Protecting your fruit from squirrel's and other critters


One more note. If the traps are on the ground the birds can’t get to the bait that sits below the strike plate. I’ve seen several birds walk into the trap and there is still a massive clump of peanut butter and sunflower seeds underneath. I feel like I’ve found the holy grail in protection. I had hundreds of plums but they are being thinner out at a ridiculously fast pace. What a bummer!


Good idea, will try to bait under the plate… I have my traps mounted on 2x4s which I bungie to the trees, it sounds like a similar purpose to the plywood - the trap is completely fixed and so is easy to set.


What a bummer. The squirrelnator isn’t producing. Each time I bait it the chipmunks walk through the slots to steal the bait. Looks like it’s going back into retirement.


Snap type rat traps work on chipmunks . Might wrk on squirrels with some modifications like I saw on youtube .


Our cats clean out the chipmunks, they are rare sightings here.

I baited one of my tube traps below the strike plate and the bait is lasting much longer – good idea! It still gets taken by ants but they move at a slower pace. I can also tanglefoot the ends of the trap if I really want to keep the ants off.

This time of year is the calm before the storm, if the usual cycle happens I will be up to my neck in squirrels in a few weeks when the peaches and apricots are big enough for them to like eating them.


Looking for an easy and simple deterrent for my muscadines from raccoons and possums. I live near other residences so firearms are not viable options. Traps would be a possible option but prefer a simple method that prevents them from getting access to the ripening fruit. Has anyone tried metal only poles along with well timed vine trimming to keep them from climbing up to the fruit. I’m guessing that some of you have already tested some of these methods. Any suggestions are welcome.


I think coons have their young in spring and kick them out of the area when they are old enough to fend for themselves. I don’t bother trapping coons until I have nearly ripe fruit because a couple will likely keep others off my property. Once I kill them the migrants start moving in, depending on population pressure in the area on any given year. On 3 acres I always have to kill a few, but on bad years I kill over 30.

As far as drowning them, I do feel this is a cruel form of execution having performed it once myself. Watch a coon die this way and you will probably agree with me. A pellet to the brain usually brings death spasms and quick death with one shot, probably much kinder than what nature otherwise has in store. I hate it when I catch a feisty one that won’t let me get such a shot and I end up having to shoot it several times with my high powered pellet gun. The last one was a big mean tom that kept breathing, so I dumped him out of the trap and blew off his head with my shotgun. Not pretty at all.

I love raccoons but they don’t belong with chickens or fruit trees. It’s stupid to move them because anywhere they can live they already do and unless disease knocks down the population there are always too many of them. Humans have eliminated their predators while vastly increasing their sources of food. The responsible thing is to kill them, IMO.


This is great information. I’m sure it will help me as well as many others that are new to dealing with raccoon and possums. I wasn’t ready for them last season and ended up picking before the fruit was completely ripe. Thanks


For this time in the season, especially if you want any fruit, IMHO your best option is to surround your treasures with a portable electric fence. You can move it to various parts of your orchard as fruit ripens.
It is too late for trapping especially if they have already found your fruit. But I would consider reducing their population pre-fruiting. As others on this forum, I have found year 'round population reduction an important component of harvesting what you grow, and, I think of it as a community service.


I use all kinds of trap, as I got tired of fighting wildlife. I caught something today, not sure what…but the chipmunks are driving me nuts!


So far the socks full of garlic powder is working to repel squirrels. I placed them in the branches that I could reach of the two huge pear trees in the back lot behind my property. These are the mother trees to Winnie Pear and Granny Durden Pear. These two trees get emptied of pears almost every year. Both trees are about empty except for the lower branches where they bags of garlic powder are. The pears on those branches have yet to be touched. The squirrels are also not going on the ground under the bags of garlic powder to retrieve the seeds out of the pears they dropped. So for a pear tree that’s small enough for you to distribute bags of garlic throughout the tree, this very much appears to be a way to control squirrel damage. God bless.



Do they regularly clean you out? I’ve only been hit once so I’ve not done anything about the muscadine thieves. I once had a raccoon problem and they were hard to get rid of, they are much smarter than squirrels. I have one of the large Havahart traps for them. I’m not sure metal poles would work as they may be able to jump up - it depends on how high the vines are.

Recently we had some sick raccoon around, it would slowly walk right up to me during the day … spooky. I never figured out if it was rabid or what but it moved slower and slower over the days and my guess is it died.

This year for the squirrels I am defeating them by sheer numbers and types of traps. I have 12 of them using three different technologies (tube, kania, squirrelinator) and it seems there is one of the three types matching each different squirrel personality. I now have three traps right under the ripening apricots, and I caught two today there.


The sick raccoon we had around here last year turned out to have distemper


Probably got ahold of some poison somewhere. Rabid will be very aggressive or very strange acting as in running around oddly or growling at you from my experience…


They got about half of my one vine of muscadines last year. This happened in one night. Not certain but I think it was a raccoon. I’m just getting a head start deciding how to stop them this year. A few weeks later a raccoon showed up and was eating our cats food so I was assuming it was the same one that got my muscadines. I started putting the cat food in a pet carrier and in a few nights it started getting comfortable and I locked it inside the carrier. It sounded like a caged lion for about an hour. I didn’t sleep much that night trying to decide what to do with it now that it was caught. The next morning all was quiet around the pet carrier and I slowly approached it. I thought for a minute it was trying a sneak approach on me and attack as soon as I peeked in. After carefully looking for the critter I found where it chewed a hole in the back side and escaped. I never had any cat food missing again.


Raccoons almost dare you to run them away from their food source such as our cats food.


I stopped leaving water out for the cats because it attracted the raccoons


Yes, that sound like it could be it. Apparently it is becoming widespread in parts of the country, here is a news story I found

I also saw the raccoon walking funny, that was how it first appeared.


Victor rat traps work on rabbits too…oops.

I clean out about 3 dozen chipmunks every year with these traps. I stuck this one under the truck where the birds wouldn’t see it. I never thought about the rabbits. The springs are strong, so they are done if bar lands on the neck. I snapped it on my hand once and it was tender for over a week.


What and how do you bait for chipmunks? I’m being invaded since our cat passed.