Thursday, December 12, 2013

Squirrels Revisited


A fellow blogger posted an excellent technique for trapping tree-rats.

"I've been told a single fox squirrel can cause 200 pounds of pecan losses in a single year. With that amount of crop loss, "old bushy tail" may be the most serious pest of pecans."

Some people claim rat traps work well for red squirrels.


I recall stumbling across obscure articles in the past where the author wrote about building or supplying boxes of specific dimensions.  These boxes were irresistible storage locations to squirrels...they crammed them full of nuts.  I recall hearing of mandolins, shoe boxes and intake manifolds on engines that squirrels filled with hickory nuts.  Just guessing, but key variables might be
  • The size of the opening (it certainly is for bird boxes!)
  • The dimensions of the box
  • The location (height above ground) of the box
  • The orientation of the opening
 It is good to have dreams.  One of my dreams is that instead of eradicating squirrels, they become my unpaid field workers.  The only time I would help a squirrel slip his mortal coil would be when I wanted to eat one.

More Work

I recall sitting in Fitzgerald Park in Grand Ledge, Michigan after a hike and watching the squirrels carry acorns (Q. alba) 150 feet to bury them in the sand of a volleyball court.  One could have collected them by shoveling through a sieve of hardware cloth...but that is a lot of work.

Cecil Ferris, a notable breeder of filberts, would sometimes supply eager visitors (me) with seedlings that volunteered out of his compost pile.  There never seemed bot be a shortage of seedlings popping up.  They were planted by the squirrels.

Cecil used a .177 pellet gun to control the squirrels.  It was a rare year when he killed fewer than 100 of the beasts.

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