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Squirrel Deterrent  RSS feed

 
Posts: 20
Location: Fort Collins, CO, E of Rockies, semi-arid, zone 5, elev. 5K ft, precip. 16 in, snowfall 54in, clay
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Hey folks,

Does anyone have any good ideas for deterring squirrels in the city?

In Denver, squirrels are pretty prolific and eat anything semi-edible including containers that have food in/on them. More importantly, just as fruits and veggies start to ripen, they beat me to the punch line.

I have read about herbal sprays, but need constant reapplication. That seams like a lot of work. Maybe there is a "trap crop"? Space is at a premium, so the smaller the trick, the better.

Thanks for the help!

Josh
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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you have to keep your food in metal cans, with tight fitting lids..a trash can is good. I use alum flashing on the poles of my bird feeders and keep them from trees and bushes..that keeps the squirrels and other climbers down..as for the food you grow, I really don't have problems with them getting into that stuff..they don't even bother my hazelnut crops
 
Josh Chance
Posts: 20
Location: Fort Collins, CO, E of Rockies, semi-arid, zone 5, elev. 5K ft, precip. 16 in, snowfall 54in, clay
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Brenda,

Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, the squirrels attack everything. Maybe because there are so many of them in a small area. The metal cans are a good idea.

I'd have to train UPS to get the package out of the container for pick up. My girlfriend was shipping some brownies that had been placed in air tight plastic containers and then boxed up. The squirrels ate through straight to the brownies.

She tried it again with a tin inside the shipping box. The tin was thoroughly washed to try to reduce the food smell and then taped shut. The squirrels ate through the box and scratched the heck out of the tin, but didn't get it open. So, a tin trash can for shipping items is a great idea!

Now, if I could just figure out how to keep them away from my garden. I considered buying a blow gun to reduce the squirrel population. I don't think blow guns are illegal in Denver. Squirrel stew, anyone?
 
Posts: 65
Location: Zone 9B Santa Rosa, CA
14
books dog food preservation forest garden urban
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We live in a suburban area with a creek behind our back fence We have a lot of squirrels, racoons, skunks, etc. out back of our fence because of the creek. I have a two-pronged approach to keeping the wild life out of my garden areas:


1. Two Airedale Terrierists: They have access to most of our yard, but not to two areas due to unstable fencing. The areas that they do not have access to have the most problem with critters eating stuff. owever, the Airedale Terrierists do eat food from the plants growing in their area. I figure we'll have a lot of volunteer tomatoes next year. My husband does not want to think about how they are volunteerng. They also like to dig and pull up plants. One of them is an afficiando of aromatic herbs.

2. Behind our fence there is about 20' going down to the creek. I have planted this with sunflowers. I plan to encourage berries there. My reasoning is that the crtitters will stay in that area with bountiful food without the Airedale Terrierists.

 
Josh Chance
Posts: 20
Location: Fort Collins, CO, E of Rockies, semi-arid, zone 5, elev. 5K ft, precip. 16 in, snowfall 54in, clay
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Julie,

That sounds great! I would really be interested to learn if you think your sunflowers and berries help.

Anybody have any ideas for a postage stamp yard and no open space? I share walls with my neighbors.
 
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Sunflowers are loved by the squirrels. I have watched one squirrel chop the heads off of half a dozen, and mouthful by mouthful, carry the seeds into its nest in a matter of minutes. At the time, I was doing a crossword puzzle on the bench at the base of 'his' tree. He ignored me, as he had a mission far more important than whatever danger I might pose. The owner of the patch was blaming vandals until I pointed up into the cedar, and said "The vandals live there."

If you want the seeds for yourself, and the chickens...you better plant plenty if there are squirrels in the 'hood.

 
Julie Anderson
Posts: 65
Location: Zone 9B Santa Rosa, CA
14
books dog food preservation forest garden urban
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My particular plan is that the seeds should make the area outside my fence a lot more attractive than the area inside patrolled by the Airedale Terrieriists (I'm sure it's already more attractive outside, but I want to increase the food out there so they will be less inclined to come in and brave the Airedales in order to get food).
 
Posts: 1
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I've had to enclose all my beds in either chicken wire boxes or 1" welded wire removable "lids". For trellis crops I plat the seeds and cover it with 1/2" welded wire so the critters can't get to the seeds, but they can still grow through.

A well aimed BB gun to the hindquarter usually keeps them away for 2-4 days...
 
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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mint works on burrowing critters, wonder if mint oil would help.

Buy some of the hornet spray that is 100% mint oil and try it.

don't know if squirrels are in the same family...
 
pollinator
Posts: 419
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
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I bet if you took up falconry you would have a lot fewer squirrels...

But seriously, do you ever see any hawks or owls in your neighborhood? If so, you could try to make your yard/house super friendly to hawks & owls, which would make the squirrels nervous, maybe nervous enough to move elsewhere.
 
Josh Chance
Posts: 20
Location: Fort Collins, CO, E of Rockies, semi-arid, zone 5, elev. 5K ft, precip. 16 in, snowfall 54in, clay
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Great suggestions!

The space is so small that chicken wire might be perfect. I really think attracting flying predators might the best, though. Thanks again for the suggestions!
 
Posts: 171
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I have a long history of dealing with these rats with good PR. Surprisingly, in the 27 years since I've had my little hideaway in the forest, which you'd think is ideal territory for them, I've seen less of them in total than I can find in my postage stamp backyard in the city at any given time. These creatures really thrive on human garbage.

Here are some things that I have found to be useful:

Chicken wire over bulbs will keep them from being dug up and eaten (actually they seem to only eat the germ and leave the meat behind).

Fairly large stone mulch (river rocks) on the top of the soil in a pot or a container will keep them from digging up the plants.

At first I was amazed that they almost always dug up every new plant I put in, but then I had a revelation. They are smelling that the soil had been disturbed, which in squirrelese means that someone had buried him a treat. I got a roll of half inch square metal animal cage screening and built some sculptural houses (open on the bottom but totally enclosed above) which I would put over every new planting until they became established. Worked like a charm and wasn't ugly at all.

I stumbled onto the best deterrent when I renovated the old bathroom and used the old cast iron bathtub as a small pond (buried up to its rim in the ground). Suddenly my private backyard territory became a public watering hole (from the critters point of view). Everyone came to drink, but I noticed that they did so warily. I came to enjoy watching the squirrels slink cautiously into the yard, drink from the pond and then hastily leave again. It's surprising how little damage they've done since then.
 
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