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  • Loosing a war

    I don’t know what more I can do to protect my trees from squirrels and chipmunks? Seems like any protective bags, bird nets and traps have little effect, if any. I had 3 almost ripped fruits (I had never tasted before) on my Nuestra Seniora del Carmen fig tree and 2 of them are gone, partially eaten by these “thieves”. I wonder if I take a potted tree home right after it starts ripening, will it then fully ripped inside? Have anyone tried this?
    Livingston NJ, zone 6b.

  • #2
    Start trapping squirrels early in the season so that they are mostly gone by now although it is probably a bit more wooded by you so it may be difficult to keep up on them. They already have the taste for figs so trapping now might be a losing battle unless you bait with figs.

    My trapping for chipmunks didn't work last year but something happened to them and they are all gone. I think that they chose a nest that flooded in a heavy rain.

    Maybe netting with a smaller mesh or even wire mesh?

    You could always drop a tree or two off to a fellow member, like one who lives as close as Fairfield, to hold them in a rodent free yard while the figs ripen but there is no guarantee what I, sorry, I meant he will do with the ripe figs.
    NNJ 6B
    Wishlist: Colar d'Albatera, Mary Magdalene's and the Virgin Mary's Fig, Red Lebanese BV


    • Vitaly Krovlev
      Vitaly Krovlev commented
      Editing a comment
      LOL. Thanks buddy… I will think about it

  • #3
    Are your traps ineffective (i.e., not catching any)? Or merely not catching them all? KDAD is right -- you have to trap constantly, beginning well before fruit begins to ripen.

    FWIW, I have found the Squirrelenator to be very effective. This year I caught roughly 1 a day for the first week.

    Typically there are lots of squirrels in a good habitat, so you will have to remove lots of animals. I'm approaching 20 this year.

    At this point, there are fewer squirrels in my yard. I think nearby squirrels fail to realize immediately that their bossy neighbors have been removed. So every few days, a new squirrel drifts in and gets caught.
    Last edited by jrdewhirst; 08-10-2021, 08:23 AM.
    Joe, Z6B, RI.


    • Vitaly Krovlev
      Vitaly Krovlev commented
      Editing a comment
      There are tons of squirrels in Livingston, NJ and even more chipmunks. Catching them and releasing, driving few miles away - that’s what I was doing for several years. I have around 60 trees and when I lose few dozens figs to these creatures … so be it. But I just wondered- what if I bring a tree to garage for ripening time? Have you tried this?

    • jrdewhirst
      jrdewhirst commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, OK. I thought you wanted to control the actual squirrels.

      A fig tree in a garage will ripen figs that are already basically mature. Temperature is the main driver -- it needs to be warmish. But you'll probably see arrested development of the immature figs.

  • #4
    I terminated one squirrel last year with a squirrel trap. I have not needed to do it again this year but I now have a groundhog or rabbit that's eating my kale, edamame, and squash. I currently trying to live trap it. Always something and I don't even live out in the sticks!

    Anyhow, links are below. You can also get them on Amazon.

    Garden State 7a


    • #5
      Vitaly Krovlev I haven't tried to bring trees in to continue to ripen but I expect that it would work. You are somewhat limited to how many and often you can do that especially if figs are ripening every few days over a few week period.
      NNJ 6B
      Wishlist: Colar d'Albatera, Mary Magdalene's and the Virgin Mary's Fig, Red Lebanese BV


      • #6
        Vitaly Krovlev did you do the 1x1 mesh bird netting top and sealed at the bottom? It has to be sealed off at bottom. No point of access and it has to be mesh. If it’s plastic they will bite through.
        Connecticut zone 6b. No wish list. Experiments on different varieties and keeps only the best tasting.


        • Bellefleurs
          Bellefleurs commented
          Editing a comment
          I’ve been using this approach although I’ve discovered that something is starting to slurp figs right through the net.
          So annoying.

        • LadyGT
          LadyGT commented
          Editing a comment
          Bellefleurs, could you be having problems with insects? I have wasps to contend with as well as some sort of beetle. I found a black one inside one of mine as well as Japanese beetles on my fruits.

      • #7
        I work in irrigation and sometimes we gets calls from customers about squirrels chewing the drip lines. They do it because they are thirsty. If you are not planning on trapping, killing, or scaring the squirrels, you could try offering them a bowl of water.
        Meys - Round Rock, TX. Zone 8b
        Wishlist: Cherry Cordial, Cosme Manyo, Texas Peach, Black Celeste, Little Ruby, any persistent caprifig.


        • #8
          I know you could do it if you provide bright light in your garage. I've brought potted figs inside under grow lights in the fall to finishing ripening some figs. I plant to bring 6 figs in this fall that still have unripe figs on them. I have grown figs in hydroponics from a dormant sticks to ripe fig entirely under grow lights in under 9 months. Sticking a fig tree in the garage for a few days with no lights will most likely make your leaves start to turn yellow and your tree lose energy. I am guessing the figs might ripen with some to a little light. They may not ripen as fast with out any light or very little light. I am curious will you provide any light? How much light you are going to provide. Window? LEDs? Problem is will the leaves turn yellow in a few days with little light? or will your plants stall or go into an early dormant period with little to no light? If you try it let us know how it goes! Growing figs is a giant science experiment that you get to eat the good results!

          Reminds me, I should let my dogs outside more this time of year. It helps to keep the chipmunks and squirrels away!
          Marco, Zone 6, Michigan
          Trade Plants: Hardy kiwi vines: Anna, MSU, Meader & a bunch of figs.


          • #9
            I've had decent luck using cayenne pepper to keep chipmunks away. There are squirrels here too. They haven't tasted figs before, which probably helps too. I got this idea from postings from this forum. It seems like these beasties have a keen sense of smell.


            • #10
              get more trees so there will be more to share.
              USDA Zone 7b
              Piedmont NC


              • #11
                This works well for chipmunks...

                D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
                WL: Castillon


                • #12
                  These guys work well
                  Attached Files
                  Chris - Zone 6b


                  • Sparky
                    Sparky commented
                    Editing a comment
                    They look well fed 😋

                • #13
                  Spread thick layer of dry leaves around the trees that make noise when you walk on them . Animals (esp rodents) hate that and might stay away. This works for me with magnolia leaves. Just make sure it’s everywhere
                  Last edited by greenfig; 08-11-2021, 02:59 AM.
                  USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Boysenberry Blush


                  • #14
                    Try this plastic Hawk. I have one and it worked really good when I was trying to keep the birds from eating my wildflower seeds.


                    Phoenix, Arizona 9B


                    • #15
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                      Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree.


                      • #16
                        It's as humane as you can be...and I've never seen any thing work quit as well as this.
                        Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree.