So. I am seeing considerable debate out there about whether or not building catapult traps for squirrels is ethically appropriate.
I’m all for them. I used to keep a bird feeder at a previous house and worked hard to try and discourage excessive squirrel usage. By excessive, I mean, “I put seed in here at 8am, and by noon, around ten squirrels have emptied the entire feeder”. So I hung the feeder on a thin wire strung between my house and a tree and put some wire around its lower and upper ends to discourage Mission: Impossible style shimmying down the wire. (It was high enough that no squirrel could jump up to it.) This worked for about a day. The squirrels then figured out that they could launch themselves from the tree to the feeder, despite the feeder being a considerable distance away. Every once in a while, I would get some mild amusement from a squirrel missing the feeder and slamming cartoon-style into the window, but they got pretty good at it very quickly. Putting lubricant on the feeder tube didn’t seem to affect their ability to get a grip on the tube as they hurtled past it.
With a later garden, I was able to effectively keep out deer and groundhogs (high fence, fence dug 18 inches into the ground). Squirrels, though? I suppose I could have put chicken wire across the entire top of the garden, but that would have made it look too much like Stalag-17. Fortunately they didn’t seem too interested in herbs or tomatoes, the major goals of my vegetable gardening. Corn, on the other hand, was pretty much stripped the moment it was vaguely edible: I saw squirrels bounding up trees with little ears in their mouths.
Squirrel-lovers protest: this is merely what squirrels do, what nature made them. Yes, indeedy. However, nature also made us hairless primates able to build squirrel catapults, digital video and YouTube. If it goes for squirrels, it goes for us too.