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Keeping Squirrels Out of Fruit Trees

Squirrels can be really adorable, except when they are decimating your fruit trees. Stopping the squirrels from eating the fruit on your trees will help ensure a good harvest. This is a guide about keeping squirrels out if fruit trees.

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June 18, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

We live in Greenville, in southeast Missouri. Any safe easy suggestions on stopping squirrels or raccoons from eating our peaches? I am not sure which creatures are eating them. We absolutely do not want to harm them! They are eating the peaches before they get ripe. Again is there a safe way to stop them? It is starting to get a bit frustrating! Thank you.

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    June 21, 20160 found this helpful

    Birds and people, as well as raccoons and squirrels, love peaches. You can try wrapping the trees in mesh fabric, repetitive loud sounds, lights, etc...

    Good Luck!!!

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    March 8, 2016 Flag
    1 found this helpful

    Does anyone know how to keep squirrels from eating the fruit off the peach and plum trees?

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      April 29, 20160 found this helpful

      I FOUND A FOUR INCH FOUR FOOT HOT WATER VENT PIPE WORKED BEAUTIFUL. SIMPLY PUT PIPE ON TREE, SNAP CLOSED SQUIRRELS CANNOT GET A GRIP ON THE SMOOTH PIPE. FUN TO WATCH THEM SLIDE DOWN.

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      May 18, 2012 Flag
      1 found this helpful

      I have an apricot tree that generally yields well. This year, there are dozens due to mild winter weather in northest Ohio. The tree is one of those varietals with an alleged, edible pit. In the past five years, we have yet to taste a ripe apricot. The problem, fox and gray squirels during the day and a mystery critter during the night, probably raccoons or flying squirrels. I have tried hot pepper spray, netting and don't think they would be afraid of an owl decoy after a couple of days. The one I placed to scare away the English sparrows has become a perch.

      Short of ordinance which is certainly an option and perhaps a diabolical treat for me at this point, does anyone have any suggestions to: 1) Allow a reasonabie harvest of fresh apricots on my part and 2) allow another/ other species to share a few of these tasty fruits?

      By Grumpy gardener

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      June 17, 20160 found this helpful

      Squirrel eating my pears

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      June 18, 20160 found this helpful

      We have Squirrels or Raccoons eating our Peaches! Any safe easy solutions to stop them?

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      August 24, 2011 Flag
      2 found this helpful

      I just landscaped my backyard and added about 5 fruit trees. First I noticed all the pomegranate blossoms and one small fruit on the ground one morning. Then I was admiring the Asian pear on my tree and the next day it was gone. There was a slight hole under the tree like it was dug away. Lots of gardenia blossoms were also on the ground, but those may be from overwatering.

      I do have squirrels visiting my yard cause I feed the birds and they try to get at that food. Any good ways to keep my fruit away from them? I spent a lot of time and money on the yard and was looking forward to the fruit.

      By Barb

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      August 29, 20111 found this helpful

      The only thing I have found that works to keep my fruit for myself from the squirrels is to grow hot peppers. Make hot pepper sauce with water from them and spray that on the trees. The pepper burns their mouth and they leave it alone but have to add it every couple of weeks. Sometimes I add a little Murphy's oil soap to the mix and that helps too. This was the first year I actually got all my peaches.

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      July 13, 20160 found this helpful

      That's what we have done as well. We tried everything including have a heart traps. Nothing is working. As of right now..we use the pellet gun and we plant the trees in pots and keep them on the deck. They won't go on the deck and we have an Irish Setter puppy that loves to eat Squirrels. Lol

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      August 12, 2013 Flag
      1 found this helpful

      This was my solution after every single apple disappeared last year. I go out several times a day and eyeball a count of ALL of the apples and they ALL seem to still be there.

      I bought a fine mesh roll of deer cloth in July, about 36 inches x 50 feet and wrapped it around my Honeycrisp apple tree. I am going to have apple pie IN A MONTH! (8/8/13)

      Supplies:

      • 50 ft deer cloth net
      • 12 ft pipe or pole
      • 40 in twist ties
      • 2 yd rope
      • 6 yd Top Hat lattice or 6 at 1/2 inch x 8 foot plastic pipes

      The plastic pipes could be joined in the center of each to form a disc to extend and support net somewhat away from the branches.

      Steps:

      1. First, I had help. We took a plastic pipe, about 3 inch diameter, and tied it vertically to the trunk of the tree. It is about 2 feet taller than the top branch.
      2. After encircling the 10 foot tree, starting at the top, several times, I tied where the wrapped deer cloth overlapped in many places, using twist ties from the produce department in the grocery store.
      3. I took the loose net that was next to the ground and tied all of it up to the trunk at the bottom of the trunk, using a piece of plastic rope.
      4. After the apples started weighing on the netting, I sorta crawled up and in and attached a leftover piece of plastic lattice fence horizontally on the tip top of the pipe to create a "hat" to hold the net away from the branches. I should have put in 2 or 3 to make an X. Next year.
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      July 12, 2013 Flag
      5 found this helpful

      Squirrels ate every pear from my tree a few years ago. They start early in the season, well before the fruit ripens. The next year as soon as I noticed the fruit being eaten, I wrapped the tree with enormous sheets of clear plastic that I bought in the paint department sold as dropcloths. I bought 3 of the cheapest, biggest ones, spent less than $10. Then with the help of my son and a ladder, I wrapped the tree with the plastic, pinning it to branches and to itself with clothespins. My tree is about 10 years old and about 15 feet high.

      The wrap job is nowhere near perfect but it works nevertheless. I concentrate on covering the branches with the most fruit. Some branches are too high so I don't get those covered. I loosely closepin the gaps between the sheets and I pin the plastic to the lower branches and close to the trunk.

      In my yard, the squirrels jump from other trees onto the pear tree as well as approach from below. Even though the plastic is rather thin, the wrap job stays intact for the season. Windy days pop a clothepin or two off so I repair it, if necessary. The fruit seem to ripen just fine. Hooray! I save the plastic for next year. I have done this 3 years in a row with very good results.

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        July 5, 2014 Flag
        0 found this helpful

        I have a fruit tree want to keep squirrels from eating. Can I hang moth balls to deter them? Will my fruit taste like moth balls over time?

        By maryc.

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        June 22, 20160 found this helpful

        We have an apple tree the squirrels have eaten all the apples. We have tried mother balls but that doesn't work anymore ideas would be appreciated!

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        April 1, 2013 Flag
        0 found this helpful

        I will be trying this in about a month. My friends in MA had very good luck last year with a small vegetable patch in their back yard. It took a few tweaks to the volts to not kill the birds. But they had an excellent harvest.

        I planted my 3 dwarf apple trees 6 years ago and still have not enjoyed a single apple! I had such high hopes last year as I had been prepared with the bird netting wrapped over my trees. The fruit lasted long enough for me to realize I could get enough to make several pies and put up some sauce for the winter, until one afternoon I returned home from work to find the hairy little bugger inside the netting picking the apples and dropping them down to the bottom of the netting.

        I scared him and he got out by an opening he had created in the closing seam of the netting. I went inside to get some fasteners to close it up some more and by the time I came out, he was bouncing his harvested apples over to the opening and dropping them to the ground to run off with. If I wasn't so mad, I would be impressed with his ingenuity.

        I'll take some photos of the install and instructions in another posting as soon as my friend can get up here and set this plan up.

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          July 25, 2010 Flag
          0 found this helpful

          How do you keep squirrels out of nut and fruit trees?

          Hardiness Zone: 8a

          By Sarah from MS

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          July 25, 20110 found this helpful

          Adjustable animal shield

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          July 5, 2013 Flag
          0 found this helpful

          We have birds and squirrels visit our cherry tree. In order to have any cherries ourselves, I take old CDs, tie one end of a string through the center hole, and tie the other end on the tip of a tree branch.

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          July 25, 2010 Flag
          0 found this helpful

          Can I use hot sauce to protect a peach tree from squirrels?

          By Victor from Long Island, NY

          Answers:

          Keeping Squirrels Out Of Fruit Trees

          I use hot pepper sauce around our fruit trees and garden to keep critters away, good luck. (04/24/2010)

          By kffrmw88

          Keeping Squirrels Out Of Fruit Trees

          They sell a plastic owl with moving heads and these scare the squirrels. Also, they sell motion activated sprinklers too! Here's several options and there are many more too:

          Here's a Wonderful Sugar Free Option: $50
          critter-repellent.com

          It's a motion-activated burst of ultrasonic sound that humans can't hear, it sound startles animals and teaches them to stay away

          Scare-crow Sprinkler: $75
          A motion-activated sprinkler teaches them to avoid the area in future.

          You'll have to Google to find the bobble-head owl.

          * I'd stay away from the hot pepper or hot-sauce because it's can be very cruel. This is because when animals and neighborhood pets get it in their eyes, the pain can cause them to dig their eyes out! I used to use it and recommend it until many ThriftyFun people wrote and warned me! Plus, the hot sauce has to be re-applied each time it rains. (04/24/2010)

          By Cyinda

          Keeping Squirrels Out Of Fruit Trees

          I saw an infomercial on TV yesterday. They said use peppermint oil, that rodents are allergic to it. Be sure it is oil from a health food store and not extract from the grocery store which is mostly alcohol. (04/25/2010)

          By zoodad

          Keeping Squirrels Out Of Fruit Trees

          We had issues with squirrels eating our strawberries, "all" our strawberries. I read somewhere that they do not like the scent of coffee grounds. We tried it and it worked wonderfully! Plus unlike cayenne pepper, it seems to still be effective after regular waterings or rain showers. I scatter coffee grounds about every 2-3 weeks and have not had any issues since. Plus it's a non-chemical solution that is safe for our family and our puppy, too. I definitely recommend to give it a try. (06/09/2010)

          By HunnyBunnyCO

          Keeping Squirrels Out Of Fruit Trees

          Finally, after 4 years of trying oils, owls, moth balls, coffee grounds, rubber snakes, sonic noise makers, etc. I finally have not had one squirrel in my apple trees. I may get my first crop on my 7 year old trees. I put 40 inch wide, rather thin gauge sheet metal around the trunks of my trees. The squirrels try to jump up over the tin, but can not jump that high. This solution was so simple, I should have thought of it sooner. Haven't harmed a single squirrel and they are still in my neighborhood.

          Russ (06/24/2010)

          By rn4005

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          April 24, 2010 Flag
          1 found this helpful

          I have tried owls, snakes, moth balls and spray. None worked for more than a day. Tried the plastic cone around the trunk and they jumped to the top edge and crawled up anyway.

          This year I put "tangle foot", a product that is very sticky and used to keep pigeons off areas. Worked great. As soon as they jumped to the cone edge and got the adhesive on the front feet, they dropped off the cone and did not come back. They were not hurt in any way, but did not like the adhesive.

          By rn4005 from Omaha, NE

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          August 31, 2009 Flag
          0 found this helpful

          This year, we are over-run with squirrels. They are even picking green apples off my tree, taking a bite out of them, then tossing them to the ground. A late freeze killed most fruits, so I'd like to keep the few apples I have left. If anyone has ideas on what to do to deter these pests, I'd appreciate all the help I can get.

          Susan from Arkansas

          Answers:

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          Let them eat, squirrels are not a pest, they are an essential part of nature. Enjoy them in their habitat, leave them alone.

          Solution: Squrrels can't go to the shops and buy apples, you can, so why not do that. (06/17/2007)

          By A Drachmann

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          I guess that I did not make myself clear in my first post. The problem is not whether or not I get apples, but with the sheer number of squirrels we are bombarded with this summer. We have a pecan tree that was planted when our house was built in 1902 that is huge. We also have an oak tree. Neighbors have numerous trees, so there is always plenty of food for them, yet they are not happy.

          They have destroyed my garden (this summer I've planted it 4 times), have raided my berry patches (strawberry, raspberry, gooseberry, and blueberry), dug up and killed several plants in my flower beds, made their way through my flower boxes, and dug up most of my potted plants on my porch --who knew squirrels liked avacado pits that had already grown into trees? They go into my German shepherd's pen when he is asleep, to eat his food and squeeze into my cat's pen when he is in the house to eat his cat food. I've put out squirrel feeders that you place corn cobs on hoping that they'd leave other things alone, but that idea failed. They've destroyed a bird feeder I paid over $150 for that was supposed to be squirrel-proof (metal is only a minor deterrent to them). They have eaten through our phone and cable TV lines, dug into our home's eaves trying to nest in our attic (we have a 3-story house, so it's no small matter to repair the damage), got caught in our electric lines where they've gotten fried so badly that we've lost our electricity at times, and dug out the cement between the bricks of our chimney to nest in it. Did I mention that they've destroyed our roof to the point that it had to be replaced? Do you know how hard it is to find someone to reroof a home as tall as ours with a pitch this steep in a small town? The reroof cost us $20,000, we are not rich people.

          Living in town, these animals are able to jump from tree to tree to fence to house to garage, to get around. Now I love animals. I take ones in that others have thrown out and find homes for them. I volunteer at our local shelter. I'm the person who carries dog food in the car to put out for starving dogs I cannot catch. But these squirrels are a destructive nuisance. There are far too many to catch and I simply am bewildered on how to handle them.

          Suggestions would be appreciated. (06/17/2007)

          By susanmajp

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          My friend used pepper spray. Spray it as close to the nests as possible. Spray them if you can. They hate it! Guess what? Every squirrel left their yard. No more at all! Neighbors might be upset because the move elsewhere but they can buy spray too! : ) (06/18/2007)

          By Debbie Columbia, SC

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          Jerry Baker, garden "expert" claimed the squirrels are just thirsty and that if you keep a bird bath full of water nearby, they will not eat the apples. This works for us. Good luck and God bless you. : ) (06/19/2007)

          By Lynda

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          Coyote urine works for me, don't try and just use it around 1 tree, put it around your entire property, maybe even your neighbors. The stuff isn't cheap but if you are clever you can find ways to stretch it. (06/22/2007)

          By reallybarb

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          Feed them some peanuts and give them water. They love peanuts much more than apples. (06/27/2007)

          By gardenman

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          I have just experienced raccoons eating apples from a new dwarf trees. I am very frustrated. We are in a residential area. I was going to hang windchimes from the limbs to alert me when they were "stealing" but I would probably be asleep.

          They have traps for catching mice that work very well. I would think one could construct one larger for raccoons or squirrels and then take the occupant on a nice drive. It is a rectangle with one door that lets them push in to enter and get the goodie, but then is too long for them to push back out.

          I also had more fun watching squirrels I was trying to detract from my bird feeder by tying peanuts in the foot section of a pair of tights. When I used string like rope, they got them down in 1 min. But when I used an electric cord they could not chew through so easily it stayed on the tree limb. They could not chew through the tights either. It was on a limb in a fir tree and they were hanging on it and that limb would go way up and down like a bungee cord while they were trying to get the nuts. They hung on for dear life as it kept going up and down. It was wild watching them.

          Also, another thought, if seeds are left on the ground it could attract rodants. (09/28/2007)

          By Shaleena

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          Squirrels are a huge problem in my yard. They eat the buds, flowers and fruit if there is any left on my apple and pear trees. The neighbor feeds them peanuts, filberts, walnuts, corn plus there are several bird feeders. We also have 3 birdbaths and a pond where they can get water. So it is not because they don't have anything to eat. We also have 19 fir trees so they eat the pine cones also. They chew on my wooden mason bee houses and bird feeders of which I don't fill anymore. One of the squirrel proof feeders I purchased, they learned how to unhook the latch. I thought it was accidental or coincidental but it is not. It has been repeatedly unlatched. Last year I hung pouches of fox urine crystals in the fruit trees and had limited success. I am going to try hanging moth balls in the trees this year. (04/15/2008)

          By Mars

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          I read that hanging 1-foot long nylons filled with mothballs at various places in the tree will deter the squirrels. After three years of EVERY apple disappearing after growing to 1-2 inch diameter, I'm trying it this year! (05/14/2008)

          By Ernie

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          I put an oscillating sprinkler under my almond tree, one of those long ones that go back and forth, and this seems to scare the squirrels away. I almost have a full crop this year. (5/26/08) (05/26/2008)

          By Bill

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          I've always had a dog who chased the squirrels when given the chance. She died last year and the squirrels have started to eat our strawberries as well. If you can get a dog that would work good, if not definitely do not befriend the squirrels. (06/21/2008)

          By Ken

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          Relax people, let these critters live. They don't know that the apples "belong" to someone. They are merely trying to survive. A.drachmann is right- go to the store and buy apples. Let these creatures eat. (06/29/2008)

          By maddy

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          Try bottle rockets, they're loud and harmless, just sit out on your porch quietly and launch at the first sign of trouble. They should hopefully relocate to get away from the fireworks. (09/19/2008)

          By Chris

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          I use the cheap rubber snakes available in the toy section of your dollar store or other. Hang them in your trees, changing their location everyday or so. Works for me. (09/30/2008)

          By Toebeanie

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          Thanks for all the ideas, I think I will try the mothballs next year. I had baffles under the tree which helped for a while then as the apples matured they wiped them all out in one week. Since they are small trees, I could not get the baffles any higher than 4 ft. So much for spraying weekly.

          I had tried years ago to trap them in Have a Hart traps but after trapping approximately 40 and moving them to a location 2 miles away on the other side of a lake I noticed I trapped the same one a week later. Did I move the same one all the time?

          Since then I read that you need to move them 20 miles or so and with the price of gas, so much for trapping. (10/23/2008)

          By Don B

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          To find out if you are deporting the same squirrel from your block. Catch the squirrel, hung a jingle bell to it's neck, paint the tell with a florescent paint, red, yellow, orange and release it. (07/06/2009)

          By shabazwarda

          Squirrels Eating My Apples

          I have been fighting those beautiful animals for several years, I have pear, apple, peach trees, cherry trees, and grapes. They chew on the apple and pear until they get to the seed, they eat the seeds and through the rest. Very wasteful.

          Each Squirrel has its own zone of trees, if you get rid of one, you are resting for at least 10 days, until the rest of squirrels know that nobody own that zone, they they move in fighting each others until one of them wins.
          (07/06/2009)

          By shabazwarda

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          August 31, 2009 Flag
          0 found this helpful

          Keeping squirrels from harvesting your apples and pears. Puncture a hole in a few aluminum pie plates, tie them singly with twine to the lower branches of your fruit trees. The clanging will scare them away. By Chell

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          June 16, 2007 Flag
          0 found this helpful

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

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