Author Topic: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry  (Read 6841 times)

Offline PaCoTx

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Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« on: March 13, 2009, 07:42:37 PM »
I am so mad.   I built my first two raised beds this winter, picked up some plants at the local nursery, raised them on my window sill, and planted them outside two weeks ago.  One plant had a berry that was just turning pink on Wednesday.  I went outside this evening and it was gone.

Before I break out my AR and pull declare war on the squirrels, anyone have any suggestions on keeping them away?  Apparently my two labs aren't up to the task.
“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren't we like that wise old bird?”

Offline LGM30

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Re: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2009, 08:06:37 PM »
Every year I tell the wife, "I'm putting this little corn seed in the ground...Funny how much what I harvest tastes like venison."  She also reminds me that a 12 ga is not supposed to be a garden implement.
 ;D
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Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2009, 08:24:07 PM »
You'll never beat the squirrels, they're smarter than humans & they have a whole army just lurking in the shadows of the trees.

I guess you could try throwing small mesh netting over them (like shade netting) & staking it to the ground...or a pellet gun.  Squirrel stew is pretty good.
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Offline ebonearth

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Re: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2009, 08:30:05 PM »
I am so mad.   I built my first two raised beds this winter, picked up some plants at the local nursery, raised them on my window sill, and planted them outside two weeks ago.  One plant had a berry that was just turning pink on Wednesday.  I went outside this evening and it was gone.

Before I break out my AR and pull declare war on the squirrels, anyone have any suggestions on keeping them away?  Apparently my two labs aren't up to the task.

Make a paste, powder or spray of cayenne pepper and any other high caspsaicin pepper and cover the ground and container with it. My friend started using that on her front yard patch to keep the squirrels and rabbits from chewing up her poor blueberry bushes. if you go to the Latin food section of your supermarket you can get big jars of cayenne powder for $1 and one of those should last you, in proper suspension, for a year. I know someone who swears by hanging mothballs in pantyhose around her planting boxes but since they are a known carcinogen I tend to avoid having them near my food. You can always get predator musk and cover the area but then your garden will smell fuuuuunky! Good luck!

Every year I tell the wife, "I'm putting this little corn seed in the ground...Funny how much what I harvest tastes like venison."  She also reminds me that a 12 ga is not supposed to be a garden implement. ;D
LOL! Man I can't wait to get my 12ga!

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Pokethis

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Re: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2009, 08:46:09 PM »
I don't have a remedy, I'm just very sympathetic.  Bummer!

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2009, 09:39:30 PM »
TW and I are going to great lengths to avoid the HUGE squirrel population here by building a cage over the garden, and running electric wire across the cage.  This is what we built last weekend:



And we plan to finish the cage part (with door, and roof) this weekend.  Our garden this year is fairly small (20 ft long, by 4 ft wide), but next year we intend to expand it to 3 or four times as long as it is now.  Apart from the obvious "KEEP OUT" message it sends to squirrels, and other creatures, the cage will serve as a fantastic trellis for pole beans, and peas, and climbing roses (yum!) - which I'm not going to be too terribly upset with squirrels for eating (though I don't think they'll be very interested).


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Re: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2009, 10:30:14 PM »
if you go to the Latin food section of your supermarket you can get big jars of cayenne powder for $1

Good lead.  Thanks!

Offline PaCoTx

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Re: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2009, 08:38:46 AM »
Thanks for all the advice. 

I'll start with the cayenne pepper spray.   If that doesn't work, two pumps on the pellet gun will be the back up plan.
“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren't we like that wise old bird?”

Offline minrlwtr

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Re: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2009, 09:21:02 PM »
The reflection of spinning cd discs messes with there minds a little, (like the free aol ones etc)they are jumpy anyway and sudden flashes of light makes them even more skittish for a while. I have a mobil of old hard drives that spins in the wind and the occasional random flashes makes them scurry and they stay well away from it. I doubt the collecting hair from the barber and putting it in a nylon stocking would work but it does for rabbits. Gardner's choice sells some hotter than hell pepper wax spray that would ruin his day also and keeps bugs away for upto a month too,just dont get it on your eating berries without a warm water wash to get rid of it.
There is always strangle and dangle,(snare um) if nothing else works
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 09:24:07 PM by minrlwtr »

Offline PaCoTx

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Re: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2009, 12:56:20 AM »
Thanks everyone.

I've got a 2 and 4 year old that I've got to think about, so the 12 gauge is not in play right now.  I brewed up a batch of cayenne pepper powder disolved in water.  It ruined two spray bottles so far.  Once I get it on the plants, I'm sure the squirrels will stay away.  I'll also add some Cd's and take down the bird/squirrel feeder in front of the beds. 

I used to love the squirrels until they started eating MY FOOD.  I guess that's what survival is all about.
“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren't we like that wise old bird?”

Offline jetta2337

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Re: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2009, 04:16:58 PM »
Pellet gun for me. Neighbor killed my cat that keep them out of my yard so I kill the squirrels with the pellet gun to keep them under control. 

micawber

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Re: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2009, 03:31:04 PM »
I have heard that mixing Castor oil with water helps.  I have not tried this yet, so I really dont know.  My plan is to boil some habeneros, let 'em soak overnight, mix with castor oil, and then mix in a 1/3 oil/pepper mix and 2/3 water. I like to munch while I am working in the garden, so I will just spray it on my cinder blocks that make up my garden....

Also, I have heard that hair clipping deters rabbits- dunno about that one either..

-mica

bioboy

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Re: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2009, 07:03:47 PM »
.22 lr and put the bastards in some stew. They eat your food they become food.  ;D Hunt enough and they will learn to avoid you. Unless of course if your in town then go with the pepper spray

Offline TexSquirrel

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Re: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2009, 01:24:00 PM »
Sorry my cousins are causing problems.
I'll have a talk with them.  ;)


Temporarily:

NederlandseEekhoorn

Offline PaCoTx

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Re: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2009, 09:02:29 PM »
 :D

TexSquirrel,

Thanks for making me laugh.  Maybe I can drown your kin in my rainbarrels.  I remember filling a trough once and returning a week later to find it filled with floating chipmunks.

On a serious note, I tried the pepper spray.  Burnt some leaves on my tomato plants, but my new strawberries are still growing.
“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren't we like that wise old bird?”

Offline ebonearth

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Re: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2009, 12:56:49 AM »
On a serious note, I tried the pepper spray.  Burnt some leaves on my tomato plants, but my new strawberries are still growing.
Good! Although I am sorry to hear about the tomato leaves. I hope they grow nice and big!
Man, despite his artistic pretension, his sophistication, and many accomplishments, owes the fact of his existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil -- and the fact that it rains. -- Anonymous

Offline ebonearth

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Re: Squirrels just ate my first strawberry
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2009, 04:13:52 PM »
I just came across this Instructable and thought you would find it useful. Hope it helps even more than my cayenne solution. I'm going to cook up a batch of this once I get some onions from my neighbor.
Make an all purpose organic pesticide from vegetables. My only edit to it would be that you add some old brewed coffee and coriander/cilantro and make sure to keep it off the soil. Of course if you mulch that's not much of a problem.



Man, despite his artistic pretension, his sophistication, and many accomplishments, owes the fact of his existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil -- and the fact that it rains. -- Anonymous