Squirrels are such cute critters with their fluffy tails and acorns. It’s fun to watch them scurry across the road and up a tree or wiggle their little noses while they eat. But left unchecked, squirrels can do an immense amount of damage not only to your yard but also to your attic and eaves. Let’s go over how to get rid of squirrels in the safest and effective way. Successfully removing any kind of rodent from your property takes dedication and patience so luckily there are several measures you can take to not only rid yourself of existing squirrels but also in preventing them from ever becoming troublesome in the first place.
How to get rid of Squirrels
Remove food sources and standing water
In most cases when an animal is attracted to your yard, it’s looking for a food or water source. So consider what is making your yard or garden attractive to the squirrels. They will chew through and eat just about anything. Here are some tips for taking away the sustenance they are searching for and love.
- Don’t leave pet food out, especially overnight.
- Remove or change the location of an easily accessible bird feeder. You can also try replacing your birdseed with a type squirrels dislike such as nyger or sunflower.
- Secure all trash in metal cans with tight-fitting lids and never use trash bags.
- Pick up and remove all fruit that has dropped from your fruit tree limbs.
- Rake up any berries, nuts, or birdseed that may have fallen to the ground.
If you have a backyard water source, odds are it will attract animals, but not necessarily the ones you want to welcome. Once you have secured all food sources, don’t forget to take care of any standing water where the squirrels may go to hydrate.
Identify activity patterns
It’s vital to understand the nature and location of your squirrel damage. They will have certain travel paths you will need to identify so you are able to choose the best control method. Some destructive squirrel habits and patterns may include the following:
- Nesting in your attic
- Digging holes in your lawn where they can store food
- Stealing berries or other fruits
- Snatching seeds from bird feeders
- Gnawing small holes in the siding of your home or shop
- Severing of tree bark
Once you have identified exactly what the squirrels are after on your property you will be more equipped to choose the most effective control method for your specific space.
Limit access to your home and yard
There are a few actions that are significant in limiting squirrels’ access to your property. Because squirrels can cause significant structural damage to your home, it’s very important you take action immediately if one does get inside to avoid an infestation. One squirrel will give birth to typically 4-5 young every 6 months. Once they have settled in and made a nest, it is very difficult to force them out. You will be able to significantly prevent damage by taking some simple measures to stop squirrels from invading.
- Inspect your home thoroughly for holes or gaps that could give entry to the squirrels. Repair all holes that may lead inside your house.
- Use a chimney guard.
- Trim back any tree limbs that come within an 8-10 foot distance of your home. Squirrels are great jumpers and can leap from trees to your roof or bird feeders with great ease.
- Squirrels have incredible balance but will struggle if plastic tubing is placed over the telephone or other wires.
- Band tree trunks with baffles (metal or plastic collars).
Use scare tactics
Squirrels scare easily! They’re small and have only their teeth and jaws to protect them. So, when faced with danger, they will run every time. Since it doesn’t take much to scare these little critters away, here are a few suggestions on how to keep squirrels away that are simple and completely humane.
- Install a motion-activated sprinkler – any sudden motion or sound is enough to scare a squirrel away and a motion-activated sprinkler is perfect for the job. Be sure to choose a sprinkler with customizable settings. A sprinkler with a high-tech sensor will prevent an increase in your water bill because you will be able to set it to distinguish between the movement of animals and just the wind.
- Utilize your pets –Cats and dogs are an all-natural, built-in squirrel deterrent. Try letting your pets out at various, unpredictable times throughout the day. This will help convince the squirrels that your pets are a constant fixture, standing guard at all times.
Squirrel control methods
Now that you hopefully have a better idea about the nature of your squirrel problem, you will be more equipped to decide which method of control will work best for your specific environment. From live traps to repellents and fencing, the more solutions you can apply, the better your chances of success.
Taste Based Repellents
The most effective squirrel repellents tend to be irritant taste-based. Once they get an unfavorable taste, they will likely remember it. Applying powerful repellent in both granular and spray forms is necessary to keep these stubborn critters out. Try spraying liquid-repellent onto your lawn and soil to prevent digging or chewing. You can even attempt dipping flower bulbs in the liquid before planting. Also, sprinkle granular repellents around all structures, especially known squirrel entryways or paths.
To further increase your success rate, try spotting your yard and garden with unfavorable odors to keep squirrels away. Ammonia-soaked rags have proven successful. You can also purchase predator urine from home centers or online retailers that can be spread around trees, fence lines, and gardens to deter squirrels. Keep in mind, odor treatments will need to be reapplied after each rainfall.
There are a variety of chemical repellents on the market that work quite well as squirrel deterrent. Among the most effective are products containing the active ingredient capsaicin. This ingredient repels a wide variety of unwanted animals from your yard without doing serious harm or damage.
Most homeowners choose to spray the repellent around the perimeter of their property or other squirrel entry points.
In conjunction with other repellent options, electronic repellents can be very helpful. These repellents are eco-friendly and very versatile. For example, an ultrasonic outdoor animal repeller is designed to keep most pests away from gardens or berry patches. They emit a completely inaudible sound to you but can be heard by squirrels within 6000 ft. The high-pitched frequencies produced are like exposing intruding critters to an extremely loud alarm.
Mesh fencing to protect vegetation, underneath porches and structural openings is an excellent way to exclude squirrels. Use ¼” galvanized wire mesh to ensure squirrels can’t squeeze through. The mesh should penetrate the ground at least 1 foot for your best chances of the squirrels not digging underneath. Create a fence around your entire garden, squirrel favored trees, berry patches, or flower beds.
Plant Vegetations Squirrels Hate
Even though squirrels will eat just about anything, there are some plants and flowers they hate and won’t ingest. There are actually plants that are known for repelling squirrels. Brightly-colored flowers with a strong smell,
daffodils, hyacinth, geraniums, lily-of-the-valley, and mint are all included in this group.
Allums such as onions, leeks, scallions, and garlic will also repel squirrels with their taste and smell. Use these flowers and plants as a way to support any other efforts you are putting forth in your squirrel control strategy.
Live Squirrel Traps
One last method to attempt is setting a live squirrel trap. This method isn’t always foolproof and you will likely play the waiting game. Even after baiting your trap with a squirrels’ favorite treat, it may take several days for the squirrels to feel comfortable enough to investigate. Check your trap multiple times daily so if you are successful, you can relocate the animal quickly to a suitable spot. Be sure your relocation area is 2-3 miles away so it won’t find its way back home.
How to get rid of squirrels conclusion
If you are struggling to get control of squirrels in or around your home, or have any other rodent or pest issues, give Vinx Pest Control a call. Our specially trained rodent exclusion technicians know exactly where to look for those holes that rodents use as revolving doors into your home. Rodent-proofing your property is easier than ever before. We know you want your pest control issues resolved ASAP and we are your best option to get that done. If you live in the Dallas, Charleston, or Greenville areas, we can help you with your squirrel problems.