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Squirrel thieves really love my peaches, wanna 'shake' my tree!!

 
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But, so far, they're gnawing off bits, here & there, and throwing them on the ground. I don't mind sharing - but, sharing implies that I get some, too, right? At the rate these lil stinkers are going, I'm not going to get a single peach. THIS year. So, is there anything I can do now, to salvage some? And, for next year's (hopefully bigger, better) harvest, is there something I can do, ahead of time? Maybe this fall?
 
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This year we tried protection bags which works to a great degree. The other option we were going to try was to use steel ducting. Open the pipe slip over the truck and then they can't get any traction.
 
pollinator
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It's tough with soft fruit, because anything you put on it to deter thievery is going to make it taste "off" to you as well. I concur with Donald in suggesting that you put smooth sheet metal around the trunks so that the little buggers can't climb up. Every single power pole in this country has a collar at least 60 cm wide around it, otherwise we'd never have electricity thanks to thousands of possums zapping themselves every night.

 
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Up voting mostly for the thread title.

But I'll contribute this tidbit: when a family of squirrels decided that the insulation in the incredibly hard to reach soffeting under my roof's overhang (3 stories up!) was a great place to make a nest (and make a mess), I hung myself out over the edge and sprayed the area with bear spray. Bear spray- basically an oversized, overproof, capsicum mace- is a common household item here in the Yukon... your availability may differ. Anyway, they vacated the premises and no one else has moved in to the hole they made, two years after.
 
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The squirrels got some of my peaches too.

On the upside, they did leave the pits in a little pile on the ground, which made it easier to plant them to hopefully get some future peach seedlings next year!

I can't say the same for my pears though. They ate the whole pear mostly, for the ones they got. Probably in their little full bellies right now. Maybe they can save me from having to plant the seeds too, and I'll find some volunteer pear seedling next year all over the yard.
 
Steve Thorn
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I'm going to try to plant some really strong smelling (hopefully squirrel and deer detering) plants soon to hopefully keep them from wanting to linger too long. I'm sure they'll still get some, but maybe they'll just grab a quick bite to go.
 
Donald Beck
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Donald Beck wrote:This year we tried protection bags which works to a great degree. The other option we were going to try was to use steel ducting. Open the pipe slip over the truck and then they can't get any traction.



Forgot to mention... went with the bags because they protect the fruit from the birds and bugs.
 
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I feel your pain Carla, the squirrels have stripped our pear trees this year, so now I will put the buggers in the freezer for nice squirrel and dumpling dinners.
This was the first year our pear trees put on more than 4 pears, we lost a bumper crop of pears to the red squirrels, they wasted far more of each fruit than they ate.

Redhawk
 
Donald Beck
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Steve Thorn wrote:I'm going to try to plant some really strong smelling (hopefully squirrel and deer detering) plants soon to hopefully keep them from wanting to linger too long. I'm sure they'll still get some, but maybe they'll just grab a quick bite to go.



Although we have not tried plants to deter deer, we have been successful using an electric fence. First year they have not destroyed everything.
 
Carla Burke
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:I feel your pain Carla, the squirrels have stripped our pear trees this year, so now I will put the buggers in the freezer for nice squirrel and dumpling dinners.
This was the first year our pear trees put on more than 4 pears, we lost a bumper crop of pears to the red squirrels, they wasted far more of each fruit than they ate.

Redhawk



My dad used to keep a steady supply of squirrels in the freezer, so it's a tactic I'm not opposed to, and may resort to. Honestly, I just haven't really wanted to dress them out - lazy me! They've also been very destructive on the deck, in several ways. I've planted pots of bug repelling flowers & plants, and hung them from the rail, as well as a couple of big planters, with mini guilds of culinary herbs that share some bug repellent properties. I've gone out for breakfast, too many mornings, and discovered the plants uprooted and tossed on the deck - or over it, the pots themselves, chewed, as if plastic(something I'm trying to eliminate, but was the only way I could afford to manage, this season) was something their tiny, chubby, little bodies thrived on. I made the mistake of forgetting the bucket of songbird feed out there, the other day, and our "lil effers", as I've dubbed them (and yes, that's how I usually say it, though some of their stunts occasionally pull the full word out of me, lol), had knocked it over, and chewed a perfectly squirrel-sized hole in the lid. Luckily for me, the bucket was almost empty, anyway. They even manage, sometimes, to beat my squirrel proof somgbird feeder - I think because they're so small, they don't weigh enough to push the cage down, to block the openings.... The big squirrels just knock it up into the tree, so it goes upside down, & spills the seeds out. Lil' effers...

The bummer is that most of them aren't much more than babies. These are the tiniest grey squirrels, with little tails! I'm used to big, fast ones, with ginourmous, fluffy tails, little red ones, with kinda scraggly tails, or medium sized black ones with fairly fluffy tails. Are these guys babies, like I'm inclined to believe? Or is this yet another type?
 
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Rotten squirrels: doing you wrong, doing you wrong.  I sure don't want to hurt no one, but have you considered speaking to them of the pompitous of love?  

If you do so, I'll call you Maurice.  
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Carla, those might be flying squirrels (we have them on our land too, but it's the fox squirrels doing the damage), flying squirrels are small and gray in color. Look for the skin ruffle along their sides, that's what they stretch out to do their gliding.

Redhawk
 
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Chris Sturgeon wrote:

But I'll contribute this tidbit: when a family of squirrels decided that the insulation in the incredibly hard to reach soffeting under my roof's overhang (3 stories up!) was a great place to make a nest (and make a mess), I hung myself out over the edge and sprayed the area with bear spray. Bear spray- basically an oversized, overproof, capsicum mace- is a common household item here in the Yukon... your availability may differ. Anyway, they vacated the premises and no one else has moved in to the hole they made, two years after.



I had a similar problem and used what was easily to hand.  I took the vinegar juice from a jar of Hot Chili Peppers and put it in a spray bottle.  Sprayed down the siding where the squirrel was working on entry holes.  It lasted long enough for him to lose interest.  It was a cheap and successful fix.  You might try the same on trunk and branches to see whether it discourages activity.

I also use lengths of welded wire fence around my young trees to prevent deer browsing till they are tall enough.  Will consider something on the order of more formal cages once my cherry trees begin fruiting, to protect from the birds.
 
pollinator
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Squirrels are the bane of my existence!  Here they are ground squirrels, which nest in holes in the ground, but they climb trees and get into stuff just like other kinds.  The plum and nectarine trees absolutely have to be netted, and the grapes too, both for them and the birds, but the squirrels can chew through the net and get in anyway.  If I have the chickens loose the squirrels go right in there and help themselves to the feeder. But in our dry summer, they are mostly after water, and go after fruit and veggies for the moisture.  Their staple food is acorns which they gather in the fall and store away in quantity. So I've found that a live trap, baited with a tuna can of water, will catch them day after day for months till it starts to rain!  But there always seem to be more.  It helps to have your trees with some space around them, so that the critters have to approach from the ground, rather than branch to branch.  This will give a dog or cat more chances at them too!
 
Carla Burke
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Carla, those might be flying squirrels (we have them on our land too, but it's the fox squirrels doing the damage), flying squirrels are small and gray in color. Look for the skin ruffle along their sides, that's what they stretch out to do their gliding.

Redhawk



Dr. Redhawk... please tell me You're pulling my leg. You're only a handful of hours away from me, so if you have them... ~le sigh~
 
Carla Burke
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So, I forgot to mention, this tree is only about 11ft from the house. Our land is heavily wooded, mostly oaks. Oh, and the house is log. So, eventually, I should just give up on this peach tree, add it seems the previous owners may have done? I mean, the squirrels FLY. I guess I need to find out how far they can glide, and how much wind assistance they need. But, it sounds like hoping from my house to the tree is going top be their idea of... Tuesday. Maybe netting...
 
Donald Beck
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Donald Beck wrote:

Donald Beck wrote:This year we tried protection bags which works to a great degree. The other option we were going to try was to use steel ducting. Open the pipe slip over the truck and then they can't get any traction.



Forgot to mention... went with the bags because they protect the fruit from the birds and bugs.



That didn't work. Don't know who or how, but all the fruit is gone with the bags dangling. Next year 100% cover over the top and sheet metal collars on the trunks. If that doesn't work, the year following I will be heading to our farmers market and buying a hammock.
 
Carla Burke
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Donald Beck wrote:

Donald Beck wrote:

Donald Beck wrote:This year we tried protection bags which works to a great degree. The other option we were going to try was to use steel ducting. Open the pipe slip over the truck and then they can't get any traction.



Forgot to mention... went with the bags because they protect the fruit from the birds and bugs.



That didn't work. Don't know who or how, but all the fruit is gone with the bags dangling. Next year 100% cover over the top and sheet metal collars on the trunks. If that doesn't work, the year following I will be heading to our farmers market and buying a hammock.



Oh, no! I'm sorry it didn't work out. The day after I posted this, the lil' effers wiped out every last peach. Not a single one left. 😞 Never even got a sample.
 
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Maybe putting some water around will help keep them from eating your peaches.

I saw a squirrel run across the yard with a grape tomato, a couple times.
When I put a water bowl out it stopped eating my tomatos.
 
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