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Go Back   Orchid Board - Most Complete Orchid Forum on the web ! > ORCHID DISCUSSIONS > Pests & Diseases
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  #1  
Unread 04-11-2012, 02:28 PM
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Default Squirrel disaster

Does anyone know if Bone Meal attracts squirrels? I am in Brooklyn NY and in the spring / summer I keep plants and many orchids outside on the fire escape.

The squirrels made a disaster worse than the past year. I wonder if adding bone meal attracted them or it is just a more aggressive batch.

Any suggestions? I had sprinkled habanero powder weeks ago. I make my own spray with pepper and garlic and I wonder if it sticks. Are those sprays with pepper that sell at HD/ Lowes effective? do thy stick any experiences?

damage:

Lc Tropical Pointer: DISAPPEARED but 2 leaves!
Laelia lundii disappeared ( I have a 2 pb division mounted so I am backed up)
Blc Momilani Rainbow 3 PB gone.
Den Hamana Smile 1 PB chomped.

Pomegranate, Mandarin, Coccoloba uvifera (of this I have a few more) cut down to the ground.

3 ft ficus benjamina now is bonsai material, cut half in height, tapered trunk.

Habanero peppers that I overwintered to get them going early (one started to bloom and produce) cut back to stumps to the ground!


I hope the mandarin and pomegrate can sprout back from the soil level cut.
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Unread 04-11-2012, 03:07 PM
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have you seen the squirrels doing the damage ? Sounds like rabbits to me - the most destructive of all of them.
I read on this Board that someone also had similar sounding damage caused by rats.
The only way I could discourage all types of varmints was to get cats which roam around outside at odd times.
I tried everything - even human hair !
( from haircuts )
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Unread 04-11-2012, 03:12 PM
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I saw a squirell chomping on a small opuntia today. I am on the second floor I have never seen a rabbit fly or climb a wall but squirrels walk on the electricity cables. I am wondering if bone meal attracts them.

The newest best growth of a Guarianthe (Cattleya) skinnerii is gone too.

squirrels for sure. Brown rats go to basements.
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Squirrel disaster-img_0236.jpg  
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Unread 04-11-2012, 03:26 PM
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I think you have a squirrel that has unfortunately developed a taste for the unique. I have all types of orchids outside, I use bone meal extensively ( funnily enough its some birds that are attracted ) and the only squirrel trouble I have is when my peaches are ripening ( they run the cat gauntlet ) and when they come for rose-hips ( cats can't get up the pergola ).
You could try and rig a motion activated water hose on them !
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Unread 04-11-2012, 03:45 PM
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Squirrels are omnivores and eat bird eggs and all sorts of things. Bone meal would attract them, I would think. Rats, too, might be attracted by it.
To protect your orchids, you could buy/make a pet cage and keep the orchids in this. Our rabbit's old outdoors/grazing cage would have been perfect. Good luck!
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Unread 04-11-2012, 03:46 PM
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Thanks, I live in an apt building so no hose rigs. I am wondering if they can walk over chicken wire, I could somehow block their access from the window ledge close to the electricity wires they use to get on my fire escape. They seem to like more saplings than orchids. Now I have been researching and squirrells like to eat plant buds in spring and also succulent parts.

They ate mostly my peppers. I could put some moth balls in the pots and pepper spray.
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Unread 04-11-2012, 03:50 PM
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Brown rats do not climb up walls here, I have seen squirrels. 2 years ago a dove was nesting on my fire escape and the squirrels razed the nest and killed and ate some baby doves. I think it is more of a seasonal problem, it happens more in the spring and after the rain. I can not really build contraptions but I know where they are coming from
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Unread 04-11-2012, 03:58 PM
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I have my plants in the fire escape too...and squirrels love to hide peanuts in the media of the potted plants. I have a neighbor who feeds them peanuts on her window and it ends up on my potted orchids...
I have two medium pots with ordinary soil soaked in pigs blood I got from the local meatshop...
the squirrels do not like the smell
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Unread 04-11-2012, 04:01 PM
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I wonder if blood meal actually repels them. read that somewhere.
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Unread 04-11-2012, 04:37 PM
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Had a opossum eat my young cymbidiums seedlings almost to extinction. Bushy tailed tree rats (squirrels) have not bothered me but I see them around. Have not tried it - If you mix a 50/50 batch of peanut butter and plaster of paris and put it out for them you will quit seeing squirrels - or so they say. Someting about terminal constipation.
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Last edited by orchids3; 04-11-2012 at 04:40 PM..
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