Squirrels Eating My Apples

Q: Is there a way to discourage squirrels from feasting in my garden? They have eaten every apple on my three trees.

Diane

A: Diane,

This is a tough problem. Other than tying a cat or dog out to guard your tree, your best line of defense is trying to discourage squirrels from climbing it in the first place. Here are a few suggestions:

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Attach a 2-3 ft wide metal collar/baffle around the trunk about 6 ft. up from the ground. Use one that is fastened with springs to allow for expansion as the tree trunk grows.

If possible, remove branches less than 6 ft from the ground and those that come within 6 ft of other trees or buildings.

If squirrels are using a telephone or cable wire to access you tree, you can slip a plastic disk or some 10-inch PVC tubing over the wire to prevent squirrels from crossing it. CAUTION: DO NOT do this to power lines! It's very dangerous!

I have a flowering crab tree in my backyard. I feed birds from feeders in my front yard. For the past 5 years I have offered the squirrels and chipmunks a pan of black-oil sunflower seeds a few feet away from the feeders at the base of another tree. So far this has successfully kept them from raiding the rest of my feeders and my apple tree. I haven't noticed any increases in their population, but I admit there may be other forces at work-a large predatory bird population and (unfortunately) several neighborhood cats on the prowl.

By Ellen Brown

More Answers:

Squirrels Eating My Apples

Could it be raccoons? They love apples too. And they will come at night and seem to have very large tummies. (08/29/2005)

By valleyrimgirl

Squirrels Eating My Apples

I hadn't thought of raccoons - maybe they are in on this too. I have seen the squirrels boldly sitting in the trees eating though. Whatever it is, I desparately need a solution. After all the work of pruning and spraying, it is very discouraging to watch the apples disappear before they even ripen. (08/29/2005)

By Diane

Squirrels Eating My Apples

Raccoons do NOT like the smell of vinegar. My mom just read that in a magazine article to me last night. Place jars with vinegar at the base of the tree and poke holes in the lid of the jar. This supposedly works to keep the raccoons out of a corn patch. I would think that they would then not climb the apple tree.

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If it is squirrels... I do not know if that would work. Squirrels jump from tree to tree. Do you have netting that you can put over the tree? What about picking the apples? Are they close to being ready...even if you have to make all of them into apple pies (with lots of sugar) at least you would get to eat the apples, not the squirrels. What about giving the squirrels an alternate source of food (to deter them)?What about spraying a mixture of cayenne pepper on the tree? They HATE that taste. All you would have to do later is wash the apples off.

What do you think? (08/29/2005)

By valleyrimgirl

Squirrels Eating My Apples

If you have a lot of trees around your's and the neighboring properties, it is like you are in a squirrel run!

If you and your neighbors have bird feeders in yards that squirrels can get to, it will encourage them to hang around. For us it was a problem keeping the squirrels from eating from the bird feeder. Eliminate food sources is a help ... not always the answer ... but a start.

There are traps that you can trap and release to another area; we have a park that hubby releases them to. We have released hundreds over the years. We have three traps ... one high price purchased and two cheaper ones purchased at a yard sale.

Squirrels are smart little things, and it always seems like they have the upper hand in figuring out how to get the fruits! It is a battle of the witts!

I don't think there is any perfect solution.

(08/31/2005)

By syd

Squirrels Eating My Apples

Source: http://www.garden.org/pestlibrary/animals.php?q=show&id=1795

These furry rodents are regulars at many backyard birdfeeders and will also attack a variety of garden targets such as young seedlings, berries, fruits, and vegetables. They even have been known to decapitate flowers such as tulips -- seemingly just for fun. Chipmunks are particularly good at unearthing bulbs, eating freshly planted seeds, and munching on maturing root crops.

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These rodents are smart. Given time, they'll find a way to get to their desired target. As with birds, it's best to vary your approach every so often to keep the rodents off balance. An good exclusion trick is to place a baffle on fruit tree trunks or bird feeder poles. New "squirrel-proof" feeders appear frequently in catalogs -- they may feature counter-weighted or electrified perches that surprise the critters when they visit the feeder. Some gardeners have had success spraying animal repellents such as cayenne pepper mix, predator urine, mothballs, and commercial formulas on or around plants. Others have had short-term success using ultrasonic noisemakers or setting up separate squirrel-feeding stations to lure them away from the garden. Trapping is the surest way to remove problem rodents. Live traps are very effective for particularly pesky squirrels or chipmunks. However, don't expect to control a whole population with trapping -- there are always more squirrels and chipmunks waiting to move in. (09/04/2005)

By Anonymous, NY

Squirrels Eating My Apples

I had a problem with squirrels eating my strawberries.I put a electric radio under a 5 gallon pail and turned on the music to a country and western station. No more squirrel. And now wonderful berries. Hope this works for you. (09/09/2005)

By Kinga Duchin

Comments

July 12, 20160 found this helpful

I wrapped the my pear tree, about 2 ft up with tanglefoot material and spread tanglefoot all over it. Its a very sticky substance used to deter insects from eating your tree but the squirrels havent been near my tree since I wrapped it. They must not likely sticky feet. yeaaa. I found the spread and the wrapping material at my local Menards store for under $15.

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