Protecting your fruit from squirrel's and other critters


I bait traps with the small fruits they’ve been after. I try to hook it on the plate so they have to pull on it. In this case it is a month old nectarine.




I have been actively trapping squirrels since April, and my garden and trees did not have any signs of squirrel activity, until… I went on two week vacation the third and fourth weeks of June. About ten days ago I started noticing fallen apricots, that looked quite healthy. A couple of days later I started noting an obvious decrease in the number of apricots on my tree and also noticed remains of chewed up apricot pits below the tree. So, I started setting the trap below the tree and I caught a squirrel one evening. I was tired from work, so did not take him away the same day and released it close to where I work the following day, which meant I only set the trap again the following evening. When I went to set the trap again I saw another squirrel running away from my tree with a cot in his mouth. This one was far smarter and evaded the trap for three days, and apparently invited a couple of cousins with him yesterday. So, I set two traps below the tree last evening. Today I came back from work to the tragedy below… more than thirty stolen/ fallen apricots and about ten chewed off branches/spurs… if only I can shoot squirrels in my backyard…

The white bags in the photo are the Clemson bags that the sons of guns tore off. Now I have only 15 cots remaining on a tree that had more than couple hundred after thinning…


Sorry for the loss and I feel your pain. The squirrels and chipmunks gutted my peach and plum trees even with traps set below. Brown rot got the rest. Kinda disheartening.


They’re taking them green!


Yes, they are after the almond inside the pit!


They kind of looked at my traps and said why bother, we have that tree full of goodies… But they actually were able to pull the peanuts and walnuts out of the trap without activating the triggers, for the peanut butter, they just completely ignored it…


My cots have baffles on the trunks. This seems to deter them, especially the taller baffle on the aprium. I have the ripest apricot netted up, too.

I succumbed to temptation and picked an aprium, which was surprisingly edible, given how hard it was. The question: to pick, or to trust in the baffle and wait?


Can you share pictures of the baffles? Did you make them or buy them?


I feel your pain! That happened to me with squirrels for the past two years. It just makes me sick ! Why don’t my coyotes eat my squirrels?


I am thinking some crazy ideas like buying a few snakes (non-venomous) and releasing them in my yard, or keeping a couple of pet hawks…


Hawks would work, I’d say. Coyotes around here just aren’t on the job

The smaller baffles are just metal stovepipe

The larger is aluminum flashing material, bent into a circle around the trunk


I’ve noticed they like peanut butter in the winter and spring but lose interest in the summer. Mixing some sun flower seeds with it might make it more attractive.


It seems you are right, they have been eating it till June, now they care less about it.


I have found I just need to be more diligent on trap placement and baiting, not to switch the bait. Mobile traps are very helpful. I had four traps in my apricots when they were after them, and now that the cots are mostly gone I am moving the traps to the early peaches, plums and asian pears. Also make sure the bait is not all getting stolen. I am going through a jar of peanut butter a week now.

There are a ridiculous number of squirrels this year, I took some damage recently due to wave after wave migrating in and a few getting through the cracks. Its strange on their favorite traps, in spring it was the squirrelinator catching the most and now the tube traps are getting the most and the Kania traps are #2. I have the tube traps rigged as “ramps” up into the trees they are going after, they are each mounted on 5’ 2x4s and one end is in the tree crotch at about 3’ high and the other end is on the ground. I bungee tightly so there is no movement. This puts the trap as the easiest path to the fruit, and this placement increases the odds one will stop by for a visiWHAM !


I feel that setting traps close to fruit trees is a double edged sword; if the squirrel(s) escape the trap he will find a tree full of goodies, and the bait in the trap attracts him and other squirrels to the tree…

Anyhow, I for sure need to increase the number of traps (it is getting to be a very expensive hobby) and probably diversify their types, so that squirrels do not get used to one type and learn how to avoid it…



A picture is worth thousand words, when you get a chance, please take a photo of your tube traps the way you set them as tree ramps and post it here. Thanks very much…


I picked up 40 peaches off the ground from my Elberta peach tree yesterday that had been knocked off and most cases chewed by squirrels

This doesn’t include the Reliance Tree they already cleaned. Not many peaches left …


Either my trunk baffles work for cots or my squirrels don’t like them


How many are you trapping in a year?