Squirrels can be cute to watch as they scamper and play, but they can cause serious problems when they take up residence in your home or yard. From gnawing on wiring to digging up gardens, squirrels are more than just a nuisance. Learning how to get rid of squirrels humanely and effectively is important for protecting your home. Here are some tips and techniques for squirrel removal and control.
Why Squirrels Become a Problem
Squirrels have adapted extremely well to living around humans. Their nimble bodies allow them to access attics, chimneys, holes in roofs and walls, and other points of entry. Once inside, they can cause considerable damage. Squirrels gnaw on wood and wires, creating fire hazards and costly repairs. They build nests using insulation, shred fabrics and paper for bedding, and contaminate surfaces with feces and urine. Squirrels in gardens uproot plants, eat buds, bulbs, and ripe fruits/vegetables, and bury nuts throughout plant beds.
Effective Squirrel Removal Methods
Identify and Block Entry Points
The first step is finding how and where squirrels are getting into the home or yard. Check the exterior for holes or gaps around rooflines, soffits, fascia, attic vents, and where pipes or wires enter the home. Use wire mesh, caulk, wood, metal, or concrete to seal openings wider than 1 inch across. This will prevent re-entry after removing squirrels.
Use Exclusion Devices
Install one-way exclusion doors or tubes over entry holes. These allow squirrels to leave the building but not re-enter. Closely monitor for a couple weeks to confirm squirrels have left and not found another way in. Then permanently seal entry points.
Try Frightening Devices
Squirrels have natural predators like hawks and snakes. Placing decoy predator statues or battery-powered alarms that emit predator calls may frighten squirrels away from gardens and yards. Change location regularly so squirrels don’t get used to them.
Squirrel repellent sprays and granules contain ingredients like capsaicin, the chemical that makes chili peppers spicy, or ammonia. Apply these around gardens, in attics, or around soffits and roof vents where squirrels enter. Reapply after rain. Humanely discourage squirrels from lingering or returning.
Set Out Predator Urine
The strong scent of predator urine, such as coyote or fox, mimics the presence of natural predators. Soak cotton balls in the urine and place them around squirrel entry points or in gardens. Reapply every few days when the smell starts fading. This can deter squirrels from sticking around.
Try Squirrel Removal Cages
Humane squirrel cages with food bait inside can lure squirrels and trap them alive. Once set, regularly check the cage and release the squirrel far away from your property. This avoids having to kill or relocate orphaned young. Limit trapping during baby season.
Use a Squirrel Exterminator
For severe infestations, calling a professional exterminator may be the best solution. They have the expertise and equipment to remove all squirrels humanely and prevent reentry. However, this is one of the more expensive options.
Prevent Squirrels from Returning
Completely sealing shut all possible entrances is crucial for keeping squirrels from getting back in after removing them. Here are some extra tips:
- Install chimney caps and vent covers to block roof access.
- Use metal mesh or wire screens to cover large holes.
- Make sure trash bins have tight lids and aren’t overflowing.
- Keep bird feeders far from rooflines and use squirrel-deterrent feeders.
- Apply repellents around potential entry points.
- Keep trees and bushes trimmed away from roofs.
- Scatter natural repellents like black pepper, chili powder, garlic, and cayenne pepper around gardens.
- Keep compost piles away from buildings.
Following proper attic squirrels removal and proofing techniques will restore peace of mind and prevent endless frustration with persistent squirrels. Be patient, thorough, and proactive in addressing squirrel problems, and you’ll successfully reclaim your home.