squirrel extermination

Stop Squirrels from Eating Tomatoes

For some reasons, most of us have the tendency to look at squirrels as adorable little creatures. Some people even feed squirrels with peanuts and other stuff. However, squirrels remain to be rodents and welcoming these critters into our homes and in our gardens will never a good idea, especially if you are growing tomatoes. Squirrels do not really like tomatoes but during dry seasons, these red and delicious pulps are the best source of moisture to most squirrels. You might have spent weeks tending your tomatoes and for days you might have had your eye on the choicest tomatoes in your garden. It is not a good feeling to just lose your tomatoes to pest squirrels right? But squirrels are clever rodents and they have their own ways of getting their hands on your precious tomatoes. Thus, you only have two options if you want to keep your tomatoes for yourself: (1) kill the squirrels that get in your way or (2) keep the squirrels out of your garden by creating a barrier. Of course, the first one is rather too bloody and animal right activists might end up rallying right in your doorsteps if you do that. SO, your best option is to create the squirrel barrier.

How to build a squirrel barrier?

You don't have to be fancy with the barrier that you install in your garden. With some cheap materials and a little carpentry skills, you will do just fine. Just follow the steps below.

1. You purchase enough chicken wire to cover the perimeter of the area that you need to protect. Since you are simply growing tomatoes in your garden, then we are not talking about acres of land here. About five meters of chicken wire will do just fine.

2. Make sure that you do not build your chicken wire fence too close to the tomatoes or else the squirrels will still be able to reach out and eat your tomatoes even after you have installed your barriers.

3. You also need to install a top cover over your chicken wire "cage" to make sure that the squirrels will not be able to penetrate through your barriers by climbing up the chicken wire.

4. The bottom of your chicken wire barrier has to be secured too. If you leave enough space between the ground and the edge of the chicken wire, squirrels might still be able to pass through the barrier and eat your tomatoes. If order to secure the chicken wire, you can simply bend its edges and put weights on the bent edges. You can use rocks or bricks as weights.

5. If you are after long term protection, you might want to consider building a wooden frame around your tomato garden. The frame will have a cover that you can easily open so that you still have good access to your tomatoes. You don't need to use expensive wood for this project. In fact, you can use slab wood and build the frame yourself. You can consult a friend, a book or an online material for some tips on carpentry if you do not have an idea on how to build the frame.

6. Well, you can also make use of nylon netting. It works like the chicken mesh, but it's easier to manoeuvre through it so that you can still have access to your tomatoes. However, if the squirrels are really determined to get your tomatoes, you shouldn't be surprise if they manage to chew through your nylon netting.

But then, what if constructing a barrier cage is just too complex for you? Don't you have any other options? Actually, you do. You can use organic chemical barriers. An example of an organic chemical barrier is Urine Powder.

Big predators like lions, foxes and bears usually urinate throughout their hunting area to send the message to other predators that the place is already a territory of another predator. But, it is not just the other predators that are warned by the urine. The smell of the urine also tells prey that their predator is near. This is the nature of urine powders. In simple words, squirrels are tricked into thinking that a predator is nearby and so they are deterred from drawing any closer. Squirrels are usually hunted by foxes in the wild and urine powders sold in garden stores are synthesized to have the distinct fox smell. However, one disadvantage of urine powder is that it washes away when it rains. So, every time it rains, you will have to re-apply the powder all over your garden again. But then again, this shouldn't be much of a problem because squirrels normally attack tomatoes during dry seasons, so when it rains, there shouldn't be squirrels and when it is dry, and then the powder wouldn't be washed away.

Bait Tomatoes

Nevertheless, the best way to stop squirrels from attacking your choicest tomatoes is to plant tomatoes that are intended for squirrel consumption only. You don't have to take much care of these tomatoes; you don't even have to pamper it with fertilizers and other stuff. You will just set it out there for the squirrel's satisfaction. You still need to protect your choicest tomatoes, but having unprotected tomatoes in some portions of your yard will give squirrels more reasons not to attack the other tomatoes. Consider it you donation to the hungry squirrels. That way, you will be peacefully coexisting with them.

Guard Dogs

Keeping a dog in the garden is also an excellent way to keep the squirrels out. However, you should not keep a pet dog for this sole purpose because if you do, the tendency is you will not be taking care of your dog enough because you will only view your dog as a necessary "tool" for squirrel control. That's not fair to the dog, so you might as well just consider borrowing your neighbour's dog every once and a while. Let the dog chase some squirrels in your garden especially if you are out for a couple of days.
squirrel extermination