Squirrels are fascinating animals. Their arboreal living and variety makes them more interesting. While they are generally considered as preys in the wild, these furry animals can be a real nuisance once they get inside your home, eat the bird seeds, and run over your garden. But, before you get your hands into the drastic steps of getting rid of them, you better read this first.
Identifying Squirrel Problem
Compared to other ‘home pests’, it’s not hard to determine the presence of squirrels in your home. Here are some tips on how to determine whether you have unwanted guests in your home:
– Look. Most squirrels are active during daytime hours so it would be easier to spot them in your home.
– Check for signs. If you have an attic and if you’re living near trees, then you better include your attic in assessing for the presence of squirrels. Look for possible entry points and signs that they’re already there. Try to check on the presence of nests and food.
– Look for teeth marks. Aside from their natural playfulness, these squirrels also have this annoying habit of biting into anything including the edges of your shutters. So, look for teeth marks. If you can find them, then it’s positive! You have uninvited guests.
– Listen. If you suspect having squirrels at home, then you better use your listening skill. They usually scrabble around very early in the morning.
Getting Rid of Squirrels in the Garden
If you’re growing a garden, squirrels can become a real headache. They have a voracious appetite and eats your young seedlings, fruits, vegetables, and even destroy your beautiful flowers because of their playfulness. Not only do these squirrels destroy your garden, they also attack your bird feeds. So, if your bird seeds are disappearing quite too fast than the usual, then you have unwanted visitors in your garden.
See your garden in full bloom and lovely birds again feeding from your feeder by using the following strategies for squirrel removal:
1. Change the location of your bird feeder
Bird seeds are highly attractive to these squirrels. Ward them off by changing the location of your bird feeder. Place it 8 feet off the ground, away from trees that squirrels could easily climb/hop on.
2. Use orange and lemon rinds
If you have orange and lemon rinds, you can save and store them in your fridge during winter. Once you start planting again in your garden during spring, you can bury these rinds under the soil to keep squirrels from digging.
3. Plant cloves of garlic
Plant a clove or two of garlic near your spring bulbs. You may also opt to sprinkle cayenne powder or garlic powder on your soil when your plants are ready to bloom. Squirrels couldn’t tolerate the smell of these two and this will naturally keep them away.
4. Scatter human hair around your garden
Aside from the smell of the spices, squirrels can’t also stand the smell of humans. So, befriend your hairdresser and ask for a bag of human hair. Lightly dig them into the soil and the smell would naturally ward off the squirrels.
5. Scare them with mouse traps
Another way to get rid of squirrels from your garden is through the use of mouse traps. Secure them on the soil, cover them with newspaper, and with some dirt and soil. When the squirrels go into your garden and accidentally step into the trap, it will snap and will scare them away. With that in mind, they would avoid that area.
If you don’t want to hurt squirrels when using mouse straps, secure them properly on the ground. Also, make sure that the trap is being anchored.
What Not to Do
Do not try to remove the squirrels from your garden and relocate them. This isn’t a good solution as there’s a greater chance of removing the female squirrels as well. If you have removed mother squirrels and relocated them somewhere else, you’re depriving of their young ones a motherly figure they needed for survival.
Getting Rid of Squirrels in the Attic
If you have an attic and if your home is just meters away from trees, then there’s a good chance for squirrels to get inside it. These playful animals can be troublesome especially if they’re starting to break and damage your things. Getting rid of the squirrels in the attic may not be an easy job but it’s very much possible.
Before you do anything, it’s wise to check on first if these animals are invading your attic. One way to do that is to create balls from newspaper or any scrap paper that you can find. Fit the balls of paper snugly into the holes where you suspect to be the entry points of the squirrels. Check on them the following day. If they have been pushed away, then it’s possible that squirrels have invaded your attic. You can ward them off by using the following strategies:
– Spray the entire attic area with a commercially-made squirrel repellant. You may easily find it in any hardware, garden, or pet stores.
– If you want to keep it as natural as possible, you can make your own squirrel repellent at home. Because squirrels are sensitive to the smell of spices, you can create a homemade repellent from combining hot sauce and water (1 tablespoon of the sauce to 1 quart of the water).
You can also create another repellant by combining chopped yellow onion and peppers (Jalapeno and Cayenne peppers are great options). Combine all ingredients and bring them to a boil for about 20 minutes. Strain the solution through a cheesecloth then that’s it! You have just made your own squirrel repellent solution.
– Setting a trap is another effective solution for getting rid of squirrels in your attic. You can keep them from getting harmed by covering these traps with cloth or any soft material. Once you’ve caught one or two, release them outside. Keep them from coming back through proper sealing of entry points.
– Spraying your attic with repellant is an effective strategy but if all possible entry points are left unsealed, then everything you’ve worked for will be useless. So, seal all possible entry points including the openings of sliding and pipes. You can secure these areas by using hardware cloth.
How to Keep Squirrels Away from Your Home
If you’re sick and tired of seeing food in your attic or teeth marks on your things (particularly those made of wood), then you’re not alone. It turns out that thousands of households out there are having the same problem with squirrels. If you’ve successfully eliminated them from your home, then you better make sure that they’re not coming back. They belong to the wild and definitely not in your home.
Here are some effective methods on how to keep them away from your home:
1. Keep your yard clean. Squirrels are known to have this voracious appetite. They would eat almost anything although they feed mostly on seeds and nuts. If you want to keep them away from your home then you better keep your yard clean, free from anything that would attract these animals (fruit peelings and seeds included!).
2. Use squirrel-proof bird feeder. Squirrels love bird food. If you have a bird feeder at home, then you better strategize to keep squirrels away from it. You can make use of a squirrel-proof bird feeder or make one at home. You may also opt for seeds that squirrels aren’t really interested in or better yet, spray the seeds with anything spicy (consider cayenne pepper).
3. Cut off low hanging branches. These mammals thrive on trees. They love to play around, hopping from one tree to another. If you have trees at home, then it’s time to cut off low hanging branches especially if they’re near your attic.
To Call or Not to Call a Pest Control Specialist
It’s exhausting to have done everything only to find out that the situation has gone from bad to worse. If you have the same sentiments for your squirrel problem, then it’s time to call a pest control specialist.
Pest control specialists have the knowledge and skills needed to determine the presence of squirrels in your home. Most of them were trained to handle various cases so hiring one would actually save you of time and money. Not only that, these people know exactly how these squirrels behave so they know how to handle them before, during, and after doing the necessary interventions.
When choosing for a pest control specialist, you better make sure that they’re licensed and has good credibility when it comes to doing the job. You can check out reviews (better if they have a page for it) or you could simply ask for friends or family for recommendations.
Killing Squirrels: Is it legal?
Sometimes you become too frustrated with the situation that you can’t help but look for ways as drastic as killing the squirrels. But, before you do a thorough search on how to kill squirrels, you need to know the legal implications of this. Depending on where you live, killing squirrels may be legal or not.
Game Animals vs Pests
Generally, in most states in the United States, classify squirrels as either game animals or pests. Red and grey squirrels fall under game animals. However, they could be killed from hunting, a hunting license is necessary. If you live in United Kingdom, killing of squirrels as game animals is highly restricted but killing squirrels that are considered to be pests is acceptable.
Killing Squirrels Using Bow and Arrow
Most of the states in the US permit the use of bow and arrow for killing squirrels as game animals. This means of killing these furry animals isn’t permitted in New British Columbia (especially of grey squirrels) and in the United Kingdom unless special permit is obtained.
Killing Squirrels through Poison
There is no known acceptable poison for killing squirrels. Using poison for killing these mammals usually have negative implications as the poison could spread and kill other wildlife animals. There is, however, an exception. It is acceptable to use poison for ground squirrels that invade orchards and the gas and water lines.
Killing Squirrels Using Electricity
Electricity can’t actually kill squirrels. It only gives them an unpleasant shock. When using equipment such as “rat zappers” for squirrels, you have to be sure that you’re pretty knowledgeable with its use and electricity in general. Improper use could lead to accidents.
Killing squirrels is a drastic step in getting rid of them. If you can’t handle their presence on your own, then the best way or route to take is to take the case to a pest control specialist.