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I epoxied pot metal wheel stops on each of the rails at the ends of the six sidings on my raised outdoor steam track. Over time, they had lost their shine and became almost invisable in the natural hue of the rest of the layout. For the past year, a family of squirrels had been using the layout as a short cut from their home in some nearby spruce trees to the big maple in my back yard. It was common to see several of them scurrying along the tracks and leaping into my inner fenced in yard. The other day, while preparing for a fall run of my K-27, I noticed that both the stops in the steamup bay had been knawed almost to the rail. I checked the other 12 stops and lo and behold, they had been almost completely eaten also. Given the warnings that accompany the stops when you buy them from Ozark miniatures, I think I might have a few sick squirrels. Is this a common happening?
 

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Squirrels are now hatters?

(Slight mis application here. Hatters were mad due to mercury, not lead.)
 

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I recently caught one of our resident squirrels lapping up the steam oil residue on my steaming bench. That was OK--no accounting for tastes--but when it started chewing on the ties, that was too much. It turned over a boxcar body yard shed running when I came storming out the door. BTW, powdered hot pepper only works for about a week, then the critters are back.
I use the same OM wheel stops. Guess I'll have to keep an eye on them, too.

Larry
 

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Maybe a fence charger hooked to one rail. Ground the other ;)
 

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Wow that's a new one on me! I never thought squirrels would eat metal. I recently put the first two Ozark wheel stops out on the railroad but they are painted and weathered which might make a difference. All the other track stops are just stacked timbers stained like ties or other wooden stops and have not been bothered. Thus far I have had no trouble with squirrels munching on anything on my raised benchwork RR and little problem with them even being on the railroad. Of course they would be quite exposed up there and we have a lot of hawks soaring overhead plus a number of neighbor's kitties.

There might be an oil/release agent residue on the Ozark stops that the squirrels like. Try washing them thoroughly to remove it. That might take care of the problem. Please let us know how the problem resolves itself.
 

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I had squirrels eat thru metal flashing to get to the inside of my porch roof. They thought it was a great place to store nuts. I cleaned out about 20 gallons worth after a couple of years.
 

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Since squirrels are rodents, and their front teeth are continually growing, could they be gnawing on the hard stuff to keep their teeth at the proper length? Whatever the reason, they sure are pests!
SandyR
 

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Posted By Torby on 10/21/2008 9:59 AM
Maybe a fence charger hooked to one rail. Ground the other ;)" src="http://www.mylargescale.com/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wink.gif" align="absMiddle" border="0" />


Great Idea, I love the taste of fried squirrel!
You could probably get by with a car battery and jumper cables if you don't have a fencer. Just make sure you don't get the cat.
 

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Well then just put POWERED HOT PEPEPPER in your Steam Oil and it will coat the tracks every time your run.
Come on guys this isnt rocket science It's trains
 

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Fence charger won't fry the squirrel, or the cat, but will severely discourage them. Large animals like cattle and horses give that wire its space.

Now, wandering in the fields with friends about age 10, we were relieving ourselves, as boys tend to do. Somebody said, "See if you can hit that wire." I knew what that wire was. Mark didn't. Ow.
 

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My folks lived in Alabama for 25 years. When Mom came to live with us my brother and I had to replace the lead covered sewer vents on the roof. The squirrels had chewed them off. At the local Home Improvement store a fellow in the roofing and lumber Dept told us that it had happened to him. He advised coating the new vents with roofing cement (tar). The squirrels apparently don't like the sticky feel (or maybe the taste) of the cement.
Good luck with what ever you do as I hear they get used to most every none violent deterent.

Regards,
 

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I dunno why but squirrels like lead. We had a squirrel get into the storage area of the fire dept. where some old/extra diving equipment is stored. The lil feller ate the lead weights for the weight belts.
I also have a problem with them eating PT lumber on my layout. They leave the cedar alone but love the taste of PT wood. Squirrels must have a death wish, lead PT lumber...... things that would kill a normal man.
 

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They have chewed all the lead on my vent pipes on my house, they have chewed on my gutters, destroyed all my Malibu lighting, and have been working on the railing of my deck. I now have a single shot .22 which shoots shorts, which I use on them whenever they come out. We had a trapper com,e out and he live trapped 22 of them in a neighbor's yard. We call them "Tree Rats".
 

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Luckily squirrels are not a frequent visitor here, though I do see them in transit from time to time. Maybe it is because I have dogs, there are also cats nearby and of course no tall trees. They do seem to cause havoc to many Stateside railroaders.

If they appreciate lead, as it seems that they do, it might be unwise to leave older stock outside particularly those models that have paint with lead in it.
I guess it is really the tooth sharpening thing though and not the lead itself.
 

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Gosh, had no idea squirrels would eat ties, and chew on wheel stops, etc...


We've had problems with ground squirrels digging into the roadbed. A ground squirrel is not exactly the typical bushy tail variety you think of when you think of squirrels. Best way to describe them is they look like fat chipmunks.

Least messy way to get rid of them is a mouser cat, or Havahart traps.


We've used this particular model on both chipmunks and ground squirrels (smaller pests):


Chipmunk 2 Door Trap

For the larger squirrels, and especially pack rats, this works (larger pests):


Packrat 2 Door Trap


An even larger trap may be needed for those super big squirrels, as we have never caught one with the traps above. But our big squirrels, Albert's, don't seem to be too interested in the train layout...thankfully.


What you do with the animal after catching is up to you. We like to take them far away into the forest releasing them alive. Hard to tell, but I'm pretty sure the ones captured have not come back.

Oh almost forgot, all of these critters just love Reese's peanut butter cups as bait. They can't resist it.
 

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Man you in big trouble they will get you for exposing them to lead poisoning.
Later RJD
 

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Posted By Bruce Chandler on 10/21/2008 7:34 AM
There's just no accounting for what squirrels like to eat.

For some reason, they ate a section of my track.




Actually, this was done by termites..., very confused termites at that.
 
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