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Bookertoo


Latest posts by Bookertoo

squirrels and their cleverness

Posted: 04/11/2014 at 16:19

I HATE squirrels!  We have a great number of them around here, and several of those regard our garden as their private banqueting hall.  I love to feed the birds, and as I don't always manage to get around easily, I need to have the feeder somewhere where I can see it, and thus the birds,g from my computer table window, from whence I am writing this.

We have lived here for 18 years, and in all that time I have been fighting to keep the squirrels off the feeders.

I have bought just about every brand and style of 'squirrel proof' feeder on the market, and not one of them is.  I have treated the feed with every flavour they are supposed to dislike, and they just ignore it.  I have used garlic, salt, soap, chilli - both fresh and dried - pepper, and probably several others I can't quite recall now.

I would not encourage other types of rats to come to my garden, so why do we have to put up with these?  We are not allowed to trap them - well, you can, but you are not permitted then to let them go as they are vermin (hear hear) so what do you do with your trapped beast?  I'm certainly not going to try and kill it, I'd almost certainly get bitten as I nearly did when I soaked one inside a `squirrel proof' feeder last year, soaking wet you could see there was no disguise for the stinking rat it is.  I do dislike them intensely but I'm not going to hit it and cause it dreadful suffering, I don't kill anything if I know about it and am not starting here. 

I could put the feeder in the middle of the grassy area, from whence I would not see it, and the birds would not use it as there would be no cover - I'm stumped!  I don't expect anyone to come up with a definitive answer, I just wanted to vent as I sit here with my cold water spray trying to catch them.  It is the only thing they run away from, and that only for a few seconds, but I cannot be there 10 hours a day with the window open, and even if I could, thy'd just get used to it I am sure.  

I've chased them off 17 times in the 10 minutes it took to write this - grrrrr.

 

 

Callicarpa

Posted: 04/11/2014 at 16:02

The most wonderful of these shrubs grew (and possibly still does) in the garden of my family in Texas!  That might give a clue as to why they do not do terribly well here?

Growing basil indoors

Posted: 30/10/2014 at 20:43

Hey, I do a funny walk at the best of times!  However, the less said about that the better ………...

Pests

Posted: 30/10/2014 at 20:42

Hi Gingly, yes, they did object for a short while, but the effect lasted - literally - about 24 hours after which they just ignored the chilli and went on eating!!

Growing basil indoors

Posted: 30/10/2014 at 17:50

Oh dear, now I shall pass any mirror very carefully in case I see John Clees looking out at me!!

Pests

Posted: 30/10/2014 at 17:50

I am interested Ceres to see that allowing the squirrels to have the seed feed they leave the bulbs alone - ours must be just gluttons, as they eat everything!  I reached using  over 2 Kg of seed a day, of which the birds got around an eighth - just far, far  too much.  Our current feeder, also guaranteed squirrel proof isn't, but it has slowed them down somewhat.  At present the best I have managed to date. 

WOTISIT

Posted: 30/10/2014 at 15:27

Indeed, weird aren't they.  Do you feel like propagating it?

Couch Grass

Posted: 30/10/2014 at 15:26

In fact, I would humbly suggest you don't rotovate at all - I know of no better system for the spread of perennial weeds that rotovation.  We lost an entire allotment plot to having it dug and rotovated, it became a dense mat of dock, mares tail, couch grass and anything else you care to name - we had to abandon ship as nothing could deal with it.   Prevention of light access and patient digging will eradicate the problem, but it does take time and back ache to get there - and does not account for seeds blowing in from elsewhere.  However, no garden or allotment is entirely free of weeds, control however is possible - sort of. 

Pests

Posted: 30/10/2014 at 15:23

Yea, squirrels all right  we have so many that a permanent state of war exists here - with them winning so far - but it's only been 18 years so I suppose I can't expect to win yet!!

However, one or two things we have learned over those years, including - cover all pots of bulbs with chicken wire and/or cuttings of holly and/or pyracantha - that does protect them quite alot as the horrible furry rats don't like getting there disgusting paws scratched.  Lay branches of anything prickly over areas of beds with cubs in pinning them down with tent pegs or equivalent, we use holly and pyracantha because that's what we have growing and can this cut good bits from when needed.  Crocus need especial defence as it appears to be caviar for them, especially purple ones - and yes, they do know the difference if you put single colours in blocks or in separate pots.  The purple ones will be attacked before I have got the back door closed.  The bulbs will come up quite normally in the spring, and when a decent size the prickles can be removed, and the flowers enjoyed - at least until the pigeons get to them, but that's another story! Use quite fine chicken wire if that is the route you go - it is surprising what small spaces the climbing rats can get through - which is why most 'squirrel proof' bird food feeders aren't. I've lost count of how many types of feeders we have bought, and the squirrels solve them all - many manufacturers have been quite surprised when I have told them their 'guaranteed squirrel proof feeders' are no such thing.

Please save yourselves the kindly efforts of telling me about chillies, garlic, pepper, soap or whatever else, been there, done that many, many, many times - and they thrive on it - especially the very hot chillies smeared neat all over the feeders, they just lick their chops and go on as usual!!

Growing basil indoors

Posted: 28/10/2014 at 20:30

I'm sure you are correct Fairygirl regarding those I have bought in, but the  ones my friends (who are good gardeners) have been done well, and theirs are fine!  I get them home and that is that, poor things. I've even tried the bush basil kind, but they don't go either - and even ones I have grown from seed do fine till they are big enough to realise where they are, then it's all over!!  Thank you for trying all of you, I'll give it another go in due time. 

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