Protecting your fruit from squirrel's and other critters


#1

It won’t be long before we will be invaded by critters that will be sharing our fruit or in many cases getting all our fruit. I do a few thing for prevention but I’m certain we all can learn more from an accumalative effect of our forum members efforts and solutions. All input is welcome.

@coolmantoole. This is a link used by one of our forum members that is easy and interesting. Marcus appears to be getting good results. I would like to know his final assessment of the garlic/sock method. If there is already followup please insert where it is. Thanks Bill

About the only squirrel prevention that I’m doing is putting on my ziplock sandwich bags which appears to slow them down but it is not a complete control.


#2

By observation, squirrels need more of a deterrent than just a smell, which the rain and wind will diminish with time.
Bird netting seems sufficient unless the squirrels (or any raider) have already gotten a taste of what you are trying to protect.
Exception is raccoons which are seen in this 1 minute video about the 30 second mark climbing onto the birdnetting which I draped over the blackberries. A member suggested that the only deterrent to these bullies is electric wire. So in the next few weeks I’ll be installing a very simple battery powered wire as these berries are just starting to form.
Bottom line is squirrels were deterred by birdnetting, raccoons weren’t.


#3

I know it won’t work for city folks, but I use the same deterrent for all hairy critters messing with my fruit trees…a scoped .22


#4

I often wish …


#5

#6

Yeah, and being vigilant at 3AM. I need something to work while I sleep. :blush:


#7

fortunately for me the squirrels in my neck of the woods keep bankers hours…no offense to any bankers…makes it very easy for me to know when they’ll be around…

I’ve already bagged 5 and it still hasn’t put a dent in their enthusiasm for my bird feeders…although having the bird feeders in close proximity to my fruit trees I believe has kept them out of the fruit trees…but that could just be my imagination…


#8

Squirrels aren’t out and about at 3 a.m. I’d think your major concerns at that time would be 'coons and possums. Both can be dealt with using an air rifle or live trap. Even possums and 'coons are more crepuscular than nocturnal.


#9

I have trapped some but as the video shows I have a family of these - maybe 6 of them and traps catch one at a time. So I’m opting for the electric wire which works as a deterrent when I’m not around. This is my 1st year trying this so I’ll see how it goes and set up the game camera.


#10

When we were looking at adopting a dog we were cautioned that one of our finalists had a problem with squirrels and would continue to try to find a way to climb a tree 30 minutes after the squirrel was gone… made the choice easy.

Squirrels have learned to avoid our area or at most cross with great caution.


#11

This year I had one round of trapping of maybe half a dozen squirrels and have not seen any since then. I am expecting a new migration wave soon. I did much better when I switched to portable tube traps attached to 2x4’s last year. I bungee them into the tree where the squirrels are having a feast, bait with peanut butter, and pile up catch after catch.


#12

So far this year I have trapped 14 squirrels, 1 possum and 1 raccoon. And I have only trapped part time. This is the first year they have been a big problem. Birds have really hit the berries hard. I think the mild winter allowed all of the animals to survive the winter and they all woke up hungry. I have netted 4 blueberry bushes but the squirrels can get under it and have attacked the blueberries hard. The raccoon really liked my plums.


#13

I do have my schnauzer on patrol and she loves it. Great for all of us.

This year for the first time, I got some rodent pet cages off of Craig’s list for free.

I figured, if they can keep a rodent in, they could also keep a rodent out.

Plums, apples, cherries, etc. can pile up quickly and the squirrels will find a way to eat or partially eat and damage a large portion of the harvest.

I think it’s worth a try.

We’ll See. I’ll report on my findings.
John S
PDX OR


#14

I can tell I have been doing this for quite a few years … the new wave showed up today. The second wave of squirrels, the peachtree borers, and the green plum aphids all show up at a similar time.

This is also when BMSB starts needing serious treatment. But this year they really have almost vanished. All the stinkers I have found this year are the ant-like ones, I’m not sure the name for them and they might not technically be stinkbugs - they are sort of ant-shaped but with longer legs, and they come in orange and green versions.


#15

Scott,
I’m intrigued by your tube trap for squirrels. How big is the diameter of the tube? Is it vertical and then they can’t climb out? Is it weighted so they can’t knock it over?
Thanks,
John S
PDX OR


#16

BMSBs moved up here

Tho I don’t see them in the fruit yet, still in the house


#17

Its nailed to a long 2x4 and tied down. Its horizontal. Also, its a one-way ticket to squirrel heaven.


#18

scott – how do you apply your peanut butter? The last 2 weeks the squirrels gave found a way to eat the peanut butter without setting off my wcs tube traps.


#19

If they are eating it that means the trap is not set correctly. The #1 problem is the big moving “U” metal which is on the spring has gotten bent from previous firings. You need to look inside the trap and make sure it is not bent. When it is too bent it is touching the tube part of the trap when it is set, and then it will not fire. Also I would lube the trigger with some oil. I was just tuning mine up earlier today…


#20

For someone who lives in a subdivision in a populated area I have several guest show up. This Opossum upgrade greeted me this morning at 5 AM. Pretty sure I need to deal with it before it discovers that there is fruit in the back yard.