Keeping Squirrels Out of Fruit Trees

July 12, 2013

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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August 12, 2013

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.


July 5, 2013

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.


14 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

March 8, 2016

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


April 8, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

The only solution I found this put a rubber snake in the base of the tree

April 29, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

I found a four inch four foot hot water vent pipe worked beautifully. Simply pt the pipe on the tree and snap it closed.


Squirrels cannot get a grip on the smooth pipe. Fun to watch them slide down.

May 13, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Just put human hair around the tree in the ground. You can get in a beuty salón, the squirrels don't like it AND stay away from the tree.

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May 18, 2012

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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May 18, 20121 found this helpful
Best Answer

I don't know if it would work for all the critters but it would cut down on some of them (especially the birds).

Add bells to your branches. Don't hang them from the limbs on strings tie them directly to the branch. This way when a critter goes on the branch (shaking it) the bells clatter. It may scare them away. Find bells that are very senstive. Smaller bells tend to be more sensitive than larger ones because their clacker isn't as heavy.

Another trick (that my father does) is to find a Model T coil and hook it up with a wire around the bottom of the tree. This gives any critter trying to cross and climb a shock.


We had raccoons eating peaches off our tree before they developed enough to be picked. This trick stopped the little guys.

I was told or read that you can also put something sticky around the base of the trunk of the tree and it will deter climbing critters. They don't like how their paws stick. Not sure off hand what would be wide enough that the critters wouldn't step over it easily. Something like a fly strip but much wider. Maybe there is a substance they sell at a yard and garden place for insects (like ants) that you can spray on the trunk.

June 14, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Maybe mac tac (sticky shelf liner) turned upside down with the sticky side up?

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August 24, 2011

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


August 29, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

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 25, 2010

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

Hardiness Zone: 8a

By Sarah from MS


October 17, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

We tried Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart AC/DC to no avail until we tried Carol Burnett Comedy Tapes- Alas: All Squirrels gone. It's her high stupid laughs and corny corny jokes that seems to send them packing!

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July 23, 2017

We have three fruit trees (apple and peach) and we are having issues with squirrels. We have lived in our house for three years and not once have we been able to harvest our fruit because they all get eaten. These fruit trees are old and planted along a fence line and surrounded by larger trees.

Even if we put deterrents around the base of the trees, the squirrels can just jump to the fruit trees from the other trees. Any suggestions on getting those dang squirrels to leave our fruit trees alone? And no, cutting down the other trees is not an option.


Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
July 24, 20170 found this helpful

We cover our trees up with a net so the squirrels cannot get in.


Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,246 Posts
July 24, 20170 found this helpful

We net ours, as well. We have tried everything else (spicy sprays, CDs, everything).. The net is the best.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
July 25, 20170 found this helpful

Netting or cheesecloth


Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
July 30, 20170 found this helpful

I do not believe you will be able to cover your trees with netting and only partially covering will only help the squirrels do a better job.

I have some suggestions; some I have used, others just heard about. 1.) Let your dog out (of course, assuming you have a dog) 2.) Fix squirrels an alternative food source located away from your fruit trees. This may/will not eliminate the loss of fruit from your trees but can greatly reduce it.


3.) This I recently read: Use Christmas ornament hooks to hang shiny, wavy and noisy things in your fruit tree. (CDs, cut ribbons from brightly colored material that will blow in the wind, strips of aluminum foil, aluminum pie trays, wind chimes, Styrofoam cups, empty one gallon water jugs, wind socks,) just add or move things around every few days.

4.) Internet site: For best results, put fake snakes and other simulated predators in place just before fruits begin ripening and remove them right after harvest. Consider moving them about during the harvest, too, to keep squirrels from becoming accustomed to their presence.

Here are a couple of sites that also have some suggestions;


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
August 13, 20170 found this helpful

Try hanging some windsocks on or near the trees. It only works awhile, and you have to often move them.

May 10, 20180 found this helpful

That did not work for me. Squirrels easily chewed through the net

June 21, 20220 found this helpful

I lot some Mylar balloons to scare them off.

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June 18, 2016

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.


Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 220 Answers
June 21, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 24, 2010

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.


August 31, 2009

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


August 31, 2009

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.


June 16, 2007

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


July 25, 2010

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

Home and Garden Pest Control Squirrels and ChipmunksNovember 1, 2011
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