Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Squirrel Situation

The Texas Hill Country is a beautiful place to live, however challenging for us gardeners.  We share our home with volatile weather, deer and other creatures big and small who make gardening a little arduous. Most people would think deer to be the major problem; not so for us.  Our problem is a bit smaller and much more destructive. Our problem is squirrels. I used to think they were cute, until they began to eat everything, and I mean everything. They attack every bird feeder I put out and leave nothing for our fine feathered friends. Every plant I stick in the ground they nibble on or dig up trying to bury their stash of food. I've even seen them relaxing on my front porch like it's Club Med (my chocolate lab is absolutely no help in deterring them-she prefers chewing shoes over chasing squirrels). Their cuteness has slowly turned to annoyance.  I'm taking the gloves off; let the games begin.

I've tried everything to humanely handle our squirrel problem (I would be happy to peacefully coexist with these critters, but they just don't understand boundaries). They could care less if my lovely petunias taste like Tabasco or if the soil reeks of blood meal or big cat pee (don't ask). I have constantly complained to Great White Hunter about their little shenanigans, expecting him to relish the fact he was being asked to join the fight. Shockingly, he didn't seem to care. Until those little buggers had quite the fiesta in el jardin.

To say Great White Hunter was a bit upset is an understatement. He now feels my pain. 
After a trip to the local do-it-yourself store, he came home with an arsenal of have-a-heart products designed to help our situation. So far, nothing has worked. Last night, when we noticed little so-and-so sitting in our backyard, munching on a piece of fruit pilfered from one of our trees, the hunter in my husband reared its ugly head. "Did you want your squirrel BBQ'd or fried?" he mumbled as he trotted off to get something a little less humane. The problem is: he is not joking. The next time my husband gets the urge to cook, you can bet I'll be having a salad. 


Cindy said...

hehehehe! i can so relate as we have many critters here, the deer, slugs, moles, rabbits, all trying to eat what we have planted. i feel your pain. and i would eat salad:)

Erin Wallace said...

Squirrels! My great grandfather used to call them tree rats and my grandfather sat on his porch with a bee bee gun and shot at them as they attacked the bird feeder. They are supposed to be one of the smartest animals in the world as they can figure out almost any problem that you throw at them. And they are destructive. I am with you!

I'm so happy that you found my blog (even though you don't know how you got there!). I'm going to add you to my reader and read more when I get some time! It's always great to make a new blog friend!

xo Erin

Amy Keith said...

Looks like I could and should learn from y'all, before I go throw a lot of cabbage (I crack myself up) at a bunch of products that won't work. In my continued efforts to reinvent the wheel, I've tried a couple of tricks that I came up with all by myself, tricks involving mineral oil and duct tape...the squirrels are too smart for me! I didn't even slow them down. And now the troublesome duo have invited friends. It's the bird feeder that they're after, maybe I should leave well enough alone. At least they don't seem to know about the garden yet.