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By zvaile27
Posts:  10
Joined:  Fri Dec 23, 2022 7:10 pm
I have been having problems with squirrels messing with my trap and I found this cage thing to put on my plant. It’s metal so will it leak stuff into the soil?Image

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By ChefDean
Posts:  9038
Joined:  Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 am
Yes, the acidic environment will leach ions out of the metal, and metals are toxic.
However, what's stopping a squirrel from simply moving that cage? It's not hefty enough to be too heavy for them, plus they can simply reach through it.
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By Intheswamp
Posts:  3076
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
Grizzly bears (even black and brown bears) are know to break into cabins and destroy the contents looking for food. Even vehicles, cars and trucks, are broken into by these fearsome creatures. Well, unfortunately squirrels (AKA "tree rats") are the grizzlies of the carnivorous plant hobby. As Chef said, that cage is insufficient to keep the tree rats out of your plants.

What most people use is either chicken wire (1") or a smaller mesh hardware cloth. For a small cage to wrap around your pot I would think that hardware cloth would work the best. A 1/2" square mesh should keep grubby little paws from reaching in and snatching some of the plant out of the pot. A 1" square mesh would probably work good, too, as I think the grizzlies are more interested in digging in the pot rather than simply grabbing the plant. If you made the cage a few inches larger in diameter than the pot you could create a 2-3 inch "air gap" between the pot edge and the cage. Personally, I would make the "cage" large enough to enclose two or three pots...the hobby *is* addicting. :mrgreen:

The cages do not sit in the pot, but rather they sit on the same surface as the pot sits up...basically a full fence of protection around the pot and plant.

Most damage that I've had, though, hasn't been because the tree rats wanted the plants but rather they were digging for a treasure in the pot that they *thought* they had planted there. *Or*, they decided it was a good place to plant a treasure but the pesky plant was in their way so they had to tear it out and throw it to the side. Not to give the tree rats all the glory, here, but birds are also viable foes to contend with as they will dig up sphagnum moss for nest material or simply to aggravate the grower. I personally think the birds and tree rats work together in a conspiracy to drive carnivorous plants growers insane, but that's another theory.

Anyway, the hardware cloth is fairly rigid and when formed into a round "cage" it will stand up by is much more rigid than the chicken/poultry wire which requires a framework of some sort. Determine how tall and what diameter of a cage you need. You can find calculators online to determine what length of wire you need for a certain diameter of cage. The height depends on how much room you want above your plants. Hardware cloth is pretty hard to cut unless you have the proper tools. Some heavy duty snips will do it, just be careful as the cut strands are *very* sharp and pointy!!!! :o I have some old 1930's/40's vintage big iron scissors that I use. You'll need some wire of some kind to tie the ends together or you can use some nylon cord/string. Lastly, to finish the fortress, you need to cover the top with a piece of the same hardware cloth or even a piece of plexiglass if you wanted to shield the plant from splattering rain...I like the rain (most of the time) so I use a hardware cloth "lid".

1" mesh wire can be found, but it seems to come in long length$. 1/2" is more readily available in smaller lengths. 1/2" should be plenty big enough for edible-sized bugs to fly/crawl through. 1/4" is more sturdy, though. ;)

Most hardware stores carry hardware cloth. Be sure to get some that is heavy enough gauge so that a ring will stand up on its own...I've seen some reviews on Amazon where buyers complained that what they received was thin wire.

Here is a photo of a couple of large "cages" I put together quickly with some hardware cloth that I had on hand. They sit out on an old deck that the grizzlies think they own. I think the cages are made of 1/4" mesh...the top piece I think is 1/2". I'd rather have had 1/2" for the sides but I used what I had. With more wire in the 1/4" mesh, it is more sturdy than the 1/2".
IMG_5422 (Custom).JPG
IMG_5422 (Custom).JPG (740.44 KiB) Viewed 1672 times
Btw, welcome to the forum. I tend to ramble, so take what you need and disregard the rest! :lol:
By zvaile27
Posts:  10
Joined:  Fri Dec 23, 2022 7:10 pm
Thanks so much! Will definitely do this, u guys helped out a ton

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By optique
Posts:  1845
Joined:  Fri May 24, 2019 11:15 pm
watch this video and think about your cage.

Top Dress Moss

Would utricularia be a feasible choice

that is a weed kill it before it flowers


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