I have had enough of trying to calmly accept that the squirrels will harvest some of the things that grow on my field. They have stripped the fruit from 2 mature walnut trees, a pear and are now meticulously removing every single apple from a collection of 4 apple trees. Usually in this situation I would try and change the niche rather than remove the pest. eg Rats are in compost because of the food, move the food and the rats won't want to be there rather than try to eliminate the rats. But how do I apply that theory with trees? They are isolated - no access through the branches but they're running along the ground. Cones on the trunks? Squirrels are more agile than that!
So shall I cull a few in the hope that newcomers won't devastate my crops to the same extent? We are on a suburban plot, quite an island of vegetation. And How do I kill squirrel?
Any advise would be gratefully appreciated. Or any opinions re killing pests as it would help this veggie work out how I feel!
To prevent squirrels (rats, raccoons...) from climbing trees and harvesting fruit/nuts the easiest method for isolated trees (trees that cannot be accessed by a fence, tree, building etc.) is a metal collar - snap a length of split stove pipe around each trunk as soon as fruit nears harvest/predation begins, and follow up by diligent picking. Secondly look into electric mesh fencing (kencove.com) it is about 150 feet for $150, is easily moveable and can be deployed as needed to protect various crops as they come into season.
Is a dog an option? Even if you just 'fostered' temporarily for a shelter or rescue during these periods of theft....The problem with killing is it simply creates a void others will eventually move into.
Lorinne Anderson: Specializing in sick, injured, orphaned and problem wildlife for over 20 years.
In holistic mangament there is discussion on culling the heard by selective breeding. Perhaps this principle can be used here on the nut trees? Also, what about your raptors? See any around? Maybe you can create more of those niches? Dog is definitely helpful. Coyotes enjoy squirrel too. Not sure if cats might be able to help out- supposedly they do a good job on chipmunks. How to deal with squirrels may depend on local laws. Some areas guns of any sort=no, others it's A-ok.