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Old July 11, 2017   #1
Dewayne mater
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 1,179
Default Full enclosure to stop rats, squirrels, possums birds, etc.?

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
N. Texas weather this summer was friendly to tomatoes, and with tools like a string trellis growing borrowed from folks like Bill from Alabama, I've had my best production ever. It seems like every critter for miles is well aware of this. I know that rats, possums, squirrels and birds have all enjoyed my tomatoes, especially over the last month. In the last week about 2 dozen 3/4 to 1 pound tomatoes have been eaten, typically before they blush. I'm thankful anytime I can pick one at first blush before a critter gets it.

I've tried traps, baits, fox urine, wrapping tomatoes in bags, etc with limited success this year, but, there are clearly more critters that would rather eat tomatoes than baits.

I think the only way I can have a higher harvest rate is to create a a full enclosure for next year. I want to try this concept next year on an area that is about 15'x20' where I use an old wooden swing set I use as the support for drop down lines and it is about 8 feet tall. Has anyone built something like this? If so, please share pics, suggestions, etc.

I use a shade cloth over this area about June 1 on to lower the temps. Potentially, this could serve as a "roof" because it has grommets that could connect to the "walls". I'm thinking something like chicken wire would be small enough to keep out rats, can anyone confirm that? They are tricky and can squeeze through a small space.

Will these critters dig under a chicken wire siding? Would they climb over a chicken wire and weasel their way between the wire and the grommets that are about 18 inches apart?

How would you give yourself easy access to such a structure? I have to be able to get in their daily, so it can't be too tough.

I'm open to any suggestions! Thanks.


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