Squirrels are less frequently seen at the birdfeeder after applying a pepper sauce to sunflower seeds. A year ago, a recommended switch to safflower seed achieved a similar result, but purchasing fifty pound bags of sunflower seeds and the pepper sauce is considerably cheaper. Birds, from my observation, prefer the sunflower seeds.
As is typical when conflicts arise between man and beast, my wife is quite ruthless, and would happily rid the planet of any snake or squirrel that becomes a nuisance. In fairness, squirrels became a considerable problem in our attic for several years, and my wife has had several unpleasant confrontations with a variety of snakes in the garden and by the koi pond. Repeatedly, I advise her that it is probably best that she remain indoors.
I will state for the record that I am the more kind hearted of the two of us, but perhaps it could be argued that I am more likely than my wife to ignore a problem. It is a fact that I will end up being the one who must resolve a squirrel or snake problem, so most vanish into the wild before action is taken.
After failing to spray the late autumn deer repellent a year ago until after significant damage was done, the double winter dose was applied right on schedule in November. Though evidence of deer tracking through the garden is common, I see no damage, and expect none until the initial spring application in April.
I hear gardeners claim that repellents are ineffective, but I’ve found that alternating two types of repellent, or mixing the hot pepper sauce into the repellent every other month, works dependably. The proof, from my experience, is that it’s not unusual for me to miss a plant or two when I spray each month from April to November. When the last application wears off (usually at 5-6 weeks, depending on rainfall), deer find the ones I missed, and don’t bother the rest.
There is a bit of problem down the road, and occasionally in the forest behind the garden, with a flock of buzzards. I know what brings them around, but it seems that they just watch and wait. They’re far enough outside the garden that they’re no more than a curiosity, and even more intriguing are red tailed hawks that perch on the tree lilac branch that holds the birdfeeder. That keeps the squirrels away.
I wonder also, why geese that congregate by the hundreds on neighboring lawns, don’t encroach on our property? There’s not much to the front lawn, and the dogs are long gone, so maybe there’s not enough to bother with. Certainly, I’m not complaining. Perhaps the geese have been alerted to my wife’s reputation.