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Q. Each year we plant bulbs tomato plants and already have fruit trees. We never get to gather anything for the squirrels. They eat everything!!! I love our squirrels so I wouldn't want to get rid of them in any way but I would also like to enjoy the fruits vegetables and be able to see a few of the bulbs actually get to the blooming stage. We keep all sorts of things for the squirrels to eat so they can't possibly be that hungry. Can you help?

A. The garden can be protected by enclosing it with a 1/4 inch wire mesh structure. Since squirrels climb you will need to have a roof as well as walls. At the very least you should protect your bulb plants for if the squirrel gets these your plant will die rather than just be damaged. If you don't want to fence then you will need to trap down the population at least until other food sources become available later in the calendar year. Spring is a tough time for squirrels because they have to feed young and there is no food available.

I suggest that you go to this page below and read through all the information. It is way more than I can print here. One point emphasized is that your area should be cleaned of branches where squirrels live no open bins of foods bird feeders secure so that they are not attracted to your property for seeds and using a goo or fencing for protection. Our home in Ohio has had hundreds of brown squirrels fro decades and I was always able to successfully garden there. They pretty much stayed to their hickory and walnuts.

Squirrels are natural acrobats and can easily overcome (and I'm convinced even enjoy) our attempts to thwart them. You might be able to construct some sort of slippery baffle that leans outward at the top of the fence. (Of course your neighbors will have to agree with this since it will be on their side.) If you make it tall and steep the squirrels will slide off if they try to climb it and it'll be too tall for them to leap over. Alternatively a strand or two of electrified fence a the top of the wooden fence might do the trick. You could also try laying chicken wire around plants the squirrels are damaging; they'll usually avoid walking on it.

Q. I have fruit trees and the squirrels are eating all of my fruit! I don't want to use something that will ruin the taste of the fruit and don't want to harm or get rid of the squirrels from the whole yard just the fruit trees. Any ideas?

A. Hang mothballs in 1-foot lengths of knee-high nylon hose in several places around the tree especially near the heaviest clusters of fruit. Also sprinkle a few around the base of the tree. The key is to start early while the fruit is still tiny and before the squirrels know it is food. Replenish it every 3-4 weeks when the mothballs get small.

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