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How to Get Rid of Squirrels

Here's How to Get Rid of Squirrels in a Way That Won't Hurt Them

Squirrels can be fun, as long as they are out of your compound. These cute little creatures can cause significant damage, once they find their way into the house and the garden.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Jun 8, 2018
Indian Malabar Giant Squirrel On Tree
People adore squirrels for their fluffy bodies, innocent faces, and hops. You can watch them for hours on end, and enjoy their fun-filled activities. But, they can be a nuisance and cause damage, once they get access to the house or the garden.
They can easily find their way into the house through small holes, especially gable vents. Even if the holes are small, these little critters can chew and make them big, so that they can enter attics, chimneys, and soffits.
Two Indian Palm Squirrel
Once inside the house, squirrels can throw tantrums by scurrying here and there, and collecting materials for nesting. They can carry ticks and fleas, which can be passed on to your pets. They can chew on electric wires and cause fire hazards.
Even their droppings and urine attract other animals, and pose a health threat, apart from producing the foul smell. Squirrels can enter your garden, and feed on the bulbs and buds.
Tips to Get Rid of Squirrels
It is very disheartening to realize that these wonderful little creatures can be a big nuisance and can cause damage to your house. Actually, some people view squirrels as pests, and resort to pest control methods.
Even though poisoning is a common method of pest control, it is not advisable in case of these critters. Dead squirrels in the attic can spread infections. There is also a chance that other squirrels feed on the carcass of the dead ones. Such a carcass can poison your pets, if they feed on it. So it is better to avoid the option of poisoning.
Repellents
Aromatic spices on the table
There are many commercial repellents in the market, which can be used to get rid of squirrels. It has been observed that predator urine or ground chili pepper repel them. You can prepare homemade squirrel repellents with some easily available household things.
A common ingredient of squirrel repellents is cayenne pepper. It is believed that it's smell irritates the creatures and they keep away from where the repellent is sprayed or sprinkled. You have to spray the repellent frequently, especially during the rainy season, to keep them away. These products may become ineffective once the critters get used to it.
Traps
Squirrel in The cage
Trapping is another method to get rid of squirrels. Usually, small and sturdy steel cages are used for this purpose. Large cages are avoided, as they run around inside the cage, bang against the walls, and end up getting injured.
You can even use some bait, like peanut butter applied on a piece of bread or biscuit, to attract squirrels into the cage. Once trapped, relocate the squirrels to some faraway place, which is uninhabited by humans. Repeat the process, until you catch all the squirrels in your house, and ensure that their entry points are sealed.
Preventive Measures
Squirrels with a Nut in forest
Take a good look at the exterior of the house. Check for holes that are big enough for the squirrels to enter. Cover them with wire mesh, and use steel wool to fill the smaller holes. Install a cover for the chimney too. Shut all the entry points. Use steel products as coverings, as squirrels cannot chew this material.
Portrait of squirrel close-up
Another preventive measure is to cut all those tree branches that rest on the roof or grow near the house. These branches are like bridges, for squirrels to enter the house. It is always better to keep these branches at a safe distance of around 15 feet from the house.
Use squirrel proof bird feeders or feed them to prevent from stealing the bird food. It has been seen that they detest the taste of safflower seeds, commonly used as bird food. Another important preventive measure is proper sanitation. Keep the house and the compound clean, and remove any waste food instantly. Ensure that the lid of garbage bin is covered.
Some people use strobe lights in their attic to keep squirrels away. They will get annoyed by this light and avoid entering such places. A wide range of strobe lights are available in the market. People who are clueless about how to get rid of squirrels, can adopt all of the easy and safe measures.