Squirrels – Trapping

Q: We always knew that a tree in our backyard was a fruit tree but we never were able to confirm it since the fruit never matured. The darned squirrels would strip the tree bare before we could figure out what they were!

Can you offer any suggestions on how to keep the squirrels off the tree? I’ve read about a few things on line but not sure if they’re valid or effective:

(1) hanging moth balls from the tree branches and putting them around the base of the tree
(2) spraying some sort of “pepper water” concoction on the tree regularly to “repel” the squirrels
(3) netting the entire tree once the fruit starts to bud out to keep them out.

What do you recommend?

A: None of what you’ve described will work….squirrels are not deterred by repellents and they can easily go through netting.

My personal solution is live trapping and removal.

Squirrels are easy to trap.

Buy a cage trap and some sunflower seed.

Put the trap on a piece of newspaper in a spot where you commonly see squirrels. Place a small handful of sunflower seed BEHIND the trigger plate, so the animal has to step on the plate to get to the bait.

I catch most squirrels in the morning, as they do their daily foraging. Put a towel over the cage after you catch the animal to keep it calm.

In my experience, taking the squirrels two miles away is sufficient to keep them from returning.

Remember that by law you must have permission from the landowner to release an animal.

Also, some proportion of the squirrels will not survive in their new environment.

I’ll let you weigh your options and proceed accordingly.

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