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This past week we planted our winter garden, a small orchard and a very small vineyard. But the squirrels already found a few of our plants...hence my question. Apart from the standard "chewing gum", "dog" and "rifle" options, are there any natural ways to get rid of these little critters? There awfully cute, but not when they're in my garden...Anyone tried trapping them? Thanks so much in advance. BTW, love this forum! Lots of great ideas , encouragement and advice. Keep it up! Monica DeCollibus



I really hate to tell you this, knowing that you don't want to consider the gun option, but I'll tell you that, from our experience, trapping and relocating is not an option unless you have 16+ hours per day to devote to that activity. Non-poisonous baits are nothing but an amusement for them. Sorrowfully, the only cure that works is a .22 rifle. I don't like it either, but if you can learn to dress and cook the squirrel so that his life is not wasted, it is the only cure. P.S. Be sure that squirrels in your area are not carriers for disease (highly unlikely) and that no one lives in the area downrange of your misses. Otherwise, squirrel makes a great stir fry over rice.

-- john and pat james (jjames@n-jcenter.com), October 01, 2000.

Maybe a bunch of cats would help.

-- Cindy (atilrthehony_1@yahoo.com), October 01, 2000.

No need to nuke the squirrels.....I have always had a great relationship with them because I feed them separately....We have feeder stations right where our garden is and keep them stocked with goodies like cracked corn, peanut butter and "stuff"...for instance, just canned zillions of jars of applesauce and donated a whole half bushel of peelings to the squirrels (no pigs or chickens)..they are happy and we are happy and they leave my good stuff alone..this has worked for 30 years..My old neighbor in PA used to complain about them ALL the time.. he preferred shooting them. I always found that to be unfortunate unless you are making squirrel stew, then it's OK.Most we ever had was 12 in our yard (half acre then)..never touched the goodies. I am doing the same here in Alabama and the squirrels are responding the same..All is well! God bless..

-- Lesley (martchas@gateway.net), October 01, 2000.

I have to agree with Lesley. My mother has fed the squirrels seperatly for years and we are too. As long as they have a ready supply, they leave the rest alone. We just plant enough to figure Lonesomes winter store in also. An added advantage, it appears hey are territorial. Lonesome seems to be the only squirrel on the place.

-- Jay Blair (jayblair678@yahoo.com), October 01, 2000.

As a complement to the above posts, squirrels are quite susceptible to the heat of hot peppers in feeding stations like bird feeders (birds can't taste the capsaicin in the peppers, so it's just food to them) and on plants where you don't want them. I would grow a few scotch bonnet plants (highly productive and HOT!!!), both for squirrel warfare and for eating.

-- Soni (thomkilroy@hotmail.com), October 01, 2000.

Tree rats taste great with Shake-n-bake.

-- Ed Weaver (edzreal@postmaster.co.uk), October 01, 2000.

Tree rats, I like that one!

When I lived in a place with too many squirrels, I sat on my porch with a box of black walnuts and a wrist rocket. After a few failed attempts at catching the flying nuts, they moved on to someone else's yard.

Don't kill them if you won't eat them.

-- Laura (gsend@hotmail.com), October 01, 2000.

You can try old fashioned round mothballs and dried peppermint or lavender in the garden or other storage areas. Do not use mothballs in the house in enclosed areas outside of closets,etc., the vapors they give off are not good for you. Shut inside a closet is OK. This also works well with field mice, mice hate lavender especially.I have had very good luck with feeding the squirrels at the bird feeders also, nonhungry ones avoid the garden.

-- Annie Miller (ann.miller@1st.net), October 01, 2000.

Although fried squirrel brain is considered a delicacy in some parts of Kentucky, it should not be eaten. Squirrels can carry a disease almost identifical to BSE (Mad Cow Disease) and it can be passed on to humans.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), October 03, 2000.

There are a lot of squirrels in my neighborhood. We have a fenced yard. My dogs (4) are let into the yard three or so times a day for a little while. They love to chase small furry things. My cat also "likes" squirrels. I haven't seen any of the little dears in my yard or garden at all, and we've been living here over five years. I think they, and the rats, and the raccoons, and the possums, and the other neighborhood cats, (all of which I have seen in the close vicinity of my yard) just somehow know that my place is not friendly to strange critters.

-- Laura Jensen (lauraj@seedlaw.com), October 04, 2000.

What KIND of squirrels are you talking about? If it's grey or fox squirrels, they are the best tasting meat you can imagine (look at what they eat!), and weird diseases be damned. If I was to worry about everything I could catch from everything I've eaten, I would be a quivering mass of non-fat blubber by now. I ate lots of dirt and bugs as a kid, and built up a great immune system! If they are red squirrels, you have a different problem. They don't taste very good, at least not hereabouts (Maine) Mostly because of their fondness for pinecones. Flavor is about what I'd expect if you marinated or sauteed chicken in turpentine. Besides which, they are only appetized sized. Trapping DOES work, with a "havahart" type trap. Use peanut butter for bait. Remove them to a wooded area a couple of miles away, or to the yard the same distance away that belongs to your boorish and loud mouthed brother-in-law. Relax. Chuckle. Say to your brother-in-law "Heard of that once before - being over-run by squirrels! Folks had to move out of state!" GL!

-- Brad (Homefixer@SacoRiver.net), October 04, 2000.

Rat traps baited with Sunflower seeds work great Got over 100 chipmunks and Squirrels this year plus a few birds in my berry patchs

-- Smokey (smokeybearfan@hotmail.com), July 28, 2001.

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