Protecting your fruit from squirrel's and other critters


#241

When my son was setting the tube trap he said that even with a dead squirrel in it, other squirrels were climbing over the trap to get the peanut butter that the dead one didn’t get to. After emptying the trap and resetting, one of those bystanders was in it in short order. Hard to figure what woos them in and what puts them off.


#242

When I told my son that the squirrels seem to have learned how to best deal with my shotgun- that they used to run up trees where they were easy to pick off, but now they scurry zig-zag on the ground at any sign of my movement, he laughed. “Don’t you think it’s more likely you killed off the ones that went to trees when they panic”?

Hard to know what is learned and what is inherited with squirrels. Maybe the ones avoiding your traps were born extra cautious and now their genes are being passed on to future generations of trap averse squirrels.

I’m glad I’ve never had any trap adverse coons.


#243

Ugh… The squirrels or chipmunks found my Redhaven peach tree.

The city ordinance says you can legally trap nuisance small rodents with a kill trap. Are squirrels nuisance small rodents?

Of course now that I have a tube trap I am too chicken to put it out and have a neighbor catch me unloading it…

So I went out and put up a bunch of flashing on the trunk.


#244

Yes.


#245

They found my saturn peaches about 3 days ago. Those peaches must start emitting an odor once they hit a certain ripening stage…


#246

Squirrels will often muscle up the flashing. You may need to paint it with a blend of motor oil and grease. Straight motor oil requires frequent apps and grease by itself can be thick enough to give them some traction. I use about a 3-1 ratio oil to grease. Of course squirrels are capable of a vertical leap from the ground of almost 4’ so trees need to be trained with long trunks or at least with steep enough scaffolds to shape a cone that high.

If I have enough trunk before scaffolds to construct these baffles and there are no launching pads close by (squirrels can jump much longer horizontally) I get 100% protection from squirrels using this method against grey and red squirrels at dozens of sites that lose at least all pears and peaches to squirrels otherwise. The only failure I ever have is if the squirrels keep trying to get up the metal until they’ve removed the oil-grease mixture- and this is a small percentage of locations, but I’ve started repainting the metal every couple of weeks where this happens and reapply at least once at most other sites.

I should also mention that like most rodents, squirrels can squeeze through a narrower space than you’d imagine so the metal has to be stapled pretty tight. The metal also should be removed after your gratifying harvest- promptly. Peaches have sensitive bark.

Coons and possums are stopped by metal alone.

Birds don’t seem deterred and probably appreciate the tranquility of a restaurant without distractions. It gets complicated when nets and baffles are required but is doable. Just don’t let the nets sag below the baffles. 5’ before first scaffolds would be helpful for this.


#247

In IL, squirrels are furbearing mammals


#248

I like the larger size havaheart traps. I have a big bowl of acorns i picked last fall in the house…put some of those in there and bam. It doesn’t take long to clear out the naughty squirrels.

Back in the day i remember selling squirrel tails…but i’m sure it had to be in season. They would use the fur in Mepps spinners i think… maybe trout flies…


#249

As in a squirrel coat?


#250

In Olden Days, squirrel fur was called “vair”, was very much used


#251

My vair Lady!


#252

Well we had a sleepover with our friends’ son, Symeon, and I thought it would be a fun change to set up the tent on our deck and have everyone sleep in it. What sleeping outside (as opposed to sleeping late inside my bedroom) taught me is that my back deck is a critter highway. Kept up all night by coons (including juv.) and a whole family of skunks who live under one of the sheds. I actually don’t mind the skunks, but hate coons with a passion. Got very little sleep last night. 4:30-5:30am, the skunk juv. were having a lot of fun playing on the rest of the deck. After coming out several times to look around earlier, once I knew it was a big family of skunks, decided it was best to stay in the tent and ignore them, rather than startle one and have it spray the tent with 3 kids and my wife.:wink:

Anthony


#253

Recently peanut butter is ignored. One option is to drill a large hole in the top of the tube trap so that sunflower seeds can easily be dropped onto the paddle. That should work as long as the trap is kept horizontal.


#254

I imagine that most everywhere east of the rockies grey squirrels are game animals… Another reason why I am hesitant to trap them. At least I bought the trap with cash back bonus on Amazon, ha!

I put more flashing up last night and had no hits from 7-5pm today before I left for the next 12 hours so am thinking it is my chipmunks.


#255

Thanks, Alan. I have more peaches that I planted this year and will try to train a straighter trunk with a higher first branch than this one.

As an update, putting 10w40 on about 3’ of aluminum flashing put an end to my rodent problem. I will keep the tube trap in case I need it in the future.


#256

Squirrel got a galaxy peach and a dapple dandy. First theft in about 5 days. Its crazy because both fruits were on container trees…he went through many other fruits to get these 2…out of 4 galaxy peaches on that tree…3 have been stolen by squirrels! they must love donut peaches.


#257

My PB bait also has mostly been ignored lately, and cat food never worked. Usually PB gets me through the whole summer, I’m not sure what is different this year.

Sunflowers sound like they could be worth a try. I can spoon them on the catch with a long spoon.


#258

I expect sunflower seeds will work. Spoon them in or drill a hole in the top to drop some in.


#259

Squirrels love sweet corn


#260

They gravitate to low acid high sugar.