The Q&A Archives: Squirrels

Question: I have a large maple tree in my backyard. The tree is in the beginning stages of "Maple Tree Decline". To add to the problem squirrels have been building nests. Every day there are many branches and leaves scattered over my lawn. They appear to accelerating the decline of the tree. They have access to the tree in various locations so a metal band would be ineffective. They are also having their way with my garden. Is there any long term solution to getting rid of these squirrels?

Answer: The overpopulation of squirrels in an area is due to complex habitat conditions that favor them: ample food, few predators, lots of place for nest building. It's at times like this that I wish someone would start a company called "Rent-a-Raptor." To keep them out of the garden, try a decoy owl or hawk (there are several models on the market). Electric fences are a sure-fire barrier against their antics in the garden. Jack Russel Terriers were bred as ratting dogs, and if you had one, or could borrow one, it might put the fear of Dog into the pesty rodents. If a strong stream of water from your garden hose can reach the nests in the tree, try blasting them out. Since you will eventually need to replace your beloved maple, start shopping for a disease-resistant and hardy tree to take its place. One with a columnar growth habit would be harder for the squirrels to access. I hope some of these suggestions are helpful!

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