Squirrels/Rabbits/Chipmunks etc

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by George999, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. George999

    George999 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto
    I've a relatively new gardener, and I haven't really read much, I've been at this around 3 summers now, learning as I go. sometimes I plant seedlings, sometimes seeds.

    The single biggest problem I've had has been critters eating my fruits. They've absolutely devastated my apple and cherry trees, along with all my berries and some baby watermelons. The problem was manageable last year, I put up a wire fence lined with some cayenne pepper, and it more or less worked. This year however I expanded my garden significantly, and the critters appear to have noticed. I live in an area with a woodlot nearby, so there's a large presence of small animals. So much so that we have a significant red tailed hawk population and occasional coyotes & foxes in the area.

    I've read about it online, and all the solutions seem to me to be non-solutions. I've tried:

    cayenne pepper spray
    Irish Spring
    critter ridder

    None of them have done anything. Critter Ridder is very expensive given how useless it is...

    The reviews on sonic repellants are very bad, so I haven't done that. I think the coyote urine would work, but I've a dog, so don't want to do that.

    The only thing I think I have left open is to build a fence around the whole thing, including the top. I was thinking of putting in a few 4x4's, running chicken wire along the length and width, then topping it off with bird netting. I have two cherry trees within the actual garden, so that's why I think the top would need to be netting, I can place it around the tree. I really can't think of any other solution.

    So I've a few questions --

    1. Is there a certain kind of fencing that works best for squirrels? Does anyone offer a decent prefab critter fence? Or is a DIY fence best?
    2. Is there a certain kind of fencing that squirrels cannot climb? Will a chicken wire fence with bird spikes facing down from the top keep them off?

    Or can anyone offer a better solution?

    Any and all help much appreciated!
     
  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

    Messages:
    5,638
    Likes Received:
    3,394
    Location:
    Hampshire England Zone 8b UK
    @George999, good morning, have you tried garlic? This is very effective for foxes and squirrels.
    There is no fencing I am aware of anywhere for Squirrels. If it is Grey Squirrels they will breed and breed and take over newly planted areas within two years.
    Predation should be encouraged. The hawk population will help. Your local hawk conservancy will be happy to advise. I have friends who have placed platforms in their trees to encourage breeding of Kites.

    If you are looking at prevenative measures then chicken wire fencing works well. But not for foxes and rabbits unless it is buried 2 ft down. I have seen them get under that depth when their are chickens to be had. Squirrels and even foxes will climb anything. The only way is to have a chicken wire roof.
    Do give the garlic a try, it is cheap and so you have nothing to lose in trying.
    Hope this has been of a little help.
     
  3. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    114
    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    If you have trees in your garden that are close enough to trees outside the garden that squirrels could jump between them, it will be very difficult to keep the squirrels out. If the squirrels have to get into the garden on the ground, an electric fence might work. They can probably jump over the fence, but they don't know that; so, they probably won't try. The fence has to be located far enough away from trees that squirrels can't jump to a tree from outside the fence. I've had 100% success with keeping racoons away from my grapes by using a 4-wire electric fence. It should be just as effective against foxes; but I'm not positive about squirrels, because squirrels don't seem to be interested in grapes. You may still need netting to keep birds away from cherries.
     
  4. George999

    George999 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto
    thanks for your replies. I think I'm going to build a wood frame and cover it with chicken wire, then open a hole for the cherry trees and drop down netting tied to the tree base.

    One question on the electric fence -- I looked at that as well, but everything I looked at appeared to be designed for farms to keep the cows and chickens in and coyotes out. I was concerned they'd be too high power/dangerous for a residential neighbourhood. What kind of electric thingie are you using?
     
  5. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    114
    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    There are many different electric fence systems available, depending on the length of fence required. I used to have one, given to me, that was good for several kilometres of fence. After it stopped working, I bought a smaller unit that can power a much shorter length of fence and is more appropriate for my urban back yard. Neither system puts out enough voltage to hurt anyone; the shock is just uncomfortably surprising. I've experienced several shocks over the many years that I've used the electric fence.
     
  6. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

    Messages:
    5,638
    Likes Received:
    3,394
    Location:
    Hampshire England Zone 8b UK
    Regarding electric fencing, I have had several over the years for my paddocks, connected to a Leisure battery. Worked well for my horse, but unsure if it would be effective for smaller wild animals. Like vitog, I have had many blasts when forgetting it was on over the years. Only a reminder not to go near the area, nothing more serious.
     
  7. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    8,191
    Likes Received:
    735
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Since you've had a few real replies now, I am posting a link to a bit of fluff that came up on my Facebook feed on the day this thread was started. I am sure it will not be helpful.
    Religious squirrels
     
    Margot likes this.
  8. Margot

    Margot Contributor

    Messages:
    1,117
    Likes Received:
    382
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    Maybe not helpful but hilarious! We need to keep a sense of humour where squirrels are concerned.
     
  9. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

    Messages:
    5,638
    Likes Received:
    3,394
    Location:
    Hampshire England Zone 8b UK
    Some amusement is very welcome these days Wendy. Enjoyed this !!!
     

Share This Page