I spent a fortune on 3 tiny mini hostas and the squirrels tore them up so many times, roots and all this time along with every thing else in pots !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!hope they work.I have tried sprinkling the pots with hot red pepper but nothing seems to stop them. I do not want to hurt them but...Any suggestions ?
Cats keep squirrels away, do you want me to send you one of mine? LOL
Someone told my husband that squirrels do not like snakes, so they put rubber snakes on branches, in pots, the yard to keep them away.
I use bloodmeal too. Between that and the cats, one of them is working.
I used 1" cheap plastic mesh from Walmart over the containers, cut mesh with scissors, pinned mesh down with garden staples, cut hole for plant if needed. Squirrels finally quit trying to dig. Nothing else worked. On a few occasions, they tried at an end of the mesh and if they could get the mesh up, they dug. So, I added more garden pins/staples. Pain in the neck to do, but it worked very well. I am going to do this again next year, even if it takes time and energy. It is fairly cheap.
I tried bamboo skewers for plants in ground, but took too many of them and critters still dug them up. I tried sprays and peppers - these worked for short while only. If I get expensive new plants next year, I am going to put mesh down first, pin it down, then add the plant. Pain but I will do it.
I just used this mesh and sand to plant tulip and lily bulbs, hoping this works.
Good luck. I lost most of several new heucheras and many of my other plants to these critters. It is now war. I just put tons (I mean it) of cayenne pepper in the bird feeders and am watching to see if they leave. Last year I thought they were so cute. Ick. Carol
I also used plastic mesh (bird netting from a local home & garden center) over top of my containers--I wasn't having problems with squirrels ruining plants, but they were burying walnuts in my pots and I was constantly pulling out baby walnut trees. No more baby walnuts after I covered the pots with the mesh!
OH my, thank you for advice...seems you all have squirrel problems too...
I have ordered some VERY hot pepper, cayenne did not work. I was looking for the netting and unable to find it but now I will check at Walmarts.
This problem has been going on year after year but it is getting worse and so frustrating !
Thanks so much for all of your help.
The netting I used is the same stuff you buy to put around berry bushes to keep the birds off of them. This might not be a good time of year for you to find it locally--especially someplace like Walmart they probably don't carry much gardening stuff in the fall/winter. If you can't find it there you might try a nursery instead, or else you could probably get it from one of the mail order garden supply places.
Stormcloud: What kind of hot pepper, where did you get it, can you get it without high shipping costs? I am watching the feeders. Cannot tell if even birds are going there yet. It has been raining for some time - on and off. I only saw one rodent this morning so far, in upper part of garden - not near the feeders yet. The lousy rodents (mean it) also donate fleas to my cats when they get to venture out. Now treating lawn for chiggers and fleas. Treating cats for fleas. And I thought squirrels were cute once upon a time. When we moved here about 14 years ago we had both red and grey squirrels. The greys ran the reds off.
i think my mystery of what is eating my plants is solved--i never thought of squirrels--thought of bunnies, birds, the turtles that live in my yard but now i think i know who has eaten my plants and leave little divets all over the mulch!
PLEASE do not use hot pepper for a repellent.It really doses not work anyway and I just read that it has been banned in several areas because it burns the poor squirrels nose and mouth and can also blind them. I had just ordered a jar online and paid $9.00 to ship the $6.00 jar but I will surely not be using it. How sad to think of harming the poor innocent rodents. NEVER
Try using human or dog hair in the pots as a repellent. And no thank you, I do not want a cat !!! I have 7 dogs !
Maybe if the squirrels were blind they wouldn't be able to find my gardens!! LOL (just kidding, a little)
I resorted to using chicken wire bury it just under the soil. Had to use hardware cloth and garlic for the chipmunks(the squirrels cousin) and they are not the cute disney chip and dale characters. They eat birds eggs!
YEAH! No more squirrels. At least not tons of them. Only a few around now. Lots of birds. One inch of cayenne pepper in bird feeders is OK. Finally. The rodents appear to have left my yard for other yards. No more holes everywhere. My lawn looked like a mine field - holes everywhere. All my new plants were dug up - maybe not anymore. Maybe I can enjoy retirement. Maybe I do not need to get a shotgun. Maybe I do not have to learn to like squirrel stew. I could not believe those rodents could do so much damage. Even tear up a grass yard? For 2 years they have dug up my plants. The plastic mesh, bamboo skewers, pepper wax spray, cayenne powder all together seem to have worked, and not letting them eat the birdfood. I am really tired. Thought gardening was a hobby - not this much work. Thought I had to deal with bugs - not large rodents. I will post again if I am wrong again. Carol
Awwww...sorry about all of your trouble over these Squirrels, Carol...I have all the same issues here and have for many years.
BUT, to burn and/or blind the poor critters ?? NO WAY FOR ME.
There has to be a better way...
I am not so sure about the hot pepper. I have heard it will keep them off of things. But It does not work with deer I can tell you that. Just last summer I had deer eating up some nice Hosta and a Hibiscus. I put enough pepper on them to acually give the leaves a red tinge. Come out the next morning and all there was left was a few bitten off leaves. with a little red pepper still on there. They had eaten all the rest. Trouble with squirrels is they multiply like mice and rats almost. I was told by a conservation agent that a 2 squirrel population will explode to 50 inside of a year with no problem. Being rural on a lake I deal with them from the end of a 20 ga. Seems that is the only solution we have around here. They can be the most damaging animal I have ever seen for the verity of thing that they will chew. As far as digging goes,we have Armadillo's now in the Ozarks and they dig like little backhoes.
I know something that will work on deer but you have to be rural it involves stinging thier rump very well. So I do not recommend it. I do not think hair would do anything aound here. I do pretty well with a concotion of 18 eggs and about 1/4 cup of garlic in 4 gals of water. You just have to do it a lot. If you read the lable real well on products like liquid fence you will see that is all it really is. It is just a matter of hetting the right mix.
I live in a resort type area with a lot of summer homes Squirrels will do extreme damage to things like wood decks step siding and anything else they can chew. The only way we can control them is by keeping the population in check. That might not set well with some people but that is what has to be done here.
Hmmmm well I see the issue both ways and I do suffer a lot of squirrel damage here. In fact last winter they chewed right through our wooden garage door to get inside and find birdseed I had stored in a plastic bin in there. They chewed thru the bin and enjoyed my birdseed...sigh
Every morning I have to go out to my garden and replant all the little plants they dig up.
BUT...I would never harm them...I just wish I could find something to repel them from certain things.
The problem is the populations grows so fast if left unchecked the squirrels will control you not you the squirrels. I have oaks and Hickory trees in my yard big enought that you could load a back of a pickup truck with all the nuts in the fall. You would thing that would prevent them from raiding the feeders and chewing up everything else but it does not.
I do not think you can really discourge them. At least that is what the state trapper told me.
Something was eating my Oriental Lilies, chewing right through the stems. After everythng else failed, in desperation I
sprayed bitter apple on the remaining stems. It didn't hurt the plants and nothing ate them. I have a very large squirrel
I use Bitter Apple on my dog because she has a habit of licking/chewing at a certain spot on her front leg. It works well for that. I would think it would be a good idea to try it in the garden.
We just moved to a rural area with lots of woods. The houses are set very far apart, and there have only been houses out here for about 5 years. I haven't seen many squirrels yet, but we had tons of them in our old neighborhood which was in town. They used to dig up my plants all the time. They multiply more in town than in the country because out here there are still coyotes and who knows what else to help keep the population down.
I've asked Santa for an owl house for Christmas. The man at the Wild Birds Unlimited store said pretty much as soon as you put one up, you will have an owl move in around here. He had one in his 12 hours after he put it up. I don't know if owls get many squirrels because squirrels are mostly diurnal and owls are nocturnal, but I'd like to have an owl around anyway. At least they will keep the mice down, and as long as it's not a screech owl I think it would sound cool at night. I know for a fact that hawks take squirrels because I saw one with one at our old place, but I don't know how to attract hawks. I don't particularly want the coyotes around too close because we have a smallish dog, but they are awesome to hear "singing" off in the distance.
I would not bet on anything the man in the wild bird store said about owl houses. I do believe you will get a squirrel in there a lot faster. Besides remember owls are night creatures. I find it hard to believe they will do any damage to the squirrels. If your going to be rural and the distance is far apart I would go to a shotgun. 20 ga with shells with what is called a game load and number 6 shot. that is what I use a lot of the time when they are hopping around in the trees. A lot of people make the mistake of using a 410 ga shotgun on squirrels but it will wound a lot more than it will kill. and many kills are not clean. If I have to resort to shooting I like a clean kill. All I use my 410 for is to shoot deer in the rump with. At about 20 yrds, 7 1/2 size shot it will not penatratethe hide on their thick rump. But it gives them a sore rump for a few days and a life long memory of a place to avoid returning to. If no shotgun them go to a good Pellet rifle with a scope. Never underestimate the power of a good pellet rifle like RWS with 1000 lbs muzzel velocity. I have one and and it has a 4 power scope on it. At 25 yards I could pick off pingpong balls all day long and never miss. But it is hard to use on running squirrels. You must have a steady aim. The ammo is cheaper is the main thing.
We're not THAT rural. When I say the houses are set far apart, I mean a few acres a lot, not half a mile. I did tell my daughter if she wanted to watch for that buck who decided to make my new smoke tree a scrape (he rubbed his horns on it every night until I put a fence around it) and pop his rear with her BB gun, more power to her. I don't think the neighborhood association would appreciate me getting after him with a shotgun though.
I don't have any reason to doubt the word of the bird store guy. He's been a small business owner in the area for many years and is an authority on all things bird. He wouldn't be able to build a business based on a hobby like birding if he lied to customers just to make a sale. Yes, I remember owls are night creatures. I mentioned it in my original post. But you never know, they might get lucky. As it is now, I haven't seen any squirrels so I think there would be at least as good of a chance of an owl claiming an owl house as a squirrel.
I would rather see an owl house than an injured squirrel any day, yes they do a lot of damage to the plants, bulbs and trees we all want to grow, I have been told to hang bags of human hair up on the garden beside the shrubs and plants that the deer eat and also the squirrels dont like it either as they smell of humans sends them packing, but you must refresh it every week ?????
also on the market is a product from lion droppings, dont ask me where to get it, but I believe it is mail order so who knows, maybe the stuff is in USA and not in UK YET.
The best deterrent I have found is the chicken wire, the plants and bulbs will grow through it and the squirrels cant scrape the soil under it, so you dont see it, the wholes in the lawn are them burying there nuts for winter shortages, but as Ecrane found out, they dont come back for them, so the nuts germinate. Water squirting on a timer is supposed to help too but cant be bothered setting it all up to be honest, Squirrels are still active when the owls are about at dusk/dawn, I have hawks and buzzards, but we still have squirrels, sigh, sigh and sigh again. good luck to you all, WeeNel.
Well everyone deals with it in there own way. Squirrels here MUST be controlled and thecsame appies to deer. we had the first weekend of the annual deer season 2 weeks ago and the state recorded more than 100,000 taken. I do not hunt deer by the way only time I have ever shot a deer is for a determint as discrobed above. I have shot more squirrels than I can count. Very Very few of them were anything but clean kills. Below is a picture of what a squirrel can do in a few minutes. I just will not have my property destroyed. That is the main thing round here is destruction of property.
Wee Nel I do not know how long you been doing the human hair thing but the deer will usually get used to it after a time and totally ignore the hair.
I agree with you that the deer and the squirrels are so destructive, I also agree that you need to try control them. What was also my own opinion, was how that is done, where I live, which is surrounded by woodland, that was my choice, to live in lovely green, lush, fertile area of the countryside, this in turn was where the deer, squirrels, birds and many other wild animals had inhabited long before I arrived, so I look on it that I was the intruder, yet I will still continue to grow plants that are not favourable to the deer, yet know that there is very little they wont eat, the squirrels drive me nuts as they also cant distinguish between a garden plant or a wild tree/shrub or flower, but I am happy to continue enjoying such wildlife on my doorstep, keep trying different methods to distract rather than kill them. I am also happy that I have a full veg garden that feeds my family even though the deer eat some of the veg and fruit, to grow any shrub or plant that I love and admire so long as I can stay one step ahead of all the wildlife and protect the plants to an extent, (you cant beat them all the time) so that is what my gardening is all about, we all have different ideas and methods of dealing with whatever conditions we have, and I dont remember saying there was a right or wrong way, I said what my own preferences were, no one was ever condemning other methods, just giving ideas for others to try.
As regards the human hair, I did write that you need to change the hair every week ???? so (get friendly with local hairdresser) and you also need to change the position you hang it up, you can also add it to your compost so long as there are no chemical treated hair, it only helps, it dont mean you wont see any wildlife ever again. hope this clears things up a bit, Happy gardening, Weenel.
I put up 2 Owl houses a couple of years ago and the squirrels immediately moved in, nested and had babies. It was so cute to see those little ones out on the little front porch waiting for their Mama.
Sorry...I do not believe anyone has the right to destroy G-ds creatures...the wildlife was here before we were.
As to the human hair, well it does not repel anything here,I tried it in every way suggested and even groomed my dogs out there for the hair. No Good at all...
I will keep tryng to have them move from my garden area but will never harm a living creature.
Yes, I have had plenty of damage here...last winter they chewed a hole right thru our wooden garage door.
Just curious, do you use any pesticides for insect control, chemical or organic? God made bugs too.
Rodents were here before us, and will be after us, but OUR arrival has provided them with an unnaturally easy supply of food and their numbers are getting out of control. I resorted to traps. I caught a few and carried them off to a park, but it had to be 2 MILES away to keep them from find their way home. (According to a ranger.)
I had to stop putting out birdseed all together this spring. For the first time in 10 years, I had not only 10's of squirrels in my 1/3 acre lot, but I also had rats coming up from the woods to within 1 FT. of my house, at 10:00 am in the morning!
So now the rodents are not only digging and eating $100's of dollars in bulbs (not to mention all of the hours in the blazing GA sun I work), they have also robbed me of bird watching. I use to have lots and lots of species coming through, as well as my regulars.
I use to LOVE the squirrels too and I WISH I could have a few, live with them, and them eat a bulb or plant or two, but that isn't the case. They are oportunistic rodents (like they were made to be) and they should be controlled just like the deer population is. If we have an infestation, fleas will be the least of the pest and disease problems we have to worry about.
Unfortunately, I live in a subdivision and have no legal way other that trapping to compete with there numbers.
Rabbits are out of control here too. And they are REALLY cute. Yet when you drive through in the night you see HUNDREDS of little pairs of eyes. For 3 years in a row, they have eaten my 2 varigated hydrangeas to the ground! Plus many annual and perrenials. They LOVE my 7 yr. olds black eyed susans. (Now those are tought plants. Eaten to the ground 3 times in one year and still it tries!) And rabbits are WAY to clever to come anywhere near a trap. D*#% rabbits.
I have purchased fox urine now. I pray that it will be the silver bullet and end all this angst so we can all just get along!
Yes,amethystsm, I most certainly am a vegetarian. I have been for over 20 years.
I would not kill it and I would not eat it !!
And yes, like you I do eat fish and I do eat eggs.
I have had an extreme amount of damage this winter from the squirrels but I continue to feed them and clean up after them. They were on this property before I was.
sometimes we have a coyote in our neighborhood even tho it has been here a while and people get upset but again --they were here first and it is like they are the last few left in the area and i hate to have them go! does that sound crazy?
Not to me it does not sound "crazy".
I think if the Coyote bothers someone, and I know they do as we had some living in a empty lot next door to us, then we are the ones who should put up a fence to keep them out of our yards.
Do not let little pet animals or little children out alone when you know that you have coyotes in your area.
I do not think a lot of you on here really fully understand conservation and its relation to animal control. Yes the animals were here first. But they breed at a lot higher rate than humans. They also run into problems on roadways in yards and other places if they get to be to numerous. It is not that the animals were there first it is that given a choice they would stay back in the woods etc. but when you have over population of them you force them into these situations. If your really serious about balance between a over population of some animal like deer then maybe practice birth control are have no children at all since there is no way man and animals can share the same ground. Remember they are subject to many diseases that can be transmitted to man. When you let them over populate they weeken and become liable to come down with certain things. Other animals are not so cute as they appear. Raccoon,coyotes, squirrels etc all can come down with rabbies. Deer can be exremely dangerous at times. We had a lady here abpout 2 yrs ago that was feeding a doe. The doe came with her fawn one morning and the lady did not see it ( the doe will many times make the fawn hide in a spot until dhe fimnishes feeding that is how they are) and the doe proceeded to almost stomp her to death. Your urban sprawl and to many people is the problem with animals. They are not the problem the people are. One pair of squirrels can become 50 squirrel in about a year. Coyotes have 6-8 pups. About 1/3 of the deer births are twins. So you got a chioces. Cantrol them, let them run over you are just move back into the city.
Well I do to. A lot of it has to is do to man and his management of wildlife and the enviorment. I can give you a little example of (well not so little maybe) of something right here in my region. Over the years the states in this region have managed for a large deer hear. These herds have now grown to the point where deer are being forced into yards in the suburbs of St Louis and Kansas City for food and space. My son is a contractor and sees them all the time in yards in the St louis suburbs. That can be taken care of by a limited increased harvest. But there are other side effects of the large herd. Some years back Arkansas decided to help the black bear that have always lived in the deep ozarks re-establish their numbers. This misguided project was undertaken in Northern Arkansas. At present there are now Black bear all the way up into central Missouri and over into Okla and even Kansas. I would venture to say there are more bear now than when Jesse James roamed through these hills. These too will wind up in yards like the deer and allready do in some places. The large deer herd on the other hand and the way they have grown in numbers has been a real help into bringing the mountain lion back in this state for sure. For a long time when there was a close encounter between man and moutain lion the conservation commision would deny it. There is a lady on DG that had a horse killed by what the conservation commision claimed was a bobcat. I have seen plenty of bobcat and there is no way a cat between 25 and 30 lbs tops would even attempt to take on a full grown horse. As a matter of fact there preferred diet is small animals like rabbits. It has just been recently that the conservation commision has started to admit there is a wild population in the state. For awhile they claimed when one got hit by a car,etc on the hwy that it was someones escaped pet ,and would follow that with a lecture about owning exotic pets. I do not buy it. It is nothing more than the large herd of deer providing a abundant supply of food. Also in the last few years there have been reports of Jaguar around the Okla Ark boarder. There always was a few in Texas that came up from Mexico. But if they in fact are this far up I think it has to do a lot with the climate changes from enviormental abuse. Those things are the third largest cat in the world. So I agree with you I do not like to see animals destroyed are go instinct. I have shot so many squirrels I could not count, but to this day it is hard fro me too pull the trigger on anything but here they do a awful lot of damage when their numbers are to great. Its b ecoming that way with the deer. Anytime I can dive down a road and they will stand there are you have to stop while they cross like a cow they are tooooooo close and tooooo comprtable with man. Like i said one time before on here I counted 2 groups of Doe standing along the road within a mile of the house.
yes you are right that in our attempts to save animals we have gone too far and i've seen that in parts of texas where deer are like pets coming into peoples yards for treats! we stayed overnight in an area where the motel gave out cups of food and the kids hand fed the deer --so called "wild deer" -not fenced in! i vistited my daughter in virginia and we hiked on the apalachian trail and i kept seeing deer-and finally one was on the trail with her baby and i was only about 20 feet away just staring at her while she stared back--it was a beautiful site-- my daughter said they had an overpopulation there too--60 minutes did a show on deer overpopulation somewhere in the united states and showed how divided people were on the issue--i do not know the answers and yet as an animal lover i like seeing a variety of animals and yet i know not all is right with animal populations--
A doe in the spring can be a very dangerous animal. When someone friend are foe comes along the doe will make the fawn drop and she will wonder off a short ways. The fawn will lay frozen so still you can walk up and pick it up. If your lucky like I was one time picking one up out of the middle of the road and putting it over in the brush along the side fine but should she choose to assult you it is really something. They will rise up on there hin d feet and start whirling those hooves faster than you can believe. They can really tear your head and shoulders to pieces very fast. The instance we had here a couple of years ago was from a lady feeding the doe daily out of her hand. Thay lady about died. One of the paramedics sain she was almost scapted.
I moved into my house a year ago. An avid gardener who loves animals, I was in a fix with the squirrels here.
My solution: If you can't beat em - feed em.
I put out small green plastic bowls (not as noticable) full of sunflower seeds at certain areas of the yard. Had to make sure they were filled every morning, or they'd show me just how unhappy they were about it.
They didn't bother the flower beds / hostas again. The birds also stayed out of the veggie garden, and our cats got to watch it all safely inside.
I problem is, if you feed them, they are going to multiply and hang around. They'll be digging holes all over. Also, you may get rats and mice coming to eat from the bowls. I hope that will not happen--just a warning. Squirrels are cute animals- I wish you the best!
Stupid squirrel!!!!! It's been ripping apart my outdoor sisal throw rug I have on my deck. I just noticed it last week and had to chase it away a few times already. Can I put hot pepper on it ya think?
Flowergen--- Look at the vabover post with a picture of my garage steps. It took only a few minutes for on large gray squirrel to do that. I have 4 squirrels that come around every day and clean up under the bird feeders. As long as that is what they do fine. There is enough there for 4. But that is a border line limit. I will not allow anymore.
Overpopulation depends on lots of things. If you're in a really rural area, you would definitely not do well by feeding them.
However, since we've moved here (quiet suburbia) 9 months ago, we've found at least 5 dead squirrels. 2 on the street, 3 on 3 properties... including my own. That poor guy got wedged in the branches of a tree.
What I meant by 'If you can't beat em - feed em' was only if all else fails. Of all the garden 'pests', they're the hardest to eliminate without jeopardizing much.
As far as rabbits & deer are concerned, if you can find 'Liquid Fence', it's an amazing product that I 100% swear by. My former home had at least 5 deer and too many rabbits to count. I just about gave up on every form of gardening until I found that. (Helped w/ the squirrel situation too!)
I believe they have a website to order if your local hardware / garden center doesn't carry it.
We've used coffee ground for years to keep squirrels away from our tulips. It works a bit. However, we've always used coffee grounds that have been brewed. This year we are going to try cheap unbrewed espresso. My one question is how does the coffee grounds effect the birds? I know birds have no sense of smell but does the caffeine have bad effects?
I agree with some of the people that would never want to harm the squirrels. If they are being killed immediately it's one thing, especially by owls or hawks as that is the cycle of life. However, I would never personally want to harm one. This past year, I was at a little league game when a baby squirrel walked out onto the field and kept climbing on the umpires foot. I walked over to the fence and he called timeout so I went out and picked up the squirrel. As it turns out, the squirrels mother was caught in the netting of the batting cage and died (probably from trauma) after biting through all the wrong strings in an attempt to free itself. I had the squirrel (about 8 weeks old) for 2 days before I found a place to take it. I picked the fleas and mites off of it and fed it formula and berries. It would climb up my sweatshirt and sit on my shoulder while I walked around the yard. It was content to just relax and watch the world. Not sure why this squirrel decided that it wanted to be with humans and was so willing to stay but it was great for photos. Though they are annoying in the garden, I can't look at them and not think of this little guy. Thanks for the warnings of hot pepper, we had tried it a few times before.
I can't believe I missed this thread. I HATE squirrels - they have killed sooooo many of my plants.
We live in an urban neighbourhood with very nice neighbours that FEED the squirrels . . . like we need more. There are no natural predators to control the population, so DH live traps them and moves them to a large forested park several miles away. He has relocated as many as 16 in one week. From spring to late fall he probably relocates 150 or more.
The area is such good squirrel habitat, that as soon as we remove enough squirrels, new ones move in - but his efforts do keep things a lot more manageable. Instead of looking out the window and seeing 11 squirrels in one glance (yes, that many!) we might only see 2 or 3 (still three too many as far as I am concerned). Were these rats, everyone would be appalled, insisting that animal control erradicate the entire population - but alas, the squirrels have that cute little tail, so no animal control.
The squirrels have done serious damage to people's home, getting into attics (not ours, thank goodness!) making nests in the insulation, and there is a possible danger they could damage electrical wiring.
Squirrels are cute in their natural habitat - but not when they overwhelm a neighbourhood.
I had one neighbor who had good luck LAST YEAR with liquid fence against deer. But according to the state trapper they often overcome any adversion to that are any other product. I have heard that before also. Another thing about Liquid fence and most of those products is the cost. It is fine if you have a small garden but I have several hundred plants spread over 3/4 ac that includes about 400 impatients that many begonias( they are not to nuts about begonias) and a135 hosta. The cost is prohibitive. I mix my own with eggs and it works pretty well. I found a Deer repellant study on the internet and posted it on the Hosta Forum. It is very revealing. With buckshot are even a pellet rifle the trapper tells me that the pain it will inflict will make a lasting life time memory. It must be done correctly however, with the right load and range to prevent permanent suffering. I use a 410 ga shotgun with a light power load and shot at least size 71/2 and 8-9 would be even better. The deer have to be shot going away from you in the rump area that is very thick hide. At a range of 20 - 25 yards it will not penetrate the hide but it will make one sore butt for several weeks. A pellet rifle will work real well also in more urban areas. Another thing about this method it will stike fear into the entire herd about the area as well many times.
If it comes to the point where i must shoot squirrels I usually use a 20 ga shotgun and do not take hard shots. Rarely will it not kill a squirrel instantly.
I do not have toi feed the squirrels I have 3 hickory trees and 4 oaks all dating back way over 100 yrs. It that way all over the area so there is no lack of food.
Last year I put mouse traps in some of my potted plants because nothing else seemed to work. Every day I reset the traps. But, after awhile they must've given up because I didn't seem to be resetting as many.
I just read the latest messages and thought I should add more. I added cayenne pepper to the bird feeders. Most of the squirrels left. The birds kept coming. Some squirrels still ate the dropped seeds/pepper and they certainly do not appear to have any ill effects. I just think most of them hated the pepper and went elsewhere. I definitely do not think I was blinding or torturing them. I want them to leave and quit providing fleas to my yard. I want them to leave and quit eating wood, tarp, tomatoes, and whatever they desire. I especially want them to leave before my new plants arrive and my wintersown plants go in the ground. Last year was not good.
I just started wintersowing. One squirrel sat down and watched me. I felt doomed. I had my deck treated before winter set in. The deck man said the oil used would stop the rodents from chewing on the wood. I hope so. I saw tiny squirrel hairs on all the wood stair rails. I am going to have the fence treated early in spring. The rodents have chewed the tops of almost every wood piece.
By the way, overpopulation is a killer of humans. If you ever hit a deer, you will agree with me. I am lucky to be alive. This area is full of deer and many are killed on the roads. We also have had large mountain lions killed on the road. They had really big feet and were not little bobcats. The thought of bears arriving nauseates me. I have grandkids now and would like them to be able to go outside without someone riding shotgun. I have a 6 foot fence and thought the kids might be safe. I had a 6 foot fence where I last lived and deer would still get in my back yard. I may never let the kids go out alone. Is this the wild, wild west again? I live in the suburbs and see more animal life than when I lived on 60 acres. Saving my grandkids trumps saving any rodents.
I guess I am out numbered here but i do continue to buy corn and peanuts and feed the squirrels.When I am out working in my gardens they keep me company and follow me around.
They were here before we were and they belong to nature.
If they belong to nature let nature feed them then. I'm not working so hard planting all my flowers to let those critters rip them all up. Also, had to throw out my large sisal rug because they ripped it apart. Those rugs are NOT cheap.
I'm with you flowerjen, I think the squirrels should be Nature's food for other creatures, but alas, there are no natural predators in our neighbourhood. Even the occasional roadkill doesn't offset the population growth. Squirrels are charming in rural areas with hawks and pine martins, but my neighbourhood is infested with them. . . We HAVE to live trap them and move them to other areas.
My problem is natures food is in the garden in the form of large hickory trees and oaks including one you could not rap your arms around including one that is is way over 100 ft high. Like I said one pair of mating squirrelsill get you 50 squirrels in about one year. I have several types of natural preidtors including hawks eagles and feral cats. The hawks are the best. I have about 2-3 right now in the yard that clean up under the bird feeders but when they stop that and star destroying property then I will get rid of them.
And how do you "get rid of them"? Fool-proof info. needed? That is the answer most of us are looking for.
They are bad enough, but do not do NEAR the damage rabbit do. (in my suburb yard we have hundreds.) Most come out at night, but it's like they know we can do anything to them, so some even come out in the day. And I have a cat plus two teenage cats next door!
I just bought a product from amazon called Bullet something or another specifically to ward off rabbits and dogs, my main problems. It basically smells like ground up mothballs. It's terrible! It gives me a headache and fills up the whole yard with it's toxic scent. Money down the drain.
And all the deterents from Liquid Fence smell so horrible (STRONG garlicy smell, and I like garlic). So horrible infact, that my neighbor complained.
Again, now I have all these products that I can't use in my suburban lot and I STILL lose plants to the rabbits.
Seandor---- You check around quietly and I am sure you will find some who do. Squirrels do help some around here. I just have to control their numbers. moles and voles caqn be trapped in a couple of different ways. I think they can also be exterminated by pumping some sort of gas into the burrows. I would think that and extermeinator would know.
i live in an apartment complex, and garden a little of the back area. Over the last year, the mole problem has increased beyond belief. i use the castor oil granules wherever i plant, but it does only so much good.
Between the squirrels digging from the top, and the moles digging underneath - yikes.
I live with squirrels.Red, Gray and flying. I think they eat a lot of things besides seeds,tubes and bulbs. They sure love hickory nuts as they cover my walk to the lake with sharp bits of chewed up shells in the late summer. They also have a perchant for birds eggs. It is not really what they eat it is what they will chew on for whatever reason they decide to chew. If they would just they acorns and hickory nuts out of my yard they would bushels. But they do not stop there they will chew stairs, deck railings,houses,overhangs and anything else there is chewable. I used to use Ivory and Dial soap chunks around my hosta to help keep the deer away until the squirrels even chewed those up. I do not kill anything but the grays,they are the real problem makers for some reason. The flying will chew on the opening of a bird house in order to make it large enough so that they can go in and den inside. Flying are not a dime a dozen and one will make a den in several houses. That is minor damage and I can stop it anytime I want but putting metal liners in the holes. But most of the time I just make another bird house. It does not take very long even for domething fancy with a theme. We used to sell them at craft shows Iused to build as many as 100 in a run.
They wait on my back deck each morning for me to come out and feed them peanuts. I do that first...than I must asess all the damage they have done...sigh.
Chewing wood, digging up my newly planted flowers and plants, dumping over planters and window boxes, etc etc...sigh
It is not that they do not do a lot of damage here but that is the way of wild life...They do not respond when I tell them "go away, I am mad at you" lolol
But they are soooo cute...never could I harm one.
Sorry folks, to each his own.
It is exactly overpopulation. If a person desires to feed them and treat them as pets that is fine with me. Whatever makes you happy is what is important. But in spite of appearing as some wild killer of wildlife I am a strong conservationist and do not like to kill animals. But here it becomes something you must do. I have know squirrels to chew thru the eves of 1/2 million dollar summer homes and cause exstensive damage inside. I have three are 4 running around the yard now and they are a big plus since they clean up the seed that falls under the feeders. But the minute I have to many I will get rid of the rest as humanly and quickly as I can.
I would not kill them either but if my dog gets there paws around them then that is the circle of life. My neighbor had his brand new camper vents' chewed up my them. That is $100 per vent. Instead of killing them he went to the SPCA and borrowed traps to capture them and remove them from the property. It is human and eventually you might be able to reduce the population considerably. Contact your local SPCA office and ask about the traps.
I am a lousy cook but may try squirrel stew. They just dug up a newly planted daylily and some of the new winter sown baby plants. I added red pepper, black pepper to the dug up areas and more areas, then went out to find cheap cayenne again - got 5 bottles. Dosed the bird food again. One squirrel still seems to like the pepper. If he/she is not careful, he/she will be the main dish here soon.
They did not bother any area where I installed that plastic mesh, a labor intensive piece of work. So, I will keep doing that too as long as I can.
My neighbor cut down most of the trees in her back yard and that seemed to help lower the tree rodent population too. Re other rodents, such as moles/voles: most of the new tulips did not make it, in spite of adding sharp sand and mesh baskets. I just added grub control to some areas and am waiting for the stores to open to get more. I cannot use it where I have food plants. I used it around the fence area, where the tulips were supposed to be, and under the bird feeders (where I found a lot of mole tunnels - I think). I want to add it to more of the grass area. I know I saw tiny mice (voles?) around this area for several years.
Question 1: For those who trap rodents and release them elsewhere, what about those who end up with your rodents? That does not seem fair. You move rodents to new unsuspecting gardeners? Hmmmm, is this how I keep getting more of them?
Question 2: I have always heard that moving critters to new locations where they do not have their old protective areas and food supplies probably ensures their early demise. Wildlife people have often said this. So, why is this a humane solution? Curious.
Carol---- being out here on lake of the ozarks I do not trap squirrels. I just get rid of them permanently. Only thing I trap and relocate is coons and possums. The only reason for that is because coons are hard to kill and I like a very fast clean kill. I suspect because your neighbor cut down her trees you are getting the population from that. It is true if you trap and move them your just giving someone else the problem. As far as it causing a early death no way. They will adapt with whatever is on hand. besides that they are free to range. To even think about being successful relocating a coon you got to take it a minium of 10 miles. If you try to take it down the road a few miles it just might well be back the next night. Coon overpopulate also. But nothing at the rate squirrels do.
Aren't sqirrels territorial? I think I read that you have to go several miles away, with a river between you and where you take them, to have any chance of them not returning. Squirrels here seem to be getting bolder. They get very close when I'm working in my yard and don't budge when I yell (my neighbors must think I've lost my marbles.) They barely move when I wing a pile of weeds at them. How come you never see baby squirrels? At least I don't. Totally off the subject -- has anyone been to Olney, Illinois? The town is full of albino squirrels - they're everywhere! Back on the subject - I have an unusual situation in my yard. There must be an exposed area on the power lines that run along the back of my property. Several times a month I find a dead squirrel (and occasional possum) in the exact same spot, electrocuted, I'm sure. I was told they would have to touch two wires at the same time for this to happen, but there's got to be a connection there. In addition to the damage from the squirrels, I have a lot of problems with the all-too-cute, buy VERY destructive chipmunks. Sniff, sniff...is that chipmunk stew I smell???
The reason for the dead squirrels along the power lines would have little to do with touching both wires (positive and negative) at the same time. More than likely if it is due to chewing on terminal insulators. It is a big problem for power companies. It could be something else however. Someone might be using poison are else you have a neighbor with a high power quiet pellet gun. I have taken down a lot of rabbits in the Maryland Heights, Bridgeton area with a pellet gun. I only hope if it is the latter he knows how to use it correctly. The White Squirrels in Olney I believe are not albino. They are just white. There is another population somewhere in Northern Missouri. Albino animals do not usually live a long time. They develop phyical problems early in life they are also easy marks for preditors. We had a albino buck here for a couple of years.
i saw a book of albino animals--they were really fun to look at and there were so many different ones--weird about the animals that die in that spot--kind of like your own little bermuda triangle---a real mystery
Cats and dogs seem to have had enough with our lil pests and so as the birds. I am not quite sure what kind of bird is it but they are beating the living heck out of them. The cats are hunting them and so as the dogs. Hopefully this will reduce some the ones around here.
Wow, squirrels sure seem to be a hot topic. I, too, have waged war with the little buggers, and pulled up about a dozen walnut seedlings this year. Last year I tried practically every means of controlling them, and even set out rat poison (in a pms induced rage...) Since I grow most of my garden from seed, there is no way to describe the frustration of bringing these tiny plants to life, babying them over the winter, hardening them off for weeks, then planting them out, only to find they've been ripped up the next morning, and even destroyed. DH actually stopped me from walking out the front door with his shotgun. It's a good thing he has more sense than me; the rest of my in town neighbors may have been a little scared for their lives...
Anyway, I have finally found a solution, as mentioned above, the chicken wire works wonders! I bought the plastic kind at Menard's and I can cut it into tiny squares to go over my new plants. It may look unsightly for a while, and is extra labor, but it's nothing compared to all the time I've put into the seedlings. I remove the squares after the plants get large enough to survive a little digging, and usually by that time the squirrels have lost interest.
My squirrels are under control this season. I have 3 using the yard at present. they are a big plus in cleaning up under the bird feeders, that they cannot raid. This time of year it is deer for me. Part of the herd came into it summer grounds about 1/2 mile up the road. I am able to control them with my high powered pellet rifle this year. There is a lot of yearlings in the herd this year that never experienced a real sore rear end. After they do they will not be coming down here anymore.
I took a year off of work and sat with my paintball gun. After a couple of good shots they made great strides to avoid my yard to get to the next yard bird feeder. Just like they know how long a dog leash is, they know they won't get shot outside my boundaries. It's 2 years past and I believe they need a reminder. It stings but I can't kill or possibly wound any animal. As with the hawks, I just pop off the gun a couple of times, no paintballs. They stay away 2weeks at a time. Love the SQUIRRELAPULT.
I have been saying that on here for a couple years dp72. They have to be controlled. They are in fact a cousin to the rat and multiply about as fast. I do not like to shoot anything but I know I have to. I have shot more deer in the rump with a hi powered pellet rifle this year tha many hunters have shot in their life. I seen one limping the other day on the road and I know i did it and it does bother me to see that even knowing it will get over it in a few weeks.
And the palm seeds I'm waiting for two years to come up. They're not even there! They're not protected, you can put an ad in the paper, someone will come get them for eating. I heard they taste like chicken.
I still have rabbit, squirrel, and chipmunk damage, but I was able to reduce it significantly by hiding dog treats at random spots in the garden. My retriever thinks it is a wonderful game and "patrols" our acre pretty closely. She has yet to actually catch anything but she has chased the pests and/or dug up nests. I think the rodents have just chosen easier gardens to raise their familes.
It helps that we have fox and red tailed hawks hunting here too.
i saw a dog the other day at the bottom of a tree looking up and running around the tree while the squirrels teased him from above! i do think a dog would be a good deterent--at least it would keep them in the trees!
Catching chipmunks is one thing but squirrels are pretty good fighters. Cats do a better job on the small vermin. But since I am rural and have a good backdrop for my shooting I imagine when their numbers become to great again I will just shoot them.
I think the chipmunks move in cycles, we have fewer at the moment. Plenty of squirrels as with oak trees they and the deer have food. We only have our bird feeders out from mid-Oct to mid-April. A new mesh feeder doesn't allow them it get much, although they try.
Yes, she's endured squirrel "taunting" from trees with the little red pine squirrels the worst "scolders," but her regular rounds of each of the flower beds checking for a possible treat has really helped reduce pest damage. Nosing and digging into ground squirrel and rabbit dens has them moving on to other areas. Since most of my potted plants are by the front door and patio, where she likes to nap, I've had no squirrel damage there.
It's true I have to pull dog fur off my rose bush thorns, and she likes to lie on the cool leaves of the hostas and lily of the valley. But she is still a good, child safe, non-chemical solution to garden pests.
Hi fellow squirrel-victims.
My solution...some company (Purina?) needs to market a squirrel food (pellet?) that we can feed to the beasties that contains birth-control chemicals to let them gorge all summer but not reproduce like rats!
After a few years in a neighborhood, the local population would surely be down!
PS why not the same approach to eliminate rodents in the cities? Let them eat! But not reproduce! No poisions involved!
that is such a good idea!! would it risk wiping out a species? i don't think so --there are places that deer are so over populated that they don't have enough food --i guess the idea has potential for a lot of species (octomom included!)
Im an avid animal lover - if it comes in my yard: I'll feed it - with the exception of Carnivorous Birds, snakes and those blasted voles/ moles or whatever the burrowing root chompers are !! If i knew what they liked other than my hosta, bleeding hearts etc Id get it for them!
Aw Heck I keep a 4.5 - 6 foot stick (any pruned or downed tree branch will do) just to Keep Hon from giving a CopperHead (snake) the Tip of the Shovel.
Yep, they just wrap around the stick and I walk across the golf course to the natural area.
I feed squirrels too. found if i feed them they'd leave the bird feeders alone. Have never tasted one piece from any of the peach, apple, fig trees we have growing.
But this year is going to be different!
Sat up last night making chicken wire baskets to be lined with coco liners, garden soil ad plant added then popped into the ground with some of that rock stuff (it too deters the squirrel and voles) on top.
Yes its a lot of work but I'm telling myself, if we move as I plan (next 1 - 3 years) it will be so much easier to take these with me!
and Thank You for the idea of adding some wire to the pots!
not sure about the plastic netting, these squirrels have chewed holes into our screens on the back porch.
But im using netting over out fruit trees and strawberries and tomatoes this year.
I WILL be getting some of that Purina vitamin.
taint a darn thing wrong with some control being extended when a critter cannot control themselves. (ie - out of my yard or not so many)
PS - about a cat. . . ours is from the alleys of the Bronx in NYC.
likes tomato sauces, black beans, corn muffins & yogurt. . . and will steal any if give the chance. but wont steal meat or fish . . .
He's quite old now (17yrs) but still climbs trees and paroles his domain (our yard).
But the squirrels don't let him get a good sun nap
- running over him and his tail as he attempts to slumber
- just gets NoRespect.
I had "adopted" a feral sewer cat who'd steal from ANY nest and DO lunch. That was not good either. he's gone.
But the squirrels and voles are going to Loose the Power this Summer!
Well, I'm glad I saw your post, 50glee, I generally have the same attitude toward animals, love 'em, love to feed 'em and share and all that but honestly, squirrels, yes I have fed them too, very fond of them, but also used chicken wire!
Now, all that said, here is another solution perhaps. I am not recommending this but thought in the interests of science it might be worthy of sharing:
For those who would like to keep deer away from their flowers and plants - use urine. Have the males of your household pee in a jar and pour it around the edges of your beds. This may sound gross, but it does work and it is free. Does not work on squirrels that well, but will keep out other pests like skunks also. When you start to see their return, you will need to repeat this procedure as the odor has been washed away.
BUG B GONE FROM YOUR GARDEN SPRAY
THE NATURAL WAY
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Yellow (Hot) Onion
1 Cup of Ground /Crushed Red Pepper
*Grind all ingredients in blender let set.
* Boil 4 Quarts of water to raging boil.
Put Ingredients in one (1) Gallon (Wide Mouth) Jug or Equivalent.
Pour Hot water in on top, let stand 48 hours.
Strain mix through panty hose.(NOT wife’s good ones! Ya could get hurt)
Mix will yield one gallon that can be mixed in 2 ½ gal sprayer.(Add cool water to fill line)
***Spray New and growing plants until fruit starts to grow well.
There is not a bug or critter around that will bother you garden.
*** The Bees don’t Care****
A lot can be said about the squirrel. They're cute but once you've dealt with the damage they can do it will change your mind. Here we call them tree rats. THEY ARE RODENTS! Can anyone tell me a GOOD thing that they do? My husband works in the cable business and you would not believe how many times he has been called out to work because of squirrels chewing up the power, phone, and cable lines. He says that his company probably spends millions a year replacing 'squirrel chew'. They chew on the aluminum to sharpen their teeth (I guess). They have eaten up ALL of the bulbs that I planted last year. I don't even know how much money I have lost to them. Tulips, sedum, gladiolus, and probably a lot of seeds I planted that never came up were due to the havoc of the tree rat. I counted 12 holes in one bed that's probably about 6' x 6'. These were dug by the precious little gray squirrels. Population control is not cruel when an animal is costing so much money.
Nether red pepper flakes nor ground cayenne did a thing; I'm now trying hot chili sauce, ground mustard, garlic AND bitter apple to see if it keeps these rotten rodentoids from destroying my plants & covering my front porch with dirt.
and btw stormcloud & others; fish are not vegetables. If you eat fish, you are not a vegetarian (this is one of my pet peeves). Piscivorous is an optional (& correct) term. Overfishing is one of the greatest environmental catastrophes worldwide. May not be a gardening topic, but then again, I dare anyone to grow fish in their garden (without a pond); if you can do so, THEN you can eat fish & say you're a vegetarian.
I haven't tried this yet, but after squirrels pulled up (but did not eat) every single one of my dahlia tubers last year I'll be trying something new. Save all of the old canes after you trim your roses or raspberries (or any thorn bush). Plant the tuber/bulb and partiallly cover it. In the last inch of soil near the surface bury pieces of the thorny canes. That way the squirrel gets pricked when it tries to dig them up. Hopefully, this works. I used chicken wire over the tubers last year when I planted them the second time but that just made it a real pain to try and dig up and divide them in the fall.
Theres something my grandmother tought me and over the years Ive used is planting Marigolds around my garden . They help repel animals , Ive even planted African marigolds that can get to be upto 3 feet tall and have beautiful blooms. Id always plant around the edge of my vegetable garden to deture animals and always seemed to work .
I have just registered for this web site so I could add to this thread, plus I liked the whole web site. I think that it has been established that too much of anything is bad, whether it concerns animals or people and that true American, middle class subdivisions have nothing to do with a balanced ecosystem.
Lately I have been concentrating on a new concern? How do I enjoy the benefits of a nice peaceful yard without getting all stressed out about it? My husband and I are nearing retirement so that means we're getting old (and tired) but still work full time! We have a good size yard and my husband (from here on out I'll call him Marty because that's his name) likes to plant a vegetable garden each year, and I like to eat the vegetables each year. He starts the plants from seed in the winter and when planting time comes around the garden is usually half plants from seed Plant and the rest are bought at the market because some if the seeds didn't do their thing. Such is life. Last year we (Marty and his friend Tom) took out the 20 year old fish pond because it needed a complete rebuild and put in a flagstone patio that we are really enjoying. Last year we also finally admitted to ourselves that we hate weeding, trimming and well yard work, therefore we always found other things to do and finding other things to do was always going to win out.
So we (me) made a plan. We (Marty and Tom) started to dig up all of the weeds and laid down landscape fabric and mulch. Mind you we have many mature bushes so the yard wasn't just landscape fabric and mulch. We had stopped planting annuals quite a few years ago due to the High cost every spring and tried planting perennials but gave up on that because the rabbits ate everything we planted. The subdivision that we moved to 35 years ago was too new to have anything but rabbits and I must admit it was fun to see each new animal stake it's claim as the neighborhood matured. But the rabbits! They ate the hostas and other perennials that the neighbors right across the street split and gave to us because they had so many plants that They needed to divide theirs. I guess the plants tasted much better in our yard because the rabbits ate them all.
I am getting to the point, just give me time. So this year we (Marty and Tom) finished all of the landscape fabric and mulch, the yard was weed free and I declared, I tell you declared that we were not going to plant new flowers in the ground, but we were going to buy planters and put our flowers in them so the animals would leave them alone! You can just see what's coming can't you. So I spent countless hours at garage sales, estate sales and wherever collecting wonderful, colorful, eclectic planters could be found and I was sure that Better Homes and Gardens would want to do a full feature on our yard.
So, yes you guessed it! This year we also have been battling the rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and even the blackbirds to keep our new, not at a small cost even though I did a great job buying the planters, out of our pots. We tried mothballs (no small children around) and they were working just fine until the blackbirds started eating them! Now we are back to square one and I have had it. I will share my new plan with you and you are welcome to try it yourself.
I (Marty and Tom) will try the mesh thing and if that does not work then I (Marty and Tom) am going to fill the pots with rocks and dirt and plant them with the ivy that is growing in our yard, the animals do not seem to bother the ivy. I (this time me) will artfully mind you, artfully, add silk flowers (bought at great prices after much shopping) to the center of each ivy filled pot, sit back on my new flagstone patio, enjoy my cocktail(s) and watch the animals frolic around me. Life is too short for all of the rest.
P.S. Marty likes all of the shotgun suggestions, but I keep catching him looking at me with a strange look on his face.
Interesting story. You could go over to shrubs which flower in different seasons. Ever try red pepper sprinkled in your flower beds? It may bother you, but certainly will bother your 4 footed visiters. It may not bother you too much. We use the suet cakes with pepper & squirrels don't touch them. If people complain about the scent of pepper, explain that it is a commercial pepper garden.
I moved from a house that had many squirrels (used plastic mesh to stop them digging up plants) and some rabbits (patched all holes with concrete under the wood fence) and many voles (started using wire cages for lilies).
My new house has a sunny back yard for my moved flowers and new plants. It has a 2 huge oak trees making a shady front yard for new plants. I killed the grass front and back and planted dutch white clover (I did this before at another house - it did work). I will not mow anymore. I read that rabbits prefer clover to other plants. I had hope. Nope - they prefer delphiniums to clover. Most of my new ones are gone.
The metal old fence in back has many holes in bottom for the rabbits to come in and huge gaps around the gates. They ate a lot of certain plants before I noticed all the damage. I used liquid fence but I have to water every day in this heat for the newly planted items. It did not stop them. Saw rabbits next day in back yard. Searched for better product on line. Found a granular one that said it lasted 2 months (later noticed it would not last as long if heavy rain). Sprinkled it around the fence perimeter. Saw rabbits inside fence next day. Bought 2 ft tall, 1 inch hole chicken wire for my teen handyman to start attaching to fence. Will not know if we stop the holes for another week. Also fighting weeds and chiggers with various chemicals. My ancestors were pioneers - I would not make it. But I do have 15 tomato plants in ground that are doing great and many sweet peppers. Hah! Squirrels at old house ran off with tomatoes in ground but not in containers. Will wait and see if have same problem here.
Bought permatil for use in planting holes to stop voles - waiting until cooler before I put in lilies (in pots and more later), tulips (on order), and other things voles love. Will add dwarf daffodils around them too.
In shady front yard, planted most of it in rhodos, azaleas, hydrangeas, kalmias, viburnums, hostas, heucheras, etc. Saw rabbit eating a heuchera. Got out the granular stuff and sprinkled around every plant in front. Every plant has a 3 ft bamboo stake so the short ones will be noticed and not stepped on. Will buy tons of dwarf daffodils in fall for the hostas and heucheras. Have some on order now - will order more.
Now have bigger destroyer problem - Mailman stepped on and broke off a 6" baby kalmia that was clearly staked - now nothing is left of the plant. Later I watched him trounce through my yard - not looking - and stepping on heucheras. Planning on adding many more bamboo stakes so Bigfoot cannot get through former grass area. Nuts. Never expected this.
In any case, while this heat wave is going on, I am playing with 2 new kittens (got 1 week ago) and merely turning on front or back water sprinklers (and spray killing weeds and chiggers when it is cooler). I have an old cat that has not yet accepted them but has stopped hissing at them - I alternate cat or 2 kittens shut up in a room. Cats have a huge picture window with new fancy 'cat tree' to watch bird feeders and birdbath. Saw a few squirrels around the feeders - did not sprinkle granular stuff there yet - will wait and see if needed.
What does not kill you makes you stronger? Squirrels, rabbits, voles, chiggers, poison ivy (got this 3 times this year, once on earlobe only), bigfoot mailman.
Talked to mailman who denied stepping on anything. I asked that they avoid the yard and use the concrete. He said he would put up a note to do this. Added lots of short bamboo stakes around plants. Did not see mailman on Monday but later saw several stakes knocked over again. Today, bought 50 ft of 2 ft tall white enameled wire fence and placed it around the area of the shorter plants. Teen helper and I watched mailman walk into street to get to my house from next door neighbors. Other neighbors are smiling about the new fence. I do not like it but it serves a purpose. It now looks like a good place for planting lilies and tulips this fall (along with tons of dwarf daffodils).
Some plants were starting to get dug up on the sides - signs of squirrels - so fixed holes and added wood mulch. Will add the smelly granules (garlic/rotten eggs) if it looks like bunnies are eating again.
Had set up bird feeders, including suet - which started to melt and make a mess. Ordered melt proof suet (will see) in hot pepper to stop squirrels. Worth a try.
For back yard bunnies, bought 2 ft tall by 50 ft 1 inch hole chicken wire for bottom of chain link fence where they are coming through. The smelly granules at fence perimeter did not stop the bunnies from coming in. Will improvise placement of chicken wire around the gates that no longer not fit well.
I sprayed around my yard with pepper spray ( red pepper flakes in 50/50 ACvinegar water left to sit for a few days in the sun) and haven't seen a squirrel, bird or cat since. Warning though, it burns if you get it on your skin, so do only the perimeter!
Noticed feral grey tabby cat yesterday in front yard and saw him today in front and back yards. He was searching. I started to spray him with the hose to get rid of him then thought how dumb I was. Good kitty. I will get cat food tomorrow and fill the short birdbath for his water. This is after I sprayed liquid fence then a few days later sprinkled granular stuff that should have kept him out too. So - this garlic/egg stuff cannot be applied often enough to work since I must irrigate my new plants. So - fix fence at bottom and feed kitty cat and hope.
Gardening is supposed to be relaxing? Why did I ever think this? It is like an never ending quest - like search for the fountain of youth? I have been at this for over 50 years now. Think I would have caught on by now. Definitely - want feral cats.
As for squirrels - the 2 trees in front are oak. The holes dug by plants are from squirrels. I will have a problem with them in front for sure, but maybe not in back for a while? A few do climb up and down the trees. At my old house, they were good at dismantling the squirrel proof bird feeders.
Has anyone ever tried the motion detected gadgets that emit different frequency sounds? I keep seeing adds but am very leary to try one.
To carolmo - you have more stamina than I do.
To irisMA - Have tried different flowering bushes and the rabbits just eat them down to the ground. They even ate all of the wild rose bushes and they were so covered with thorns that I had to use leather gardening gloves just to maintain them! So really, I am ready for the plan that I outlined above.
Thanks. I just ordered 2 ultrasonic rodent repel units from Amazon - Garden Creations JB5028 Ultrasonic Cordless Pest Repeller - for about $17 each - same as shown on Ebay. Will try on rabbits in front and see if same setting works on squirrels. Will attach to a mini trellis with wire and cover the top to help stop water seepage. May also drill hole to let water escape. If it works for 6 months on batteries at a time - it is certainly much cheaper than that egg/garlic stuff that will not work after watering. I assume the chicken wire at fence bottom will work in the back to stop bunnies. I remain 'Always Hopeful'. Carol
Oh irisMA you are so right when you say it is is too hot outside. I've got cabin fever as if it were February! I unfortunately have such a sensitivity to heat that it is more fun for me to be out in the winter. It's 9pm right now and my wonderful Marty is sitting here with sweatpants, shirt and a lap robe while I'm sitting here in shorts and a tank top and the air is going full blast!
Carolmo - you just kill me, I admire your tenacity and I hope you enjoy all of the challenges that you take on. I'll be anxious to hear if the sound devices work for you, I,m all about that. I think we should all meet at my place in the middle and enjoy the cocktails (or whatever) on the patio.
Got 2 ultrasonic devices for rabbits and squirrels. Set one up in front yard, hung on doorstep rail. Squirrels did not seem to mind it. People with dogs walking in street did not seem to mind it. I decided it must take time. I could hear it going on and off.
Next day, got phone call from lady across the street. The noise was killing her and her dog. It was high pitched and went on and off. They finally figured out it might be something I was doing. I turned it off and told her what it was, why I was doing it, and I would try to figure out a way to stop it from getting to her house. There was no intensity adjustment. I read up on ultrasonic absorption on such devices - they said not out behind drapes, etc. because soft fabrics would absorb. Then I looked up attenuation, and found soft materials and plastics would absorb. I thought a sock might work but it would get wet. Then I thought of press and seal - I tried 8 layers over the horn area - lady said she could not hear it - then I tried 10 layers, aimed it away from her house, and she said she thought it was OK now. I could barely hear it. Decided to see if it worked on the squirrels in the front yard trees for several days.
Hark - what is that sound - I think it is thunder. Maybe it will rain? Yesterday was 107 degrees.
Marty has eyeing Corabelle (sp) plants and they are like $20.00 a plant. Does anyone have feedback on these? We live in zone 5. Just wondering if I should step back and let him get them or try to steer him away.
Flowers are a very common sight in weddings, and have been for centuries. As more information is discovered on what exactly the colors and types of flowers meant to our ancestors, many young couples are beginning to choose their bridal colors based off of the meaning attached to them rather than based purely on aesthetics.
Wow - So sorry! I've been having nice conversations with carolmo & irisMA they seem to try a lot of different plants along with a lot of hard work keeping animals out of their gardens. When the subject of Corabelles came up at home I just thought I would go to some nice people and ask about them. Guess there aren't any nice people out there right now. Maybe when the heat finally breaks...
Re coralbelles or heucheras: I put in a lot of heucheras and hostas in shady front yard. The most I paid for either was $10. I got a bunch of 'Miracle' heucheras at Walmart on sale for around $3 - they are still chartreuse (which is what I wanted). I usually buy them for $7-10 at the tents outside places like Kmart in the summer. You can also get them on line for less than $10.
The heucheras do change color during the summer. I lost a few before my move to the new place - the black ones died but stayed alive at the previous house. Mailman stomped on a few heucheras and bunnies ate some - even though my friend said they would leave them alone. I lost some due to the squirrels. Squirrels dug up a lot on the sides of both hostas and heucheras until I started using the cracked black pepper as guardian.
The heat may be passing soon. At least it is under 100 now. Ordered many different dwarf daffodils (including lots of W.P. Milner and Hawera) to guard plants from voles and rabbits - still have 40 pounds of expanded shale to try too. Got more bricks to finish off back yard beds - they were on sale - cannot believe my luck here - took 3 trips to get them home. Most of the blue delphiniums in the back are gone due to heat, drought, and bunnies - not finished with chicken wire fence for bunnies.
The 15 tomato plants that might have attracted squirrels are not doing well but might be an attractant next year if drought and heat are not problems. Squirrels used to run off with the ripe ones. I will be adding more fruit trees in back next year when they are no longer out of stock - squirrels like fruit trees too - drat them.
Added good dirt and cracked black pepper in front where squirrels were digging up plants. Got 2 small pepper mills from one place - 1 small pepper mill from another - small ones were too hard to work - so got $17 expensive one that does easily work and am using it. Saw only one small hole by a plant a few days later - looked like they stopped digging because of the cracked pepper. I am starting to breath again. I really think this might be the trick. They like new dirt. At old house they dug up everything new until I started using plastic wire fence in ground around new plants - this (cracked black pepper) is so much easier if they stop after new dirt becomes older dirt.
Turned off the ultrasonic that does not work anyway. Left it outside for now because mailman seems to be leery of it. Wire fence is stopping mailman - took some down but left it around the outside. Looks better.
I had many baby bunnies in back yard - breeding ground - saw feral cat with something large in mouth walking outside the fixed part of fence - think it was a baby rabbit in its mouth. Too bad they do not catch squirrels.
Ordered some replacement and on-list shrubs from Girard - 40% off sale - will be pulling up 6 rhododendrons that did not make it in the heat and drought - drat it. Decided to try 3 burkwoodii viburnums to replace one set of 3 dead rhodos - earlier tried one each burkwoodii and juddii viburnums and both are still alive and much taller than most of my new baby shrubs. Some of the damage to the rhodos were squirrel holes I did not notice in time. At least I do not have deer.
Thanks for the information! carolmo you still absolutely amaze me. I need to take a nap whenever I read one of your updates. Sorry about all of the drought kill but I laughed out loud about the ultrasonic machine and the mailman. I won't waste my money on that.
Thanks for the heads up on the prices of the Corral Bells. I'll let Marty monitor that forum.
Gotta go as I'm getting ready to grab the pepper mill and run outside!
Glassflower1 wrote:Wow - So sorry! I've been having nice conversations with carolmo & irisMA they seem to try a lot of different plants along with a lot of hard work keeping animals out of their gardens. When the subject of Corabelles came up at home I just thought I would go to some nice people and ask about them. Guess there aren't any nice people out there right now. Maybe when the heat finally breaks...
My question wasn't about your comment it was about the one after yours
don't know how that was an insult to anybody I was just asking a question
reginahoward wrote: Flowers are a very common sight in weddings, and have been for centuries. As more information is discovered on what exactly the colors and types of flowers meant to our ancestors, many young couples are beginning to choose their bridal colors based off of the meaning attached to them rather than based purely on aesthetics.
flowAjen and Glassflower, when we get these ridiculous remarks from people who just signed up that day, I find that they are phishing for something. They are either advertising for a product or for trouble, and seldom reappear. I find them on the appliance forum a lot.
We need to be observant and not taken in by them.
Glassflower, if I offended you, it wasn't intentional. Many times on the beginner flowers forum you will not get the depth of info available in the specific forum. You will also find gardeners who never look at the beginner flowers forum. I only check this forum occasionally.
I'm tried of hearing people say, "they were here first". Ok, yes, they were here first, BUT, when humans moved in, we pushed out the predators that would keep the squirrels, etc, in check. We now need to become the predators that we have pushed out. When our squirrel population becomes too high, we take care of them. When we do, we throw the carcass far out into the woods and they are eaten by others, eagles, bugs, etc. Unless we eat them - which we have done, and yes they are tasty. We are lucky enough to live in the woods, we love wildlife, but overpopulation is not good for any species and if we as humans have created a problem we need to take care of it. And yes, that goes for humans too - we only have one child - there is room for everyone if we all keep our populations down. PS I have netting around my garden, I use milorganite on my flowers, I switch up with using the store bought deer-off and I also make my own - saw the recipe on this post so won't repeat it - because we are out in the woods it's ok for my husband to occasionally "go" outside so I tell him to do it around the outer perimeter of my fence, I have used human hair, coyote urine, and also Irish Spring soap, after reading much of this here I will now add coffee grounds and rubber snakes as something I do. The thing is to use a lot of different things and switch it up so they don't get use to it. That being said, I still have the occasional squirrel or deer get in - it happens - it ticks me off - I get over it and move on - will never stop planting.
I saw this thread while browsing today and I read through some of your posts and thought I would chip in. I know your pain... and I have shared in your frustration... but now I want to share in my fruition. Let me let you all in on a little secret...
I found this thing online called an "AirCrow" that I've been using for awhile. I've been a gardener all my life and for the very first time I am now winning the battle over the squirrels and birds (including woodpeckers), and other varmints that have plauged me for years! This is the second year of victory!
I have literally tried every single product you can imagine to stop the birds and squirrels from eating my fruit. I've tried those stupid owls you see all the time (the birds actually sit on its head!)... I've tried those expensive bird sound deterrents (I think this actually attracts them)... I've tried netting... I've tried hanging CDs... Blow up snakes... you name it! There is no telling how much money I've spent trying to protect my garden only to lose everything to the birds and squirrels. This is the ONLY thing I've tried that has worked.
I have never picked so much fruit in my life!
You guys should definitely check this out. It's amazing!
I love the pic of the Air Crow that is LOL funny..worth it for that alone -- and you say it works, as well?
For two years running? I suppose you can move it around, and the motions are random enough to confuse the beasties.
This is a fascinating thread - I quite sympathize both with the folks who say they could never kill any creature themselves and with Ozarkian and Carolmo and others who keep talking about issues of balance - overpopulation in any species will sooner or later become destructive - just look at Carolmo's experience - if it wasn't the critters it was the _mailman_! ROTFL! (Forget bears, it's the mailman!)
BTW Carolmo, you tell the story of your aggrevation in a very funny way, maybe you should do stand -up or a humor column- seriously!
I hope everyone is able to come to some peace over their plants vs animals battles. Gardening is supposed to be relaxing... I heard that somewhere!
HeatherY, urban gardener
BTW, gentlemen, a friend who was growing a large kitchen garden in a very rural part of VA tried the personal urine application method and it failed utterly - because he was _vegetarian_. (Maybe hair has to be from meat eating people to have a chance of being effective.) I told him he persuade the deer to back off his food if they wanted him to maintain his lifestyle and continue _not _eating _them_!
I think it's time to agree that from October 2007 until now, August 2013, there is still no agreement on how to deal with squirrels that encroach on peoples plot's of land that belonged to the squirrels, deer and Lord knows all what, long before we decided to go live there and have the nerve to talk about cull's, over breeding, population explosions and all that kind of rubbish someone acting like a modern day Annie Oakley wants to go shoot anything that moves or just about.
I cant swallow the story about the Mother deer who attacked a human being when she was with her Fawn, believe me, IF I were walking my own child through the tree's, fields or wherever with my baby in tow, I would attack anyone I thought was going to harm my kid without hesitation so Hello, what's the deer supposed to do, just hand the young deer over on a roasting tin. don't be so stupid and get real about giving out examples to make your point.
I'm afraid to admit that reading this thread from start to finish does not show a lot of so called human beings up in a great light, in fact, when I read talk of "we must control nature" or it's up to us to rid the place of animals who after all, just want to do what we, as humans do, like meet a mate, have a family, be able to feed said family and live a happy peaceful life for however many years we have. were Gardeners for God's sake, Not the forest rangers.
Some of the language being used makes people like myself feel quite ashamed of the long connections myself and family have made and enjoyed over lot's of years while visiting USA, I've never heard words like "us true Americans" or we need to kill these creatures or prevent them breeding!! Sorry, and forgive me if I'm wrong, BUT, were the true Americans not the Red Indian nation of people who lived off the land, killed no animals unless it was to wear or to eat, or make shelters from skins, and they still managed to find edible nut's, greens, herbs, fruit and more and when I hear language like "us true Americans" reminds me why a lot of nations in the world have taken a dislike to small town Americans. It is truly a wrong attitude as most Americans do NOT use that terminology in public, or maybe I've witnessed the Hollywood Rose Tinted Glasses type of friendly people. White settlers were NOT the true Americans but like lot's of today's people, resettled for a better life.
I get upset when "phrases like, they cant feed their offspring so they come eat our stuff so kill them, or words to that affect, I can only assume that whoever thinks like that has never left USA or done much visiting around other countries where there are mothers with no milk in there breasts to feed their month old babies not because they dont want to, but because they would also get killed for foraging for food that belongs to someone else, or husband has been killed and they CANT feed there young, maybe because their lands have been taken from them to meet the demand for food that we in the Western World want to eat and feel we have a God given Right to go along with that, maybe their land has been ravaged by wars, just like the Squirrels, their natural habitat has been taken away and humans have moved in.
What would you guy's that cant understand another creatures need for food do, would you line all these mothers who cant feed their babies up against a wall and shoot them also.
Ofcource everyone Must choose what way to go regarding killing a few squirrels because it flattened your Delphiniums while trying to run around looking for food, that's because it cant recognise the difference between lovely flowering plant from an acorn hanging from the OAK trees or the like, I know they are destructive, they do cause problems within a flower bed, eat or destroy lot's of our products, as do slugs, snails, greenfly and lot's of other bugs.
As much as I would rather go the NON chemical or bullet way, I have every respect for others who choose to go the KILL way.
All I ask is that the type of language directed to others who disagree with killing animals, modified their use of language as we are talking about Gardening here, Not world war 3, This site goes world wide, Not just USA.
We are also discussing Squirrels not Sabre Tooth Tigers that lay in wait all night till you open the door.
Dave's site is here as HELP for beginners flower's, and other Beginner forums, Not a place to hurl insults at anyone view's or feelings towards trying to save other creatures, let's encourage others NOT put them off joining in the threads here or even leave the site all-together.
I need to update. This is my second summer here. I have 14 dwarf fruit trees now. 2 peach trees planted last fall had fruit. One dropped all. One had 2 nicely sized peaches - on my favorite that I had years ago. I was watching one peach that was turning red - really wanted to taste it but wanted it more for my grandson to able to pick it and eat it. I tested it and it was still very hard. So, I started watching daily so grandson could enjoy it. I could see it from my kitchen window. Then ... it was gone. It was not on the ground. A few days later, I saw a red tomato chewed up on the ground, from a plant in the ground (most are in tubs). I have 3 bird baths in that area so the varmints are not after the fruit because they are thirsty. I am not surprised. I knew they would be after the fruit sooner or later. Probably will put up netting later on the trees. Why they do not go after tomatoes in tubs is beyond me. At least they do not dig up newly planted materials with freshly ground black pepper. And, the bunnies are fenced out of the back yard and seem to be repelled by daffodils in the front yard. And I have tons more daffodils on order. Good enough for now.
WeeNel (and everyone else insulted by possters on soapboxes), just keep gardening and posting! We cannot help posters' political opinions. I always thought we were a genteel group, but I haven't always felt I was received that way.
You have made wonderful contributions that we would sorely miss if you took these obnoxious posts personally. Ignorance comes in all colors, shapes, sizes, nationalities and levels of rudeness.
This is an international website with threads from all over, as it should be. We have a common thread, and it is not tearing down good, honest, experienced contributors!
Hmmm. Just thinking... If freshly ground black pepper kept squirrels from digging, would it work on fruit? Thinking... Might try to make it adhere to fruit if squirrels really hate it. Could spray something like olive or canola oil on a peach or tomato in the ground when it is getting ripe, use pepper mill to add black pepper, and keep watch. Long ago, in last mini orchard, used to get peaches with a single bite out of them - might have been birds or squirrels. I do not know how much bird netting helps against squirrels - may have to do this later, when I actually start getting fruit. I did bag in ground tomatoes with that plastic mesh fencing - it seemed to stop them hauling off large tomatoes. Some places sell socks or woven baggies for fruit to stop bugs like codling moth - might that work for squirrels? Doubt it - they ate the tarps over BBQ grills.
Cathy /Marcia, Thanks for your kind words and those beautiful Lilies, how did you guess these are my most favourite Flowers of all, Here they are called Star Gazer and have the most wonderful perfume that can waft all over the garden especially evening time.
I understand we all have different ideas and opinions about many things and topic's but we can express those opinions without using offensive language especially when the this site is a global platform and people from all over the world can become involved.
I always feel completely safe and on this site over the years, and am fairly tolerant to many folks ego trips about differing thoughts and views, but I honestly DON'T like bullies, overpowering, un-polite or disrespectful adamant or forceful opinionated personal remarks because as you have rightly reminded us all, this is an International site and we should at all times keep that in mind when we disagree with some topics being banded back and forward on the site.
I want new gardeners who come onto Dave's to learn and enjoy stuff about there new found hobby, not be put off Gardening by ignorance and uneducated rubbish and if I may add, playground garble, and would hope that can continue long after were all kicking up the daisies.
Many thanks for your kindness and understanding, see you around and no doubt we will keep each other on the right tracks ha, ha, ha.
Kindest Regards and many thanks.
Dragnet: I looked up the aircrow. Might try it later. Good to know that the CDs did not work well. I will be searching for things to prevent them from eating from the fruit trees. The aircrow is expensive but I have spent a lot on so many other items that did not work.
After I planted my moved and new plants in the ground, pots, and tubs I watched the squirrels playing havoc but did not think they did too much damage. Then I winter sowed but think the dirt/soil was too old for them to have fun. I did see them around the pots and tubs and later found acorns in them.
I have enjoyed this thread a lot. Thanks to all who contributed. I cannot garden in a vacuum. I appreciate all of you.
Carlomo, No one should be forced into any type of vacuum especially when it happens through disagreements or strong one-sided opinions that are hard for others to give their views, maybe because there personality is more Gentle or shyer.
Unfortunately or fortunately, I always try to err on the right side BUT when I find things are getting too personal, I feel duty bound to express my own opinions as this forum is really all about gardening, not trying to win an argument.
Plants don't thrive on arguments just good practices and care for the environment we grow our plants in and I feel the same care applies to fellow man too, well mostly LOL.
As regards trying to keep your fruit trees out of reach from animals such as squirrels, I remember my Dad used the frames of OLD tents that no-one used, scout troops, jumble sales and even advert in supper-market notice boards. But anyway, these worked great, he covered the frame with chicken wire, making a wire doorway with frame, and never had problems with birds, Rabbits ect, so maybe worth a try. By the way I was a teenager at that time and remember feeling so embarrassed by all this structure being set up in our yard, then the results made red faces seem like a price worth paying ha, ha, ha.
For others who want to use wire to stop the burrowing Rabbits out, you have to dig way down a couple of feet to bury the wire and backfill the soil, the Rabbits give up digging and move on BUT the wire has to be deeply dug in.
Others ideas that work are stout wire covered by old hose pipe made into hoops and covered again in chicken wire set along the rows of veg ect, stops the entry of burrowing creatures and in cooler weather can be used to support clear plastic sheeting material as a cloche to keep cold out. you can make several holes for ventilation but the wire will prevent entry of other things.
You have to make the wire longer than the hose pipe to allow for burying into soil or as my husband did, long lengths of wood and drill holes into wood when you want the arched wire to be placed to give strength to the frame work.
Hope this gives you some ideas to help solve at least some problems and will be cheaper than other offerings.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion. However, this thread was started because of pest problems that we as gardeners have. If you cannot help, please do not use this thread in a way that is hurtful to the poster.
If you have a suggestion, we appreciate your supplying it. If you just joined Dave's to be rude or beat up on gardeners, that is not appreciated, and you are on the wrong website. Please do not discourage the great feedback we get from wonderful gardeners around the world.
It's 6 years almost, from 2007 October, until 2013 August and is a long, long, long time to agree to disagree about how to keep squirrels out of a garden / flowerpots or anywhere else they come into contact with.
What we can all agree on is the squirrels are still there and the thread is now getting to be rather boring due to the lack of real input and courtesy, and after 6 years the squirrels are still there so it is for me, time to have a good laugh at all this and say, YEH!!!! humans NONE, squirrels WON.
I don't see the need to carry on with this thread as there is actually nothing new being offered, so will say, happy gardening to all the folks who love the antic's of our wild life and long may they stay with us, and sorry to those stressed out gardeners who are still hell bent on trying to win.
Lifes toooooo short for all that hatred and anger.
My understanding of gardening and have been doing so for around 50 years, it is a nice relaxing enjoyable hobby and when all goes well, we get some beauty around us for very little input once we have done the HARD work, we also have some products to eat that are better, cheaper and tastier than store products.
I need to get back to that as this thread began with a genuine and intelligent question and ended up like a company of people who cant understand there are different views that can cover the same question, no one says there is right or wrong but some have displayed a very sorrowful side while answering a straight forward question.
Heaven help us IF we were asked a difficult question that needed some thought before answering instead of silly waffle being banded about, and we really had to take into account other peoples feelings or views before allowed to print our responses, so for all these reasons, I think it's time for me to log out from this particular thread and wish all good luck and best regards.
Glassflower1: I forgot to tell you about Santarosagardens.com sale in June. I have ordered twice (2 years in a row) and was impressed with their sale prices, plants, and packaging. Check them out. The last time I ordered on June 6 and got lots of heuchera (and other plants) at 2.99 each, and they also sent extras. A few were small but most were large. Most of the sale plants are now gone - but sign up for an email and you should get a notice when they have that sale next time.
9/3/13: Noticed newly planted japanese maples falling over - saw massive holes around root area of most. I forgot to sprinkle newly cracked black pepper. I had added moisture crystals, preen, and 2-3 alpine columbines around each one - but forgot the squirrel protection. Guess I need a better checklist.
Gravel sounds good. I am getting a large shipment of bulbs this Friday. Lots of mini daffodils for keeping bunnies away. I have lots of peppercorns I will be grinding over the newly planted peonies, hostas, and japanese maples the squirrels are still digging into. I will get some bags of gravel to overlay the new plants. Thanks.
Get an inflatable scarecrow from AirCrow.
This was the first year that I was able to get any chestnuts from my trees because I was loosing all of them to the squirrels and blue Jays. I used it earlier in my fig trees and it worked good there too.
If anyone in our neighborhood used that inflatable junk, they'd be lining up to see what we were giving away free. It is used as an advertising gimmick around here and not too attractive. We try to be protective with semi-visible or invisible tools.
If you live in a place that is desolate, there are no living creatures. However, if you live in a home where living vegetation grows and have living creatures from time to time, you are probably doing something right.
I hope the sun shines on you all from time to time and warms you inside and out.
I read an article some time ago to put large rocks or stones in the pots because the squirrel can move them . I did that this year and it surely works, also when ever I plant bulbs I put large rocks over the spot and remove the in early spring when the shoots begin to come up.Last year I dug up a large area and replanted my 5 year old tulips and added new bulbs then a placed large rocks over the whole area and the squirrel could not get to dig up any of them.
You can try to sprinkle cajun pepper on the ground. When they are searching for food, it has been said that they do not like the pepper smell. Home Depot also sells Critter Ridder which comes in a spray or granules to sprinkle. You can also try to put out a bowl of nuts on the opposite side of the yard as far away from your garden as possible. It worked well for me.
Squirrels love sunflower seeds and unsalted peanuts and prefer them to plants. I've found that feeding them what they love has kept them from destroying my flower beds. There have been a few exceptions but far less than before I started feeding them.
I feed six feral cats and kittens. They love to chase the squirrels but it hasn't stopped the squirrels from coming one bit. The kittens are far more destructive than the squirrels!
Sorry that I haven't posted in awhile. We retired and moved to Chattenooga TN. After 34 years in the same house it was truly a daunting project. Does anyone know a good use for 135 moving boxes! I need to find a forum about the growing and planting seasons here as I do not have a clue. I did want to add the we went to all container gardening for flowers last summer while still in IL. We skipped covering the top of the pot with chicken wire and instead we filled the the top 2ish inches with cheap river rock. The flowers remained intact and beautiful all summer! I lucked into the most incredible estate sale and bought several glazed garden pots for pennies on the dollar. Some of them were very large and I did not want to fill them completely with soil so after putting some gravel in the bottom we also displaced a lot of the pot with stuff, styrofoam packing that could not be recycled and other things that would have gone in a landfill. Maybe it was the combination of the river rock and recycle materials that did the trip, I'm not sure but we have plenty of packing material that we'll be using here.
The house that we moved to has 2.4 acres of land, some backyard and the rest is a wooded valley. I just love it and know that I need to relearn gardening after 40 years of the Chicago climate. I loved the post about protecting the tulip bulbs with large rocks, there are plenty on the property, as they are my favorite flower (I worked for the Tulip fabric paint company for 18 years, it was a dream job) and never had luck with tulips in IL due to disappearing bulbs. Thanks for the tip.
Well I'm off to find out what growing zone we are in and what can be planted here. I'll check back and see how to keep wild TN critters out of my stuff. Pam
Hi Pam. 2.4 acres is really great. You can do almost anything you can dream up. I am also doing a lot with containers - tulips, lilies, tomatoes, peppers, and other food crops. The critters do not mess too much with them. After I moved (with starts of a lot of my plants), I started a mini orchard for the third time. I am looking forward to dormant spraying for the first time in many years when the weather is better (now under snow). You will truly enjoy this new place. Best of luck. Carol
I read somewhere (?BirdsandBlooms?) a suggestion to put peppermint candy canes in your flower pots to deter squirrels. I tried it last fall & had good results. I also put Bonide's MouseMagic in & around my shed. Been using it for a couple seasons now - no fresh droppings or apparent damage so far. I know there's also a line of natural products called I Must Garden (highly recommended by a local radio gardening show host) - they supposedly have a line of repellants that are specific to a lot of different critters. I'm gonna try the one listed for groundhogs. I have a lot of squirrels (esp. since the landlord of a rental home behind me had six 60+ yr old healthy 50ft maple trees cut down in the same day last fall!). I put out whole peanuts for the squirrels & blue jays. The squirrels follow me around the yard & a couple of them actually eat from my hand. But the groundhog last summer had 5 babies. Five!! That's way too many for my God's Little 1/2 Acre. And my 12yr old beagle, Sophie, doesn't chase anything BUT the groundhogs. How stupid is that? Mama groundhog is almost Sophie's size! I have to check out some info first, tho: if Mama's already had her babies I'll have to wait to use any repellant till they're on their own. I'll just have to repair the damage.
I had a major problem with squirrels nesting on my roof, under my solar panels. This was a HUGE problem since they would chew the wires like crazy. ( Not to mention what they did to my garden) but - Twice one chewed in deep enough thru the wires that it fried itself, and nearly set fire to our house. We were forced to remove trees near the house (which we were NOT happy about) but they still found a way up. I watched one climb my aluminum gutter downpipe, all the way up 2 stories... UNREAL. Ninja squirrels!
I tried EVERY non-lethal method on the planet, spray repellants, pepper, you name it, nothing worked.
I finally solved the problem by putting food in an area as far from the house as possible, and near other trees, etc. Well, it has been 2 years, and so far, no new squirrel nests or damage on my roof/ solar panels. (Fingers Crossed!) My neighbor actually offered to help and put some feeders in her yard, even farther away and near more trees. It seems to have worked, they are nesting closer to their constant food supply, AND as a bonus, they are also leaving my plants alone! well, for the most part, lol :)
So, in conclusion, I agree 100% with those who have said to feed them what they want, just put it as far from your gardens as possible. It sounds silly, the only way to "win" is to feed them, lol, but hey it works/ helps for sure. I still keep a LIVE trap on the roof against the panels, "locked and loaded", but have yet to have a critter set it off. It is baited with whole walnuts and almonds, and they are not touched all winter long this year. So it seems to be working.
Best to all,
Thank you for advices, because when saw squirrels, eating my newly-bought flowers from Megaflowers, I was shocked. So I tried to put some nuts nearby and they ate everything at once instead of my awesome camomiles :)
Update again- from small town mid America - too hot and often too dry and windy. Famous for tornadoes. Storm coming in. Last storm was ferocious - trees down. Supposed to get cooler. I cannot take the heat any more. My 14 dwarf fruit trees are doing better - replaced some - 2 peaches had a spattering of fruit - very tasty - my squirrels liked them too. 4 of 5 mini apples had a few fruit and were not tasted by the rodents or birds - yeah! Squirrels like my large tomatoes too - several large ones were moved to be eaten at leisure - the birds do not do this (they just peck holes). I no longer have a problem with bunnies (I still see them though so they are around) - bunny fence at bottom of back yard fence (not under ground but 1 ft along it) and dwarf daffodils around plants in front. Squirrels in front ok if and only if I use fresh cracked black pepper in new holes. I am currently adding a micro sprayer watering system to back yard (especially for the fruit trees). Pain the neck - had to replace connectors that failed every blasted time with expensive connectors and hose clamps that do work. System really good now after several days of laying it out and fixing problems in horrible heat. I will soon add more for 4 beds of flowers. Need to figure out how to water tubs of food and conifers, etc. The squirrels love my yard - they frolic around the giant oak trees in front and in the back yard around the bird baths, tubs, and chairs. I think they have settled in and are languidly awaiting my food crops to get ripe. I should get them shade hats and fancy drinks with umbrellas. You can tell I am not very mad at them for now - as long as I get enough food crops they can coexist - but if not ...
Does black pepper or red pepper work better? Would netting on your fruit trees slow them down? Glad that rabbit problem is disappearing . For winter, I might suggest wire protecting the fruit tree up to higher than snow banks.
Hi again - yes netting is in plans for future - think this will stop birds and slow down squirrels. Netting is expensive and will be a pain to use but I will. Might just net the lower parts for me and let birds chew on fruit above my head (only after they bloom - glorious site). Black pepper works but red did not - not sure why. Daffodils did seem to stop the bunnies eating plants in front. Wire mesh also works to stop squirrels digging up plants but is very labor intensive - I used plastic mesh a lot at old house. Not sure about any winter problems yet.