How can I keep the squirrels from eating every single pecan from my trees?
Hardiness Zone: 9a
CC from Texas
As with your inquiry on how to prevent birds from stealing your figs, the best and most effective solution, at least in the short term, might be to set up some food and water stations for the squirrels during a period when your pecans are maturing. Peanuts and black-oil sunflower seeds can be bought inexpensively in bulk from a feed store and offered as a temporary distraction. It isn't legal to shoot squirrels in Texas for the purpose of removing them from the garden. Live trapping and relocation might work temporarily, but just like extermination, it won't solve the problem long term. Each squirrel occupies a specific niche in the food chain. When one animal is removed, an opening is created and more resources are temporarily available to the rest of the population. Sooner or later (usually sooner) another squirrel will simply come in and stake a new claim on the newly available resources.
In the same way netting will keep birds out of your fig tree, it should work on keeping squirrels out of your pecan tree. You might also consider wrapping your tree's trunk with a metal baffle and trimming any branches growing near neighboring trees, power lines or buildings, to make it harder for squirrels to access your tree. If you have a dog, give him some water and shelter and stake him near your tree during the day.
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I've been feeding the squirrels and chipmunks for years and never had a problem. I can't imagine a law that allows murdering animals on your property. That's disgusting. For the pecan problem:
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