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Squirrels again

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Squirrels again

Post  andreaATL on 1/16/2011, 8:49 pm

Summer '09 I had no garden because the squirrels dug up every seed I planted. Summer '10 I bought seedlings instead & they ate the produce instead! So what's happening in my Mid/Lower South Garden this January is a lot of OCD'ing over squirrels!

I have 2 beds - 1 is 4x4 & the other 2x4. The 4x4 was made by a company & I just found out they make a greenhouse accessory. Soon as UPS clears out from the Snowpocalypse, it should be here, & I'm going to plant w/ the greenhouse top on - headspace of 30 to 36 feet. Soon as it's too hot for the greenhouse top, I'm going to take off the cover & zip tie on bird netting.

I'm planning to put the peas/beans/indeterminate tomatoes in the 2x4. I'd made plans to make the SFG 1/2" conduit trellis on all four sides & then zip tie on bird netting or chicken wire on the sides & across the top (& adding a 5th trellis to be the actual trellis).

Then I went to Home Depot today & stared blankly at the conduit aisle. I'm not very handy... I don't think I can do it! It doesn't seem they will cut the lengths for you.

I searched the forums & saw this, which I think I could build:
https://servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=3&u=14971758
But I don't know that I can get PVC hoops tall enough for peas/beans/indeterminate tomatoes. Unless maybe I had the supports going taller than the hoops & let the vines grow up through the top?? Or if I got bold & bought the bender for the conduit, so that it was tall for a long time first & then hooped at the top?? I'm not worried about getting the traditional hoop house rounded angle - we're never going to have enough snow to cave in the roof.

I also saw the koi pond scarecrow suggestion, which looks like it could work.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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Re: Squirrels again

Post  staf74 on 2/7/2011, 8:05 pm

okay..... here we go with hopefully a practical solution for your little furry foes. I used to have a minor squirrel problem and a major rabbit problem until I did the following.

1) Sprinkle human hair (my own) all around the outside of my boxes, collected when I buzz my own hair and that of my son. You can go to your local hairdresser for a supply if you don't cut your own hair.

2) Every week (and usually more often if we have heavy rain), I collect my own urine in a cup over the course of a day and pour a kind of invisible human odor barrier around the boxes.

This has completely solved the problem!!

I still see squirrels traversing up and down the trees and rabbits in the backyard (and I pick up the little piles of rabbit poop pellets by hand.....yes....by hand ! and throw them in the compost). But they have not once, as far as i can tell, ever bothered my SFG again. I've paid for fox urine before and that works too but my own urine / hair is obviously free.

Sorry to be so blunt y'all.....but it worked for me Smile

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Re: Squirrels again

Post  Old Hippie on 2/7/2011, 8:14 pm

Just markin' your territory! Wink

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Pellets are cheap!!!

Post  cautery on 2/7/2011, 9:29 pm

As long as hair and urine works, cool. But I wouldn't spend a bunch more money on anti-squirrel methods...

I dig squirrels... well, as much as I can dig a rodent. and, I'll let them hang out.... But if they try to eat my food, they are toast...

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Re: Squirrels again

Post  boffer on 2/7/2011, 11:26 pm

I had a neighborhood meeting with all the squirrels. We agreed that I would feed them peanuts and sunflower seeds in the front yard, and they would leave my gardens in the backyard alone.

It's worked well for me for over five years. The only downside is that I get peanuts growing in the strangest places!

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Re: Squirrels again

Post  cautery on 2/7/2011, 11:29 pm

That's funny...

@boffer wrote:I had a neighborhood meeting with all the squirrels. We agreed that I would feed them peanuts and sunflower seeds in the front yard, and they would leave my gardens in the backyard alone.

It's worked well for me for over five years. The only downside is that I get peanuts growing in the strangest places!

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Re: Squirrels again

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 2/7/2011, 11:34 pm

Tree rats can be problematic. However, if they get a consistent food source somewhere else, it will minimize the damage.

One thing we plan to do this year is hang a bungee cord from either a tree or a pole from my deck. With eye hooks tied to the bungee, I will screw them into corn cobs for hours of bouncing fun....for both of us.

However, your best solution is some type of critter cage. Last year, I put one up super quick by putting tomato stakes, or rebar, in the ground and "weaving" chicken wire over the poles to sturdy up the fence I was making around my garden. Then, drape bird netting over the top. Or, just do what Mel does in his book. Fashion that cage. He gives instructions. I think you could probably find something on youtube, too. Either way, there are lots of simple ways to keep the critters out. I know you can find one you will be confident in attempting. And, when you do, your confidence to try something else will go through the roof.

Good Luck with whichever option you take.

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Re: Squirrels again

Post  cautery on 2/8/2011, 12:00 am

BTW.... While I would only do so in a survival situation.... but two additional solutions for your squirrel problem are:

a) fried
b) stew

Wink

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Re: Squirrels again

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 2/9/2011, 1:10 pm

@cautery wrote:BTW.... While I would only do so in a survival situation.... but two additional solutions for your squirrel problem are:

a) fried
b) stew

Wink

I'll admit I like to have fun with my squirrels. They don't get hurt, but they sure will do ANYthing for a pecan. Obstacle courses are fun. Bungees are fun. This year, we build the SquirrelShot. Two pieces of surgical tubing, a colander, and some nuts. Good times when the strings get cut and we go airborne off the deck. They literally come back for more....based on some neighbors experiments.

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Re: Squirrels again

Post  Aub on 2/9/2011, 11:03 pm

BYBG- Crack me up with the Squirrel Shot!
My mom wants to put herbs in the box right outside her kitchen window. However, there is a squirrel that loves to hang out there. He's always putting something in the window box. I guess will just have to fling him over to the neighbors yard!

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Re: Squirrels again

Post  acara on 2/10/2011, 6:38 am

I'd suggest something safe, humane & non-toxic .... but nonetheless entertaining;


This


One word of caution .... you need to make sure you know what type of squirrel your dealing with ....as some varieties are extremely dangerous.


Most folks aren't aware of this, but squirrels are very organized & actually have specialized garden-raiding training camps ..





I've also heard of squirrels with specialized equipment and military training ...




One of the scariest new developments is the rumor that squirrels are now utilizing performance enhancing drugs to maximize their garden raiding effectivness ....




Above all, be aware that your anti-squirrel activities may draw the attention of the the radical squirrel factions and provoke the most feared of all squirrel encounters .... the Dark-Jedi-Squirrel-Raiding-Party





Sometimes, it's just better to avoid the anti-squirrel activities & just have the critters over and discuss a mutually beneficial harvest share agreement over a beer (squirrels like Guinness);








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Re: Squirrels again

Post  acara on 2/10/2011, 6:56 am

@cautery wrote:BTW.... While I would only do so in a survival situation.... but two additional solutions for your squirrel problem are:

a) fried
b) stew

Wink


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Re: Squirrels again

Post  Aub on 2/10/2011, 11:30 am

funny post
Bahahaha!!!

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Re: Squirrels again

Post  boffer on 2/10/2011, 11:48 am

Good ones, acara!

Something similar to this helps keep my squirrels busy and out of the garden. The regulars eventually figure out the easiest way to eat the corn. But the noobs are flying all over the place!


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Squirrels again

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 2/10/2011, 12:59 pm

Hmmm, would a live trap and subsequent trip across town help? Or are there too many squirrels? We live in the country, so resident coyotes keep the squirrel population down to a reasonable level. Have you considered getting a Jack Russel Terrier? My mom's Jack is a great varment chaser. For us, the dynamics of pestiferous creatures has changed in the five years since our old Malalmute died. Instead of chipmunks and other rodents getting the strawberries and other tasty-looking items, now we have elk devouring our apples and pears, and deer eating just about everything but the rhododendrons. Didn't know until last year that they'd eat all the leaves off a fig tree! I've suggested that, if we are feeding them, shouldn't they occasionally feed us? Especially the elk? Nonna&PapaVino

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Re: Squirrels again

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 2/10/2011, 5:15 pm

Acara....you found the video that has inspired the new and improved SquirrelShot2011XXL. However, the best one I ever saw has been taken down for some reason. It was a clay pigeon launcher with a corn cob in it. Once the squirrel gets in, the video yells, "pull!" and that squirrel flies off a deck and into the trees about 50 feet. Ten seconds later, another squirrel give the ride operator his ticket, and away he went. This apparently happened again and again and again....with some of the same squirrels. Now, THAT is entertainment. I don't care who you are.

If I do something, I will show pictures of it to the forum. However, if even one squirrel comes up injured, I shut'r'down permanently. I don't mind squirrels all that much. Most of my feeders are baffled and completely untouched. I put netting over my garden, so again, untouched. It isn't that difficult once you find the right way to keep them out.

However, it's always fun to mess with their brains. They are pretty darned smart.....and have all day to think about getting to your food. They don't have jobs, kids, etc.

I can promise you, Nonna, that the trap and trip is as good a method as any. However, once one squirrel leaves, another moves in......if there's a food source worth competing over. My SquirrelShot isn't going to be a permanent fix, either. Just a more entertaining "trip across town."


edit: If I launch one up more than out, do you think my Cooper's Hawks will try to fly in and catch one? That could be fun. Sort of like an alley-oop in basketball? Shocked

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Re: Squirrels again

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