Squirrel devastation

Squirrels have started removing the hazelnuts on 19th of July. This is the earliest that I’ve ever seen them go after immature hazelnuts.
I have 5 live traps and 4 rat traps and started using my pepper spray.  In less then a week I removed 11 squirrels.

I’ve even seen the smaller red squirrels hanging from the branches eating the unripe nuts.

The larger grey squirrels finish off the ones that fall on the ground.
This is what it looked like the first day that I noticed the problem.

The next day really took me by surprise and I thought this may be really serious, so I mixed up my pepper spray and bought some more traps.

This is the pepper spray recipe I use for my squirrel deterrent, but now I started adding 4 cloves of garlic with the peppers in the food processor.
Hot Pepper Spray for Squirrel Deterrent 

(WEAR GLOVES! Goggles aren’t a bad idea either)

Red Cayenne, Jalapeno, or habanero fresh peppers (cayenne for stronger mix)

Put 3 Peppers in a food processor with enough water to make a liquid.
Strain through cheesecloth into a quart jar
Add 2 tablespoons Olive/Vegetable oil
Squirt of Elmer’s glue
2 drops liquid dish-soap

Use 1 part of mixture to 10 parts water

Shake well
Spray on plant with spray bottle.

(Don’t make it any strong then 30%)
Be careful not to get this in your eyes.

The new crop of hazelnuts 

This is some of the new crop protected by the pepper spray.
This is a large leafy hazelnut husk that usually matures the end of September.
I’ll have to spray once a week to keep the squirrels off this plant.

This is another one of my better plants that ripens around August 18th.

On this plant the nut tends to drop out of the husk in the first week of September.
This is another one of the better plant that will have to spay to keep the squirrels away.
I just noticed a weevil hole on the husk which I’ve circled. Just one more pest to deal with.

This plant has a large juicy husk that squirrels do not like, but the nut is also hard to remove when ripe.

This is another one that squirrels tend to not like.
This is one that squirrels really tend to go for so I’ll have to spray this one.

This is not one of my better plants, but I like the unusual look of the husk.

Field day at the Carrington REC
During the field day at Carrington REC, Kathy Wiederholt showed a row of my hazelnuts that they are testing in their  hardy fruit evaluation project.

This is a close up of some of the developing nuts at Carrington REC.

This hazelnut plant that Kathy showed here has very large clusters of nuts. 
It looked like there might be 8 or more nuts in each cluster, which some times makes it hard to remove the nuts from the husk. I prefer no more then 4 nuts in a cluster.

This is another type of hazelnut in the same row, which just has singles and no more then 2 in each cluster. This type of plant is usually easier to remove the nut from the husk.
I would like to thank Kathy Wiederholt, fruit project manager in Carrington, for doing such a great job evaluating all the different types of hardy fruits that will grow in this area.

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