Lethal solutions?

I’m concerned that I may of missed something here. I have tried to read all that is posted. Many of you have expressed heart rending stories of damage and destruction from small and large critters. Is there a ban on discussing permanent solutions to these problems? We have discussed at great length the merits of waste products for fertilizer(human urine) but barely a few mentions of how well they work as deterrents. We personally use fencing, scares, dogs, cats, weatherproof mouse baits etc. but we also don’t hesitate to snare, trap, poison, and shoot any animal that causes damage. Not only are my trees, garden, bees, and chickens time consuming passions, they are also financially valuable to me. We spray our trees to protect from insects, shouldn’t we be as aggressive with larger pests? Is this topic verboten?

Most of us don’t live in environments that allow us to shoot and trap.

After the infamous thread about mixing peanut butter half and half with plaster of paris as a supposed poison for squirrels, (some controversy as to whether it actually does anything) no one wants to go there.

I guess I’m lucky to live in a coyote rich environment.

I don’t know what they do in these suburban areas that are overrun with deer. If I were emperor, I would let the bow hunters have at it in the 'burbs one morning per year.

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I think most of us can trap- it is the shooting that close neighbors would be understandably concerned with.

Why only one day? I’d say open season year round to clear them out of populated areas and save gardens/orchards everywhere. It would also reduce the spread of deer ticks and Lyme disease.

I haven’t had them in my own yard, but have seen them do massive damage to others. I hope they don’t pay me a visit, as I don’t think any of my traps would fit them.

There are humorous discussions of this topic in the book The $64 Tomato.

I guess my idea is that there would be an understanding that everyone stay indoors until 10:00 a.m.

Ah- I think I get you, but I think that may cause some trespassing complaints. I was suggesting that people could shoot arrows from their deck or maybe 2nd floor windows for the less adventurous (urban-style deer blinds). :smile:

Still the question is out there, is this an ‘too icky’ or off limits to talk about? That seems hard to believe after the vigorous discussion on P. Living in a suburban area outside city limits, we can shoot and do but still have to be well aware of shot fall and background… That still hasn’t stopped my son and I of some aggressive herd thinning and because of that we rarely see squirrels and raccoons. Skinny barn cats mop up most rabbits and other smalls. I aggressively grain bait around trees and spread zp baits at the first sign of digging. We fence and redirect deer and we still get some animal damage. Mrsg and Alan recently have mentioned severe animal damage. I am wondering if an equally vigorous discussion on prevention and the tools for removal of pests would be helpful?

There is currently no forum policy about particular topics being off-limits. That said, its always good to put a disclaimer on things some people might find offensive.

On the animal control topic I recall some past threads where a very few people seemed to be trolling by their gleeful sadistic descriptions, etc. Its a topic where you really need to stick to facts so as not to inflame others’ opinions.

I live in the town limits in a wooded area. I use a pellet gun to take care of the squirrel problem, It’s quiet and effective. I do have a deer problem, but they only seem to show up at night or early in the morning. My two yellow labs do a good job of chasing the them away, though every year I do get some deer damage. Birds seem to be my biggest problem, they’re pretty bold around here.

There is a widespread backlash against what some think of as aggressive condemnation of hunters and such by the so called PETA crowd- the movement of people who sincerely feel that animal feelings and suffering are just as significant as human suffering- to the point that some will not eat meat.

It is a controversy similar to, but not as prevalent as abortion and gun control,

So the only problem with discussing it is if people don’t respect other peoples sensitivities or are harshly judgemental of other people’s values and personal beliefs.

I think we’ve already had discussions here on squirrel and coon control that included lethal measures. If you want to begin another, please do so. I think we can handle it.

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In the 1980’s I lived outside of McKinleyville CA in a tract of 40 to 120 acre parcels. It was previously a sheep ranch and 50 years prior to that had been heavily logged. There was plenty of wildlife pressure. Folks in this area built 14 ft. high chainlink fences with angle wire on top around our orchards and gardens. A Queensland Heeler patrolled our enclosure except in the winter, and the neighbors had a shepard dog, etc. The deer didn’t bother with the enclosures. The forest rats (squirrels) didn’t like it much because of the dog, and the foolish ones ended up in traps mounted in the trees. The birds weren’t much interested in the fruit until it was over-ripe so we kept that to a minimum. There was occasional damage but nothing heartbreaking.

Forgetting, for a moment, about the controversy and potentially offensive (to some, not me) nature of taking the lethal option to deal with fruit predators (the 4 legged and flying kind), I for one have found it ineffective and am curious if others have had similar experiences. As ad avid hunter (sorry if that offends) and someone who lives in a rural area, I do have the option and ability to use firearms to dispatch would-be fruit thieves. The first year I started getting fruit and vegitables out of my garden, fruit trees, brambles, etc, I must admit to launching a war that would certainly have PETA all bent out of shape. However, no matter how many critters I dispatched, I never saw even the slightest decrease in animal pressure on my crops. The more I removed from the ecosystem, the more that seemed to come in and take their place. This applied to birds and squirrels alike. I also removed several opossums, but again, they were immediately replaced. Now, this might differ in more urbanized/suburbanized areas where populations are more limited…but I’m not sure that is true. I just don’t know if you can ever dispatch enough critters to do any good, especially when both squirrels and birds have large, highly mobile populations. Anyway, its just my 2 cents. I apologize to anyone offended by my campaign of removal, and for what its worth I haven’t harmed one in 2 years- mostly because it just didn’t work for me.

I appreciate the sensitivities on this sort of topic.I will not personally attempt to incite my fellow readers and I understand your job as editor of this forum. My purpose of the question is to gain more knowledge so as to limit any need for lethal solutions. The need for describing these things after a point in time is not at all appropriate and should be out of bounds. As always I will cede to your judgement. Still the best fruit forum and wanting to keep it so, Chikn.

I found I needed five lethal squirrel traps to solve my horrible squirrel problem. Shooting them would put a dent in things, but I couldn’t stand on guard 24/7 like a trap can. The deer I can deter with sprinklers, but I couldn’t find anything to deter the squirrels.

The best approach to squirrels is a baffle about 4’ high and removing low branches, but I have too many trees close together to do that. Maybe one day I will thin my orchard down to my favorite varieties and baffle the remaining trunks.

Like maybe when you’re 97? :wink:

Suffice it to say that you gotta do what you gotta do. It helps to have cooperative neighbors when it comes to eradicating pests. It is your neighbors that will turn you in for shooting the groundhog or whatever it might be. In this case convert to the silent options like powerful pellet guns and cb caps for the .22 rifle. Traps should be concealed but be effective in dispatching the target animal. There are lethal traps available for squirrel and they look like stovepipe. Shop around the trapping supply stores and check out the myriad of options. Practice the three S’s. Document the damage to your property and be prepared to defend your position. Expect not to wipe out a squirrel population but rather to limit the damage they do.


What kind of traps are you using? The tree rats got all the pecans off one of my Pawnees this year and I plan to try to thin the heard before next year.

Chuck, I use Kania traps. I have five of them spread out on my property.

Chuck, I’d recommend searching Bill Reid’s pecan blog for squirrel related information, too.

I do get some personal satisfaction from delegating street justice to rabbits, mice, voles and deer but physical barriers are a much more effective form of control.