Saturday, May 15, 2010

Squirrel Trap

It's that time of year again, so I'm putting this back up. If you have a problem with squirrels, and who doesn't, this arrangement is just the ticket.
Lowes sells the pipe, 4 in ABS, pre-cut to a 4 foot length. I'm sure you've got a bucket around the house somewhere.
Fill the bucket with water, and smear some peanut butter about elbow-deep down the inside of the pipe. The bungee cord in the top picture is to keep the rig upright. Check daily. This thing is a black hole for the little rodents.

The low-buck version of this, you buy a pipe cap for the pipe, and glue it on to one end. add about a foot of water to the pipe, and check daily. If you're feeling soft hearted, skip the water in the pipe, and get a spare cap. When you get one, cap the top, and drive him far away.

Speaking of sending them far away,
This rig entices them to crawl up the barrel, which then tilts back, hitting the button that opens the valve, that releases the air compressed in the lower pipe, and inaugurating your very own backyard space program. More details here, and here.

You can, of course, combine the two. Place the gun up against the fence until you get one, charge the thing from your compressor (you do have a compressor, right?), then shoot the squirrel straight up and let the dog catch it on the way down (you do have a dog, right?).

Dogs comment: "Worst tasting duck he ever brought down."

Update: This is a popular post, so here's some additional info. It's now June 8, and I'm getting 5-8 squirrels a week. The problem is what to do with them since trash day is Friday AM and I seem to get one Fri PM almost without fail. Homers Bucket, from Home depot, can be had with a snap-on lid for under $5. Put a kitchen bag in it to collect the bodies, and keep in a shady place. Come trash day, close the bag and out they all go.

23 comments:

Windy Wilson said...

It's time for another episode of --Squirrels in Space!"

These things should work for ground squirrels, too, not just the bushy-tailed red and gray kinds right?

What diameter of pipe?

Billll said...

I'm using 4 inch pipe for the tree squirrels. I would not have thought that ground squirrels (chipmunks) would be much of a problem.

Anonymous said...

The water idea would work great im sure. Just something about making these creatures die a death like that.. Im not against killing and eating them;however, all animals deserve a quick death.

+1 props for the cannon :P

Anonymous said...

Add some electricity to the water. Fsster mofe humane death.

Christian Riley said...

I was looking for ways to kill furry tree rats. They chewed up the tubing for my heat pump and have been trying to find ways into my house. Saw the furry tree rat launcher. Haven't laughed that hard in so long. Great invention. Need to get the plans and build one. I'll aim it at a tree and let the coyote eat the dead.

Anonymous said...

None of you have figured it out! I live in town and was sick this year and was not able to go hunting during hunting season. I'm trying to trap them so I can clean them and fry the little guys up and maybe some Squirrel and rice or Squirrel and dumplings.

Donnie

Billll said...

I was getting 3 a week in the early spring which ought to keep one person in protein until they can get out of the house and hunt the wily ground cow at the supermarket.

PO'd redneck said...

Ok, good idea, but where im from you dont kill without intent to eat. If it edible it shoudnt be thrown away. At the very least cook it and take it to a homeless man, throwing away food is NEVER acceptable. And im sure youll delete my comment but i hope you seriously think about all the food you have wasted. Sincerely, a pissed off redneck.

Billll said...

That line about "You are what you eat" was never more true than for the squirrels. Out in the woods they eat seeds and taste good. In town they will get into the trash if they can and they taste like it. YMMV. The homeless around here wouldn't know what to do with a dead animal, they all eat at the burger chains.

Anonymous said...

What type and size pipe is in the first picture? Is there a cap on the top? Can't the squirrels just back their way out of the pipe once they go down it? Trying to figure out how this apartatus works. :)

Anonymous said...

My idiot neighbor feeds wildlife here in the suburbs of Minneapolis. Squirrels and raccoons abound and he thinks they're so cute. The problem is that these critters don't chew their way into his attic, a ranch-style house. No, they attack my two-story house, because they want to nest in higher spaces.

The raccoons were climbing my rain spouts and pushing their way in through the eves. I was amazed when the idiot neighbor said he'd been watching the raccoons for weeks, saying, "They're so cute going in and out of your attic." No, buttcrack, they're not cute, and why didn't you tell me about this when you first saw it. I used a body gripper to catch the female, and the male took off never to return. The neighbor was all, "But you didn't have to kill it!" What a freakazoid.

Now that the raccoons are gone, I once again have red and gray squirrels getting into my attic. My idiot neighbor feeds the squirrels all winter, and has corn cobs strung up to make them jump like circus performers. I will be using the PVC pipe drowning machine placed beside my American linden tree and out of sight of my idiot neighbor, who would have a spaz attack. I will be using antifreeze instead of water, so that I can leave it out all winter.

Billll said...

Perhaps a water slide into a 55 gal drum baited with granola bars...

No, forget I said that.

Anonymous said...

Heard that racoons cannot digest marsh mellows. Leave some out, they eat them, get sick and stay away.

Mike A said...

So far, my bucket trap has bagged 1 mouse (over night), 1 chipmunk, and 1 squirrel on the first day. I would probably get more if I went out more often to replace the peanut butter. I also got one chipmunk in the bucket-with-a-ramp/sunflower-seed trap, but then a squirrel took it over, fishing out the seeds. The live-catch store bought traps I bought were both sprung, but nothing in them.

Carol said...

Billll, this is a fantastic trap. Thank you so much for this blog!

I am trying to catch plain old eastern gray squirrels (Florida) - is that what you are catching? Is that the same thing as your "tree squirrels"?

I have a question about the bucket size. I can't tell in your photo what size bucket you used. Do you need a five-gallon bucket to get the job done? Or will a smaller bucket work? I need/want to have enough water. What size do you normally use?

Thanks again for a great, easy (I hope) system!

Billll said...

Carol

Locally I only see one species of squirrel although others live further up in the mountains. As to what kind gets caught, it's whatever kind likes peanut butter, which would be all of them. The bucket is a standard 5-gallon utility bucket, and I use about 4 gallons of water. In Spring the trap can catch 3 a day and the deeper water is necessary.

Carol said...

Thanks for the reply, Billll. I set up the first one last evening - white PVC and white bucket - hope that the color doesn't make a difference. The bucket is the kind used for selling chlorine tablets to pool service companies, so it is large - probably 8-10 gallons - and deep. I checked it this morning and no squirrel. But there was excrement at the bottom of the bucket. So something was nosing around. I'll post an update later on. Thanks, again!

Billll said...

The key to this is getting the peanut butter down inside the pipe to where the squirrel can barely reach it while holding on with his back feet. This is about the distance from the crook of your arm to the tips of your fingers. Check to see if the peanut butter is still there.

Water depth should be about 11-12 inches.

Carol said...

Again today, no squirrel. However, something definitely had eaten all of the peanut butter at the top (where I put a little for enticement) - that was gone. The PB farther down the pipe was still there but pretty dried out looking.

I thought maybe my pipe was too vertical - not enough slant to entice a squirrel to go downward. My larger and taller chlorine-tablet bucket doesn't permit the pipe to lean very much. However, looking at your photos, your pipe doesn't have much slant or lean to it, either.

Do ants in the peanut butter make any difference to the squirrels? The ants in Florida show up so quickly. The first day that I set the trap, I came back to check and make adjustments only 20 minutes later and ants were already arriving at the peanut butter at the very top of the pipe (the enticement peanut butter).

I will DEFINITELY apply it deeper into the tube - that may be my problem - I will find a long painters stir stick or something like that to apply the peanut butter even deeper into the tube.

My tube is 5' long. That is the pre-cut length at my Lowe's.

Thanks for the help, Bill. It's appreciated!

Billll said...

Perhaps if you add a thin smear down the length of the pipe...

Unknown said...

Thank you Bill for the fantastic trap idea. I have tried a few different commercial ones and none worked. In two days I caught 7 squirrels, on two occasions I had two at the same time.
I thought we had two squirrels in my backyard but an extra five showed up. We watch them disappear down the pipe, it takes them about three minutes to drown, no cries no tantrum, they go quietly with a little scratching. Drowning is a quiet death. One thing: I suggest to put at least 12 inches of water in the bucket, squirrels don't float much, too muscular and no fat, small lungs so not much air to help. I noticed that when one was standing on top of the first in the pipe I would struggle longer, so deeper water is best.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
treefrog said...

RECYCLE YOUR SQUIRRELS !!
supplies: a posthole digger, a sack of quicklime, a bucket with a lid

dig a posthole as deep as you can reach.
when a squirrel needs disposing of, drop him in the hole with a little quicklime from the bucket
when the hole is almost full, dig another, topping off the first hole with some of the dirt. mark the first hole.
after a year or so, each hole is a fertile spot to plant a fruit or nut tree. offset two feet.