zillion squirrels back there. Also, for various reasons, I have no choice but to put our beds out back at the forest's edge.

My wife is a huge animal lover. She will not let me hurt squirrels in any way. Sigh.

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  Coelli on 3/19/2013, 2:28 am

I forgot to mention that we also put up an 18" barrier fence with two strands of electric fence wire along the bottom (powered by a battery-operated charger). That's to keep anything else out like raccoons, skunks, and rabbits, and the squirrels if they come back. Works on the dogs too - they each got zapped and now keep their distance. Razz

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What an excellent and humane solution.

Post  Windmere on 3/19/2013, 10:08 am

@Coelli wrote:I forgot to mention that we also put up an 18" barrier fence with two strands of electric fence wire along the bottom (powered by a battery-operated charger). That's to keep anything else out like raccoons, skunks, and rabbits, and the squirrels if they come back. Works on the dogs too - they each got zapped and now keep their distance. Razz

Coelli. I love your solution to this problem way to go good idea . My wife is already flipping out about the cost of our gardening project, but I think when she learns that "no animals will be harmed in the production of this movie," ( lol! ), she might come on board. Just curious, how much did you spend on your fencing? Also (since I have no idea), what sort of merchant sells electric fencing (pet store, garden store, etc).
thanks

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the trap

Post  Betty Ann c on 3/19/2013, 10:18 am

I hate to sound totally stupid but I read about the trap and one of the reviews says the dunk tank is quick and humane. It drowns them? Quickly and humanely? I can't see myself putting the trap in my car and driving them around. Also, I see the weight listed on Amazon but not the dimensions. Looks pretty big. My yard is fenced and critters don't get in. I can control my own dog and two cats.

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  Lindacol on 3/19/2013, 12:27 pm

Feed stores and some pet stores will carry electric fencing.

The Squirrelinator trap is less than 6" high about about 24" square. Most of the time The squirrels will already be dead when I find them, especially if it is hot. I just put dry dog food in mine. Bait it with the doors tied open for a day or so so they find the food. Then release the doors. Ground squirrels are most active during the day. The first time I released the doors, there was a squirrel on top when I was driving out to run errands. When I returned 2 hours later, there were 4 dead squirrels in it.

The other thing you might want to try is the Scarecrow motion activated sprinkler.
http://www.amazon.com/Contech-CRO101-Scarecrow-Activated-Sprinkler/dp/B000071NUS

Use the search function on the left - several forum members have used this.

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  yolos on 3/19/2013, 1:26 pm

Windmere - my first year of gardening out in Brooks, I had a problem with deer. I got electric fencing at either lowes or home depot. They also carry it at the Tractor Supply on 54/34 going toward Newnan. I got a solar powered unit to electrify the fence. It is only strands of wire so unless you put the strands real close together at the bottom, it won't keep out the squirrels. I have not needed it the last two years so they may have come out with better products since I purchased mine. Also, it took my grandson a few tries before he learned not to touch it.

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Thanks yolos

Post  Windmere on 3/19/2013, 3:27 pm

Thanks yet again yolos. I'm really glad you are a member of this community. You have a wealth of information and experience!

Thanks again.

Smile

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  Coelli on 3/19/2013, 3:52 pm

@Betty Ann c wrote:I hate to sound totally stupid but I read about the trap and one of the reviews says the dunk tank is quick and humane. It drowns them? Quickly and humanely? I can't see myself putting the trap in my car and driving them around. Also, I see the weight listed on Amazon but not the dimensions. Looks pretty big. My yard is fenced and critters don't get in. I can control my own dog and two cats.

I don't know how humane it is to drown them, but it IS quick (at least for the human, not so sure the squirrels would agree). It's not very big. We can't control the squirrels with our pets because we can't have our dogs or cats outside because of the coyotes - they take pets in broad daylight here. If you have a squirrel problem, a fence will not stop them. Sad We had the same experience Lindacol had - sometimes the squirrels die of exposure before you even find them, in the high summer.

I'm not proud or happy about having to eradicate the squirrels but it came down to them or the garden. Sad

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  Coelli on 3/19/2013, 3:55 pm

@Windmere wrote:Coelli. I love your solution to this problem way to go good idea . My wife is already flipping out about the cost of our gardening project, but I think when she learns that "no animals will be harmed in the production of this movie," ( lol! ), she might come on board. Just curious, how much did you spend on your fencing? Also (since I have no idea), what sort of merchant sells electric fencing (pet store, garden store, etc).
thanks

You can buy an electric fence kit or buy it a la cart almost anywhere (Lowe's, HD, Amazon). I think we paid all told around $60-70? Since our critters are small (no deer) we have two strands of wire along the bottom, about 3" and 6" off the ground. The premise is that the barrier fence stops the animal and while they're checking it out, they come in contact with the fence wires, get zapped, and take off. It worked pretty well but I still think I'm going to need to trap for mice and rats this year; I'm a little reluctant though because I don't want to accidentally trap any of our numerous lizards. Sad

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  plantoid on 3/19/2013, 7:26 pm

Watch out for the ASPCA they'd love to get hold of you for drowning animals .


Over in th UK here we use RSPCA approved instant break back squirrel traps and put them in squirrel accessable boxes on fence posts and in low tree branches etc. so that dog cats and other creatures are fairly safe from being terminated by them .

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Scarecrow waterer

Post  Betty Ann c on 3/19/2013, 9:13 pm

Thanks. I like the scarecrow idea.

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  hartge01 on 3/19/2013, 10:05 pm

wow, great discussion an stories! I certainly share in everyone's frustration. like everyone else, I seek a humane solution. Humane of course has a wide definition, and means something different to different individuals and it appears everyone respects that here.

As I mentioned I work during the day when the critters are active. on the weekends we have made some progress with an air gun, but there are so many. Actually we have seen several that look emaciated. My guess is there simply isn't enough food around and some are starving. Or they are sick and that has an entirely different set of issues.

An electric fence sounds interesting, but with a militant home owners association I am trying my best to stay under the radar.

I have to say I like the "rat trap" idea for cost and quickness. in addition, we have several foxes that would probably enjoy an easy meal.

The Squirrelinator sounds great, but has issues with relocation of the animals or finding a quick termination method. As for the Scarecrow option, for the cost and what appears to be a lot fewer issues, the traps sound like a better return on investment.

Thanks again!

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Thanks Coelli

Post  Windmere on 3/19/2013, 11:00 pm

Thanks for info about electric fence Coelli. I am seriously considering it!

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  Coelli on 3/19/2013, 11:14 pm

@plantoid wrote: Over in th UK here we use RSPCA approved instant break back squirrel traps and put them in squirrel accessable boxes on fence posts and in low tree branches etc. so that dog cats and other creatures are fairly safe from being terminated by them .

It's illegal to trap and kill tree squirrels here without a permit, and the ground squirrels I'm talking about are in a totally different class. In California they're considered vermin which is why you can't relocate them legally. They also stay on and in the ground, so you can't put the trap in a tree or on a fence post and expect it to work. Believe me, we really went through all of the options before settling on the only one that worked and posed no danger to the other local wildlife. The bodies went over the fence into the wash for the scavengers (turkey vultures, etc.) so they at least served a good purpose! I was relieved when we didn't see any more after the first 4 days but harbor no illusions that they might come back this year and start destroying the garden.

Here's some info on why they are such a problem here: http://ucanr.edu/sites/Ground_Squirrel_BMP/Damage/

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Re: it was all going so well

Post  Lindacol on 3/19/2013, 11:29 pm

@Coelli wrote:

It's illegal to trap and kill tree squirrels here without a permit, and the ground squirrels I'm talking about are in a totally different class. In California they're considered vermin which is why you can't relocate them legally. They also stay on and in the ground, so you can't put the trap in a tree or on a fence post and expect it to work. Believe me, we really went through all of the options before settling on the only one that worked and posed no danger to the other local wildlife. The bodies went over the fence into the wash for the scavengers (turkey vultures, etc.) so they at least served a good purpose! I was relieved when we didn't see any more after the first 4 days but harbor no illusions that they might come back this year and start destroying the garden.

Here's some info on why they are such a problem here: http://ucanr.edu/sites/Ground_Squirrel_BMP/Damage/

And that link does not mention damage to buildings (they were undermining our garage) or vehicles(they chew the wires).

This is the time of year they start causing problems. I just last week found fresh squirrel holes in my garden area, under my tabletops. So far no plant or bed damage (wire bottoms on all beds) The Squirrelinator has been put in the garden but so far caught nothing but after that one day of fresh holes I have seen no more squirrel evidence. The neighbors hare clearing the waist high weeds that were against the fence so that may help.

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