Ways to keep pests out of fruit trees
Critters can’t eat what they can’t reach. Prune trees about 6 feet away from buildings and fences. This might not be possible in smaller lots where trees are planted alongside structures, but do what you can and take that into account the next time you plant trees.
When delicious fruit is the reward, even poor climbers can find the motivation to scale a tree trunk and get to it. To stop the climbing, loosely wrap trunks in metal flashing, extending about 4 feet above the ground.
The flashing should be tight enough to keep animals from slipping in from the bottom and squeezing between the flashing and trunk, but loose enough that it gives the tree room to grow. You also can take the guards off during the dormant seasons.
Baffles also can work. Install the umbrella shaped baffle just below the first branches on the tree. The animal may climb the tree, but won’t be able to get around the baffle to access the rest of the tree and the fruit.
Netting can be effective for some animals, but it depends on your fruit thief and the type of fruit you’re trying to protect. Squirrels and rodents can gnaw through plastic netting, and birds can peck through openings in the net.
What to do if you have a squirrel nuisance
If you are dealing with an abundance of squirrels in your yard, trapping may seem like a quick and simple solution to the problem. But, as with many wild animals, if you remove one, you often open up territory for another squirrel or even a different animal to move in.
The best way to approach this problem is to look at it from the squirrel’s point of view. Your home is in his territory. If he’s choosing your yard/home to stay in you are doing something right, at least for the squirrel! If you don’t want them hanging out in your yard it is often best to remove what’s attracting these critters to your yard. They are looking for three main things: food, water, and shelter/denning sources.
So, let’s look at possible ways of removing these necessities:
Remove/rake up food sources, such as nuts, berries, fruits, and acorns.
Secure all trash cans with tight lids and bungee cords. It helps to rinse them out occasionally to remove the attracting odors.
If you have a bird feeder, buy a squirrel proof feeder or equip it with a baffle.
Remove/rake up seed that has fallen to the ground
Feed safflower seed instead of sunflower seeds. Birds like safflower seeds however, squirrels don’t find them tasty.
Do not hang bird feeders in trees.
Do not place the bird feeder within 10feet to your house or trees because the squirrels will jump to the bird feeder.
In the garden, you may need to use a wire mesh cage around your plants.
May also try setting out a pan of water. Often squirrels go for the tomatoes to quench their thirst.
If you don’t mind the squirrels, but want them to leave your garden alone, you may try putting a bird feeder filled with sunflower seeds and water on the opposite side of your yard to draw them away from your garden
Squirrels do not like the smell of mint. You can use cotton balls soaked in mint and put them in your gardens or try planting some peppermint plants in your garden.
Cayenne pepper can be sprinkled around your flowers, bird feeder and yard. This will require reapplying after a rain or watering.
You can purchase deterrents that have the urine scent of squirrel predators.
Electronic devices such as high frequency sound emitters and/or motion activated sprinklers.
If the squirrels are gnawing on your deck or wood furniture, try lightly rubbing a bar of soap on the exposed surfaces.
If the squirrels are digging up your flower bulbs, you can research which ones they don’t like to eat. For example, plant daffodils that squirrels find undesirable instead of tulips the squirrels find rather tasty. Another option is to lay chicken wire over the planting bed.
If the squirrels are damaging your trees, you can use a metal guard. Contact a tree nursery for proper information.
Squirrels will make their den in an old cavity in a tree, woodpecker hole or your house, if accessible. To keep them out of your house, inspect the outside of your home for any possible entries, even small ones, and fix them immediately. Squirrels can squeeze through very small holes and will chew a small hole to make it big enough to get through.
The grey squirrel is a common mammal that in gardens can both delight by its acrobatic movements and annoy by damaging trees, feeding on flower buds, bulbs, fruits and vegetables
What are grey squirrels?
The grey squirrel is a rodent often seen in gardens and woodlands. Grey squirrels have are adaptable animals , they are omnivores feeding on material of plant and animal origin. IN garden they can cause conbcern when they damage ornamental plants, fruits and vegetables
Grey squirrels are usually easily spotted. Some of the signs they have been present can include:
Eating fruits, nuts, seeds, flower buds and vegetables
Digging up and eating bulbs and corms
Raiding bird feeders and occasionally taking eggs from birds’ nests
Damage to lawns by burying or digging up food stores
Strip bark off trees, especially sycamore, maples, ash and beech
Gnawing on plastic, such as hosepipes, plant labels and plastic netting
It is not possible to stop squirrels from entering a garden and it is usually necessary to accept their presence or even appreciate their acrobatic antics. There are steps that can be taken to reduce the damage they cause. Additional information on living with grey squirrels can be downloaded from the RSPCA.
Netting can be placed over areas where bulbs and corms have been planted, to deter squirrels from digging them up. Alternatively groups of bulbs can be placed inside a planting basket designed for aquatic plants and the top covered with chicken wire. This can be sunk into the ground at the correct depth for the bulbs. Bulbs in pots can be protected with wire netting. Usually once bulbs have started growing, they become less attractive to squirrels and the barriers can be removed
The Other Twitterverse: Squirrels Eavesdrop On Birds, Researchers Say
Squirrels eavesdrop on the casual chitchat of birds to figure out when it’s safe enough to be out in the open and foraging for food. Researchers have found that a squirrel becomes incredibly vigilant when it hears the shriek of a red-tailed hawk, but it will relax and resume its food-seeking behavior more quickly if the predator’s call is immediately followed by the easygoing tweets of unconcerned birds.
While other researchers have focused on how animals tune into other species for warnings of danger, his team focused on whether animals also watch their neighbors for signs of safety. “I wanted to know if they might be paying attention to other information, as well,” says
Once she found a suitable eastern gray squirrel, she’d set up her equipment and hide behind a bush to perform the experiment. First, the squirrel would hear the recorded cry of a hawk. Then, the squirrel would hear either several minutes of casual bird talk that had been recorded around a bird feeder, or several minutes of silence that was recorded around the same feeder at night.
But once the data had been collected and analyzed, it was obvious that hearing pleasant, relaxed bird chatter made the squirrels resume foraging more quickly. “When squirrels are hearing chatter coming from other birds, that chatter conveys a message or a cue that apparently these birds feel pretty safe,” says
He says researchers have long focused on how individual species respond to other individual species. But increasingly, people are thinking about more complex communication networks in nature,
How to Keep Squirrels Out of Bird Feeders | Simple Solutions
Squirrels are notorious pests when it comes to stealing food that’s been put out for the birds. Here are some helpful ways to keep squirrels out of bird feeders.
How to Keep Squirrels Out of Bird Feeders
1. Slip the feeder onto a long wire and hang it between two trees, but away from any low branches. Also, string empty thread spools on the wire to act as a further deterrent.
2. If your bird feeder sits on a pole and you’re pestered by squirrels stealing the seeds, go to the pet store and buy a squirrel baffle. This is a plastic dome that you attach under the feeder. It curves downward and away from the feeder, providing a barrier against upwardly mobile squirrels. Make sure the baffle is high enough that the squirrels can’t jump past it.
3. If you’re truly desperate to keep squirrels out of bird feeders, set up a small squirrel feeding area on the ground a good distance away from your feeders. Though you will have to sacrifice some bird seed occasionally, it should keep the pests occupied and let the birds feed in peace.
More Squirrel Solutions
Squirrels sometimes like to chew on outdoor redwood furniture. To discourage this, try rubbing the legs with chili sauce, then buffing.
To keep squirrels out of the attic, check the space for holes. Use wire mesh to close all openings under the roof edge where it joins the sidewall. Also get rid of any branches that hang over your house and outbuildings so squirrels can’t use them as ladders.
It’s worth trying an ultra-high-frequency sound devices to repel squirrels and other small animals.