how can I stop "something" from eating my peaches? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Help!!! I have never grown fruit trees before, but I have a new (small) peach tree that is full of peaches. A few weeks ago I noticed what I thought were either tooth or beak marks on two of the peaches. I asked my local nursery and they suggested putting net over the trees to protect them from "vermin".

This morning, much to my dismay, I came out and there were about 8 peaches on the ground (inside the net!!) sort of shredded/toothed/clawed - not sure how to describe it. But I am steamed! Can anyone recommend anything I can do to prevent this so I can taste my first tree-ripened peach??? (other than sitting by my tree all night?)

thanks, sandi

ps - if there is no solution, should I pick them unripe and let them ripen inside?

-- sandi watkins (, July 19, 2001


Hi Sandi, I'm almost positive it is squirrel damage. We finally cut down a peach tree at a former home because we never got a peach from it. They also will eat citrus fruit. Sorry, but we never could figure out how to stop it. We were in town and shooting was out of the question. I did trap quite a few in a HavaHart trap and transported them out of the area (over a very long bridge over a very wide river. Rita

-- Rita in TN (, July 19, 2001.

We also had trouble with the squirrels getting peaches. Wouldn't be so bad if they'd just eat one, but they've gotta taste em all! Do you have a dog you can put on squirrel patrol? (When I had my collie, she never would've allowed the likes of a squirrel in the yard;)

-- mary (, July 19, 2001.

If you can find hot chilli pepper oil at the supermarket, mix it up with some dish soap and water spray it on your fruits. ~3-4 TBLSP oil and soap to a pint.

Wear safetly goggles! and a face mask! stay up wind!

Had something nibbling on my tomatoes last year, until it bit into a habanero pepper. Only one bit in that pepper! Habanero's are close to toxic waste heat wise.

-- (, July 19, 2001.

Oh and be sure to wash them well before you eat one.

-- (, July 19, 2001.

or put out a squirrel feeder. They like sunflower seeds, unsalted peanuts and cheap generic store bran dog food. ( it deasnt have meat products in it). Squirrels like any fruit and the majority of vegetables.I feed mine bannanas, grapes, strawberries, rasberries.....carrots, lettuce....even marshmellows. I rehab, and have pet squirrels along with fruit trees. The squirrels have never bothered the fruit trees. The pepper spray along with that will help. Also throw orange rind or orange slices under the tree and anywhere else you dont want the squirrels to be. This works for cats also. Moth balls will also help. Bugs and wildlife do not like moth balls. If you still have the problem I would put out a live trap and trap what ever is eating the peaches, and set it free in a different location. Racoons will also eat peaches.

-- mindy poole (mpoole@link, July 20, 2001.

I had the same problem years ago, I would go out to find little bit marks in the peaches at the top.Discovered it was bats! Now I never liked bats since they tried to land In my hair at girl scout camp[ yes I know they wont but they got awful close] so In the evenings I would sprint acrose the lawn to close the chickens in with the three bats in hot prosuit, then I started watching them in the evenings and I grew to love them. I could walk out on the lawn and put my hand out and wiggle it and they would fly around my finger tips, In the evenings I would go out and call here baty, baty and they would suddenly appear. they came for about a month, for three summers and then they didnt return.They took a few peaches but gave me so much more in return.

-- kathy h (, July 22, 2001.

One year we happily let three ring-necked pheasants eat our peaches. Wow they were pretty. We are pretty certain someone raised them and released them, but that didn't take away our pleasure at watching them. If you really want to protect them try putting tanglefoot around the trunk of the tree. Though this is for insect control, it may deter the squirrels. You could also try netting around the trunk to prevent their climbing so easily into the tree itself. A dog tied to the tree for the day/evenin/night might work wonders!

-- Anne (, July 22, 2001.

We have had and do have peach tress. I think most of our damage to the trees and peaches is from insects or worms from the trees and not the animals around the homestead. We have lost some pretty nice dwarf peach trees and this year I actually took sandpaper and rubbed down the bark on the trees ( massage for peach trees..ha ha) and got all the bumps and black things from the bark and then really, really pruned it back. I also am keeping the mulch away from the bottom of the tree and I think that it just encourages the insects to get closer and into the bark too. I then sprayed with an organic oil spray for fruit trees. Maybe this will help you with your peaches. We live in North Central PA and some people tell me you can't grow peaches...well I guess they have never tasted my homemade peach jam !!! Call and ask you cooperative agent about this in your area too. Good Luck !!

-- Helena Di Maio (, July 23, 2001.

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