Solution for Squirrels Ravaging the Garden
Tagged: control squirrels, garden hacks, nonpoisonous solution, pests, rodents, Solution for squirrels in the garden, squirrel bait, squirrels
Solution for Squirrels Ravaging the GardenPosted by KimC on December 23, 2022 at 3:50 am
Finally, I was able to connect with someone who has a successful solution for squirrels plaguing the garden, digging, ruining or taking fruit and generally being the pests that they are. Below are the instructions I obtained. I don’t understand what the container is (maybe someone here can help explain that?), so I need to figure that part out, but I am hopeful this will actually work. I intend to try it out this coming spring. One thing I don’t yet know is if neighborhood cats or birds would eat this bait. If not, I wouldn’t need to use the special container. If you know about that, please comment. Let me know if you’ve heard of it, or tried this bait, or method, and what results you got—or concerns you have. Here’s the info:
Use 3 parts dry oatmeal to 1 part Plaster of Paris. Mix well. To keep it out of reach of dogs (they’ll eat it), place it in a 4″ PVC Tee container. The bottom is about 2 feet with a one-foot vertical tube (in the middle of the two-foot bottom tub), and a cap to place the bait in. When the squirrels (and rats and mice) eat it, the bait hardens in their stomachs and they perish. If an owl, hawk, or coyote eats them (squirrels, rats, and mice), they only get a small amount of calcium. No systemic environmental harm.
Stay vigilant and always keep the tubes filled with one cup of bait.
When I started using this method, it looked like a theme park with squirrels frolicking everywhere, and it seemed hopeless. They were eating everything. As an organic farmer, I had to find a better way to control them. Now it’s a ghost town.Sojourner replied 1 month, 1 week ago 10 Members · 41 Replies
PapaFarmerMemberDecember 23, 2022 at 12:17 pm
Currently I can’t quite visualize the design, but I do understand the concept. I suspect it is similar to an upside down T? With the center part pointing up to fill through perhaps? I have seen chicken feeders similar.
KimCMemberDecember 23, 2022 at 9:07 pm
The thing that really struck me was the dimensions. Two feet is huge for my small garden. Seemed like something huge and heavy. I need to research this as I can’t really even picture it. Thanks for your input.
SqueezeMemberDecember 23, 2022 at 3:01 pm
I have the same problem. Rabbits were easy to deter, but the squirrels are determined. I have a handicapped neighbor that feeds them peanuts. They race right to my garden to bury them and dig up everything they dont chew on.
KimCMemberDecember 23, 2022 at 9:14 pm
Someone near me feeds the local squirrels peanuts also, and they beeline it here to bury them, digging up my raised beds and containers in the process. I finally found the spiked scat mats and placed them on top of everything I could, and that kept them out of the beds and containers, but not the trees, of course. They damage or take as much of my ripening fruit as they can manage, and pull off even more and throw it to the ground just for fun, leaving it to rot (not even a bite mark on it!). I salvage as much as I can, and this year got more by picking early and letting things ripen inside. That’s not possible with everything, and the flavor isn’t nearly as good as tree-ripened, but you do what you have to. Now maybe, just maybe, this method will work and I will be free of the plague of squirrels once and for all. Here’s hoping! Please let us know if you try it and what results you get.
SDDawgMemberDecember 29, 2022 at 4:34 pm
I’ve always been one to work with nature rather than against it. To keep animals out of my garden. I feed the squirrels dried corn and raw peanuts. They look forward to seeing me bring it out. For rabbits and deer I planted clover away from my garden area. They like that better. Birds tend to eat the fruits and veggies for the moisture in them. So I have several birdbaths on my property as well as feeders.. work with nature you’ll have a more harmonious outcome.
KimCMemberDecember 30, 2022 at 2:06 am
Thanks for your input. I completely understand where you’re coming from. I tried that—for a long time. In this small, suburban back yard in a neighborhood that the houses are close together, and where the growing space is already extremely limited, every bit of food counts, and even so much more when severe shortages occur as time goes on.
Because of the extreme nuisance that the squirrels are, there aren’t many choices for utilizing your method in this location. “Coexisting” with them just isn’t possible because what we have is so limited, and they are so very many. I have become pretty much of the same thinking as Danny from Deep South Homestead: When it comes to the food, it’s us or them (paraphrased). If they want to travel my fence rail on their way to/from their daily destinations, fine. But if they’re going to damage or take just about every bit of food I’m growing, then that’s a different situation and where I have no choice but to draw the line. I wish it were different because I enjoy nature and animals in general, but alas, in this situation, it is not.
- This reply was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by KimC.
DeepSouthBamaGRITSMemberFebruary 9, 2023 at 4:08 am
I have used this same concept for a WOOD RAT bait station. The only difference in this bait station & the one you referenced is the “T” is sitting on the ground (imagine an upside down “T”). You drill a hole in the end cap & put a long bolt with a washer on the head end. You then stack the rat bait cubes (like Tom Cat or similar brand) on the bolt that sits on the washer that would be in the center of the “T” so rats could access the bait from both sides. When the rats eat the bait, the next one drops down. You attach the end of the bolt to the end cap with a nut. The rats will enter either side of the inverted “T”, eat their fill of the poison then go off to die. It is best to try not to have any water source around that would be convenient for the rats to get to. It does work but rats tend to multiply rapidly so you have to be consistently adding the rat bait to the bait stations (especially if you live in the woods, like I do).
I know this may sound CRUEL to some people but if you have ever dealt with wood rats on a homestead, they can be more destructive than a squirrel. They also get in your chicken coops to try to scavage any left over grains/feeds AND they will attract SNAKES to your coop that steal your eggs or worse, eat chicks and TRY to eat any hens that try to attack them.
I don’t understand why this bait station for squirrels has to be 2 ft wide & 2 ft tall. I’m assuming you would have to add 2-inch PVC pipe (approx 1ft to each side) of the 2-inch “T” to make it 2 ft wide? Then add a 2 ft piece of PVC to the center of the “T” to make it 2 ft tall???? I could see adding some length to the two ends to support the length of a squirrel but once they entered the pipe, the bait would be right there for them to eat. I can’t see them going down yet another pipe 2 ft long to reach the bait. Maybe add a 6 inch piece of PVC pipe and cap it off so it would hold the “CUP” of bait, but 2 ft?
I think I’m going to take the DANNY APPROACH and play Annie Oakley a few mornings/evenings. At least I would know they wouldn’t suffer & it would be quick & over with. But of course I understand you can’t use that approach where you live.
KimCMemberFebruary 9, 2023 at 5:07 am
Thanks for the input. If there’s a chance you could include a photo of what you made for the rats, that would be really helpful and appreciated in figuring out what to do related to the squirrels. This is all new to me, so trying to picture what I was originally told in my mind’s eye has been a bit challenging. Your details and description though may help a lot when I venture to the big box store to try and describe what I’m looking for. Thanks!
DeepSouthBamaGRITSMemberFebruary 9, 2023 at 9:44 pm
When you go to big box store. Decide on how many you want to make 1st. I know Schedule 40 PVC pipe is more expensive so you may want to go with the thin-walled C-PVC.
COMPILED PARTS LIST:
1. 2-inch PVC or C-PVC “T” with slip ends
2. 2-inch PVC or C-PVC end cap
3. BOLT-as long as you want your bait rod to be. As thin in diameter as you can get.
4. Wing nut & 1-inch washer
5. 2 inch PVC or C-PVC pipe (to add length to hold bait rod) and/or add length to sides.
6. Rat Bait-make sure they have holes in the center. Get bait at the big box store, Tractor Supply, Walmart, Feed/Seed Store, etc. Flavored is best for attracting rats/mice. Some brands do not come in flavored. JT Eaton does. Another brand (not sure if it comes in flavored) is Tom Cat. There are other brands available.
(If you decide to use ALL THREAD, get the thinnest you can find. Get a nut, lock washer & 1-inch washer and a wing nut to fit the all thread.)
Drill a hole in the center of the end cap. Put the washer on the end of the bolt with the head. Put the square baits (with holes in the center) on the bolt. Put the blunt end of bolt thru the hole in the end cap and attach the wing nut to hold bolt in place. Attach the end cap to the single end of the “T” on the PVC Pipe extension. if you’re going to extend the sides of the “T” with extra PVC pipe, then attach the additional sections to each side. Finished. Get some wire to secure the bait station where you want it. A roll of metal strapping works well, too.
If you don’t want to try to find a thin (in diameter) bolt that is long enough to reach the inside of the “T” for the rats to get the bait, it may be cheaper & easier to just buy a stick of “ALL THREAD”. It looks like a big bolt with no head. You can either use a grinder with a cut-off wheel or a metal cut-off saw to cut the all thread to the length you want. You would just have to get an extra nut and a lock washer to put on the end to hold the regular 1-inch washer that holds the bait.
My traps are outside and it is raining so I have found a pic of a similar rat bait station so you can see what it will look like when finished, the bolt to hold the bait (This picture is not a bolt but a special design) but the head of the bolt & a 1-inch washer works just as well. Also a pic of a 2 inch PVC “T”. You can see that the top is not very long so you will need to get some pipe to extend it up to hold several pieces of the bait. Sending a pic, too, of some of the baits, apple or peanut flavored is best, to better attract rats.
PLEASE REMEMBER IF YOU USE THIS METHOD THAT THE DEAD RODENTS WILL HAVE THE POISON IN THEIR SYSTEM. PLACE THE BAIT STATIONS AWAY FROM WATER SOURCES, YOUR CHICKENS OR OTHER POULTRY (CHICKENS DO EAT MICE/RATS) AND OTHER PETS & CHILDREN. I PUT MINE NEAR MY WOOD SHED OR DEBRIS/BURN PILES, WOOD PILES WELL AWAY FROM MY CHICKEN COOPS.
DeepSouthBamaGRITSMemberFebruary 9, 2023 at 9:57 pm
If you are going to make the same concept for the squirrel bait station, you wouldn’t need any of the bolts, nuts, washers, or rat bait since you’re going to make your own with oats & Plaster of Paris. The squirrel baiter would be turned upright to look like a “T” and no hole is needed in the end cap. You could use wire or the metal strapping to secure it where you wish to put it. Not sure I would use a 2 ft section for the feeder, either. That is a long way for them to try to get to the bait. and what if they couldn’t back out. That is just my opinion. You could also glue the end cap & side sections on. Don’t glue the feeder section to the “T” so you can detach it to refill.
KimCMemberFebruary 10, 2023 at 10:37 pm
Bless you! Talk about going above and beyond in trying to help. I’m really grateful for all the additional info and images. Thank you for your generous contribution of time and energy to post this. Very much appreciated!
DeepSouthBamaGRITSMemberFebruary 11, 2023 at 2:13 am
You’re welcome, girl! We have got to take time to help others as best we can. That is how others learn.
I, too, appreciated you posting the info about the squirrel bait station. AND the bait. I’m still undecided as to which option I will take as far as my squirrel issue. I have a pellet gun, a live trap for small critters & now your squirrel bait station. I could trap them and dispatch to cook for my big dogs, to save on their feed costs. I did that a couple of times with raccoons in the past. Dispatching the squirrels is my best route since my 40 acres are surrounded by 100’s of acres of woods on all sides of me. I don’t know if I would ever rid them all but I’ve got to start doing something. They WAY outnumber me, they have already tried to move into my cabin, they sabotaged my car (chewed the wiring harness to bits), they eat all my fruit & some veggies, what will they do next? Sounds like an INVASION to me so maybe I need to “BUILD A WALL”!! LOL!! Just kidding as I know a wall won’t work. But dispatching a bunch of them is a GOOD START!
Have a blessed evening!
KimCMemberFebruary 11, 2023 at 2:18 am
I’m with you on eradication, whatever form it takes. 🙂 And yes, we need to stick together and try to help each other however we are able. At least that’s what I’m trying to do, and I see you and many others here are too. Be blessed in Jesus’ name! And thanks again.
DoubleSMemberFebruary 9, 2023 at 1:41 pm
Squirrels are horrendous where I am. My first year here they decimated every bit of fruit in my orchard. I checked local regulations and started trapping. I eliminated a dozen in the first week. Now, I just need to get rid of the ones moving in from other areas so I trap less each year. I still keep the traps out, though. I deal with a squirrel in the garden the same way I deal with a mouse in the pantry- you steal my food, you die.
I’ve had the best success with the squirrelinator trap and a walk the plank style trap.
SojournerMemberFebruary 9, 2023 at 2:00 pm
Checked regulations for varmint killing? 🤔
If it were illegal to molest them in anyway would you allow them to destroy everything you work for?
Just saying. 😉
There is no just or legal authority with that kind of power unless we choose to comply.
That’s why I prefer to fish on private property way to many regulations on public water ways.
Your homestead is your property to care for and no one can regulate you out of existence unless you allow them to do so.
I personally enjoy hunting them with a pellet rifle. 😉
DoubleSMemberFebruary 9, 2023 at 3:24 pm
You do things your way, I’ll do things my way. That is true freedom. Have a great day 😊
SojournerMemberFebruary 9, 2023 at 4:10 pm
I agree 💯%. It’s an individual choice. Being regulated is a sensitive issue to me. As I’ve watched in my short life this system of regulation regulate what we use to consider freedom right out of the pages of history. To the point most folks seem to believe that it’s normal to be regulated as though they lived in an HOA, no matter where they may live.
I in no means meant to imply that you should violate your conscience in the matter.
So please excuse me if my comment seemed personal. It wasn’t meant to be.✌
- This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Sojourner.
DoubleSMemberFebruary 9, 2023 at 4:21 pm
We’re good. 👍
Another true freedom is speaking one’s own mind.
SojournerMemberFebruary 9, 2023 at 8:47 pm
SqueezeMemberFebruary 9, 2023 at 1:56 pm
They use something similar to the OP for a homemade deer feeder. Im guessing they just add a 2 ft rise to each side so squirrel/rats can get in, but keep the feed level low enough so bigger things cant reach.
Like this, but with a pipe both sides, the bottom is just capped. but usually with drain holes
- This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Squeeze.
KimCMemberFebruary 10, 2023 at 11:16 pm
I like this idea/concept. Thanks for the images. Makes me think something similar might work as a better waterer for my chickens because what I’m currently using gets dirt thrown into it constantly, even though it’s off the ground at their neck level now. Appreciate the input. Thanks.
RaymondMemberFebruary 9, 2023 at 5:16 pm
I solved my mouse and squirrel problem with two cats. They are fed very little by me and are doing an awesome job living at the chicken pen. And the chickens dont pay them any attention.
KimCMemberFebruary 10, 2023 at 11:14 pm
Thanks for your reply. I like that idea; and even thought it would work here. I was sure that at least one of the five neighborhood cats that travel my fence rail, and sometimes come down into my yard, would surely keep the squirrels (and the one rat) out of my garden, but alas, they haven’t even been able to eliminate the rat (and he’s alluded my baited trap so far this winter as well, in favor of eating my oranges on the branch high up in the tree). That’s why I know it’s time to take things to the next level, because when spring hits and my trees begin to fruit, it has to be game on with the squirrels.
BBusterMemberFebruary 11, 2023 at 3:39 am
This I can assure you works well because I do it every couple years when the population grows.
Take a large plastic trash can, like one of the “Brute” cans and put in about a foot of water.
Smear peanut butter around the perimeter about 10 inches or so down from the top on the inside.
Run some Vaseline on the rim. ( not essential but doesn’t hurt)
Set in “ squirrel territory”
They can’t swim.
They also can’t sit on the rim and reach the peanut butter without falling in.
Bury near fruit trees.
Sometimes the tree rat has to get whacked.
KimCMemberFebruary 11, 2023 at 3:59 am
Very clever. Thanks!
SqueezeMemberFebruary 12, 2023 at 10:57 pm
I like this. I use exactly that in miniature for mice and chipmunk. 5 gal bucket size About half full of water, but I sprinkle black sunflower seeds on the water, just enough to float and cover the surface. looks like a bucket of seed till they splash in. needs a stick or board with a nail through one end hooked over the rim as an on ramp. many times 6 or more in a few hours. best thing I have found for mice.
Now, to find a garbage can that dont leak amongst my bunch….
KimCMemberFebruary 17, 2023 at 5:32 am
Another squirrel solution has emerged. When at the big box store shopping for the recommended PVC T, cap and extension pieces, and realizing it was going to cost at least $150-ish to build the plaster of Paris and oatmeal bait trap, as I was discussing option with an employee, a couple nearby overheard. They offered suggestions because they live in the country and have terrible squirrel issues.
He recommended taking the cheapest peanut butter and adding A&H baking soda till it is very stiff and easy to roll into small balls (I asked, but he didn’t give any measurements or quantities, only till it’s VERY stiff). He said that something happens chemically in the digestion process and it terminates the squirrel. I have never heard of this. Their squirrels burrow into the ground and he freezes and then tosses peanut butter balls into the holes, but believed they could also be left elsewhere for tree-dwelling squirrels.
He didn’t believe cats would eat peanut butter. Does anyone know if they would? If they don’t, I’d just put the peanut butter concoction on the fence rail, but if they would, I’d rather put the baits somewhere that cats can’t get them. I’m now trying to think of ways to put them out so that only squirrels or maybe rats can get to them. Anyone have suggestions?
It’s a far more cost effective solution than buying all the expensive PVC. I was shocked at how high the prices are. The least expensive T alone was over $35 and they had even more expensive ones than that.
Has anyone heard of this ‘recipe’ before or have suggestions of how to inexpensively put this kind of bait out? If you try it, please let us know how it works.
SojournerMemberFebruary 17, 2023 at 1:37 pm
Success is determined by dead rodent bodies found laying around. Death is never pleasant, just a fact of life. Do I worry about their discomfort, not at all.
SojournerMemberFebruary 17, 2023 at 12:52 pm
I use baking soda / peanutbutter to kill mice. It works great, rodents can’t burp.
It will not affect pets negativity even if they eat some. Dogs & Cats can burp if they have gas, rodents just die.👌👍
- This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Sojourner.
KimCMemberFebruary 18, 2023 at 4:07 am
Great to know. What is your ‘recipe?’ Do you use a specific amount of each, peanut butter and baking soda? Suggestions and details are appreciated. Thanks.
SojournerMemberFebruary 18, 2023 at 1:07 pm
As the other person said, mix all the baking soda you can into the peanut butter till it’s very stiff. I’ve also mixed it half and half with cornbread mix.
BBusterMemberFebruary 18, 2023 at 4:41 am
Just peanut butter, if I said baking soda it was a misprint.
SojournerMemberFebruary 12, 2023 at 7:59 pm
I totally agree 💯%! Eat the critters that cause you the most grief when you can👍
If your life actually depended on what you could grow in your garden, how many people would tell you to just plant an extra row for the squirrels? Hmmm🤔 the ones that don’t make it till spring?
KimCMemberFebruary 12, 2023 at 10:38 pm
That’s a good theory. At least one of them remains quite thin all the time and I’ve seen her up in the trees and watching birds a lot, so perhaps the others have homes and are simply prowling around.
BBusterMemberFebruary 13, 2023 at 12:01 am
Funny story, kinda
I set a barrel for three squirrels in an attic. I thought I was getting nothing for days. Had about a foot of water. After about 8 days I saw a head cresting out of the water one morning. Finally I got one. Nope.
I kicked the barrel over and 17 squirrels poured out.
The peanut butter signal must be like the bat signal because it seems they came from out of town.