“So adorable! Aaaw! Such a cutie! It’s just so friendly!”
We sometimes hear our girls and moms express their adoration for squirrels. But do note — this is only in parks, and it should certainly end there. Because at home, squirrels can be a real pest. The damage squirrels can cause is far beyond what you might imagine.
Towards the end of 2019, first-time homeowners Kari and Dustin Drees moved into their new house in Buckhead, Atlanta. After a few days’ stay, they headed to California for that well-deserved rest.
When they came back after a few weeks, the cute adorable creatures had severely damaged the interior, up to an estimated 15,000 US dollars worth of destruction.
And to make matters worse, the home insurance cover never protects against damage by such rodents.
What would you do if this was your house?
Speculation aside, we really need to get rid of and control the numbers of squirrels before we get to this point. We are not only protecting our houses but also our health, food, and peace of mind.
You might have figured out by now that I’m not a big fan of squirrels, so I’ll just say it:
- Squirrels are dirty, and potentially destructive.
- They carry rabies, tetanus, ticks, and fleas.
- Their urine causes salmonella.
- They can chew wood, plastics, and even wires.
- They do scratch and cause harm when provoked
So today , Air Gun Maniac is going to share with you some useful tips on how to get rid of squirrels. Stay tuned.
1. Deny them access
The best cure is prevention. For the story I just shared about the Drees, the entry point for the squirrels was found out to be the chimney. That applies to many other homes. Other common entry points include the gutters, openings on walls, and drains. By sealing off these areas, you will have successfully locked out the squirrels from gaining access to your home.
- Cut back tree branches that hang over the roof of your house
- Remove any materials or debris piling up against the walls of your house.
- Fix gutter guards and covers for the downspouts
2. Starve them
Squirrels do not visit your house just as a past-time activity. They are always after food. And if they keep coming to your house, know that your home is full of easy-to-reach snacks. These include nuts, seeds, bird eggs, insects, and fruits. They are also attracted by decaying food in your trash cans.
For that reason,
- Properly seal your outdoor trash cans to make them squirrel-proof
- Regularly wash the trash cans to stop the pungent smells known to attract squirrels
- Don’t wait until your fruiting plants and trees drop seeds and nuts to the ground
- Always keep pet food inaccessible
3. Trap them
To get rid of squirrels in the attic or basement, simply trap them. Depending on your personality, you may want to go for the catch-and-release traps or the catch-and-kill traps.
For the latter type, as the squirrel reaches for the bait food, it triggers a spring and is pinned down in a way that it cannot free itself.
If you’re not into killing squirrels, consider investing in traps with one-way doors. The squirrels get into the cage to have some nuts but cannot move out.
You can later release the trapped squirrels into the wild. Take care not to be scratched by their long sharp nails though.
4. Poison them
It’s not the most desirable approach, but it sure is effective. If the squirrel nuisance is too much to bear, simply poison them. You can use rat poison, strychnine, or anticoagulants. What you’ll need to do is cleverly sprinkle the poison over the bait so that the squirrels do not detect the smell.
Once ingested, the squirrel goes through cycles of seizures and tremors until it dies. Where it dies might be an additional headache for you. Imagine this happens in the farthest corner of your dark ceiling. Disgusting but you have to find a way to remove the carcass, otherwise, your comfort within the house will be significantly compromised.
5. Fence them out
A simple fence is not enough to keep off squirrels. These creatures jump as high as 5 to 6 feet right from the ground. And thus you might run short of options as regards the height of the fence you can install.
Consider an electric fence. Whenever the squirrels touch the wires, they receive a decent dose of electric shock and are forced to retreat. With time, they realize they will never be able to cross this boundary.
That is ideal for the entire farm. You can also erect nylon netting around plant beds to specifically protect the plants. Just ensure the netting is firmly secured into the ground. If not, you will be amazed at how squirrels can dig tunnels to access your crops.
6. Repel them
Such may be your hate for squirrels that you don’t want them to even come near you or your house. Repel them in this case. You can choose to use sound or smell.
For the sound option, you will need to invest in devices that emit ultrasonic sounds at levels of between 25kHz and 80 kHz. The alternating frequencies scare them to their skin and so they keep off. You have the choice between the solar-powered ones and those that use electricity.
Squirrels also find some odors intolerable. Manufacturers have harnessed these into liquid repellents which you can spray at strategic places around the yard to keep off the critters.
Particularly offensive is the urine of foxes and coyotes. You can also count on dog and cat hairs, garlic, castor oils, and peppermint.
Another clever method you can employ is the use of sprinklers with the capability to sense motion. The moment squirrels approach your treasured plants, the water sprinklers rotate and splash water around, driving away the squirrels.
8. Shoot them
We just got to the climax!
Have you ever thought of shooting as the most effective method of getting rid of squirrels? You see, most of the above methods have a generous share of cons.
Starting with the use of poison, it is dangerous for other pets and kids you might have around your home. Additionally, dangerous substances used for the manufacture of these chemicals may end up in the ecosystem. Whatever predator eats the squirrels may also die of poisoning. In other words, they are not environmentally friendly. Poisoning is also somehow inhumane as you subject the creatures to hours of suffering before they die.
In regards to traps and fencing, it may work for some time, as the squirrels learn how to get around them. And I assure you they are very subtle. They may soon find their way around.
To save you from all these, get yourself a decent pellet air rifle and start eliminating them one by one. I bet you will find this method both enjoyable and effective. Besides, check out best air rifles for squirrels!
To sum things up, it is high time you got rid of the squirrels in and around your house. Their cute look does not justify the enormous destruction they cause to your property and health. Among the various methods, shooting is one of the most effective ways to get rid of squirrels. Not only is it effective, it’s also a fun way to get rid of them!