What non-lethal methods work best to keep city squirrels away from tomatoes?
It is a serious problem here. I wouldn't mind sharing some tomatoes, but the
squirrels here are very rude and do not share. And actually taunt. Taking
a bite out of a perfectly good tomato and then leaving it.
Building a wire cage probably is the best method, but I hear they can even
get through those. And I'm not all that handy at building things.
Last year, putting soaking a rag with vinegar about every 3 or so days
seemed to work for a while. Though at the end of the summer, even that was
not deterring them that well.
I once did this with garlic for gophers. My luck, Italian gophers. If
you have Thai Buddhist squirrels, they may start manifesting for napalm
curry. Stiff upper lip, and all that sort of thing.
Worse comes to worse, cook with those tomatoes. One hundred and
eighty-one degrees fahrenheit for 20 minutes will take care of any
bacteria. Boil the spaghetti sauce, and the pathogens are goners.
Certain hunting supply stores sell animal scents
to covert the delightful smell of human. Maybe
coyote or mountain lion smell would work?
I don't know that this would apply for squirrels,
but my sister-in-law got rid of her gophers by
cramming cat pee pee and skat from their litter boxes
down their holes. Supposedly, it smells like their
It was our idea to have her do it. She didn't want to
use poison (her cats would eat the dead gophers and get
poisoned themselves) or explosives (my favorite).
Then after she did the deed, I apologized profusely
to her, saying I didn't think she would do it. It was
only a joke! And, yes, I laughed so hard I almost
puked. She is still getting even with me. Life is
good. It is good to be a Brother-In-Law.
That cat litter may turn into a sticky mess.
I suppose it depends on the brand, but I thought I'd save
some outdoors to use like sand after our cat died.
It got moist and turned into a paste.
10 years later I'm still trying to get all of it
out of the soil.
After what happened two years ago, that is how I see them. One morning, I
opened my back door and there was a ripe tomato in front of the door, with
one bite out of it. I looked around and there was a squirrel looking at me.
Sitting on top the deck, smirking.
I live in the city and cannot shoot or trap tree rats. I would build a cage
but I'm not terribly good at building things. And to do it right, it was
more than I wanted to spend on supplies. After what happened two years ago,
I am willing to use biological or chemical warfare. I have tried cayenne
pepper and animal repellant from the vegetable stand, but it had no aeffect.
Vinegar soaked rags were somewhat successful last year, but I may need a two
or more pronged defense. Yond, this year the squirrels have look like
hahaaahaha I'm only laughing because I totally understand just how
frustrating those tree rats can be. One year I had some gorgeous
tomatoes that were nearly ready to pick. I told myself I'd pick them
tomorrow... when I went out to get the ... EVERY tomato was gone on that
bush!!!!!!!! I was livid. Now, I don't wait to pull them!
When I had the serious problem two years ago, I started started to pull
green ones, but they aren't as fun to pick. And then you have to wait for
them to ripen indoors, just sitting there. The squirrels starting biting
and taking the green ones on the plants, even small ones. They don't have
much sense. Or, maybe they are just very vindictive jerks. They may look
cute, but they are not good neighbors. I had a couple get into part of my
roof last year and had to get an exterminator. Cost a couple hundred
dollars to eradicate them.
The mixture was successfully used at a public garden where I am a
docent. The garden has two white mulberry trees (Morus alba) that
squirrel were killing by eating all the new shoots every spring. The
squirrels were also eating the bark off the branches. Apparently, there
is something in the shoots and bark that gives the squirrels a buzz
(squirrel marijuana?). The trees were often 2-3 months leafing out
because of the shoots being eaten.
This year, the trees leafed out on schedule in April. I was told that a
mixture of animal repellant, cayenne, and urine had been sprayed up into
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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