Archived Q&A and Reviews


Squirrels are eating our house!

Jan 2008

We made the mistake up putting up a birdfeeder...squirrels moved in and have proceeded to eat our house! They chew holes in the shingles, pull out our insullation We have tried repelling themn with blood meal and loud music. The feeder, is long gone, but we can't get rid of them. HELP! Tania

We had critters--we think squirrels--in the crawlspaces of our attic a while back. My teen daughter burned us a cd she titled ''Rodentkiller.'' (I think it's largely System of a Down.) It worked! The squirrels try to move back into our attic periodically and each time a dose of Rodentkiller moves them along. CrittersNoMore

We too had a squirrel problem last summer - they were building nests in a crawl space under our roof. We used Critter Control who trapped them and then released them in east Contra Costa Co. It wasn't cheap (approx. $500), but we needed to get rid of the problem so to speak. They can be reached at: (925)363- 9336 or at crittercontrol.com. Good Luck.... anon

I saw a blurb about this just recently in the West County Times, in Gary Bogue's column. He is a specialist on the intersections of humans and wildlife. perhaps you can google this. west contra costa county resident

Squirrels (we think) eating our fruit

May 2007

Help! We recently spent several hundred dollars on fruit trees and we've found some broken branches and fruit scattered near the base of the young trees. Our guess is squirrels, could it be birds? In any case, does anybody know any ecofriendly way to save our trees/fruit from these pesky creatures? Love my home-grown fruit

It could be rats too. In my case, a few years back a few rats (saw them and trapped them) targeted my fruit trees. In addition to whatever you decide to do about getting rid of the annoying creature, you might consider stripping the trees of ALL fruit ASAP, as that will remove the attractive food source. In my case, the rats not only ate the fruit, but painstakingly stripped a lot of tender bark off the tree's branches, severely stressing it. I watered and fertilized it (something I had never done) for a while afterward to support its recovery. It recovered fine and is/was a lovely tree. Jennifer

It could be squirrels, and if you've seen them at work during the day then it probably is- but you would be seeing them busy scurrying around.

If you're not seeing a lot of squirrel activity, then I hate to tell you this, but it's probably roof rats (who don't just live in roofs and attics)- they love fruit, will even eat lemons (the peel), and are very common. They are nocturnal so you don't see them at work.

For squirrels, there are a few things to try to do to outwit them. You can put fake plastic hawks, owls, and snakes in your fruit trees- these are all natural squirrel predators and may fool some of the squirrels some of the time. You can also try hanging aluminum pie tins in your trees, but you have to hang a lot in order to have any chance of spooking them.

And/or, you can fasten a 12' wide band of sheet metal around the trunks about 6' from the ground, and/or cage the trees in chicken wire.

One thing that will help slow the squirrels down a bit is to keep the canopies of your trees far enough apart and far enough from roofs that the squirrels can't leap through the air easily from tree to tree.

But squirrels are very clever and hard to defeat, so, in lieu of buying a rifle, I've relaxed and have adopted the approach of ''sharing''- they can have some as long as they leave me plenty, and that generally works out okay.

However, when I finally realized that it was rats, not squirrels, who were seriously decimating my fruity back garden, my desire to share with nature's creatures flew out the window and I bought a couple of rat traps and a big jar of peanut butter.

It turns out that rats are clever too, and 3 out of 4 times they get the bait without the trap getting them, but the fourth time the trap gets them. It's yucky, but I'm not going to pay an exterminator to do what I can do myself, and I won't use rat poison- the rats live inside my shear-walling and that's where they'd crawl off to to die their gruesome poisoned death and let's not even talk about that smell.

Raccoons and possoms and skunks also visit my garden- the raccoons come mostly for persimmon season, the possoms liked my grape vine (but since I took it out I haven't seen any), and skunks will eat most anything. All of these guys are also nocturnal, so squirrels may be taking the rap for their feasting. Cece

My front and back yards are overrun with squirrels!

April 2002

Can anyone suggest a way of discouraging squirrels? Both my front and back yards are overrun!!! They eat all the fruit on our trees, which is sad and maddening! They even opened my child's plastic easter eggs, unwrapped the chocolate kisses and ate them...within an hour! I wrote to a fruit tree specialist online who said he lived in a part of the country where they get up early in the morning and shoot them! Since this isn't an option, can anyone set me on a helpful path? I'll appreciate it. L T R

Is a dog an option? Or even a big cat. Otherwise, I can't advise. We have them too, but they only come down from the trees when Mickey, our 20 pound cat isn't around. Small terrier types are avid squirrel and rodent hunters.