Protecting your fruit from squirrel's and other critters


I got lucky today and nailed two squirrels with my .22 cal high powered pellet gun. I put each carcass in a haveahart trap under a pawpaw tree to attract pollinators. Double duty.


I called forestry suppliers today to tell them that tube trap doesn’t fire off. It’s been over 30 days so I’m outta luck. But if I pay shipping and send it to them they’ll take a look and see what’s going on. They said this doesn’t happen often.
I’ll see how much shipping will cost. Not sure if it’s even worth sending back. But it’s a shame spending all that money on rust resistant trap and it does nothing. I have no clue how to deal with the squirrel issue.


I would not send it back. It is just a large tubular mouse trap and there really isn’t much that can be wrong. set the trap and tap the trigger with a stick this will give you some idea of the pressure that is needed to fire the trap. spray all moving parts with wd40 and try it again. the u bolt would have to be so bent out of shape for it not to work but if it is indeed out of whack then just grab the u bolt in the unset position with one hand on each side and tweak it by holding one side firm and pushing the other side forward. It probably will not take much pressure to fix. Hope this helps.


Thank you. I’ll try doing that. Because I think it’ll cost about $20 to ship this giant thing.


@susu I think I saw directions on the tube trap not to dry fire it without something substantial in the trap like a stout stick or similar.


Yes don’t dry fire it that will badly bend the U. Birds dry-fired my traps and gave me major headaches of U un-bending this last year. I would not use a hard stick either, I bent the U doing that before. Squirrels are very soft, something like a foam baseball bat would be perfect but something similar.

Lubing the pin can help, I grease the pin and where it contacts the trap.


Think I saw rolled up newspaper suggested somewhere for dry firing.


both ideas are perfect.


I think I’m going to try a diluted peanut butter spray this weekend in my tube traps.Hoping to dissolve some peanut butter in peanut oil and make a slurry to rub across the strike plate. The birds won’t be able to eat the bait and the smell may get some squirrels to go through the trap to see what the deal is. I keep losing my bait to the birds so I need to try something new.Anyone tried this?


Well diluted peanut butter didn’t work. I’m baiting my tube traps daily but the birds keep robbing me out. And to add insult to injury I Just saw a squirrel run off with a pluot. So it’s time to bring the squirrelnator out of retirement. This is my least favorite method to keep the thieves away but I’m left with no other choices. Ugh.


My tube trap no longer works either.birds get the bait and no fooling squirrels after that. Only squirrels I caught were the ones I got in late winter. I don’t think I made a dent in the squirrel population. I see 3-4 at a time playing in my yard. My neighbor, unaware of me killing them, keep feeding them and attracting them to her(and me). Now I’m stuck with them. This year I have no fruit to protect. Even if I did, I don’t think squirrelinator is something for me. I will have to find a solution next year.


Only squirrel I got this year was when I was trying to trap rabbits


I’m up to 23 squirrels with the squirrelinator. Population is noticeably less. I still will see them on occasion. I think there must be plenty of buried food left by the ones I already removed. I use peanut butter and shelled peanuts for bait.


With a tube trap mounted to a board and placed at a 45 degree angle by leaning it against a tree it is unlikely that a bird would go in it and if it did it would most likely slide out.


I think you have mellow birds where you are. My birds eat the bait out of my Kania traps which are basically straight up and down. Maybe if the whole inside was greased it would deter them.

I have recently had problems with the smaller birds getting at the bait in the squirrelinators. I wish the mesh was a little bit smaller.

So far I have not put any tube traps out, I am saving them to mount them in trees when the squirrels go after the fruit.

My general conclusion on traps vs birds is if you want to be serious about catching squirrels you need to refresh the bait every day. My approach is I have a period when I am refreshing every day, then I take a break for a few weeks, then refresh every day, etc. Maybe a bird feeder would be a good idea, give them something tastier to distract. One day I put out some sunflower seeds along with the PB and those seeds were gone in an instant.


My experience has been identical to Scott’s. I have my tube traps arranged a variety of ways and the birds don’t seem to care. I’m having to bait them 2 - 3 tines a day to keep them operational. I have noticed that moving them helps for a couple of days. But once the birds find them they are cleared out in no time.


My wife keeps a bird feeder full year round. The birds seem to be content with that. Last year I noticed the squirrels stopped eating peanut butter in the summer and instead liked the sun flower seeds that the birds ate.


I quit using my bird feeders during the summer months because the squirrel population seemed to increase. That said I just filled up both of my feeders and am going to see if that keeps them away from the tube trap bait. Doubt it will but worth a shot.


Good grief! Just went out to the annual garden and the red chipmunks are digging up corn. They are a unique adversary due to their size. But fear not! The raticator has been deployed to stop their unwarranted aggressions. I totally understand how Bill Murray felt in caddy shack now.


Had a big break through today with the tube traps. @scottfsmith if you break out the tube traps you might consider putting them on a piece of plywood and setting them on the ground. I tried that today and purged several rats. I pray this continues to work. I found them easier to bait and they r super easy to move. You can also place them at the base of the tree with the most pressure. The plywood gives it some nice stability.