Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Ground Squirrels Just Keep On Attacking

There is no end to their damage. Every day something new is eaten or dead or both. I have moved two tomatoes to a backyard in our Paso Robles location that  is so far free of both squirels and gophers. I think I can handle the snails. Those tomatoes I moved were in containers. I moved the smallest of my recovering plants from the large raised bed, where they were all sick, into containers with organic potting soil. The first one I moved last week and it is already beginning to grow as it should. That was the Oxheart. Last night I transplanted the Hillbilly and the Cherokee Purple into containers and they are headed to Paso Robles this afternoon. At least there they will have a chance to grow unmolested.

Meanwhile, each day I've been finding a new tomato branch cut off at the ground and / or a half eaten tomato still hanging on what's left of the vine. I have resigned myself to the fact that's there's not much I can do to save all my best tomatoes from the new bed. Yesterday, I found an actual burrow size hole right under the squirrel's favorite tomato -- my Moskvich -- and they had cut the entire plant off at ground level. I suppose my yellow pear is next. You can see the barriers I tried to erect to make it challenging, but nothing helped.

Meanwhile, I'm getting a few squash, eggplant, and peppers which the squirrels don't seem attracted to -- yet. Meanwhile, almost every young green grape has disappeared from our loaded grape vine.

I ran into some people who have experience eliminating squirrels yesterday, and we will be checking into their advice. I understand there is a trap that works, but you have to drown the squirrels in the trap afterward. I was told by both advisers that the ground squirrels are not only destructive, but dangerous, since they carry plague, rabies, and other diseases. I just need to convince my husband that we need the trap now.
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