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Old 06-14-2010, 01:33 PM
 
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After better than 2 decades spent fighting off bugs,caterpillars, slugs, deer, rabbits and squirrels- I do feel your pain! I thought only my Dad called squirrels "tree rats" LOL.

I'm not sure that blood meal is the best answer, though it is somewhat effective. There has been a lot of controversy over just how much risk one incurs for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human version of Mad Cow Disease, since much of the source for the blood and bone meal is cow left over from processing including ones that were not good for food. There are some articles that claim it is unlikely but don't have any scientific proof and others that practically guarantee it, again without real proof. So much is NOT understood about transmission of the cause (prions) that it would probably be wiser NOT to use the stuff. The following article is long but fairly balanced on the subject and was originally in the Wall Street Journal: Wall Street Warns of Upcoming Mad Cow Crisis in the USA

There are products that you soak bulbs in to make them less interesting to squirrels and there are repellents for plants as well, most contain stinky stuff and the basic ingredient that makes peppers "hot". I usually resorted to shaking my fist at them after a while for all the good it did me, especially since the deer were FAR worse. The deer repellent I last used was "Deer Solution: which was organic and even safe for food plants. It did seem that the squirrels were less interested in the garden when I used it than before, so it may be useful. I didn't grow much produce either, between lack of adequate sunshine (too many trees!) and all the pests.

My current neighbor seems to have one of those mystical, bountiful gardens but she has to fight for it as well! My home was built on a former pasture land and was treeless; the former owner never got around to any kind of landscaping, we started with one dead sassafras and a pin oak which the squirrels seem to ignore for now because it is off by itself. The trees we planted last year are not big enough to attract the local squirrels although we do have one robin and one mockingbird nest. I'm giving it another 2 years before I rejoin the battle. sigh...
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:47 AM
 
12,461 posts, read 18,046,883 times
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Quote:
I'm not sure that blood meal is the best answer, though it is somewhat effective. There has been a lot of controversy over just how much risk one incurs for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human version of Mad Cow Disease, since much of the source for the blood and bone meal is cow left over from processing including ones that were not good for food.
Rest assured I sprinkle a bit here and there. I do not eat it for crying out loud.
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:14 AM
 
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I've been using Bonide hot pepper wax for years to protect my plants and shrubs from deer.
Slugs leave my fairy roses alone when I spray them with Bayer rose & flower spray, but no matter how much I spray marigolds they eat them anyway.
Slugs leave my hostas alone if I spray them with an ammonia solution, but if I use it on marigolds they eat them anyway.
I don't grow marigolds anymore.

I used to grow a small patch of strawberries, about 6 x 6 feet. I finally started getting a nice crop, but would come out in the morning to find chewed berries, so I covered them with netting. It made no difference. Next I surrounded the little square with a fence, and carefully arranged the netting to it stay up high over the berries, enclosing the whole patch. No good, still kept getting chomped up berries. One day I happened to look out and saw a squirrel bouncing around on the netting like it was a trampoline. With enough bounces it managed to bounce down to berry level and grab a bite.
I don't grow strawberries anymore either.
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Old 06-15-2010, 03:05 PM
 
2,063 posts, read 6,708,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moth View Post
Rest assured I sprinkle a bit here and there. I do not eat it for crying out loud.
I'm glad you don't eat it, bless your heart, but both of the following people plan on using it on food crops. Do you comprehend how Mad Cow Disease and the human version of it (CJD) are transmitted and that scientists still know very little about the prions that are its likely cause? The prions are very small proteins that can easily be carried on the small particles of the meal that becomes airborne when being spread out. You may *think* you aren't "eating" it but you are still taking in something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by opalminor View Post
Moth-- thanks for the tip.. I will try that. To be fair, it looks like more toms are coming in than they can keep up with, plus I'm picking lots of them unripe (just starting to turn)- & letting them ripen inside. And they haven't stolen any in several days, so maybe they got tired of them? So it looks like I'm getting something for my efforts after all.
My comment about the battle that can't be won-- that was referring to ALL the odds that are against us trying to eke out a garden here in TX.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayneinspain View Post
Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it.

And let's just say that my back yard (with early veggie garden) is beginning to look like an all-you-can-eat buffet for squirrels and bunnies. A little dead cow sounds like the perfect addition to the menu.

Some links to get at least some basic understanding of why non-food, and therefore less regulated, bone and blood meal may be risky unless used with care.
Getting rid of squirrels doesn't seem worth it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bovine_...encephalopathy

http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/ansci/beef/as1206w.htm

Last edited by J&Em; 06-15-2010 at 03:14 PM.. Reason: forgot to add links
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:19 PM
 
219 posts, read 955,199 times
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My tomato plants have been decimated by squirrels this year. I've tried everything - hanging CD's (the prisms are supposed to frighten them), fake snakes, squirrel repellent i bought at the store that contains blood meal, pepper, and other stuff that's supposed to be repulsive to squirrel's. They just keep eating my tomatoes once they appear. I had to reinforce my tomato cages with stakes because the squirrel's were knocking them over. The only thing left that I can think of is a plain old physical barrier made of chicken wire or something similar. Might try to get that going this weekend.
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:49 AM
 
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
3,073 posts, read 4,203,115 times
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Where's Butch my barn cat? Now that I'm in the big city I planned on 20% garden loss, not 120%.
100 out of 100 pigeons and one very smart crow think that my garden is the best in the city.
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:22 PM
 
5,906 posts, read 5,274,993 times
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My husband purchased some NON-cow-derived** bloodmeal the other day and spread it around...and I'm ecstatically happy to report that it has (thus far) kept away both our squirrel and bunny foes.



**likely a response to the Mad Cow outbreak
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston3 View Post
Two words...... Pellet Gun ... takes care of those tree rats
My first thought - 22
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:58 PM
 
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What about a nice hunting dog?
My dog hates chipmunks and squirrels...
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:23 PM
 
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J&Em, your article is from 2001. It's now 2012. Is there a Mad Cow crisis? I guess we can't let ourselves be misled by the facts, eh?
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