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With its curving, bushy tail, the eastern grey squirrel is easily recognizable—and a frequent sight around our homes. Some specimens may have a black coat, but they belong to the same species: Scurius carolinensis. Common in southwestern portions of Quebec, the eastern grey squirrel lives in hardwood forests as well as green spaces in cities. Its cousin, the red squirrel, is smaller and prefers the coniferous forests farther to the north and east.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Fruit Trees GardensContent:
- How to Prevent and Get Rid of Squirrels in Your Garden
- How to Prevent Winter Rodent Damage to Your Trees
- Keeping Squirrels Out of Fruit Trees
- Ask Mr. Smarty Plants
- How do I keep squirrels from eating my peach tree?
- Repel Squirrels Out Of Your Property And Keep Them Away
- How do I stop squirrels from cutting my branches?
- Tree baffles to baffle squirrels
- How to Keep Varmints From Eating Peaches Off Trees
- How to Manage Pests
How to Prevent and Get Rid of Squirrels in Your Garden
Squirrels are sneaky bandits who will raid your garden and run off with the goods. There are several species of squirrels in North America. The grey squirrel is found throughout the lower 48 and is the one most likely to be stealing from your garden. This is actually good for the environment as it spreads seeds throughout the area and provides winter food for other animals.
Here are some humane ways to handle your squirrel problems. Squirrels are opportunistic omnivores. In the wild squirrels eat a variety of vegetation, fruits, insects, and even bird eggs. And, of course, nuts. Squirrels are natural diggers and will uncover seeds and flower bulbs in the garden. They love tomatoes, geraniums, and sunflowers in particular. In addition, they are big fans of fruits and will park themselves in your orchard to munch on apples and plums.
Keep in mind that squirrels love the branches of fruit trees as well as the fruit. What they especially adore is the inner layer of cambion. Squirrels have the Napoleon complex and can be quite bossy and even aggressive.
Enjoy their fun antics but keep some distance. There are a variety of ways you can humanly convince the squirrels that you have not laid out the welcome mat just for them. Fencing and its cousin netting are the best deterrents for protecting your plants from squirrels.
If you have a small garden, I suggest you have wire on all four sides, plus the top. Obviously squirrels are good at climbing and jumping. Clear tree limbs from around your vegetable and flower gardens to make it harder for the squirrels to figure out how to enter from above. In addition, squirrels can dig, so make sure your fence is buried about 12 inches in the ground. Chicken wire works well for squirrels. They are not strong enough to rip through it. However, if your fence is also protecting your garden from raccoons, you need a stronger welded wire.
Netting works well as long as you have the material on some kind of support system. Build a cage around your plants to string the netting over.
Bamboo poles work well. Dig a trench and put the netting under the ground to deter digging. Use cages around your most vulnerable plants, such as strawberries or blueberries. Floating row covers also work well to deter squirrels. Electric fencing works to deter squirrels and keeps them from getting into the garden. One thing to note is to make sure there are no trees nearby that the squirrel can climb up and out onto a branch and drop down into the garden.
Space your wire about four inches apart and use three to five wires total. Start the first wire at four inches above ground level. For safety, be diligent about making sure the grass under the wire stays trimmed. Squirrels are sensitive to smells and somewhat picky about what they eat. You can use this to your advantage. This is a tactic that is often used by bird watchers to protect their feeders.
You can also use cayenne pepper. Repellents made from the urine of predators can be effective in frightening squirrels and their kin. Urine repellents are made by dehydrating the urine so you can sprinkle it around the plants or reconstitute it with water. When using predator urine, you need to apply it every few days to keep the smell strong. Rain will wash it away. There is an old country method of using human hair to deter wildlife.
This is based on the assumption that wildlife is naturally afraid of people. Squirrels have become urbanized, with many living in urban areas. Once you create a void in an ecological niche it will just get filled with more animals. As a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, I take in many squirrel babies who have been injured or orphaned. Fallen fruits and nuts can go both ways in the garden. After all, once there, they may be tempted to look for some other tasty morsels such as tomatoes.
On the flip side, if the squirrels come into your yard and eat the acorns they may have satisfied tummies and not bother your garden. In fall squirrels are going to be most interested in crops they can store, like nuts and also seeds such as sunflowers.
Do you grow sunflower seeds for your bird friends and find the squirrels are getting to them first? You can also grow safflower seeds. In addition, you can cover the sunflower heads with cheesecloth so that they can ripen without interference. Unfortunately, this is the time of year when squirrels are most busy scavenging and looking for food to put by for the winter. When squirrels see your nicely tilled or dug earth, they come to investigate.
Squirrels often dig in the dirt looking for seeds or insects. They may uncover your plantings. Even more irritating, they may pull up your bulbs, take one bite, and then leave it sitting on the ground somewhere. You can protect your flower bulbs in two ways: you can lay chicken wire either under the ground or on top of the ground. For small bulbs such as crocus, it works well to place a section of one-inch chicken wire over the bulbs buried in the ground.
Cover the bulbs and wire with soil. In the spring, the bulbs will grow through the wire. For larger bulbs, such as tulips, you can lay a section of chicken wire right over the ground. Leave this in place till spring.
When the plants start to grow remove the chicken wire. There are also several types of bulb cages you can purchase at your local garden center that are made to protect new plantings. This will make it harder for the squirrels to dig in the garden. One tactic to prevent them from digging up your fall bulbs is to allow the squirrels to have the acorns, walnuts, or hickory that may fall from your trees.
This gets us to the question of feeding our squirrels. You may allow this, or you can erect baffles to keep them out of the bird feeders. That answer depends on if you enjoy the squirrels and want to help them.
Giving squirrels their own feeder will certainly encourage them to come into your yard. However, it may also satisfy them and keep them from trying to eat plants you want to protect. Squirrels are fun to watch and certainly entertaining as they squabble over their finds. However, it can be frustrating when what they find and want to steal is your garden produce.
By following these guidelines, you can help deal with them in a humane manner. This article contains incorrect information. This article does not have the information I am looking for. Your answer will be used to improve our content. The more feedback you give us, the better our pages can be. Your privacy is important to us. Stay tuned for the first newsletter in the morning, straight to your inbox. For now, feel free to continue reading.
All About these Acrobatic Pillagers Squirrels are opportunistic omnivores. Our education squirrel Finn eating fresh-cut branches from one of the apple trees.
Fencing Is Your Friend Fencing and its cousin netting are the best deterrents for protecting your plants from squirrels. Netting Netting works well as long as you have the material on some kind of support system.
Electric Fence Electric fencing works to deter squirrels and keeps them from getting into the garden. Break Out the Repellents Squirrels are sensitive to smells and somewhat picky about what they eat. Coyote Urine Repellents made from the urine of predators can be effective in frightening squirrels and their kin. In addition, animals may respond to population decline by having more babies. Ame Vanorio with one of the baby squirrels in our wildlife rehabilitation program.
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How to Prevent Winter Rodent Damage to Your Trees
San Antonio, TXReturn to Gardening Columns Main Index. Squirrels are cute little varmints who are not too particular about whether they eat the apples or pecans that you have spent a fortune on trying to produce. But squirrels and pears don't mix! Squirrels are cute little creatures that have become lazy in my yard. The furry devils ate all of my apples and are now mutilating my pears, rather hunting for the "wild nuts and berries" that squirrels are supposed to eat.
Common squirrel deterrents for fruit trees include Ro-Pel, capsaicin or hot pepper oil Also, how can you keep squirrels out of a tree?
Keeping Squirrels Out of Fruit Trees
Some gardeners swear by sprinkling a concoction of cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika or other combinations of spicy seasonings around the base of the plants. Trick squirrels into thinking your produce isn't a tasty treat after all by dusting a few of the fruits in the hot mixture, too. If you've noticed squirrels digging in your pots or stealing your bulbs, mulch can help—make sure to use a heavyweight mulch like stones or decorative rocks or grass. If squirrels are coming between you and your crops, it may be time to build a fence. Protecting your edible plants with netting will help curb squirrels' and birds' snacking. Keeping your lawn tidy not only helps it look nice, but picking up fallen nuts, berries and other garden debris squirrels may find snack-worthy means you won't be laying out an all-you-can-eat welcome mat. It may cut down on garden thievery too. That mint taking over your yard may be useful after all: Squirrels tend to avoid the strong smell of peppermint plants.
Ask Mr. Smarty Plants
The tree has easy access points from two garage roofs, powerlines and the ground. Would a net around the whole tree work? Squirrels would be tough to net for. I assume the tree is too close to other trees to use the old cone-on-the-trunk trick. I wonder if the fake-snake-in-a-tree trick would work on squirrels.
How can you keep squirrels and rats from raiding your citrus trees?
How do I keep squirrels from eating my peach tree?
There are four species of tree squirrels in California excluding the small nocturnal flying squirrel, which is not considered a pest. Of the four species, two are native and two are introduced from the eastern part of the United States. In their natural habitats they eat a variety of foods, including a wide range of seeds such as pine nuts and acorns, fungi, insects, bird eggs, and young birds. Squirrels can cause damage around homes and gardens, where they feed on a variety of fruits, nuts, and other crops and plants. They can also dig holes in garden soil or in turf, where they bury nuts, acorns, or other seeds. They can be a nuisance around structures by gnawing on telephone cables, chewing their way into wooden buildings, or invading attics.
Repel Squirrels Out Of Your Property And Keep Them Away
But, no, there are the holes they dig in our lawns time and time again, the veggies and fruits they leave half-eaten and rotting in our garden. In the fall, we find them nipping off the precious seed-bearing tips of branches to munch on. Trees — no surprise here — play a significant role in the lives of tree squirrels. First of all, unless they can find a cozy attic, they live in trees year-round. Trees provide food: In summer, delicious fruits; in fall, acorns, nuts, and seeds.
The best ways I know of rendering a fruit-harvest squirrel resistant are: · (1) Surround the base of the tree with a barrier that would help prevent the.
How do I stop squirrels from cutting my branches?
Living in the woods provides endless entertainment. I get to share my space with a variety of quirky, unique and beautiful creatures. The squirrels are actually one of my favorites.
Tree baffles to baffle squirrelsRELATED VIDEO: How to Protect your fruit from animals eating it. Protecting fruit trees.
First, cuttings can occur for a variety of reasons, such as nest building, seeking moisture, or seeking food. If you have a bird feeder and have removed it, squirrels may be overpopulated and seeking alternative food sources. Never use an unmodified bird feeder as you will only create problems down the road; see Bird Feeders Not Squirrel Feeders for more information on bird feeders and their modification. Second, you have some options. Be sure that the label allows its use on plants. Be doubly sure to follow directions, and never use the product on plants intended for human consumption.
Squirrels, although cute could be a large menace to your home and your garden.
How to Keep Varmints From Eating Peaches Off Trees
Unlike some other garden pests, squirrels are diurnal, like humans, meaning they are wakeful and feeding during the day and sleep at night. Therefore, if you have a squirrel problem it is very likely you have seen active squirrels in your yard. They are brown to reddish brown and their color will lighten as the droppings age. They will most likely be scattered but may be found in piles in areas near common feeding spots. Squirrel droppings are similar to those of rats but a bit bigger and more barrel shaped than the more cylindrical shape of rat droppings.
How to Manage Pests
The pungent smell of pure apple cider vinegar repels the squirrels. ACV is readily available and can be sprayed directly on the plants and flower pots without harming them. Spray it as often as needed to keep the little creatures at bay.