From no squirrels to endless

I use baffles to control squirrels at scores of orchards and have for about 20 years. These are built with roofing coil and painted with a well mixed combination of motor oil and axle grease. I use brown axle grease because the red stuff looks disgusting.

I have seen other designs, but these we can put up in a few short minutes. We recently discovered the beauty of a Ryobi battery powered staple gun which makes it easier to do because it is stronger than the strongest manual ones.

At some sites squirrls only jump about 4 feet… 5 feet is usually an adequate distance but a rare site with olympian squirrels 6.5’ may be necessary.

If oil flows onto the bark of peach or plum trees on hot days it can injure and even sometimes kill them. Before I became aware of this I used only one 24" wide piece at the bottom of pre-painted coil and a 20" piece above it stapling the bottom first. If we use an additional 24" piece we usually can build it from the ground up which stops the oil from ever damaging the wood. These also seem to add extra protection from literally starving grey squirrels.

We remove and re-install them every year keeping them on the tree only as long as necessary to protect fruit.


Thank you for this!


For a couple years I’ve turned off the electric fence around my fruit Fort Knox, as the squirrels remembered getting shocked. Must be a new gang in town but they went for PB smeared apple.


I just put up my clay, sticker, stink, heat combo. Hopefully the squirrels that I am dealing with are less resolute than the groups mentioned here.

Similar experience in my backyard, Long Island NY. Last year no nets of cane fruit and no issues with birds or squirrels. This year had to net for birds. Still losing fruit from squirrels and chipmunks getting under the net

Obviously not practical at Alan’s scale but has anyone tried critter out?

I use the deer version and it works well. The major downside being it’s labor intensive. Despite the claim that it has residual after rain I’ve found I need to reapply after every rain event.

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I loved this video. I am so frustrated by the squirrels - I couldn’t imagine liking a happy squirrel video, but this guy has made an art of it. Talk about lemons into lemonade…

It also shows how cunning and agile our foes are!!!

@hambone and @alan (I saw on your other thread you’re encouraging electric fence) Do you have any tips on designing an electric fence to keep out squirrel, raccoon and deer? Those are my main problems.

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last year was the 1st time I’ve seen gray squirrels in the area. saw 2 red pine squirrels chasing a gray across the street. makes sense as the only acorns in the area are most planted in town although we do have wild hazels here. used to have beechnut but the blight has just about wiped them out.

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I suggest googling electric fence for deer and raccoon. I’ve found no way to stop squirrels except trapping.

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It’s just like any electric fence, but squirrels will beat a pulsating charger when they are real hungry. To make sure they get a zap you have to use a continuous charger which, last I checked, requires being plugged into your electric system. When I used one I ran a wire from the charger for a couple hundred feet. just heavy grey wire right on the ground and it worked fine.


What do you use for a gun? Last year I went and did my hunter’s education and offered for people to come use my property for hunting with the caveat that I could learn from them. I think I am ready to move to having a gun of my own.

My number one pests would be squirrel and racoon. I would like to be able to take out a racoon if necessary as they are sometimes aggressive here and could potentially be rabid. Can I use the same gun for squirrel and racoon?

Deer are also very problematic but I think a fence is more helpful with that. And I assume I would need a more substantial weapon and I’m not sure I’m ready yet. However, the number of people that have asked me for venison…

I used to hunt squirrels with a small caliber rifle, and I realized that there is a lot less time, effort and danger involved to simply trap them instead. The same goes for the ground squirrels/chipmunks that my old neighbor would shoot.

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They have stopped going into any of the types of traps I use and Scott and Ahmad have mentioned the same problem far away from me. The reason for this post was to discuss the odd behavior and the strange increase in pressure from them.

In 30 years, boom and bust has always been linked to the acorn crop. We had a thin crop last year and there was no spring action of lots of squirrel couples running around. In early spring this year there was a gradual increase that exploded on my property once the mulberries had ripe fruit- I have three mature Illinois Everbearing mulberries on my property. .

If they are breeding they should need protein more than sugar… so why are they in my mulberry trees and ignoring the traps below that contain peanuts and sunflower seeds. Squirlinator traps had been extremely affective for the last 7or 8 years. I also have lethal spring traps and larger box traps. None are working, even if I use fruit for bait.

What I’m talking about is unexplainable behavior and not on methods of control. I know all the methods that members have mentioned since this forum began. I’ve tried every manner of trap besides an electric zapper because they are not designed for squirrels, for some reason. You have to make your own.

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Running the wire directly on the ground would save me a lot of work. Was the wire coated like most electrical wire is?

It was the standard grey, three strands, electric wire used for home wiring. The charge coming from the charger isn’t so high- like the current running through your home, so I suppose that’s enough insulation and protection form the elements. The constant current ones need to be less powerful than pulsating ones for the obvious reason of safety, but they still pack enough of a wallop to electrocute a squirrel wet with dew, although it doesn’t often happen. Mostly they are just deterred.



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The constant chargers are made to keep dogs fenced in and I guess they don’t charge a really long fence, although I’m sure you could hook up extra chargers as needed. The are less expensive than solar powered pulsating chargers.

The squirrels must be coming from Michigan as pressure is really light for me this year. I just harvested about one hundred plums and the squirrels took only two of them. No protection.


for squirrels a .22 long rifle is sufficient. for raccoons id go .22 magnum. a .410 shotgun would be more forgiving accuracy wise but might just wound a raccoon. would still give you the desired effect but i hate to see any animal suffer. savage makes a good quality bolt action .22 for fairly cheap.


same here. i only have the chipmunk living in the garage that yells at me when i go in there. he’s been eating my honeyberries that fell on the ground. last year i had a family of squirrels that had a litter in my bird house. the cat must have culled them.

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I looked into this and found that even if I trap them, I have to kill them. You cannot relocate animals in VA. So the trap either has to be lethal or I have to kill them once they’re trapped. I worry that a lethal trap would just gravely injure a squirrel and then it would be in pain before I got there to dispatch it.

I will likely end up live trapping and then killing at some point as it is probably easier to shoot a trapped squirrel (skill wise). And I say “skill wise” because I can’t imagine that killing even squirrels will be easy for me. I even hate to kill mice (though I do it)!

I do not know exactly what you meant by “trapping” - my city friends seem to think this means catching live animals and taking them out to the countryside where they release them (and let’s not get into all the fallacies and problems with that). The people in my area think “trapping” means trapping for fur.

Also, if you have any trap suggestions that would be good too! Maybe I won’t manage it this year, but for next.

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