How to get rid of squirrels? (Humanely)
Squirrels may look cute when they’re perched on a bird feeder, gobbling up birdseed to their heart’s content—but there’s nothing cute about having squirrels in your house! It’s important to remove squirrels from your home as quickly as possible if you want to avoid extensive damage to the interior or exterior of your home. Squirrels may also carry diseases or attack people or animals if they feel threatened, so you will definitely want to ensure that squirrels are removed as quickly as possible. Squirrels can—and should—be removed humanely from your home. If you want to know how to get rid of squirrels from your home in a humane manner, consider the following ways to get rid of squirrels that won’t cause them any harm.
Set up a humane trap
One of the simplest steps you can take to remove squirrels from your home is to set a humane trap. Humane traps are designed to trap squirrels inside without physically harming them, so you can then take them outside to an appropriate area and let them go. This works best if you only have a few squirrels in your home or even a single squirrel that’s found its way inside and doesn’t want to leave.
Give the squirrels a safe way to leave the house
If you have a squirrel or two in your home and they haven’t nested or don’t appear to want to stay, then you can encourage them to leave humanely by giving them a safe way to leave the house. Squirrels will feel cornered and threatened if there are any pets or people in the area, so you need to put away all pets and then make sure that there is an avenue of escape for the squirrel before leaving the area yourself. For example, if a squirrel has found its way inside a spare bedroom because of an open window, make sure the window is open, then shut the door to the bedroom and wait for the squirrel to leave.
Frighten squirrels away with loud noises and bright lights
If the squirrel won’t leave on its own or you have multiple squirrels living inside your home, then you will need to make your home unappealing in order to encourage them to leave. The most humane way to make your home unappealing is to annoy them with some loud noises, bright lights and even unpleasant smells. Play loud music in the area where the squirrels are living; bang pots and pans outside the door; and shine bright lights in the room so that they won’t view it as a good place to nest.
Hire a professional
If you can’t get the squirrel or squirrels to leave on their own, then you should consult with a professional to have the job done. Make sure to look for a professional who will humanely and safely remove the squirrel from your home without doing it any harm. Remember to keep the above tips in mind when you want to remove squirrels from your home.
How to keep squirrels from getting into your house?
Squirrels are some of the cutest of creatures but unless you like them, you don’t want them inside your house. If squirrels decide to nest in your home, you’ll be faced with several problems like rustling noises in walls, the ceiling or attic. They could consume your food storage and damage your home, furniture, or other property because they need to file down their teeth. Also, squirrels could leave foul odors due to their urine, droppings, and dead carcasses, or worse, they could gnaw at your electrical wirings and cause power outages or fire. They are bad news, but good thing there are ways on how to keep squirrels from getting into your house. If you don’t want squirrels inside your house, kindly take note of the following:
Being wild little critters, they generally avoid humans unless humans have something to offer that they like. This includes food in the trash, pet food, nuts, and berries in the yard or garden, bird feeders, food around the house, and a comfy place to live.
- Cleaning – if you live in a wooded area or have a garden that grows stuff that squirrels enjoy, consider cleaning your garden of fallen berries, fruits, cones, and nuts that have fallen from trees. This is known as incentive removal and an effective way on how to keep squirrels from getting into your house. Also, garbage is an incentive, and the containers should be sealed so squirrels can’t get into them. By cleaning your yard, they’ll stay away from your perimeter and won’t find their way into your house. Although, even with a clean yard, it still may not be enough for hungry squirrels.
Repellants –using repellants is key on how to keep squirrels away, by surrounding your home and yard with stuff squirrels don’t like. For your garden, consider sprinkling some spices like cayenne pepper or chili powder in places you’ve seen squirrels. You could also mix a solution of water with spices (chopped jalapeno or chili powder), and garlic in a squirt bottle and spray around your home. If it rains, make sure to spray again. You could also plant peppermint around the yard or garden, and keep small pots of them near or on your windows. If these options are too time-consuming, placing mothballs in affected areas works too.
- Sealing – one thing about squirrels is that they’re tenacious, so to ensure that squirrels won’t get inside, seal all possible entrances such as the chimney, vents, holes in your walls and gaps in your roofing shingles. You can seal those holes with wire mesh. Purchase the rather thick ones as some squirrel can chew through the metal.
- Pets – predatory pets can also discourage squirrels from invading your home, basically large dogs and cats.
- Decoys – speaking of predators, squirrels don’t like owls or hawks. Decoys can act as scarecrows for squirrels. You could purchase decoys that resemble predators and scatter them around the perimeter of your home. Squirrels are clever creatures so make it a point to change the decoy placement and position every day or the critters will no longer see them as threats.
- Traps – you can trap the squirrels using animal traps and bait them with nuts. Once trapped, you can relocate the squirrel to someplace far from your home.
- Electronic Systems – if you don’t have any pets that are sensitive to high-frequency sounds, feel free to purchase these devices. Not only will they keep squirrels away, but they’ll also take care of rats and other rodents, and frequency-sensitive insects.
How to get squirrels out of my attic?
If you’re reading this article you probably have squirrels in your attic, or you are trying to find a way to stop that from happening. After reading this, you’ll know how to handle your squirrel problem. Just follow these tips and add some of your research and your squirrel problem will be easily solved. As the saying goes, “prevention is always easier than intervention,” so search for any possible point-of-entry that a squirrel can use to get into your attic. Watch for nearby branches and cracks that squirrels may fit into.
Also, make sure to occasionally check your attic to see if there are any gaps between the roof and the walls. Keep in mind, flying squirrels may be able to enter by hewing their way through a small opening.
Another method you could use is to maintain a squirrel repellent in your attic. An easy repellent would be to make the squirrel think that your attic is inhabited. An easy way could be to have a light in the attic or playing music from a speaker. If a squirrel was nesting in your attic it would make them feel uneasy and make them want to leave your attic. If you’re willing to use chemicals, you could use ammonia or squirrel repellent. The odor is distasteful to squirrels and will drive them away. Using all these methods together is a good way of keeping squirrels out.
If there are already squirrels inside of your attic, then here’s what you need to do:
1st Step: Identity of species of squirrels nesting in your attic.
Different species react differently to these steps so you should do your research on how to identify that squirrel in your attic and the behavior of that squirrel once you find out.
2nd Step: Make your attic a harsh environment.
- Remove food sources like bird feeders,
- Relocate your garbage can and again make sure there aren’t any nearby branches.
- Make sure that water isn’t collecting anywhere near your attic that a squirrel may have access to.
3rd Step: Trap the squirrel, if it doesn’t leave./Call a professional.
Make sure you seal all the possible points of entry that a squirrel can use to get into your attic, but only leaving one. Depending on where you live and circumstance, you might have to hire a professional for this step, if not, then you should buy a squirrel trap. After purchasing a squirrel trap, have it ready somewhere near the point of entry that the squirrel would most likely use. To make your squirrel trap more enticing, put bait like nuts, pollen, and seeds. Once you know the type of squirrel, you can find other liking’s of that squirrel in your attic. At this point all you can do is wait for the squirrel to take the bait. Then, once you capture it, properly release the squirrel.
4th Step: Try prevention.
When all the squirrels are gone from your attic, you should prevent it from happening again. It will be easier for you since you’ve already gone through the trouble of getting the squirrels out.
Below are tips on how to make sure you are doing things for prevention and intervention.
Lights: The best kind of lights to use against squirrels would be strobe lights and party lights. The types used in discos that keep moving around. This type of light would aggravate a squirrel, compared to a still light. Also, any light would work fine, and you can hang it over the nest to be more effective.
Sounds: The best kind of sounds to play from speakers are those with human voices, and consider podcasts or radio talk shows. The squirrel’s instincts would tell it that there are humans nearby and that would make the squirrel feel uncomfortable.
Chemicals: If you’re using chemicals, soak a rag with ammonia and leave it where you believe the squirrel is nesting.
Tip: As much as possible your deterrents shouldn’t be fatal to the squirrel. It is unpleasant to clean-up a rotting squirrel in your attic.
Bait: The best bait to use is peanut butter. Squirrels have hands that can grab nuts or seeds, but spreading peanut butter on your trap will have the rodents putting more effort, and would most likely set off the trap you set in place.
Tip: Purchase a home security camera along with your traps. This would make it a lot easier to keep track of your traps, so you don’t have to deal with a dead squirrel in your attic if it stays in the trap for too long.
Purchasing traps: When buying a squirrel trap do your research first and make sure that the trap you are buying is the one you need. Some traps are good for multiple squirrels while others are meant for one. Traps are classified as either lethal or non-lethal, whatever you choose is entirely up to you. Be careful when handling lethal traps and make sure to follow the instructions written by the manufacturer.
Squirrel Release: When releasing a squirrel, try to do it at night. Most squirrels are day-time creatures and being released at night would most likely prevent them from returning to your house. Try to be at least 5 miles (10 km) away from your house when you release the squirrel.
Remember to be responsible when handling your squirrel problem, because animal cruelty is illegal and you can get fined or go to prison. Being aware of what you can and can’t do to pests is important before making any decisions. When dealing with a pest problem, do it in the most convenient way possible for the best way. Stay safe and good luck!
How to keep squirrels out of my chimney?
In trying to build nests, squirrels can damage houses and structures by chewing the openings through the siding and under the eaves. They can also chew chimneys and unshielded vents and build nests in these areas. Once in this “nest,” the squirrels will continue to chew insulators and wires and, like rodents, can potentially cause a fire. Also, when squirrels run along the cables and power cords, they can short-circuit transformers.
Your chimney is an attractive place to squirrels. Making a warm nest in your chimney is far better than the shabby nest built in the treetops that is continually tossed by the winds. In such conditions, it is not surprising that your chimney is attractive to squirrels. Isn’t having a warm and cozy nest the goal of every expectant mother?
Despite our empathy for squirrels, we absolutely must not tolerate them inside our homes. They are formidable rodents. They move the insulation wool and stack it in the chimney to warm up in the center of the mound. Let’s have a look at how to keep squirrels out of your chimney.
How to keep squirrels out of my chimney?
Here are some effective tips to keep squirrels out of your chimney:
Make an Escape Route
Make sure to make an escape route for your new friend that allows it to get out of the chimney. Climb on the roof and try hanging a thick rope down the flue of the chimney from the top. The inside wall of the chimney flues is very smooth, which makes it hard for the squirrel to climb as compared to the rope.
Make a Trap
Try live trapping the squirrel if it can’t leave the chimney.
- Close all the doors of your rooms so that the squirrel can’t enter the house if it gets out. Open the windows to give them a way out into the yard.
- Bait a live trap with peanut butter. Open the fireplace doors carefully and move the live trap cautiously into the firebox. Now close the doors for a while to give the squirrel time to explore the live bait trap and trigger it.
Cap Your Chimney
Your chimney cap has some spaces that allow it to smoke out. Make sure your chimney has a secure cap. Use it with all chimney types, either masonry or prefabricated. Also, keep an eye on the squirrels to watch them outside of the chimney at night or early in the morning. If you see them, then you can try and get them out.
Hire a Professional
Even though removing squirrels can sound very simple, the task can be tedious for most of us, especially with the lack of resources and materials to perform the task professionally. To resolve such issues, you can seek the help of a professional who can remove the squirrels for you and provide you with some safety tips that will help you to prevent squirrels from entering your chimney in the future. With the right prevention techniques, you can keep squirrels away for a long time.
There is no doubt that a moderate number of squirrels can be removed by you by
placing traps. However, with a larger number of these little animals, such remedies may
not work, and in such cases, seeking professional help is the best solution for tackling
this issue and getting back to a normal life.
How to keep squirrels from eating pet food or bird seed?
Squirrels are known to have a high metabolism and always looking for food. They have a diverse diet and are not limited to nuts and pinecones. For squirrels, pet food and bird seeds are fair game. Pet food mostly contains plant material to extend their meat content and seeds in bird feeders are part of the squirrel diet. Once they notice bird feeders, pet food storage, or leftover pet food in bowls, they’ll make a habit of coming back and of course these freeloaders would cost you extra. Below are different ways on how to keep squirrels from eating pet food or bird seeds?
First, let’s keep them away from the bird feeders
Unfortunately, bird feeders are a huge attraction to squirrels because of their contents. It could be the magnet that attracts the squirrels to your home. But many of us just love seeing our colorful chirping feathered friends, enough to provide them food through bird feeders, give them free housing and water pools for baths. But sharing birdseed with squirrels can be costly and might even scare the birds away. A solution to squirrel-proof your bird feeder is:
- You can purchase other attachments to add to your bird feeder like baffles that come in different types. One is a twirling baffle as seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBKb_z4_tGY. When a squirrel manages to hold on to the baffle, it rotates and twirls the squirrel around, forcing it to let go and fall onto the ground.
- Another type is the cone baffle which can be placed above or below the bird feeder. The baffle can be placed below if the feeder is suspended by a pole, to prevent squirrels from climbing up to the feeder. If the feeder is suspended on a tree branch, the baffle can be placed above the feeder which will prevent the squirrel from climbing down.
- Also, you can grease your bird feeder pole to prevent squirrels from climbing up to the feeder.
- Another is to pepper spray the pole or the top of your feeder as squirrels hate the scent of capsaicin.
- You can also encase the feeder in wire mesh with gaps big enough to allow only birds to go through and feed.
- Keep a lookout for baffles that are sometimes included with feeders and other anti-squirrel devices.
- Replacing the bird seeds with safflower seeds will allow birds to continue eating the seeds, but not squirrels because they don’t like them.
Now let’s keep them away from pet food
This depends on where you keep your pet(s). Most of the squirrel deterrents will also apply to keeping squirrels out of the home if you keep your pet(s) inside with their food.
- Squirrel repellents are other ways to prevent squirrels from getting close to areas where you keep the pet food. As mentioned, squirrels hate the scent of spicy foods. You can mix up a spicy solution made up of peppers, hot sauce, vinegar, and water and pour it in a spray bottle. Make a perimeter around your pet enclosure if your pet lives outside and make sure to re-spray after each rainfall. Aside from spice, squirrels also hate the scent of peppermint, so you can place a couple of pots of peppermint near your pet enclosure, as well as your garden. You can also purchase peppermint scents to dab on some cotton balls and place them in affected areas.
- Predator decoys can act as scarecrows against squirrels, another great trick. It can be a statue of an owl or a hawk placed near your pet enclosure or the entrance to your home. Be sure to move the decoy around every day or the squirrels will get used to them and no longer view them as threats.
- You can also purchase those high-frequency sound emitters that are used to repel rodents, but keep in mind that some dogs might not like the idea.
How to trap a squirrel?
Squirrels may appear cute and harmless on TV, but in real life they can be bothersome pests that can do serious damage to your property. So your best choice is to trap them and remove them. In this article, we will show you how to do so in a humane and painless manner.
The first thing you want to do is choose a trap.
Bear in mind that you will need a small trap. Not small enough so that the creature can’t move, but not big enough for it to feel like the squirrel just got itself a condo, alright? There are many live traps that you can choose from and you should select one based on the size of the squirrel (if you are not sure, check the average size of squirrels in your area with a quick internet search) and the number of creatures you wish to trap. A big favorite, especially among professional trappers, is the one-way cage. This is very effective and easy to operate. You simply place the bait beyond the trigger plate and leave it waiting with its door open. Once the squirrel goes for the bait, it will step on the plate and cause the door to shut behind it, thus trapping it.
Alternatively, you can get a trap with two doors to increase the chance of catching the squirrel, or even look for a more location-appropriate one, such as a cage mounted to a vent.
Next, decide where you wish to place it.
You’ll want to place it close to the area where you’ve spotted the squirrel before. For example, if you’ve got squirrels plaguing the bird feeders in your yard, you’ll want to place the trap close to that. Or you might place it near an entryway or a hole in your fence that you’ve seen squirrels getting in through. One of the best locations for a trap is at the base of a tree in your yard.
After this, you must choose and place the bait.
You might be wondering what the right bait for a squirrel is. Unsurprisingly, it’s any type of acorn or nut you can get your hands on. As we all know, squirrels love nuts, so some type of walnut or hickory nut would be just the thing. But by far the best bait for a squirrel is the ever-popular peanut butter, so consider smearing a little peanut butter on the trigger plate.
Set the trap.
This is a surprisingly easy part. Most of the live traps out there tend to be easy to use and will probably come with detailed instructions on how to set it up.
Don’t forget to check on it!
It’s great that you’re getting rid of pests, but take a moment to think how the squirrel must feel. It’s cruel and inhumane to leave the poor animal inside the cage for hours on end, so if at all possible, make sure you check on the trap as often as you can to ensure that the squirrel doesn’t suffer unnecessarily. Once you’ve caught the squirrel, relocate it to your chosen area. See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?
How to keep squirrels out of my yard?
Squirrels are little fuzzy creatures that climbs trees, scurry around collecting barriers and nuts, play in your yard, and travel along the power lines. That sounds good as long as they don’t decide to make a nest in your attic or make your yard a permanent playing place. Squirrels belong to the rodent family and these rodents are considered a pest to many people. There are many reasons why squirrels earn this status, and the major reason is the damages that squirrels can cause to your home or farm. In some instances, squirrels become harmful to humans and force us to find methods to control them. Unlike other rodents, squirrels easily adapt to human habitats and tend to create their nest on our home or tree cavities in our yard. Here you will learn how to keep squirrels out of your yard!
Catch them using traps:
- First Method: The first step you need to take is to look for a stick about 50-60 cm long and tie a fairly strong wire at its end; you can use twine or string. Now tie a peanut or bread crumbs to the end of the thread. This will be the bait you will use to catch the squirrel. Next, position yourself in a hidden spot, perhaps behind a bush or tree, and move the stick as if it were a fishing rod. The moment the squirrel prepares to grab the peanut, with a lightning bolt, you will have to be able to trap it in a bucket or in a wicker basket. Choose a large container to increase your chances of catching.
- Second method: Choose a medium-sized squirrel trap (60 x 20 x 20 cm). Find the right place in your garden to place the trap, the ideal place is in the shade and near the feeders for birds or trees since these are the most popular places. Now prepare the bait. Crumble some bread crumbs at the bottom of the cage or create a small path with bird seeds that leads inside the trap. Check it 2-3 times a day. When the squirrel is trapped, transport it to a wooded place away from your residence. To catch the squirrel alive, place the trap in your yard where you can check it regularly and away from direct sunlight since the squirrel could die within a few hours. Study the movements of the animal carefully.
- Preventing squirrels from stealing your bird feed is not that easy, but habanero sauce, as well as Ropel spray, keeps squirrels away from your yard.
- Spread squirrel repellents around the plants such as cayenne pepper, human hair, cat, or dog hair. Renew the application after each rain.
Plant flowers squirrels hate:
- Choose bulb plants that do not attract them (narcissus, snowdrops, hyacinth, etc.).
- Grow fragrant plants around the bulbs: geranium, mint, rosemary.
- Place chicken wire under a few centimeters of soil above the seeds and bulbs.
Remove what attracts them:
The smell of the fallen fruit, seeds, and nuts really attracts the squirrels. Rake your yard and remove them under the trees and bird feeders.
How to make my property less attractive to squirrels?
Squirrels love looking for warm places to live and nest in, especially during the winter. Unfortunately, our homes aren’t equipped to handle these little critters. Squirrels have front teeth that continually grow throughout their lives. They trim their chompers using hard seeds and nuts like acorns and pines. If they can’t find these in your home, then they’ll resort to wooden beams and electrical wiring. They also love using insulation for building nests, and soon you’ll be left with a half-chewed and oddly cold house, and we don’t want that! There are several ways to make your home less attractive to squirrels, take a look at them below!
- Seal any holes, gaps, or cracks in your home’s exterior. This prevents squirrels from taking advantage of any weak spots and creating a bigger hole to make their way inside.
- Keep tree branches or bushes trimmed back at least 8 feet away from any exterior portion of your home. This prevents them from easily running into your roof, where they might chew into your shingles or run down an unscreened chimney to be able to get inside.
- Install screens in all your vents, chimneys, and any openings into your home.
- Ask your utility company to place pieces of PVC pipe over your utility lines. This will prevent squirrels from traveling along them as the pipe will rotate if any animal tries to run across them. Leave this job up to professionals and don’t try this yourself!
- Keep your bird feeders a safe distance away from your home.
- Use petroleum jelly or a specially made bird feeder so that squirrels are unable to climb up and reach the feeder itself.
- Place PVC pipes on the ropes or wires of suspended feeders so that they can’t run along them.
- You can distract squirrels from the birdfeeders by placing food especially for them. This should usually be kept 6-8 feet away from the bird feeder.
- If this doesn’t work, there are specially made squirrel-resistant feeders that rotate fast when a squirrel’s weight offsets its balance.
- You can protect fruit-bearing trees by wrapping a 6-feet long metal sheet around the trunk of the tree. This prevents them from gaining traction because the metal is smooth. Make sure you keep the sheet somewhat loose to allow the tree some growth! This technique only works if there aren’t any branches that are near fences, power lines, or other trees as they can just easily hop onto the tree branch.
- Place a 4-foot-tall wire mesh or plastic netting around the garden, but be sure to bury it a few inches to prevent them from digging under the net.
- Place an inch-tall wire mesh around planted bulbs and then cover it with mulch. For non-food bulbs, you can also dip them in squirrel repellent before planting.
Squirrels may be sneaky, but there is a way you can outsmart them. Follow these steps and you’ll be squirrel free in no time!