Squirrel nemesis

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peppers
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Squirrel nemesis

Post by peppers »

Yeah, I know in the grand scheme of things, but,

My issue is with one particular squirrel that insists on digging holes around the base of my basil plants. No plants have been damaged so far but my nemesis has been relentless. Short of an "extreme prejudice" action, is there any eco friendly way to dissuade this activity? I appreciate any thoughts on this matter.
"..the cavalry ain't comin' kid, you're on your own..."
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cheese_breath
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by cheese_breath »

Check your hardware or nursery for squirrel repellants. I don't know if they work on squirrels, but things like Deer Off and Liquid Fence work on deer and rabbits.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
fishboat
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by fishboat »

Pesky varmits.

BTDT. Mostly I just live with it. You might try moving the basil into pots and closer to the house/door/people area.

On the plus side..if you put a bird-feeder out with only sunflower seeds..the few seeds the squirrels grab and bury will result in random sunflowers growing around your property..surprise! It's not bad. :)
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TnGuy
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by TnGuy »

Cut some pieces of 1/4" hardware cloth (available at big box home centers) and place them just under the soil surface around the plants. End of squirrel digging in that area (also works good on voles).


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fandango
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by fandango »

Check with your animal control department about borrowing a squirrel trap.

This is a spring triggered cage that closes when the squirrel touches the bait.

Then take him for a five mile "ride" and turn him loose.
rustymutt
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by rustymutt »

Put down some hot pepper powder. They don't like spicy digs.
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nordlead
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by nordlead »

If you take extreme prejudice, make sure you read your local laws.

In my area, if you catch and release it has to be on your own property (on public property is illegal, and you have to have permission on someone else's, and even then I don't know if you can transport them without a license). Even if you do release them far away, they tend to make it back (one extermination company did a test by tagging some they caught on their property and released at various distances and travel patterns). So, effectively, you have to kill them, so the have a hart traps are a waste.

Also in my area, it is only legal to "hunt" squirrels for a certain portion of the year with a small game license, unless they are damaging your primary residence, or 2 other specific items (can't remember, but they didn't apply to me, I go after them if they damage my primary residence). If they are damaging your residence you can pretty much dispatch them however you want, expect by poison or any means that would otherwise be illegal (like firing a rifle in a development).

But a good method to deter all kinds of animals from entering your yard is get a dog that loves to chase them. Let them outside a lot with an electric fence and not much stays in your yard. They may travel through, but won't likely make a home there.
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heartwood
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by heartwood »

peppers wrote:Yeah, I know in the grand scheme of things, but,

My issue is with one particular squirrel that insists on digging holes around the base of my basil plants. No plants have been damaged so far but my nemesis has been relentless. Short of an "extreme prejudice" action, is there any eco friendly way to dissuade this activity? I appreciate any thoughts on this matter.
My experiences with chipmunks and squirrels leads me to suggest you either adjust your behavior, or learn to live with it ,or, as you put it, use extreme prejudice. After fighting them for years I finally came to acceptance. Even extreme prejudice doesn't work. Others take their place.

Pepper, sprays, ivory soap, coyote urine, human hair, etc, do not work for long if at all.

BTW, in most communities it is illegal to trap and transport an animal to release it elsewhere. If you do go that route be extremely careful of bites.
Last edited by heartwood on Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
nordlead
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by nordlead »

fandango wrote:Check with your animal control department about borrowing a squirrel trap.

This is a spring triggered cage that closes when the squirrel touches the bait.

Then take him for a five mile "ride" and turn him loose.
There have been cases of squirrels returning from 25 miles away (straight country road right next to the original site). If you are going to do this, I've read that releasing them at night, further than 10 miles away and with a non-straight path gives you the best chance they never return. But they'll probably die as you moved them out of their environment and they have to make a new home. One company released squirrels caught on their property over 3 years and the ones that made it back home looked pretty bad (according to them). You might as well kill them quickly.
dolphinsaremammals
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by dolphinsaremammals »

peppers wrote:Yeah, I know in the grand scheme of things, but,

My issue is with one particular squirrel that insists on digging holes around the base of my basil plants. No plants have been damaged so far but my nemesis has been relentless. Short of an "extreme prejudice" action, is there any eco friendly way to dissuade this activity? I appreciate any thoughts on this matter.
The plants haven't been damaged. Are you territorial :-) Perhaps live and let live.

There has to be a reason he or she is digging there, if it is a squirrel doing it. Perhaps going after grubs or somesuch, maybe even grubs that would harm the basil plants. Or the squirrel could be burying nuts.
HongKonger
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by HongKonger »

Plant your basil in containers with chicken wire over the top so they can't get to the soil.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by cheese_breath »

Get a cat or dog to chase the squirrel away.
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Luke Duke
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by Luke Duke »

I think that this is what pellet guns are made for.
Spirit Rider
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by Spirit Rider »

Luke Duke wrote:I think that this is what pellet guns are made for.
Or a .22 with a suppressor. Then shoot, shovel, shut up.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by SmileyFace »

OP: You stated "Eco-friendly" - not sure if you meant "animal-freindly".
I had some mice in a woodpile a few years ago and put some rate poison trays in the wood pile. It killed the mice but I also found a dead squirrel near by. So mouse poison may do the trick if you don't want the squirrel around (and are adverse to guns).
nordlead
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by nordlead »

DaftInvestor wrote:OP: You stated "Eco-friendly" - not sure if you meant "animal-freindly".
I had some mice in a woodpile a few years ago and put some rate poison trays in the wood pile. It killed the mice but I also found a dead squirrel near by. So mouse poison may do the trick if you don't want the squirrel around (and are adverse to guns).
Rat poison is not a legal way to kill squirrels in any areas that I know of. Also, it is not especially effective on squirrels as they aren't likely to eat it (not that they won't, but they aren't the target, rat/mice poison is meant to attract rats/mice).

As I said, know your local laws.
GoldenFinch
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by GoldenFinch »

We feed our squirrels.

They usually only live two to three years, so if it's only one squirrel with bad behavior I would probably just put some wire mesh around the basil plants and forget about the little guy.

(You don't want to be like Mr. McGregor in The Tale of Peter Rabbit.)
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Ice-9
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by Ice-9 »

Militarizing Your Backyard with Python: Computer Vision and the Squirrel Hordes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPgqfnKG_T4

If you don't care about how he did it and just want to see it in action, skip ahead to 15:45. :D
dolphinsaremammals
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by dolphinsaremammals »

nordlead wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:OP: You stated "Eco-friendly" - not sure if you meant "animal-freindly".
I had some mice in a woodpile a few years ago and put some rate poison trays in the wood pile. It killed the mice but I also found a dead squirrel near by. So mouse poison may do the trick if you don't want the squirrel around (and are adverse to guns).
Rat poison is not a legal way to kill squirrels in any areas that I know of. Also, it is not especially effective on squirrels as they aren't likely to eat it (not that they won't, but they aren't the target, rat/mice poison is meant to attract rats/mice).

As I said, know your local laws.
Also, secondary poisoning. Do you really want hawks, owls, foxes, or neighborhood dogs who prey on squirrels poisoned?
Crow Hunter
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by Crow Hunter »

My aunt, who lives in a very nice high end subdivision, uses the Have a Heart humane animal traps on problem critters.

Then she gets her husband to crank the lawn mower the instant she shoots the little buggers in the back of the head with a .22 pistol. :twisted:

Everyone thinks it's the mower backfiring. :D
likegarden
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by likegarden »

We had 12 squirrels, now we have 1, left him for entertainment. Those 11 squirrels used a Havaheart trap from HD and a 5 mile ride to get to a nice forest. No more frantic chases down trees into my perennials, no more digging.
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Dutch
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by Dutch »

He looks pretty angry already. I wouldn't antagonize him any further.

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jane1
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by jane1 »

I have been fighting squirrels this season. They started with a Basil plant. Dig up 2 times a day, so the plants haven't been healthy.
Then they included tomato plants in their digging! Just this morning they broke 2 large tomatoes and left them half bitten.
I tried spraying home-made pepper spray, sprinkling pepper flakes on the soil, keeping naphtha balls close by but nothing helps. A physical mesh surrounding the plants would be an option if you don't want to trap or kill.

I have finally mentally written off this year's plants as 'charity' to the squirrels, takes too much energy to fight them.

If you find a solution that works, let us know.
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mbk734
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by mbk734 »

We had squirrels getting in our attic so we had to resort to more drastic measures.

Take a 5 gallon or larger bucket and fill it up half with water and some peanut butter on the sides or some seeds in the water. Set a board up to it so they can jump in and drown. We have eliminated several of them this way.
Last edited by mbk734 on Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TimDex
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by TimDex »

Cat. All purpose solution to squirrels, rabbits, mice.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by cheese_breath »

jane1 wrote:I have been fighting squirrels this season. They started with a Basil plant.
Maybe they were looking for the oregano for their tomato, basil & oregano bruschettas ???
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

TimDex wrote:Cat. All purpose solution to squirrels, rabbits, mice.
My yard cat is death to squirrels. Hardly a week goes by that we don't find evidence of a banquet of squirrel in our garage.

We had one squirrel that was braver than the rest, or perhaps hungrier; this particular rodent would try a very long leap to reach the bird feeder. Most of the time he landed, but fell off into the shrubs underneath the feeder. He had to return to the nearby tree on the ground.

Boots, my yard cat, took notice. Now I didn't see the deed, but I did notice Boots was hiding in the shrubs for some time. I haven't seen any squirrel make the leap, and Boots doesn't spend time in the shrubs any longer.

Another time I saw a neighbors cat was in my garage eating Boot's food (doesn't bother him). I was sitting outside reading, and a squirrel came into the garage and started eating some birdseed someone had left out.

The cat and the squirrel were about 10 feet apart, but that cat slowly moved in behind the squirrel, and grabbed him by the neck. I watched the whole thing. Several times it looked to me that the squirrel looked straight at the cat, but didn't see him, I suppose.

But, yeah, get a cat. Maybe I should rent Boots out.

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HongKonger
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by HongKonger »

dolphinsaremammals wrote:
nordlead wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:OP: You stated "Eco-friendly" - not sure if you meant "animal-freindly".
I had some mice in a woodpile a few years ago and put some rate poison trays in the wood pile. It killed the mice but I also found a dead squirrel near by. So mouse poison may do the trick if you don't want the squirrel around (and are adverse to guns).
Rat poison is not a legal way to kill squirrels in any areas that I know of. Also, it is not especially effective on squirrels as they aren't likely to eat it (not that they won't, but they aren't the target, rat/mice poison is meant to attract rats/mice).

As I said, know your local laws.
Also, secondary poisoning. Do you really want hawks, owls, foxes, or neighborhood dogs who prey on squirrels poisoned?
Or cats... I had to have treatment for 5 kittens with suspected rat poisoning.. I spent 3 days beside myself thinking they were all going to die and had a vet bill you wouldn't wish on anyone. 3 injections each daily plus other meds. PLEASE people, can we stop with the poisons.
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by HongKonger »

jane1 wrote:I have been fighting squirrels this season. They started with a Basil plant. Dig up 2 times a day, so the plants haven't been healthy.
Then they included tomato plants in their digging! Just this morning they broke 2 large tomatoes and left them half bitten.
I tried spraying home-made pepper spray, sprinkling pepper flakes on the soil, keeping naphtha balls close by but nothing helps. A physical mesh surrounding the plants would be an option if you don't want to trap or kill.

I have finally mentally written off this year's plants as 'charity' to the squirrels, takes too much energy to fight them.

If you find a solution that works, let us know.
Always plant 1/3 more than you want for yourself for the wildlife.
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peppers
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by peppers »

HongKonger wrote:Plant your basil in containers with chicken wire over the top so they can't get to the soil.
OP here. This will be Plan A. The plants have been moved into containers and I found a roll of wire mesh in the garage that I will wrap around the containers shortly.
"..the cavalry ain't comin' kid, you're on your own..."
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fandango
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by fandango »

Squirrels are not just cute little critters.

Actually, they are pretty nasty. They carry fleas and also act as a vector for plague and other diseases. A campground near Los Angeles was closed a couple of years ago because several squirrels tested positive for plague.

I you don't want to take them for a "ride" consider buying a good pellet gun. Watch a few old episodes of Tony Soprano, and you will know what to do!
jane1
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by jane1 »

HongKonger wrote:
jane1 wrote:I have been fighting squirrels this season. They started with a Basil plant. Dig up 2 times a day, so the plants haven't been healthy.
Then they included tomato plants in their digging! Just this morning they broke 2 large tomatoes and left them half bitten.
I tried spraying home-made pepper spray, sprinkling pepper flakes on the soil, keeping naphtha balls close by but nothing helps. A physical mesh surrounding the plants would be an option if you don't want to trap or kill.

I have finally mentally written off this year's plants as 'charity' to the squirrels, takes too much energy to fight them.

If you find a solution that works, let us know.
Always plant 1/3 more than you want for yourself for the wildlife.
I can live with 1/3 loss. But if they dig up the roots multiple times a day and eat anything that starts ripening, nothing is healthy or survives.
This year they seem quite destructive.
Maybe something to do with the drought in CA. They might be looking for water from the soil (and water in the tomatoes).
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peppers
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by peppers »

cheese_breath wrote:Get a cat or dog to chase the squirrel away.
OP here. This will be plan B. As luck would have it, my daughter called and said she would be going out of town for awhile and asked if we could babysit the "grand dog" at our place. Perfect timing.
"..the cavalry ain't comin' kid, you're on your own..."
jane1
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by jane1 »

cheese_breath wrote:
jane1 wrote:I have been fighting squirrels this season. They started with a Basil plant.
Maybe they were looking for the oregano for their tomato, basil & oregano bruschettas ???

:happy
They have a better chance at the bruschetta than me since I have zero ingredients! They can get Oregano from the neighbors, I don't feel as charitable.
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peppers
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by peppers »

cheese_breath wrote:
jane1 wrote:I have been fighting squirrels this season. They started with a Basil plant.
Maybe they were looking for the oregano for their tomato, basil & oregano bruschettas ???
You may be on to something. We are growing basil, oregano and tomato's.........hmmmm..... :)
"..the cavalry ain't comin' kid, you're on your own..."
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dratkinson
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by dratkinson »

If you don't go the silent pellet gun route....

The "crack" from a bullet is a mini sonic boom from a projectile traveling faster than speed of sound. You don't need a suppressed .22 rifle, only subsonic ammo: projectile travels slower than speed of sound. It's made in .22 variety.

Reliable operation. Will need to search ammo reviews to find subsonic ammo that reliably cycles semi-auto mechanism. Slower projectile due to lower pressure. Lower pressure less likely to reliably cycle semi-auto mechanism. Can "hand eject/cycle mechanism" if speed of next shot is not an issue.

Should be no problem in bolt action or revolver.

Safety issues with any gun (pellet or .22). Watch your backstop. Don't shoot at an elevated angle.

Search for squirrel recipes.
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CountryBoy
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by CountryBoy »

When I asked a similar question in a local hardware store I was told not to take it personally:

They have more time to think on the problem than you do.
user5027
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by user5027 »

Who is going to pick up the acorns when the squirrel is gone? :confused
TimDex
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by TimDex »

CCI makes a Quiet 22 that has almost no sound but will punch through a couple sheets of aluminum flashing. Won't cycle a semiauto. I haven't shopped for ammo in a long time. Is the great 22 LR drought over? Tim
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GoldenFinch
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by GoldenFinch »

[quote="Who is going to pick up the acorns when the squirrel is gone?[/quote]

Very good point! Also, all of that digging to bury those acorns is like having your lawn aerated for free. The squirrel is really an asset! You can give him his own basil plant as a token of appreciation.
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telemark
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by telemark »

If all else fails, I suggest watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtI1pWkHto0 and reflecting on how much worse things could be.
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by TradingPlaces »

GoldenFinch wrote:[quote="Who is going to pick up the acorns when the squirrel is gone?
Very good point! Also, all of that digging to bury those acorns is like having your lawn aerated for free. The squirrel is really an asset! You can give him his own basil plant as a token of appreciation.[/quote]

That's not a bad idea. Plant two sections of basil:

- one in the main area and guarded from squirrels,
- another on the side, and not protected.

Squirrel will naturally go to the one on the side.

Someone mentioned how to protect your plant using some gimmicks from the hardware / garden store.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by cheese_breath »

Squirrels love a challenge. They'll go after the guarded plants and leave the unprotected ones alone. :)
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GoldenFinch
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by GoldenFinch »

cheese_breath wrote:Squirrels love a challenge. They'll go after the guarded plants and leave the unprotected ones alone. :)
Equally effective. :happy
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peppers
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by peppers »

I have implemented Plan A and currently Plan B is in progress. The highly trained guard dog is now outside and patrolling the premise....a 9 lb chihuahua.
Check that, the dog is lying down in the grass and soaking up the sun. Hmmmm...........
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cheese_breath
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by cheese_breath »

Squirrel vs. chihuahua... Hmmm. Too close to call.

I was thinking of something more like a Rottweiler.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
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6miths
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by 6miths »

Downside of cats is that they kill birds. Estimated at almost 4 billion a year in the US per year. And the leading cause of bird mortality. My dog will chase my various resident squirrels (red, gray and black) but usually just results in lawn damage at the base of the various trees as the dog screeches to a stop. For whatever reason the dog doesn't seem too interested in the chipmunks. Too cuddly perhaps. There was a time that we had issues with red squirrels (and racoons) in the attic but removing the 80 foot spruce trees near the house ended that. Turns out that red squirrels are highly dependent on spruce trees and of course they also provided a nice access path to the house.
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mfswatz9
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by mfswatz9 »

We have a large field behind our house and a tool shed in the backyard. Squirrels had a nest under the shed and had a maternity ward there so we had 2 litters of squirrels a year. The young ones ate all the flowers in the flower bed beside the shed. They would even sit on the pots of geraniums and eat them. Last year I bought a hav-a-hart humane squirrel catcher. I would put a small amount of peanut butter on a piece of bread and within 15 minutes a squirrel would be in it. I would take it far away and release it. I caught 49! and gave up.

Then a contractor had a brilliant idea. He dug a trench completely around the shed about 20 inches deep. He attached a doubled steel mesh barrier to the edge of the shed and filled the trench in again. It was a little extreme and expensive but it was worth it. We still have an occasional squirrel visit under the bird feeder but since they can't get under the shed, they don't stay long. I think we won. :twisted:

Good luck with yours!
derosa
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by derosa »

If squirrels didn't have that bushy tail but a long thin one like a rat. Guess what - no one would think they were cute.

Squirrels are part of nature, They are state mammal in NC. The supply is endless and never ending - they will come. But it can be managed.

So as long in the back yard and stick to eating bird seed and being cute fine by me. You climb on my house, you chew on my dormers, you eat may fascia and other trim - you are going for a ride my friend.

Small hav a heart trap. Only use one end, keep other end closed. Place trap on a board so they can't dig under it. Put 4 large stakes or spikes - 2 on each side so it doesnt' get moved or turned over. A few sunflower seeds at the open end. Saltine cracker with peanut butter with sunflower seeds on top placed at the far end from the opening. Wait.

Wear thick work gloves when picking up trap. Make sure both ends are secure. Into the trunk witha couple bricks on each side so it doesn't accidently turn over while driving. About 4 miles away - Nice place near trees, housing development - Trap on ground, using long stick - a broom handle - tip trap on side and knock the latch off the end. That squirrel will set a land speed record to get away.
3feetpete
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Re: Squirrel nemesis

Post by 3feetpete »

I had several squirrels damaging my home last year. Bought a Have a Heart trap from Amazon. Caught and relocated 4 squirrels in as many days. It turns out squirrels can't resist apple cores. I watched the fourth squirrel go in the trap. He acted like he knew he was going to get caught but still went in. Then he alternated between frantically trying to get out and calmly eating his apple.
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