Paul's Blog: Can you really outwit a squirrel?

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Can you really outwit a squirrel?

A huge squirrel nest in one of the oak trees in my Lexington Ky front yard.How big is this squirrel nest? Too big! These tomato snatchers are getting ready for the winter but they will be ready to rob me come tomato time.

Many of you know that I have had a continuous battle with the Eastern Gray squirrel here in Lexington.

I have two huge Pin Oak trees in my front yard and various other trees in my back yard. Most of my neighbors have trees. The Eastern Gray Squirrel loves our neighborhood. Now I am not about to get rid of my trees. However I think I may have the biggest squirrel nests in Fayette County. Some of these nests must be nearly 6 feet deep and 5 feet wide.

These photos are of nests in my neighborhood. The three nest in my trees are gigantic compared to the rest of the neighborhood. Of course I think I have the largest trees also. These cute little critters are a great source of frustration for the gardeners in Lexington.

I have not resorted to The Eastern Gray Squirrel can cause one to want to contemplate irrational behaviours.


They especially like my garden tomatoes and have even been caught eating the ripe winter squash.

Squirrels do not have an appetite for lettuce or the cole crops and they grow best during the fall months so right now I am enjoying the produce from the garden without worrying about harvesting before the garden is raided by furry robbers.

Since moving to Lexingotn I have been working on finding ways to keep the squirrels from the garden. This is what I know does not work.

  • Commercials sprays that are suppose to repel squirrels. Their odors keep me from wanting to be in the garden but they have not effect on the squirrels.
  • Pepper sprays. I think this just stimulates their appetite.
  • Sprinkler systems. They just waste water and keep your plants too wet. Squirrels are not afraid of getting wet. At least not the ones in my neighborhood.
  • Tying plastic bags around each of the tomatoes. I am not making this up. My dear wife Kathy "bagged all the tomatoes that were on the verge of ripening." The squirrels just chuckled as they scurried up the trees with with dripping heirloom tomato juice trailing behind them leaving bags littering my garden.
  • Mr McGregor's Fence - I found this on line and the testimonials were so great I was sure it would work. Not at my place. I think my squirrels could care less if they got a little electric shock. If anything the shock just stimulated their appetites.

So, I am wondering if there are any Lexington residents who have found pool proof ways of keeping the squirrels from decimating their tomatoes and other tasty vegetables?

This gigantic nest is also in one of my pin oak trees in my front yard.

My mother in law sent me "Outwitting Squirrels" by Bill Adler, Jr. This book is really dedicated to trying to keep squirrels from eating the bird seed out of feeders. Some of the strategies that I find humerous but I doubt will do much for my tomatoes are still worth sharing to bring some levity to this subject.

1. Import squirrel eating hawks.

2. Feed birth control pills to squirrels. (The city of Venice uses birth control pills for pigeons so why not try it for squirrels.)

3. Enclose your yard with a twenty food tall plexiglass fence.

4. Run outside yelling and waving your arms every time a squirrel appears in the yard. A great way to stay in shape and scare the squirrels away.

There is a chapter in "Outwitting Squirrels" that is very short on the topic of protecting the garden from squirrels. Basically it confesses that short of building a fortress around the garden you probably will not have great success in this endeavor.

Click on this link to read about other solutions to controlling squirrels.

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Comment balloon 3 commentsPaul Campbell Realtor Lexington • November 26 2012 01:13PM


At the risk of sounding like a barbarian  a beebee gun if you are in close quarters or a .22 if you are out in the country works really well

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros ( over 7 years ago

I had an apartment building where as hard as we would try , we couldn't keep them out of our attic !!!

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