Thread Number: 84479  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
X#%*&$# Squirrels!
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Post# 1088839   9/10/2020 at 18:56 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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How do I discourage, or preferably, eradicate these menacing rodents entirely?

 

I've had it with the one (or more) squirrels that are regularly digging up potted plants and destroying smaller ones I'm growing from cuttings.   Strategic placement of pots has proven to be anything but.  Nowhere is safe.   I've placed rocks, flagstone, etc. on the soil surface of potted plants and that has worked well -- up until today, when I found a rock dislodged, spilled soil, and a hole dug in my prized Royal Poinciana that I sprouted from a seed 15 months ago.  This is war.

 

At this point, I'm not opposed to using bait.  The cats around here are all well fed, and the two males that come around courting my girl couldn't care less about checking out her food dish on the side porch.  If I owned a pellet gun, I'd be lying in wait and taking care of business, or at the very least, scaring them off with something more than chasing and yelling.   They are persistent little devils and have been on a destructive tear since spring.

 

Like Rich stated in a recent post, something needs to be done about protected wildlife that have become an urban gardener's worst enemy.  The population needs a serious reduction.  I've never had this much trouble in any other part of town I've lived before.  The peregrine falcons that nest atop a nearby office building prefer easy prey like pigeons.   Any suggestions would be appreciated.





Post# 1088840 , Reply# 1   9/10/2020 at 19:14 by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        
Ralph.

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I love the squirrels that we have in our complex.  They are a pleasure to watch and as far as I can tell they haven’t interfered with any of our plants.   They play in front of our house climbing the trees.

 

 They have a right to live in the nature that we as humans have systematically destroyed.  I’ve never before heard of anyone that didn’t appreciate them.  Just two days ago when it was 111F we saw a big squirrel right in front of our house that appeared to be overcome with the heat.  We put a pie pan of water out for it.  The next morning the water was all gone.

 

Be worried when you no longer see the squirrels, birds and other wildlife.  When they cease to exist the conditions for human life are also in jeopardy.

 

That being said, if you want them to leave your plants alone, try sprinkling pepper around the plants.  Its non toxic, but the squirrels and other wildlife won’t like the pepper and will probably stay away from the area.  

 

Eddie


Post# 1088851 , Reply# 2   9/10/2020 at 19:50 by appnut (TX)        

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A cat?

Post# 1088854 , Reply# 3   9/10/2020 at 19:56 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Eddie, I appreciate the points you made and I agree.  At the last rental Dave and I lived in before buying our first home, I used to feed shelled walnuts to a squirrel that would visit on our patio every afternoon. 

 

But, there are too many of them now, and over the generations they have learned that the best soil for digging is found in pots.  They don't have enough predators in urban areas.  I've tried "Critter Ridder" which definitely contains pepper because it was getting to me even as I sprinkled it around.  It wasn't terribly effective.   Maybe there's a sonic repellent that doesn't bother cats.  I have a handy outlet on the rear wall of the house.  That's one solution that could be the easiest, and it would probably also work on the rats that use the top fence rail as a highway every night.


Post# 1088856 , Reply# 4   9/10/2020 at 20:09 by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        
Ralph,

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I had a similar problem last summer with my Christmas Cactus plants.  I've always put them on the carport during the summer, no problem.  But last year they were constantly getting dug up - most annoying.  I have two traps, I used both of them.  All totaled I caught 5 squirrels.  They all went to Squirrel Heaven.  I have a HUGE live oak in the backyard and there are squirrels all over the place.  Constantly running from tree to tree, chasing each other, and making babies.  The five I eliminated did nothing to threaten the squirrel population in West Mobile.

 

lawrence


Post# 1088893 , Reply# 5   9/11/2020 at 01:09 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        
Fried or stewed?

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How did you cook them, Lawrence?

Post# 1088894 , Reply# 6   9/11/2020 at 01:10 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        
I . . . did nothing to threaten the squirrel population . .

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AMEN Lawrence!

 

Please do share more information about your lethal trapping device!   I own a "Have a Heart" trap for cats that I use for possums and raccoons (which I release into an open space area by a creek), but it's way too big for squirrels, I think.


Post# 1088967 , Reply# 7   9/11/2020 at 10:32 by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
Squirrels can be mennacing

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I have a contract with mine, I will keep your feeder full, you stay out of my garden. I keep my part of the contract, most of the time. I enjoy them anyway, they are such happy little creatures. We've even named some of our regulars. Lucy is the big Red, I mean fire red squirrel.

We had a bunch of their relatives move in this summer, then all the sudden these two Hawks show up, and not a squirrel has been seen in over a week. The food is untouched in the feeder, the plants are still buried in the planter, no activity at all. I don't know if the Hawks have scared them or eaten them. All I do know is the Hawks are pretty majestic with a wing span of about 4 ft, and very noisy with their screeching this may be enough to keep the bushy tail gang in their tree stumps.


Post# 1088972 , Reply# 8   9/11/2020 at 10:54 by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0600 CDT.))        
Squirrel Problem

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Go to the hardware store and get a couple of rat traps. Bait them with some peanut butter and you will catch the little pains in the ass.
WK78


Post# 1088976 , Reply# 9   9/11/2020 at 11:30 by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
in lieu of a paucity of hawks & properly re-introducing...

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their natural fox, bobcat, &c predators, the populations of which we humans have decimated, a .177 pellet air rifle works well. Quiet and effective. Any biologist will tell you their population is way out of balance, there is nothing that can keep them in check at this point. They can be incredibly destructive, not just to gardens, but to buildings. The Bambi Syndrome need not apply, as they will bounce back quickly enough no matter how many are taken, and they do make good eating if properly prepared so need not go to waste. Do you have a favored recipe Sarah P? It's always been a deservedly popular dish in rural areas.



Post# 1088989 , Reply# 10   9/11/2020 at 13:27 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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We live in a heavily treed old oak neighborhood and have oodles of squirrels and chipmunks and plenty of cottontails as well. Not to mention the nocturnal skunks, racoons and possums and not sure if they eat that sort of thing, they do dig into the grass/sod looknig for grubs They, mostly the chipmunks, are notorious for digging into pots, eating bulbs etc. The rabbits like to take a bite out of tomatoes, at least I think it's the rabbits. Larry bought some sort of plastic spike mat stuff that he cuts to fit into the pots. Sort of like a bed of nails type of thing.. seems to help.. Not sure if he got the stuff a dollar store or garden center. We did have a two year hiatus last year when a pair of hawks nested high atop the spruce tree in the front yard.. Not a chipmunk to be seen and way less squirrels, even the birds were scarce. I'm glad the hawks are gone though.. I can live with the bit of plant damage from the squirrels and chipmunks. I like to sit out front and watch them. The other creatures we have now quite often are wild Turkeys. It's comical to see them trotting and zig zagging down the street checking out everyones lawns.. They don't seem to be timid either. It's becoming more like living in a Disney movie year by year LOL


Post# 1088990 , Reply# 11   9/11/2020 at 13:34 by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        
Petek

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your area sounds just like where we live.  We also have squirrels, skunks, raccoons, possums   and LARGE flocks of wild turkeys.  Even though we live in town, we are only a 10 minute walk to the country.  The Walgreens Drug Store a 10 min walk from here has at least 12 to 24 chickens that roam free in the parking lot and on the lawn.  I love living in an area  where there is lots of wildlife.

 

Last April our next door neighbor had a skunk take up residence underneath his deck during mating season.  Now that was unpleasant.  He had to get some wildcat scat from the county animal control and place it under the deck in order to get the skunk to vacate.

 

Eddie


Post# 1088992 , Reply# 12   9/11/2020 at 13:55 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Roger, thanks for your post.  That biologists recognize that the squirrel population is way out of balance gives me hope that there will be some sort of answer that won't alarm wildlife lovers and still provide a solution to the problem in urban areas.

 

I wish a couple of hawks would make themselves at home nearby.  That would solve the problem right away.


Post# 1089020 , Reply# 13   9/11/2020 at 16:27 by agiflow4 (Tom's River)        

I love the squirrels too but they can be very destructive if they get into your home. When I was younger we had squirrels get up into our attic and they were chewing the wood up. My parents had to call the ASPCA to have them removed.

I still like to watch them run around play with each other. Cute little tree rats they are.


Post# 1089033 , Reply# 14   9/11/2020 at 17:21 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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My 9th grade history teacher had two pet squirrels that got loose in her house, never to be caught again.  They made a home out of an easy chair.  We'd regularly hear more about the latest squirrel episode than world history.


Post# 1089048 , Reply# 15   9/11/2020 at 19:59 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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I hope I didn't come across as being anti-culling of vermin and pests because I'm not. I am against sport hunting and animal cruelty. Hunting for the purpose of feeding yourself and family is one thing, anything else is a no go in my book. My folks, as I was brought up, were longtime members of the local SPCA, dad was director for a time. We had tons of pets as kids, dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, snakes, chameleons, fish etc. The only rule was if you got it you had to look after it and there was absolutely NO returns. As a kid mom saw some boys playing street hockey out front with a mouse. She ripped into them for doing that, it was unnecessary cruelty. She had herself in one of her first jobs at the MInistry of Food in London UK, had to actually go out and catch and kill the rats she needed for dissection, dad always joked he'd married a rat catcher..
Back when we lived on the acreage we were being over taken by gophers and as much as I hated to do it I used to shoot them with a 22. On one visit to us mom saw me doing it (from the front porch) and was sort of dismayed until I handed her the binoculars so she could see for herself how many dozens of them there were. Mom had never touched a gun let alone shot one, so I asked her if she wanted to try it, not to kill anything ,just to try and she did at about 80 years old. LOL. You can't poison wildlife here in town nor shoot them, all you're allowed to do is trap them and you can't relocate them more than 1/4 mile or something like that..which means a city park to release them. I'd be more than pissed off if I found out a neighbor was poisoning them,, that's too dangerous to other critters and birds who might eat them.


Post# 1089066 , Reply# 16   9/11/2020 at 22:10 by washerboy (Little Rock Arkansas)        
Moth Balls

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I moved about 6 months ago from a 100 year old house in a 100 year old neighborhood. Oak trees were every where. I had the same problem with all my potted plants along with them building nest in my attic and rooting up my flower beds. Cute as they may be, they are destructive little beast. Moth balls will keep them out of your pots and beds for about 2 weeks then you'll need to reapply. I did go to the farmers co-op and buy a can of "Squirrel Away". The guy that sold it to me said it worked really well. I moved before I had the opportunity to give it a try. I'm sure it's sold in your area.

Post# 1089082 , Reply# 17   9/12/2020 at 01:07 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Tree rats----good to eat!!!I have used .177 cal and .22 cal air gunson them-squirrels are TOUGH so you have to use a pellet gun that has min 800FPS in .177 and 600FPS in .22.BUT-is it legal to shoot them with any weapon in your area-if they get into attics--rat traps work well as some suggested baited with peanut butter.Outside---There is a black cat that is really TOUGH ---he catches them and gives the famous cat "neck bite" you see the squirrel go limp as he bits it.And the cat has competition-a hawk that swoops from the sky and grabs them!!The hawk grabbed it right in front of me!!A neighbor says "Did you see that hawk grab that squirrel?-He was so MEAN"I said back-the hawk and his family has to eat the same as you do.How many plants and animals are sacrificed to feed you?"The neighbor got quiet.

Post# 1089172 , Reply# 18   9/12/2020 at 18:56 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

I hear you!
We live in a fairly rural area, and there's a big state park a little more than a block away. We get our share of critters.
I've never seen the bears myself, but several neighbors have.
We've seen deer, lots of turkeys, saw a bobcat on our trail camera once.
Nighttime brings skunks, opossums, raccoons, rabbits. Occasionally, you can hear the coyotes howling. Foxes, semi regularly. And one year, they set up housekeeping under our shed. The young ones were so much fun to watch! The downside was the smell. I don't know if it was their droppings and urine, or the half-eaten small critters that they'd leave all over the yard. And, we have hawks in the area regularly. I even had a picture of one resting on our front railing.
Despite all of that, we are somewhat overrun with squirrels and chipmunks. And, yes, they're destructive. Just recently, we've started seeing red squirrels in addition to the plentiful grey or black ones. The red ones seem even more destructive, and seem to like getting up into vehicles.
I actually bought a couple of .177 pellet guns, but I haven't tested my marksmanship as of yet.
Despite being a rural-ish area, the houses are fairly close together. I can just picture our neighbors freaking out at the sight of me prowling around my back yard, with what I'm sure they would think was a real rifle.
In this state, it's illegal to trap and relocate wildlife. But, if I could do it inconspicuously, I wouldn't mind popping a pellet into a few red squirrels and chipmunks.

Barry


Post# 1089179 , Reply# 19   9/12/2020 at 19:56 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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1) The brownish squirrels that are most common in this area are introduced European fox squirrels. They have mostly driven out the native American gray tree squirrels.

 

2) Haveahart makes a much smaller humane trap that works well for squirrels. Check your local pet shop. Or, it might be available on-line.

 

3) A pellet gun also works, but one must be very careful to avoid collateral damage. It can take some skill to hit a target as small as a squirrel.

 

4) It is, as I understand it, legal to trap or shoot depredating wildlife on one's property, as long as the remains are kept on site. It is not legal to relocate the problem animal to another location.

 

5) I used to have a cat that was quite skilled at catching and dispatching squirrels. Alas, he died about 10 years ago. My current collection of semi-feral cats don't seem to have his moxie, although the local squirrel population does seem to be less than a decade ago.

 

6) Whatever you do, be careful not to alarm the neighbors.

 

7) To help repel birds, there are scare devises such as plastic owls with swiveling heads, an beach ball size decoys with shiny eye-like spots. I don't know that they work on squirrels.

 

 

 


Post# 1089419 , Reply# 20   9/14/2020 at 14:25 by Washerlover (Lake County, California: Wines With Altitude)        

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I moved into a house (built in 1978) surrounded by walnut orchards. An elderly couple (both bedbound) couldnít keep up with the place and the ground squirrels moved into the main house and the pool house. And squirrels happen to love walnuts!

A few months after moving in, I was working from home one morning and heard what sounded like a herd of elephants in the attic. I called my exterminator and he found squirrels had moved in! They had burrowed under the foundation and made their way into the house ó the pool house is built on a slab but has a tile roof, so they managed to get in under the roof tiles. What a mess! Finally got rid of them, but what a mess! They also managed to chew through some electrical wiring, etc.

Donít get me wrong, I love animals, but not really wanting to live with vermin in the house.



Post# 1089524 , Reply# 21   9/15/2020 at 12:19 by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        

The squirrels and chipmunks around here can sometimes be pretty destructive, but they seem to have tamed it a bit. I've been putting dried blood meal in the veg garden and nothing seems to touch them save the occasional bird.

This little fat fella (groundhog?) has taken up residence under the shed in the driveway. I'd love to scare him off then seal it up better, but I don't know if he's living there as-is or if he has a burrow. They say there are 2 exits for a burrow and I haven't seen one yet so if he has one they may both be under the shed.

I was thinking maybe a metal plate with a wood dowel in one corner and a nail or something at the top of the dowel. One wire of a 120V pigtail on the plate and the other on the nail, then coat the nail in peanut butter. However, I don't want to maim him- either scare him off or dispatch him. Animal control says I can either scare him off or call a critter ridder to dispatch him as relocation isn't allowed by law here.

Chuck


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Post# 1089526 , Reply# 22   9/15/2020 at 12:39 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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I've relocated a number of possums and one raccoon using my Have-a-Heart trap, even though it's against the law.  I take them less than a mile away to a primarily undeveloped park by a creek and turn them loose.  Since they're nocturnal, this all happens under cover of darkness.  There are some areas of the park that have benches and one large playground area, so there are trash cans for the raccoons, and if that isn't enough, there's a retail complex with restaurants across the street, so there's no shortage of foraging options.  I like to think I'm doing them a favor, but more importantly, I've done myself and my cat a favor by eliminating the cat food thieves and water dish topplers.

 

I just wish squirrels were as easy to capture and relocate, but with the way things have gotten so ridiculously out of hand, it would be a never-ending job.


Post# 1089577 , Reply# 23   9/15/2020 at 21:51 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Chuck , your groundhog under the shed pic reminded me.. Skunks have settled and bred under our garden shed before. I got rid of them by playing a noisy old transistor radio 24/7 in the shed with the speaker laying on the floor.. It seemed to work a couple of years ago, but about 3 weeks ago my new backdoor neighbor came by to tell me he saw skunks around the shed.. The old radio was still in there so I plugged it in and let her rip.. I think it worked.

Post# 1089582 , Reply# 24   9/15/2020 at 22:11 by qsd-dan (West)        

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I shoot under the squirrels with my pellet pistol. It scares the hell out of them without creating permanent damage or death, with the exception of maybe some PTSD. These days, I try not to kill anything with a gun that I don't eat.

Post# 1089777 , Reply# 25   9/17/2020 at 23:25 by pumper (SE Wisconsin)        

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I have put mouse traps in my pots and it seems to work somewhat.

Post# 1089778 , Reply# 26   9/17/2020 at 23:33 by pumper (SE Wisconsin)        

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Not my video but he's seeing stars after this. Watch till the end.






Post# 1089804 , Reply# 27   9/18/2020 at 12:24 by sfh074 ( )        
Well ......

since you guys are using the term "full eradication", my dad did this many years ago and it totally took out the entire squirrel population in the hood. Well it depends how long you keep the trap below going.

At the hardware store get 2 things. 1). a couple of blue single gang electrical boxes with the double nails that attach it. Make sure they are the shallow ones and not the deeper kind.† 2). A box or two of the green pellet rat poison, it looks like the old school rabbit food. Warfarin I think is the active ingredient. I think nowadays they come in small pouches for easy handling.

Back at the house install said electrical box(s) on the side of tree(s) about 4 feet off the ground to hold the rat pellets. In the bottom of the box drop in about 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. All this is for is scent bait. Next, open up a few pouches of the pellets and pour them in on top of the peanut butter. If it rains a lot, fashion a piece of tin or sheet plastic about a foot over the electrical box to shed water and keep the bait dry.† If you live in a fish bowl of a neighborhood, the bait container could be installed on a fence post out of sight. But the bait station as I described above, away from the house, will be more effective.

Check the trap daily and you'll find you will have a hard time keeping it filled if there are a lot of the fuzzy tailed rats in your area.

And of course if it is illegal to do this in your neck of the woods, don't do it.

***** This info is for educational purposes only. *******




This post was last edited 09/18/2020 at 18:05
Post# 1089856 , Reply# 28   9/18/2020 at 23:55 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Well, Bud, that is interesting information.

 

At one point I was trying to use warfarin (or equiv) laced poison bait, until I acquired a cat that was quite expert at catching, killing, and consuming tree squirrels. I even once witnessed him catch a squirrel on the sidewalk in front of the house, and then drag it between his front legs, like a lion with a gazelle, all the way to the back yard where he eventually  dispatched the little demon. I later found squirrel body parts in the back yard. Anyway, that put me off the poison method, since I didn't want such a clever cat to be poisoned as well. Unfortunately that cat died some years ago so the feline squirrel control method has waned considerably since then.

 

However I have since rescued four feral and semi feral cats. One of whom proved to be useful in the squirrel control effort the other day.

 

I was in the yard trying to get a clean shot at a squirrel that had been depredating the fig tree. At one point I noticed the little black female stray, "Blackie",  was joining in the chase, about half-way up the tree. But the fig tree trunks are too dense for me to get off a shot. Then, suddenly, the squirrel gave a yelp and flew from the fig tree to an adjacent orange tree. I saw the cat had advanced up the fig tree as well. In the orange tree, the view was much less obstructed, and I'll let you guess the rest. Said squirrel is now enriching the compost bin. I'm not selfish; I did offer the carcass to Blackie. She gave it a sniff and a lick, and then a bite, but then lost interest. When the ants started taking over I moved it to the bin.

 


Post# 1089865 , Reply# 29   9/19/2020 at 03:27 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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There is another fatal trap device that works better for tree squirrels. It mount to the tree trunk, and has a powerful lever that when tripped dispatches the squirrel as quickly and humanely as possible. I have one, just haven't baited for over a year. Maybe it's time.

 

Edit: it's dark and past midnight here, but I'm gonna go get the "Squirrel Butter" and bait that tree trunk trap now.

 

 

 


Post# 1089872 , Reply# 30   9/19/2020 at 05:05 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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OK, I discovered why the tree trunk squirrel trap hasn't caught anything for quite a while.

 

I went out to bait it, and discovered that the internal portion of the spring had busted... plus the trap is out of stock and I haven't found any way to get a replacement spring. I might be able to weld on another bit of steel to renew the spring, not sure.

 

We'll see.

 

 

 


Post# 1089880 , Reply# 31   9/19/2020 at 07:52 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Here's an interesting comment I found on Amazon.com about another trap, and the problem with relocating trapped pests:

 

peter Rabbit

Reviewed in the United States on April 15, 2020

So this trap will catch squirrels like crazy. But they offer a plastic box to fill with water to "dispatch" the squirrel. I didn't want to do this. I drove the squirrels several miles away and let them loose. Yep, you guessed it! They found their way back. And now they will not go near the squirrelinator so it is now useless. These cute little critters are destroying my paver steps, patios and tunneling under my house. I have learned to hate them because of the damage they are doing. If I were to do it all over I would have used the water box. For a brief time I was down to a few squirrels and now I am up to my armpits in smarter and really wary squirrels... and worse.. it's spring time and they will soon all be mommas and poppas. Use this trap and don't even think about relocating the squirrels. They will be back and you won't be able to catch them again.

Post# 1089954 , Reply# 32   9/19/2020 at 23:44 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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I wish I had the same success with squirrels as I've had with rats.

 

A family friend inherited a 1930s house that hadn't been inhabited for many years.  After cleaning the place out, and since I was looking for a place to live, the friend offered me cheap rent just to have someone in there to keep things up while the estate was settled.

 

The first night that I tried to sleep in an upstairs bedroom I was kept awake my rat activity in the attic.  They were busy and there were a lot of them.

 

The next day I got a 6-pack of d-Con rat poison, the old type that looked like oatmeal, and pushed up the attic access panel and placed a box just inside, closed things up and hoped for the best.  Of course the first night there was no change, but the next morning the box was empty.

 

I put in another box.  Again, another noisy night, and another empty box. 

 

The third box was put in place.  More rat activity that night, but the next morning the box still had some bait left in it.

 

That night, it was all quiet. 

 

I wish they still sold that stuff because I'm sure it would do the trick on squirrels, and they can't bury it either.  Yes, I've seen squirrels bury marble sized rat bait before.  I'm looking for more immediate results.

 


Post# 1090330 , Reply# 33   9/23/2020 at 02:50 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Well, I was able to get in touch with the distributor, and while the entire trap is out of stock, they have some extra springs and are sending me one for about $28 including shipping.

 

Here's a photo of the trap. It's extremely effective. It's called the Kania2000, and appears still to be available from Canada:

 

www.kania.net/images/kani...

 

Plus, a video:

 






CLICK HERE TO GO TO SudsMaster's LINK

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Post# 1090407 , Reply# 34   9/23/2020 at 17:49 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Chuck,

We have a chubby little guy like that who visits our yard occasionally.
For whatever reason, I have no desire to do away with him. We only see one, and I've never seen him do any significant damage to anything.
We've had one take up residence under our shed. But the same space has also been occupied by skunks, and one year, foxes.
I'm very live and let live with most of the woodland creatures. But the chipmunks and red squirrels could go away.

Barry


Post# 1090456 , Reply# 35   9/24/2020 at 02:18 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        
Eastern Fox Squirrel

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The most common tree squirrel in the SF Bay Area is the Eastern Fox squirrel. These were introduced to the West Coast starting around 1900, and have driven the native Western Gray squirrel out of much of its habitat.

 

It's the tree squirrel I see in my back yard. If it wasn't so destructive, I'd be live and let live. But it is destructive. I have two large avocado trees on my property. The fox squirrels with take some bites out of unripe fruit. let it drop to the ground and rot. Where do they come from? Well, there's a condo development on the other side of the tall ivy covered chain link fence at the back of the property. It was built in the 1980's, on the grounds of a former light industrial factory. The developer planted the entire site with Canary Island pines, which are very tall and drop large pine cones. No doubt these are what the fox squirrels are thriving on. Then they come over here and depredate the avocado, fig, peach, apple, etc trees. It's a constant battle against their numbers. I know I'm not the only one to be aggrieved by these little demons.

 

I do what I can, legally, to reduce their numbers. They are not native, they are not cuddly, they are not cute.

 



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Post# 1090488 , Reply# 36   9/24/2020 at 09:35 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Rich,

That's interesting. If I saw that tree rat that you posted, I would think it was an ordinary grey squirrel.
I would be questioning what I see here most often, except the article that you linked to said that we don't have fox squirrels in New England. Or, very few.
So, the grey or black ones that I see here are most likely variations of the grey squirrel. I'm pretty much okay with them. They seem pretty laid back, for a squirrel. I stopped using a bird feeder because they were destroying it. Now, when I feed the birds, I just scatter a small amount of seed on the ground. When the greys do show up, they eat right alongside the birds, instead of chasing them away, like they did with a feeder.
Then, there's what I'm referring to as the reds.
They're smaller than the greys, and seem quicker and almost spastic in their movements sometimes.
They kind of look like a squirrel and a chipmunk got together.
I definitely don't see as many of them; maybe two. But for me, that's two too many!
And we're crawling alive with chipmunks.
I'll figure something out. I personally don't like the idea of catching them in a humane trap and then giving them swimming lessons.
I've seen a variation of that trap that mounts on a tree or post, and pops them in the head when they go in to find the bait. The one I saw was powered by a CO2 cartridge. They were kind of spendy though, and not easy to find. Plus, it's not like I could post a sign on it "Red squirrels only".
I really don't want to be killing off all the greys in hopes of getting rid of the few reds.

Barry


Post# 1090555 , Reply# 37   9/24/2020 at 16:45 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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If you read the descriptions, the fox squirrel *might* be mistaken for a red squirrel, but is much larger.

 

The ones in my yard here are eastern fox squirrels. They are evil.

 


Post# 1090702 , Reply# 38   9/25/2020 at 17:47 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Well, I may have spoken too soon.

 

Animal Control Products in Wisconsin told me they had a spare spring. They charged my credit card for it, and since then have gone silent. I left them multiple voice mails, emals, and even messaged them on their facebook site. Nothing. If they don't respond next week I'll have to contact my credit card company and cancel the transaction.

 


Post# 1090814 , Reply# 39   9/26/2020 at 15:54 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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OK, finally got a response from ACP this morning. They said the spring shipped the day I got charged (9/22) and should be here by Monday. Yay.

 

We'll see, LOL.

 


Post# 1090816 , Reply# 40   9/26/2020 at 16:45 by rickr (.)        

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As far as I am concerned, a squirrel is a rat rat with a fluffy tail. I hate them. As we speak, I am having work done on the latticework on my deck Groundhogs have chewed though the wood, and are burrowing under the deck. The workers pouring concrete footer under the perimeter of the deck, and added some other kind of material that cannot be chewed. Cost $1300.00 I think it is a deal. I have lived in the same house for 41 years now. We never used to have problems such as this. We have raccoons, groundhogs, possums, and whatever else, that lurks out in the night. This is in the middle of the city, and a neighbourhood that is about 90 years old. What is up with this?


Post# 1090824 , Reply# 41   9/26/2020 at 18:19 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        
"What is up with this?"

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Oh hell yes Rick -- you are preaching to the choir IMO. 

 

The answer is easy.   Squirrels and other vermin are considered wildlife even in the heart of an urban environment, and as such, at least in my area, trapping and relocating are not allowed (so what good is trapping then?) and of course using any lethal methods is also forbidden.  This is total BS.  These critters are overrunning neighborhoods and causing costly damage, as you have attested to.  There aren't enough natural predators for squirrels, which as prey move way too fast anyway, and as far as I know, vermin the size of raccoons have no predators at all in an urban setting.

 

Something has to be done.  This sort of unchecked overpopulating can't continue.  I just chased off another raccoon that was eating out of the cat's food dish on the side porch night before last.  A whole family with juveniles has been passing through the yard and making a mess of the water feature that I use as source of drinking water for the cat, even though I put a cover on top of it every night and weigh it down with a heavy rock.  This is all happening in a neighborhood that's over 100 years old and adjacent to the urban core.  Unless they're really young, raccoons are too smart to fall for a trap.  I'm fed up to say the least.  I've started bringing the cat's dish inside at bedtime.  Maybe that will discourage them enough to not bother with trespassing even for the water feature's entertainment value.


Post# 1090842 , Reply# 42   9/26/2020 at 20:42 by rickr (.)        

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Ralph, I have a live trap that I use when I start seeing property damage from raccoons and groundhogs, once again. I bait the trap with peanut butter spread onto a Ritz cracker. I put the bait in the base of a plastic cottage cheese, (or whatever) container. Gets the raccoons every time. I will not say what I do with the them, however, they never come back again. And I do get the very large ones with this method. The groundhogs are harder to catch, or at least the ones around here are. For those, I cut an apple in half, and spread peanut butter on one part of it. Place the other part of the apple on the outside of the cage. They will eat the first half, and go into the cage for the other half. Possums I simply let go again, for they are harmless. That said, they are so stupid, that at times it is difficult to get them to leave the cage. And if anyone thinks that I am being cruel, for protecting my property against damage, please send me a check for $1300.00, and in return, I will send you some raccoons and groundhogs.

Post# 1090844 , Reply# 43   9/26/2020 at 21:12 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Saw a groundhog tonight in the neighbor's driveway. It crossed the street into the other neighbor's yard, possibly on its way to my backyard. There are some that live under my shed.

I occasionally see opossums and raccoons in my yard, but not often. I used to see lots of squirrels and chipmunks, but due to more cats in the area the past few years, they are less frequent.

There is a creek behind my house with a woods along it, so lots of wildlife there. Once in a while deer will come up in the yard.

The most unusual animal seen was a lion standing in the neighbor's backyard overlooking the creek. My mom thought I was crazy when I told her, but she got the binoculars and looked anyway. She called the neighbor Betty, and told her to look. We found out it had escaped from the Kings Island Wild Animal Safari, and had followed the Little Miami River and connecting creeks. It was later captured and returned.


Post# 1090852 , Reply# 44   9/26/2020 at 22:39 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Ralph,

 

Yes, trapping and relocating is illegal.

 

However if you can figure out a humane way of euthanizing the trapped nuisance/depredating animal, then that is legal.

 

I checked with California Fish and Game about this about 15 years ago.




This post was last edited 09/26/2020 at 22:59
Post# 1090856 , Reply# 45   9/27/2020 at 01:49 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Good to know Rich.  I suppose the term "humane" is up for debate, but I'd relocate a raccoon if I caught one.  It's not like I haven't done it a number of times with opossums and an adolescent raccoon.  I have a dumping spot adjacent to many acres of undeveloped parkland with a creek running through.  It's surrounded by two freeways, a light industrial zone and a large shopping center. 

 

For squirrels, which are a constant and far more prevalent problem instead of occasional, I don't view anything other than lethal means as viable or effective.


Post# 1090860 , Reply# 46   9/27/2020 at 03:39 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Seems to me the fires and the lack of humans out and about due to the pandemic has resulted in an influx of raccoons into urban/suburban areas.

 

Again, even to undeveloped rural areas, relocating trapped depredating animals is ILLEGAL.

 

It's not difficult to figure out a humane way to euthanize them on site. If you are not willing to do that, then don't trap them to begin with.

 


Post# 1090899 , Reply# 47   9/27/2020 at 13:29 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Relocating?  Illegal, schmillegal.  That rule doesn't make a damned bit of sense.


Post# 1091011 , Reply# 48   9/28/2020 at 09:39 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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The law against relocating wildlife makes a LOT of sense.

 

When you relocate problem animals you are upsetting the natural population balance. You are stressing out the population where you relocate the animal(s) to, creating more disease and problems in that locale. Eventually the population pressure will result in a return of the problem species to your yard, perhaps more aggressive and desperate because of  your misguided intervention.

 

But hey, don't listen to me or the wildlife specialists.

 

Fuck the world, right?

 


Post# 1091039 , Reply# 49   9/28/2020 at 14:18 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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F_ck the vermin is more like it.  I don't buy that argument and flatly reject it (but fully expect to see a citation of research to appear here in short order).  The natural population is waaaaaay out of balance in urban neighborhoods where this "wild"life is over-breeding without any means of keeping it in check.  How can relocating to an area where they have room to roam and bother no one, a water source, homeless encampment garbage, even dumpsters that offer a little slice of their former home behind restaurants in a shopping center that abuts industry and railroad tracks, and most importantly, predators, be viewed as an impetus for imbalance or overpopulation?  Are we completely discounting Charles Darwin's work now?

 

There are a lot of decisions people can make that that qualify as "f_ck the world," some being as simple as  failing to properly recycle, wasting water, or driving a smoke-belching car.   Turning a raccoon loose into a hospitable environment doesn't strike me as one of them, and alleging a "f_ck the world" attitude is a gross overreach.  Call it misguided if you want.  I call it protecting my investment, and last time I checked, raccoons were not in charge on this planet.

 

Ready, set, start googling.


Post# 1091045 , Reply# 50   9/28/2020 at 15:03 by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        

See this little guy? We were watching him yesterday in the same spot- where the door of the shed meet. He was obviously laboring to get in- almost looked like he was trying to open the door. From the look of the marks, he's been successful getting in and out of there, probably getting ready to nest for the winter. These doors are about 3'wide, 7' tall and 2x4 frame with T-111 on them. Each has things hanging on the inside. My point is that they're not light! LOL!

Rich was watching him earlier this morning with his first coffee- going at it!

We spotted him about 3PM today doing the same, and he got in. I threw the bolt up on the left door and secured the hasp on the right door so they were now closed.

FF to 20 minutes ago- I see him going at it, secretly laughing because there's no way he'd be able to get in there now! I thought it would make an interesting wildlife vid for FB. The jarring of the camera is me moving a step closer every time he stuck his noggin in. I'll be damned if he didn't get in!

I'll be taking care of that issue after I've smoke-bombed the shed to be sure the critters are all out.

Chuck






Post# 1091050 , Reply# 51   9/28/2020 at 15:55 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        
Chuck

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If that doesn't make a case for annihilation I don't know what does.


Post# 1091052 , Reply# 52   9/28/2020 at 16:12 by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
Draggin off topic

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I know we were squirrel hating, but I saw ground hogs and other mentioned so I wanted to add a new menace that we have started experiencing that will destroy your yard overnight. Armadillos. One day your yard is crisp and pristine, the next day it looks like "Caddy Shack".

Never used to be a problem here, but they are gradually moving north, and we are starting to see their effects.


Post# 1091069 , Reply# 53   9/28/2020 at 18:04 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Ralph,

 

Why don't you call California Fish and Game and ask them why relocating depredating critters like squirrels and raccoons is illegal. They are better equipped than I to explain to you the wildlife management science behind the law. And if you won't believe them, there likely is nothing I can say to change your mind.

 

Just be careful you don't get caught, M'kay?

 

PS-I'm glad I live about 40 miles from your place, LOL.

 

 


Post# 1091071 , Reply# 54   9/28/2020 at 18:07 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Harley,

 

No armadillos here that I know of. They eat ants and termites, which can't be a bad thing, but I understand about the burrowing. In high school I hung out with the nature crowd. A friend of mine had a pet armadillo. It was very odd. I recall he had some problems with it trying to burrow through the linoleum flooring. LOL.

 


Post# 1091072 , Reply# 55   9/28/2020 at 18:09 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Kania update:

 

The replacement spring arrived today and I got it installed, trap baited and hung back up on tree (in better position), without breaking any digits or limbs. Yes, the trap spring is strong enough it could certainly break fingers if not hands.

 

Now I can't wait for the next Sciurid guest of honor (evil laugh).

 


Post# 1091083 , Reply# 56   9/28/2020 at 19:54 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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I chased off two squirrels in my potted fig tree this morning.  There aren't even any figs on it at this point, but they've been regularly tearing up the soil in the pot.  Walking back into the house, I noticed they/one of them had yet again dug up and tipped over the 1-gallon pots with fuchsia cuttings that I had managed to root from types not commonly found in nurseries.  Potting soil all over the ground. 

 

That did it.  I'm calling Kania tomorrow to order a trap (on line isn't a current option).  They're not cheap, but the satisfaction factor is well worth it.  I will gleefully deposit the carcasses into the garbage cart, and with each incident will be incentivized to keep baiting until the destruction stops.  Here's hoping for a hot streak.

 

I can tolerate the raccoons.  Their habits aren't anywhere near as destructive as these goddamned squirrels. 


Post# 1091152 , Reply# 57   9/29/2020 at 09:41 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Well if you had outdoor ponds, esp with fish, you wouldn't be so blasé about raccoons.

 

Good luck with the Kania trap. I can recommend also getting a product called "Squirrel Butter" which is a sort of fruit jam that the squirrels are supposed to love. Other baits can include raw almonds, peanut butter, etc.

 

If you have any unpaved garden soil, I recommend digging a small hole and burying the murdered squirrel(s) there. It will enrich the soil.

 


Post# 1091154 , Reply# 58   9/29/2020 at 10:01 by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        

Have you tried dried bloodmeal in your pots? I use it in my veg garden and it seems to keep the critters at bay. Cayenne powder also tends to work and is cheap but needs to be re-applied after every rain or good watering.

 

Chuck


Post# 1091206 , Reply# 59   9/29/2020 at 17:54 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Well, the blood meal might work for flower pots and such. But I have a number of fruit trees and it would near impossible to coat them with blood meal.  The squirrels' favorite target is the avocado, which happens to be the one I value most. The squirrels will also go after the grapes, apples, peaches, figs, etc.

 

Today I was in the back yard and heard one jump from one roof to another, and then into a tree, but I couldn't spot it (they are great at hiding up high). Later I just happened to be out there and he was, down low on an avocado tree trunk, looking to make trouble. He's now incorporated into the compost bin. The tail will be hung up on the trophy board.

 

These eastern fox squirrels are big and relatively heavy. I didn't weigh it, but it was probably a pound or two. Might be good eating, but ...

 

 

 


Post# 1091256 , Reply# 60   9/30/2020 at 00:45 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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The old instruction/recipe booklet that came with my '60s Mirro-Matic pressure cooker has a recipe for squirrel.  I'd be happy to share with anyone who might be interested.  Betting it tastes like chicken, but the whole skinning and butchering thing is not for me.


Post# 1091325 , Reply# 61   9/30/2020 at 10:56 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Last night I went to the compost bin, uncovered the latest addition, and it weighed in at about 1.5 lbs. So my estimate was pretty close.

 

I'm also not versed in gutting and butchering, but this one did look sort of tasty, LOL. Well, not any more.

 

I have several older copies of Joy of Cooking. The 1967 and 1975 editions have squirrel recipes, including how to skin and dress the meat. It cautions that gray squirrel is preferable to red squirrel for a less gamey taste. It is silent on the third major species, the Eastern Fox Squirrel.


Post# 1091348 , Reply# 62   9/30/2020 at 13:54 by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
Grandma used to fix Fried Squirrel

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They were Old Hillbillies with 18 kids to feed, they would eat pretty much anything.

Post# 1091367 , Reply# 63   9/30/2020 at 15:27 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Well, Kania seems like a sketchy operation.  There is no on-line ordering option, they seem not to have a presence on any other retailing platform, and after completing the "contact us" on-line form and clicking on "submit," a message pops up that says the contact feature isn't working.

 

I called Kania and got a recording with a female voice that confirmed I'd reached Kania, but advised that she -- like an individual -- was not available and to leave a message. 

 

I may have to settle for second best, as I have little confidence that I'll ever hear from this woman AKA Kania.

 

EDIT

 

I submitted a "contact us" message on the web site for the lone U.S. distributor for Kania, where the model 2000 is shown as out of stock, but at least I might get some information about just what is up with Kania.  I also went back to the Kania site and used the "feedback" navigation to successfully send a message inquiring about availability for purchase.  We'll see whether either of these actions provides a path toward eventual and satisfyingly lethal squirrel abatement.

 




This post was last edited 09/30/2020 at 16:11
Post# 1091385 , Reply# 64   9/30/2020 at 17:18 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        
SOL

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I was astonished to receive a call from Calvin(?) from Kania within perhaps 30 minutes of making my edit to the post above.

 

I was truly disappointed to learn that Kania is in the process of moving production back to Canada (from where, I don't know) and that they are estimating that it will be one year before their traps will again be available.  They are taking names and numbers of all who are interested, but I can't wait that long.  I'll be checking ebay regularly, starting right now.

 

As far as alternatives go, the Koro is looking like it could be worth a try, and it's a whole lot cheaper than a Kania.


Post# 1091484 , Reply# 65   10/1/2020 at 10:35 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Thanks for the info, Ralph.

I did send an email to my contact at Kania, asking if new 2000 traps were available, but have yet to receive a reply.


Post# 1091693 , Reply# 66   10/2/2020 at 17:07 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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I just placed an order for a "Little Killer" squirrel trap.  They are being marketed as a substitute for/variation on a Kania 2000. 

 

Per reviews, there's a durability problem but I doubt any issues would be a big deal to repair, and I'll place the trap where it's out of the elements.   I think I may only have two squirrels doing all the damage -- a grey one and a black one.  It'll be easy to determine if I bagged the right ones. 

 

I am SO looking forward to exacting swift justice.  I don't intend to stop at two victims, though.  I'll keep baiting and trapping until there are no more takers and do the whole neighborhood a favor.

 

The Koro trap I mentioned above requires augmentation to be effective, and per the less-than-optimum video reviews, seems difficult and dangerous to set, with multiple warnings about losing a finger.

 

 



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Post# 1092085 , Reply# 67   10/5/2020 at 15:30 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
revised...

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Make sure your new trap comes with instructions on skinning. People here like the idea of killing the occasional coyote that makes it's way back to it's original home...now a Del Web's housing division or something similar. The coyotes were here tens of thousands of years before the houses, so were the squirrels. 


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This post was last edited 10/05/2020 at 19:06
Post# 1092087 , Reply# 68   10/5/2020 at 16:19 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Yeah, if I were a fur trapper I might consider consumption.   I can't say skinning . . . er . . . appeals to me though.


Post# 1092666 , Reply# 69   10/10/2020 at 05:06 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I have an old shop building that I have been planning on tearing down for the past 15 years but haven't gotten to it yet.  It's still standing so I've decided to just clean it out, add a little insulation, and use it for our outdoor plants over the winter.  I began cleaning it out last night....I have several large trash bags full of squirrel nests!  I'm placing hardware cloth between the roof rafters and the wall headers to keep the critters out from now on.  Such a mess. 


Post# 1092734 , Reply# 70   10/10/2020 at 14:49 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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My trap is due any day now.  I just chased a squirrel away yesterday and followed its route not far up a tree behind my fence.  I spotted its nest so got a long pole and destroyed it.  If that little f_cker thought that was bad, he has one final surprise coming.


Post# 1092839 , Reply# 71   10/11/2020 at 12:25 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I was able to get a rejected Kania 2000 trap at a slight discount. The defects are largely minor and easily corrected.

Now I just need to determine the correct placement.

I was able to fix my old trap with a new spring. I baited it and put it back up on the tree, but so far no takers. Might have to move it to an alternate location.

The last squirrel I nabbed in the yard wasn't with a trap, it was with a pellet gun. Head shot. Since then the despoiling of avocados has decreased, but I'm still finding fallen half-eaten ones on the ground. It's possible the main culprits are smallish roof rats. My cat has brought in two of them in the past month, one was last night. Nothing like having a cat drop a dead rat on your desk. LOL.


Post# 1092855 , Reply# 72   10/11/2020 at 15:19 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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If you have squirrels you most certainly have rats, at least 2 to 3 times as many. The part of San Jose I grew up in (the real Willow Glen) remains heavily infested. When we bought our nice home on pricey Dry Creek Road the doctor's wife who lived next door said "don't you know Willow Glen is famous for it's rats?" The area once known as Burbank along with the old Race Street district is a dedicated breeding area for rats. Unlike squirrels, rats do their dirty work undercover of darkness. They use power and telephone/cable lines as a super-highway. Rats aren't as finicky as squirrels either. No self-respecting squirrel would consider the insulation covering on electrical wiring a gourmet treat. Too bad. I've never heard anyone say "that guy's a low down dirty squirrel" or from when I was a kid, "you're a squirrel fink."


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This post was last edited 10/11/2020 at 15:36
Post# 1092884 , Reply# 73   10/11/2020 at 20:59 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        
Rats

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Oh, I know we've got rats here. None indoors though, except for what the cat drags in (thankfully all dead by that point).

There *might* be some that get into the enclosed patio (some gaps in the outer wall) but I'm assuming the cat nabs those first. Fixing those gaps are on my to-do list.

Update before posting: just went out there and used some "Great Stuff", a urethane foam product, to fill in the worst gap. Found another possible entry point, will have to wait and see.


Post# 1092899 , Reply# 74   10/12/2020 at 00:20 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Joe, you are so right!  This whole town has a rat problem.  I wonder what it is about Race Street that makes it a favorite breeding ground.  There isn't anything in particular in the way of habitat or businesses that strikes me as more attractive than, say, Park Avenue.  My neighborhood lies between both, but as long as the rats aren't coming inside, I don't really mind them.  It's the destructive squirrels that I'm looking to eradicate. 

 

Since 10/12 is a federal holiday, my trap will be delayed even further.  It has been sitting at the USPS distribution facility in SF since before the weekend.  As of today the status indicates it's "In transit, arriving on time."  Yeah, not until Tuesday at the soonest, I'm afraid, and no arrival date was ever provided, so "on time" means nothing.  The seller sent it via "Stamps.com."  I thought they had disappeared along with all of the other casualties of the dot com collapse 20 years ago.  

 


Post# 1092901 , Reply# 75   10/12/2020 at 00:31 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Squirrels have caused a number of local power failures-mainly climbing on the lids of "pole pig" transformers and getting across the primary feeder insulator-POW!!!!Blown primary fuse and blasted apart squirrel.My Mom was cooking dinner and the squirrel pole pig thing happned at our house.The power company put a squirrel guard over the primary feed insulator.Still have one of these guards a lineman gave me years ago.

Post# 1092937 , Reply# 76   10/12/2020 at 11:12 by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        
Great Stuff

Rich- did you get the special formula for pest blocking? Rats/mice have been known to chew/claw through the regular stuff.

 

Chuck


Post# 1092953 , Reply# 77   10/12/2020 at 15:54 by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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This thread has been a real eye opener, LOL. Especially that photo of the squirrel getting skinned (yikes). I grew up in Eagle Rock, a little place in Northern Los Angeles nestled between Glendale and Pasadena and it has an abundance of squirrels and rats. The rats spent most of their time in the tops of palm trees feasting on tiny little coconuts, but they also had a taste for garden snails which made my dad very happy, so he left them alone. The squirrels on the other hand had a fondness for the avocados and walnuts that grew on trees in the yard, so my dad bought a fairly powerful air rifle with a scope and would sit out back in a chair listening to classical music and blasting them out of the trees. One afternoon I saw him take a number of shots at a particularly noisy chattering squirrel high up in a cedar tree that he swore was deliberately taunting him. He missed repeatedly which I teased him about, so he challenged me to do better if I thought I could. Having recently come out of the Army where I qualified as an expert with the M16 I figured why not? How hard can it be? I took his air rifle and drew a careful bead on the little bastard and pulled the trigger. The pellet hit home sending the squirrel into backwards somersaults as it tumbled down out of the tree and landed on the ground about ten feet or so away. Almost surprised by my own accuracy I lowered the air rifle and stood there staring at the mortally wounded critter as it went through its final death throws. My dad was thrilled and thanked me as I handed the rifle back to him, but I felt so guilty about what I'd done that I've never fired on a living thing since. I know, it's crazy to feel that way about the death of a squirrel. I guess I'm just a big softie. LOL

Anyways, I've certainly enjoyed reading through this thread. Reading about other people having squirrel issues reminds me of my dad and his epic battles with them over the years.


Post# 1093092 , Reply# 78   10/13/2020 at 18:23 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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The other day I faced down a squirrel and won.

I happened to be in front of my house and noticed a squirrel making its way down a telephone/power pole. It got to the sidewalk and was making for my back yard. When it was a few feet from the pole, I stepped forward and slapped my hands together loudly. It ran back to the pole, and climbed up about 20 feet to crouch on a lineman's bolt/step and stare at me. I got a hand sledge I'd been keeping in the front porch, and banged the bottom of the pole a few times. It got the message and climbed up to the power line and took off away from my house towards the next pole.

I know the creep will probably be back, but it felt good finally to be able to deliver the message, "Not here, not today".


Post# 1093116 , Reply# 79   10/13/2020 at 22:13 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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I posted that disgusting photo of the squirrel being skinned for shock value. I have come to realize that there are many readers that would have preferred a video of a live squirrel being skinned...with sound.

 

The sociopathic personality first develops in early childhood or adolescence and is classified under the diagnosis of “conduct disorder,” which then develops into “anti-social personality disorder.”An individual who is able to engage in cruelty to animals appears to have no conscience and thus no remorse for his or her behavior. The act of cruelty to animals results from an apparent need for power and control, and this need is accompanied by a lack of empathy. Animals are targeted, especially helpless and defenseless ones, because the perpetrator does not recognize or care that they have feelings and can experience not just physical pain but also emotional pain. “It was just an animal, so who cares?” They describe feeling a “rush” after abusing and killing an animal. This rush can also occur in people who inflict cruelty on other humans, so if a person is capable of abusing, torturing, and killing an animal, he or she may decide to go even further and inflict harm on another human being in order to achieve the same rush.


Post# 1093120 , Reply# 80   10/14/2020 at 00:55 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Cruel things happen in nature-the other day watched a video of a polar bear eating a seal ALIVE-peeling off its skin and eating it.The seal was struggling-trying to get away.The bear stompted on it with his paw and kept pulling its skin off.Its NOT just man.Also saw a video of a black bear eating a deer fawn still alive.The bear did not kill the fawn before starting to eat it.And yet another of hyenas eating a hippo while it was alive.Nature and other creatures are to blame too besides man.

Post# 1093149 , Reply# 81   10/14/2020 at 09:48 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I doubt that anybody here takes unwarranted joy in ending the life of a small animal like a squirrel. It is done for a reason, to protect gardens, orchards, and buildings. Confusing such legal control of depredating animals with psychological disorder is inappropriate.


Post# 1093150 , Reply# 82   10/14/2020 at 09:53 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        
Great Stuff

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Chuck,

No I didn't know there was a special formula for blocking rats etc. I did wonder if a determined rodent would just chew through the hardened foam.

I found another possible entry point in the outer wall of the enclosed patio. So maybe I'll look for the chew resistant version before addressing that spot. Thanks for the info.


Post# 1093154 , Reply# 83   10/14/2020 at 11:16 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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The trap arrived yesterday.  I'm taking care of a friend who is recovering from a medical procedure this week so may not be able to set up the trap for a couple more days.  I'll report results after the trap has been placed and baited.


Post# 1093155 , Reply# 84   10/14/2020 at 11:20 by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        

Hey Rich- I should have looked for the link and included it in my original reply!

 

Chuck



CLICK HERE TO GO TO perc-o-prince's LINK

Post# 1093184 , Reply# 85   10/14/2020 at 16:45 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Chuck,

Thanks for the link.

I'm not sure what makes this Pest Block any better at keeping out mice/rats than the standard stuff. The description is that it doesn't contain any poisons or pesticides. Perhaps it has some hot pepper extract? The website is a bit vague on that.


Post# 1093243 , Reply# 86   10/15/2020 at 09:21 by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        

Yeah, I'm sure they don't wanna give away any secrets to their competitors... wait... do they have any? LOL!

 

I would imagine it contains something to negatively stimulate either taste or tactile sense.

 

Chuck


Post# 1093244 , Reply# 87   10/15/2020 at 09:36 by sfh074 ( )        
Did anyone .....

try the proven method I suggested in reply #27? Just curious ... I don't think I would enjoy having to deal with the aftermath associated with a mechanical trap.

Post# 1093292 , Reply# 88   10/15/2020 at 19:24 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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OK, one houskeeping item up front:  Reply numbers don't always translate correctly if the viewer has "hidden" a member or members who have posted a reply.   It's best to provide the post number.  I'm guessing that you were inquiring about your post #1089804 regarding rats.

 

I've had no luck using mouse or rat bait for squirrels for about a dozen years or so.  D-Con used to look like oatmeal, and that worked great.  Now D-Con comes in the form of green pellets and squirrels don't care for it.  Years ago I was able to find marble-sized bait for rats that appeared to be made out of the same stuff as pellets, but squirrels did go for that stuff.  If they didn't eat it on the spot, they buried it.  I can't find the marbles anymore, so the mechanical device is my only alternative at this point.  I've tried all the baits out there, including a big tub of stuff for ground squirrels, which we don't have in my 'hood, and the tree squirrels don't eat that either.


Post# 1093304 , Reply# 89   10/15/2020 at 21:07 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I prefer traps to poison bait, because I have cats who might consume a poisoned rat or squirrel and suffer the consequences. Not to mention the hawks and other predators out and about.

Once one has seen the damage squirrels can do to a garden or orchard, viewing the "aftermath" of a lethal trap is sobering but not a deal breaker. I recall that Native American hunters used to say a little prayer over any game they'd killed for food. I'm not about to pray over a dead squirrel, but I often take a moment to contemplate the sacrifice. In a sense they sacrificed for my food: avocados.

If there was a way to exclude them from my avocado trees, I'd jump on that in an instant.

PS-The culprits in my garden are Eastern Fox Squirrels, which are not native to California but were introduced many decades ago, to where they have displaced the native western gray tree squirrels in most areas. So there is that.



Post# 1093384 , Reply# 90   10/16/2020 at 13:27 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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The trap is set.  It came with a complimentary small plastic jar of squirrel butter.  The stuff smells like a mixture of chocolate and coffee.  It's quite aromatic and I imagine it will serve as a good lure.

 

I'll give the current placement a couple of days and see how it goes.  If there's no action, I have a couple of other spots to try.

 

I've copied and pasted the pictures I took with my iPhone because it's the only way to get them to display right-side up.

 

 

 

 

 


Post# 1093389 , Reply# 91   10/16/2020 at 14:05 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
teasing one of my favorite members...

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Absolutely not a religious post so please don't turn it into one


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Post# 1093401 , Reply# 92   10/16/2020 at 15:09 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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LOL Joe, but no.   Besides, the scene inside the pearly gates would be a huge bore for me.  He will be getting some of his critters, though.


Post# 1093466 , Reply# 93   10/16/2020 at 21:26 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I saw those traps on the website, Ralph. They probably work well, and the price is reasonable. My only reservation was that being unfinished wood (pine?) they probably won't hold up too long in our rainy winters if exposed to the elements.

However one way around that is to build a little sheet metal tent for one. Or nail a plastic bucket by the bottom to a tree and stick the trap in that.

PS-Since I fixed my Kania 2000, no customers. There has been a squirrel attacking the avocados, but I scared it off, and I don't think it's been back.

But I did find a small possum in a humane trap in the back yard. I don't mind possums; they can be beneficial by eating snails and slugs. Anyway, I opened the trap; a few hours later it was still sleeping in there. Typically they won't leave a trap until it gets dark.


Post# 1093480 , Reply# 94   10/16/2020 at 23:49 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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I had no takers today and I think it was due to the hot weather.  I also had to take the trap down early because I was leaving around 3:30 PM and knew I'd not be back until after dark.  I didn't want to have to deal with a rat, which as far as I'm concerned, is far more preferable to have around than destructive squirrels.  I'll place the trap in the same location again tomorrow since that's when the cooling trend begins. 

 

I do agree about the durability concerns and don't intend to leave the trap out in the elements.  I have some ideas in mind to help it hold together over the longer term, as it's apparent that when one squirrel is eliminated, another will be along in short order, so this will be an ongoing thing.


Post# 1093568 , Reply# 95   10/17/2020 at 22:10 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Well, I know there's at least one squirrel out there now, because I found a new half-eaten avocado on the ground this morning. Right next to a small humane trap and the Kania 2000 attached to the tree trunk.

Sometimes a pellet gun is the only answer...


Post# 1093575 , Reply# 96   10/17/2020 at 23:16 by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        
Rattiest Cities

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Chicago #1 six years and running!

 

"Orkin ranked metro regions by the number of new rodent treatments performed from September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020. This ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments."



CLICK HERE TO GO TO IowaBear's LINK

Post# 1093607 , Reply# 97   10/18/2020 at 08:43 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        
Rats

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I'm not quite as non-sanguine as Ralph about rats. Perhaps because they also seem to be a problem here. At the back of my property is a 10 foot high chain link fence. On the other side is a condo development. There is English ivy growing on most of the fence. I keep it trimmed close to the metal on my side. But the condo association so far refuses to trim their side. The ivy is rampant on their side. I 've seen it extending out four or more feet at the top middle on their side, as well as growing along the ground and down a retaining wall on their side. There's a homeowner there who likes the ivy and resists efforts to control it. I used a long hedge trimmer and pruner to trim back their side some years ago, from my side while I was atop a ladder, and they complained about that.

In any case, this is probably the source of the small rats (or very large mice) that my cat drags in from time to time. I'm sure the lush ivy on their side provides lots of shelter for the rodents. Right now I have two cats patrolling the back yard: one is tame and sleeps indoors here, but can go in and out and has brought back perhaps a dozen rats over the past year. The other is her daughter (before she was fixed) who I often find i the back yard prowling around. It's never entirely clear to me that gnawed avocados I find on the ground are the work of squirrels or rats. Maybe both.


Post# 1093631 , Reply# 98   10/18/2020 at 15:42 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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As long as the rats aren't in my house or wreaking havoc outside, I'm fine with them.  I'm not scared or disgusted by them and really don't understand why so many people are.  I'll sometimes see them running along the fence rails or overhead wires before dark.  That's the extent of it.

 

My main concern about rats is that the trap is too large for them and I don't want to deal with the mess if it snaps down onto a rat anywhere below the neck.

 

Squirrels are another story entirely.  Destructive and unrelenting.  Today is Day Three for the trap.  I swear, it's like the squirrels have left town.  I haven't seen a single one since setting the trap.

 

Now I'm wondering how long squirrel butter lasts once its out of its container.  The wad I put on the trigger component has dried up and may have lost its luring capability by now.  I'll change it out tomorrow if there's no action by this evening.  For the rest of today I'm counting on these little buggers being curious enough to poke their heads inside the trap.  It won't take much for it to nail them if that happens.


Post# 1093654 , Reply# 99   10/18/2020 at 19:19 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I baited my Kania 2000 with Squirrel butter. But since it a bit aged, I also used some almonds and pecans in there.

Oh, and the avocado that dropped and got eaten, looks like it was pecked at by a bird, not chewed upon by a squirrel or rat. At least that's my impression today. We do have a lot of crows (or ravens) here. They nest in the Canary Island Pines in the nearby condo development. Or it could have been a jay or other birdie.





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