Do you have squirrels destroying your property? Here are a few things I have learned to keep pesky squirrels at bay.
Squirrels belong to the Rodentia (a pretty name for rodent) group with 1,650 species, which makes it the largest group of living mammals. No surprise to me since it seems I have seen 1000 or so of them in my yard in one day. 🙂
Squirrels can cause a lot of damage to landscaping and plants in so many ways. They like to dig in lawns and landscaping material looking for nuts and chew anything that gets in their way. They also dig for planted bulbs, tubular plants, and in planted pots. Squirrels can quickly eat and destroy part of your garden and fruit tree. Like humans, they often wait until the fruits or vegetables are ripe enough to eat, which makes the loss of the crop even more heartbreaking for the gardener.
The picture above shows how they chew the mister head off the top of the tubing or chew the tubing apart and just leave it all there. I have never found any of the sprinkler heads and not sure what they are doing with them. Maybe they use them to water their secret garden somewhere.
I have tried trapping squirrels with the metal cage trap using peanut butter for bait. Once trapped, I would take them to the local forest and set them loose there. But these squirrels are smart. Very smart. They figured out a way to hold up the door, scoop out the peanut butter, and not get trapped. So, the trap system for me never worked.
I have sprinkled cayenne pepper in the flower pots they were digging in and that did help, but I had to make sure there was a fresh supply or the digging would start back up.
They could scamper up a bird feeder pole and finish off bird feed in a matter of minutes. Petroleum jelly on the pole would last about a day and when we cut down the large oak tree in our yard, it just caused the birds not to come to my bird feeders for a while.
I knew I had to figure out something when a squirrel chewed up most of my landscape mister system by chewing off the tops or chewing through the tubing. The damage was now costing me money and I was ready to end this war they started.
The bird feeder was constantly being attacked by squirrels. I tried so many different types of feeders, poles, and baffles. I also tried putting petroleum jelly on the feeder pole, but that didn’t last long either.
And then I found this bird feeder pole. It’s really tall, very strong and the tube baffle is the key. The squirrel would scamper up the pole and once he gets inside of the baffle, he can’t go any further. Let’s just say when he started coming down that pole, he knew I was watching from the lanai, and he was not happy. He will try every once in a while to go back up the pole with no luck.
I do still use the green metal squirrel-proof feeder in the picture above. It’s a nice feeder and has held up well over the years. Also, keep your feeders at least 10 feet from trees. Squirrels can jump really far and if they can jump to the top of your feeder pole, they will be able to eat the feed.
Now on to the landscape misters and pots.
It hit me one day that squirrels can’t chew through metal. So, I thought and thought, and then it came to me.
I made tubular-shaped cages out of chicken wire for all the exposed mister sprinklers. You can find chicken wire in rolls at the big-box DIY stores also.
I made cloche-shaped covers for the pots out of chicken wire. I made them the width of the chicken wire roll and then just shaped them up. Don’t forget to wear gloves while doing this and you will need a wire cutter. I made a smaller one for a pot that I was raising seeds in.
And it worked!!
The squirrels have left my pots and misters alone. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that maybe they were looking for water when they were chewing the misters.
So, I took a plastic pot bottom and an old tomato cage to make a bath/drinking area for them. I had made another version of this several years ago and I noticed that when I took that one down, that’s when they started chewing on the misters and tubing. You can see in the picture above the dirt in the water, so that tells me they are using it.
Squirrels will always be destructive, but we as humans can always be a step ahead.
If you don’t want to make your own cloches, check these out:
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I’m just a country girl loving my geeky life with my wonderful husband, always taking pictures, getting my hands dirty in the garden, being crafty, exploring with travels and enjoying all this on a budget. But above all, living my faith as a child of God!