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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 10:30 am 
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Location: Argyle, TX
FYI:
I was in Hastings bookstore last night and in the pet/nature guide section there was a book titled "Outwitting Squirrels". I immediately thought of this post and started thumbing through the book.

It was hilarious...I mean the author was very serious about her squirrel problem but she wrote the book in a humorous way (she talks about her "fight" with the squirrels). There were many good ideas...the book chronicled the authors quest for the "squirrel proof birdfeeder" and had lots of pictures with humorous captions. And yes, the author routinely performed squirrel relocations. It looked like a good read for people who are having problems with "tree rats".

Personally I have billions of "tree rats", we also have St. Augustine grass in our yard the "tree rats" just love to EAT St. Augustine. So we decided to get 2 puppies...the puppies chased the tree rats away, and it was a good thing. But the puppies grew and grew and now we haven't any "tree rats" but we also haven't any grass due to the puppies (now dogs) wallowing on it and digging huge holes to lay their wallowing, doggie, bodies in...sometimes you just can't win!

Since then I pick my fights carefully and squirrels are no longer on the top of the list...although, I DON'T feel bad when I fish a drowned one out of the horse trough :lol:

Judy


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 Post subject: Tree Rats and Dogs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 3:05 pm 
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Judy,
What a pleasant and humorous post to read about the ordeals others have with squirrels.

I too have dogs that keep the 'tree rats' at bay and DIG where ever they darn well please as their reward for their good work. :roll:

I did not know about the squirrels eating St. Augustine grass. I thought they were after my pecans and Burr Oak acorns. They are so funny to watch as they try to make off with one of those acorns while the dogs are in hot pursuit.

Personally, I don't think the squirrels can be outwitted, but it's fun trying.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 6:18 pm 
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judyt wrote:
FYI:
I was in Hastings bookstore last night and in the pet/nature guide section there was a book titled "Outwitting Squirrels". I immediately thought of this post and started thumbing through the book.

It was hilarious...I mean the author was very serious about her squirrel problem but she wrote the book in a humorous way (she talks about her "fight" with the squirrels). There were many good ideas...the book chronicled the authors quest for the "squirrel proof birdfeeder" and had lots of pictures with humorous captions. And yes, the author routinely performed squirrel relocations. It looked like a good read for people who are having problems with "tree rats".

Personally I have billions of "tree rats", we also have St. Augustine grass in our yard the "tree rats" just love to EAT St. Augustine. So we decided to get 2 puppies...the puppies chased the tree rats away, and it was a good thing. But the puppies grew and grew and now we haven't any "tree rats" but we also haven't any grass due to the puppies (now dogs) wallowing on it and digging huge holes to lay their wallowing, doggie, bodies in...sometimes you just can't win!

Since then I pick my fights carefully and squirrels are no longer on the top of the list...although, I DON'T feel bad when I fish a drowned one out of the horse trough :lol:

Judy


It would be wize for you to put the dogs in a dog run while you are away. Then they won't mess up your yard. Did the squirrels eat a lot of grass?
Oh! If one or both your dogs are female, you can put zeolite on the places they urinate to prevent the ammonia damage! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 7:14 pm 
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Location: Argyle, TX
Zipper and Organic: Oh yes they will eat St Augustine and enjoy every blade. When I first started seeing the "little holes" in the yard I decided to go on a stake out. I sat in front of one of the windows that looks out in the yard. I was shocked when I saw a furry little tree rat run down a tree scrape around the edges of the "little hole", snatch up a length of Augustine runner and gobble it down root and all! Now mind you at the same time we were fighting moles also, so what the moles weren't eating the squirrels were!

The dogs got rid of the moles and squirrels which really was nice for awhile... This past spring we did build them each a doggie run and the grass is slowly coming back. The area of the yard that is still only dirt is under the trees where the grass was thin to begin with. The area that is in full sun is getting very, very thick.

Edited to add: I do let the dogs out every evening but I have to watch them like a hawk...If I turn my back for even a minute they are digging like machines! I think they still smell the moles... at least I hope that's it, and not that they are just freaks :shock: !

Organic: both my dogs are female, I've never noticed any problem (other than the wallow holes :D ) with the grass, is this something that is common?

Judy


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 8:10 am 
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Judy, Yep. Female dog urine is somehow more potent than male. (Maybe because they don't 'mark' everything that stands still, they save it up 'til they really GO.) At least that is the case for my dog. The potent ammonia creates a round yellow patch in the lawn. I'm glad to hear zeolite could be a solution. In the past someone mentioned cornmeal, which I've tried with moderate success.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 8:32 am 
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Judyt- To keep your dogs from digging in a particular spot, you can put some of their poop in the spot and cover it slightly with soil so you do not have to smell it. The dog will stop digging in that spot until the poop deteriorates.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 5:42 pm 
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My home is very rural.

Early this Spring, I noticed armadillo triangles in the yard and a few newly planted plants in each of my flowerbeds had been disturbed.
Never damaged, just knocked over.

After many mornings of replanting and kicking dirt over holes, I bought fox urine from my feed store.
It is gross. Do not smell it.
I put the urine on little cotton balls and ringed the perimeter of my flowerbeds with the balls.

After two days, no more evidence of armadillos.

I reckon the urine worked or else the dillo became bored and went somewhere else.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 9:15 am 
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Predator urine (in this case fox) is a great deterrent.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 11:12 am 
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Would predator urine deter squirrels from a bird-feeder or would it also keep the birds away?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 10:54 am 
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It would keep the birds away.
Have you tried the dome that goes over the feeder? I have one and it does a good job so far as I can tell. I have it hanging from a tall branch with rope far away enough the squirrels can not jump from the tree and grab hold of it.
There are also birdfeeders that emit a little jolt of electricity :shock: when something heavy enough steps on the feeding bar. This can very amusing. My mother has one of these and I had such a good time watching that persistant squirrel keep going for the food and getting shocked. :lol: Hey, he kept going for it, so it must not be too cruel. I must admit, he does wear the battery down after a while. Other birdfeeders have the same adjustable weight sensor to prevent squirrels, grackles, and pigeons from feeding. When something heavy enough steps on the feeding platform, the food supply is blocked.
http://www.backyardbirdsdiscoverycenter.com/ scroll down past the squirrel resistant feeders to the squirrel proof feeders.
Local to the Dallas area try:

Backyard Birds & Garden Accents
1373 West Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080
(972) 671-7664

Wild Birds Unlimited
6333 East Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX 75214
(214) 821-7400

Wild Birds Unlimited On Lovers LN
4300 Lovers Lane, Dallas, TX 75225
(214) 891-9793

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 11:36 am 
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Thanks, Nadine! I will look in the sites you listed.

There is a weight sensitive bird feeder at the feed store. I'll try it.
My place is heavily wooded so it's difficult to get the feeder out of jumping distance. "My" squirrels will also climb down a thin wire to get to the feeder. Amazing to watch!
I have been keeping the squirrels' feeder full of sunflower seeds and that helps satisfy them.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:04 pm 
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Another urine that works is Jack Russell terrier urine. But it has to be applied daily by the Jack Russell him/herself. Those little dogs don't do much damage (I don't think) and are quick enough to actually catch squirrels and do them in. Jack Russells are working dogs that are bred for their ability to catch rats, not for beauty.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 2:03 pm 
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LOL...I have two Jack Russells!
I will say the word "Squirrel" and the JRs are at attention.
But we have so many squirrels the JRs are cross-eyed trying to figure which one to chase.
Off subject, but I read that the Jack Russells Terrier has been renamed "Parsons Russell" (or something along those lines)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 11:40 am 
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marti wrote:
Would predator urine deter squirrels from a bird-feeder or would it also keep the birds away?


After thinking about this more, I realize I may have stated something that may not necessarily be true. So, I did some research.

From
http://www.stanfordalumni.org/birdsite/text/essays/Avian_Sense.html

“Based on the relative size of the brain center used to process information on odors, physiologists expect the sense of smell to be well developed in rails, cranes, grebes, and nightjars and less developed in passerines, woodpeckers, pelicans, and parrots.”

It seems that scientists are still in the process of determining the extent of various birds’ ability to smell particular scents.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 12:37 pm 
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marti,
It sure is easier to say Jack Russell. Sounds like you need a few more! Or maybe feed yours less. :lol:

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