Seems that in the last week or two something(s) have been marauding
my tomato patch . I thought I had it better protected ... yesterday
afternoon I set up my game cam in the corner where they've been eating
their ill-gotten gains , only to discover there are 3 shifts ... late
afternoon/early evening , the squirrels dine , then after dark the
raccoons come in , followed later by the 'possums . Looks like I need to
improve the protection out there . I have to admit , the west side is
hard to get to because of the wild blackberries and I've let the chicken
wire and 'lectric wires get overgrown a little . It's been working so
well until recently that I've become complacent , and that's gotta end .
I'm not certain if they're crawling under the chicken wire or going over
, probably the latter since there are sags that weren't there when I
installed it . Either way , I'll be out there today tightening things up
in an effort to stop it - all the ripe or nearly ripe 'maters are gone ,
and they've started in on the green ones , I gotta do something or this
will be the end of tomato season for this year . And I've got a lot more
jars to fill .
raccoons/possums/squirrels ignore the tomatoes here.
not sure why. we don't really have many squirrels in
our yard (too open the hawks chase them).
are you having a dry spell? consider putting some
water sources out and about away from the garden.
unfortunately once creatures find a food source for
one reason they tend to keep coming back.
If I could shoot out back, I'd use my .22LR. Trapping laws vary and
around here you can trap and kill but not release off your property. I
trap and release anyway. When I was still working in the lab with
access to chemicals an older chemist told me to pour a bottle of
chloroform down the groundhog's burrow where the heavy vapor would
settle underground in the tunnel bottom. Groundhog would go in and get
anesthetized permanently. It worked for one in my back yard.
I have a lot of customers up in the mountains. The have
to build fully enclosed enclosures if they want a garden.
And they have to line the floor with bricks or tile to keep
critters from digging under the walls. The enclosures
look pretty, but they tend to be awfully small. Would
only fit 1/5 of my garden.
Squirrels too . Unless you get a head or upper spine shot they ain't
hangin' around . I've seen them drag themselves off and claw their way
up a tree with their back legs totally dead . I have declared war on the
local squirrel population , they are apparently the major destroyers of
my tomato patch .I figger if I kill all the ones that know there's a
bounty there , the better chance the few tomatoes left will have a
chance . There are still a lot of blossoms ... and they too deserve a
chance . TOMATO LIVES MATTER !
Friend in a nearby development uses subsonic .22LR on them. Another,
bothered by them, asked what to do and I suggested a pellet gun but now
he uses his shotgun as with 40 acres he can do anything. He just wanted
to keep them out when he was not around. Squirrel population bounces
back but if you get rid of the locals that are already hanging around
you probably remove most of the problem. They look cute but are nothing
but tree rats.
I guess it depends on the noise level you can get away with. I can't
shoot in my yard most of the time and the critters are not around when I
might be able to shoot them. That's the beauty of a trap, it is always
there and waiting to trap them. Then you can dispatch them in the trap
as it can be a nuisance to transport a lot of them. I once had to take
a half dozen trips to release squirrels before I finally caught the
groundhog I was after.
Frank , I live 12 miles from the nearest town in a clearing out in
the woods ... noise is not a problem . There are neighbors , but we can
only see one of them . In the winter , when the trees are bare .
Trouble may come if someone hears a shot when not expected. I'm
thinking of incident in friends deer camp that had neighbors calling the
game warden in on us to check the camp. One of the hunters there had
fired a few tracer rounds after dark just to see what they looked like
and somebody living maybe a quarter mile away called the game warden.