As I step out into my bare garden, envisioning what it will look like this year, my eyes are quickly drawn to the visual queues that I am going to be at war this year – the war against the destructive squirrels. Some people have the mentality that we will never win this battle, so we might as well enjoy them. Do you know what I say that? To heck with that! This might be a naive perspective given that it will be my first full season dealing with squirrels in my garden. Up until now, they have not discovered our balconies. At first, I thought the squirrel(s) were climbing up a nearby tree, but hubby saw one climbing up the brick wall along the downspout. Using Donald Trump’s favourite and overused phrase, “This is a disaster!”
It turns out that squirrels can climb brick walls, and why wouldn’t they be able to? It’s like climbing a tree trunk. The material provides enough traction for their annoying little claws. I found this video of a squirrel in Toronto that climbed up an apartment building, to the 21st floor, and JUMPED OFF from the 21st floor and the damned devil lived.
You can do a Google search on how to deter squirrels, and there are many suggestions based on personal experiences. You have people that just don’t want them in their garden, but wish them no harm, and there are people that see them as true pests and wish them dead. To be honest, I think our city is overrun with squirrels, but I will leave killing them off as a very last resort. To be honest, I don’t have the courage to swiftly put them down (like a quick beheading), which would be the most humane way versus feeding them poison and dragging out their death. That’s just plain cruel.
I don’t have a lot of faith in the pest deterrent products out there, like the sound repellent devices, or the sprays, or the fake owls. I imagine the squirrels would either get used to it, or find another way. Some literature says that squirrels take a bite out of your tomatoes simply to quench their thirst, so keep a bowl of fresh water out for them. NO THANKS! That’s just inviting trouble.
I actually considered barbed wire spikes to attach to the top of my railing, but after some reading, I think it would be quite dangerous to install. But then I found these pigeon spikes, which is exactly what I had in mind. But I don’t think it’s something that the general public can purchase, and I think I’d need to put them on both privacy walls, and I’m not sure my neighbours would love that. One of my neighbours seems to love the wild animals, and I’m almost sure the squirrels found our neighbourhood because they put up a bird feeder. They will probably not support the spikes.
I’ve also read that that squirrels hate walking across chicken wire or netting. I can kind of see how that could be true, so I went to Home Depot and purchased a roll of chicken wire. I’m thinking about wrapping the outer sides my railing with slightly domed chicken wire. I fully realize that this will not prevent them from getting onto my deck, but hopefully it makes it a little more difficult. Once my fig trees start to fruit, I am considering wrapping the tree in bird netting (at least the smaller trees), or placing mothballs into ladies hosiery and hanging them on branches near the growing figs.
This is the plan that is forming right now – how it plays out, I’m not sure, but I will continue to keep a journal of the progress. I’m not willing to let the squirrels ruin my hard work without a proper fight.