Thursday, July 29, 2004

Squirrels are Evil

We live in the country. We have lots of critters in our yard and sometimes in our house. One of the more common critters in our yard are squirrels. I've never liked squirrels. They're so common that they aren't interesting to me. I don't feel bad when I see squirrel road kill. They make a nasty screeching noise up in the trees. Squirrels are expendable.

Until this summer though, I was pretty indifferent to them. Sure, I wasn't fond of them, but they didn't bother me so I didn't think much about them. Now that we have a bird feeder, they have taken over our yard. We had the bird feeder for a month before the squirrels discovered it. We got all kinds of birds. My favorites were a pair of cardinals. Now, the birds stay away and the squirrels hang from the feeder and eat all of the seed in one day. I've tried greasing the pole with oil mixed with cyanne pepper and that doesn't work. I don't want one of those plastic domes because this bird feeder is in the front of my house and I think the domes are unnattractive. I've heard they don't work anyway. Yesterday, I actually tried to push a squirrel off the bird feeder with my bare hand. He didn't even budge. He just looked at me with his beady eyes.

I planted sunflowers in my garden this year. They were in a perfect spot right in front of my hollyhocks at the corner of my split rail fence. Before they ever developed heads, one by one, they were chewed down to the ground. I suspect squirrels.

Now, my biggest problem is my tomatoes. To me, having tomatoes is symbolic of owning a home (or at least having a yard). I've waited years to be able to plant tomatoes. I was so excited to finally have my tomatoes this year. I've already harvested a few. Now, I see sqirrels feasting on semi-ripe tomatoes right in front of me! One squirrel, as a sign of who is in charge, left a half eaten tiny green tomato on the fence post. This is war.

There are several so-called solutions on the web for deterring squirrels. I saw a website that sells powdered fox urine that is supposed to deter sqirrels. Why is it that these things are only sold on the web? They're also expensive! I'd love to be able to run down to my hardware store and pick up some powdered fox urine today, but I'll have to spend $15 +shipping and wait several days. And then, it may not even work.

I just put up a makeshift chicken wire fence around my tomato plant. It's not tall enough though so I'm sure the sqirrels will find a way in.

If any of you readers have this problem and know a good solution, I'd love to hear it.


4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lexington Gardens sells either fox or coyote urine, though I think it was bottled. And you have to reapply it after rain. I just fence off my tomato plants with chicken wire. Squirrels also like to dig up anything newly-planted. And did I mention they got into our house twice before we installed a chimney cap?
Down with squirrels!
--Katie

2:05 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

I was going to say that I know Mahoney's Garden Centers sells the fox urine but it's a liquid form. We tried it years ago to try to get rid of skunks that were digging up our yard. Unfortunately, it didn't work.

Our old neighbor used to go after the squirrels with a
b.b. gun - not that it did any good, but it did make him feel better! :-)

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I don't think squirrels are evil though I have been known to throw clothes pins at them as they sit nibbling my strawberries.

Here are some things I've heard:
Squirrels eat things like tomatoes because they are thirsty. You can provide a bird bath for them to drink from away from your garden.

The fox urine might work. Allandale Farm sells it.

Some say the powdered peppers are more cruel than necessary as they don't just keep them away but get in their eyes and cause pain.

There is actually an ad at the top of your entry for the Yankee Flipper bird feeder which is supposed to really keep squirrels off. They are attractive enough to go in your front yard.

Then there are the people who believe that the only way to garden is to kill the pests. It's not something I could do (to mammals at least) but there you have it.

Lisa

2:37 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

**UPDATE**

I purchased a taller roll of chicken wire yesterday. I think this will keep the squirrels out of my tomatoes. The chicken wire was cheap - a lot less money than the fox urine.

I haven't tried a solution for the bird feeder. That doesn't bother me as much as the tomatoes.

8:47 AM  

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