Squirrels are very funny, small animals, but, despite their attractive appearance, they have gained the reputation of well-known pests long ago. They damage literally everything they can reach, and this costs thousands of dollars. Large-toothed animals feel fine in your territory all year long. They eat bird feed, damage the grown-up vegetables and your favorite flowers, turn everything upside down in the attic. The pair of amorous squirrels can transform into an entire army of rodents and occupy your home for a long time. This guide explains how to get rid of squirrels fast and effectively. Here you'll find best ways aproved by scientists and 6 squirrel repellents, electronic repellers and traps.
Table of Contents
- 7 Steps On How To Get Rid Of Squirrels
- Squirrel Removal
- How to Get Rid of Squirrels in the Yard and Attic
- How to Repel Squirrels
- Electronic Squirrel Deterrents
- Natural Squirrel Repellents
- Squirrel Traps
- Poison Baits
Well, first off, make up a plan of action so that your pest control strategy is consistent and effective. We suggest that you should take following steps:
- Start with the area outside the house since it is easier to chase squirrels away from the backyard rather than from the attic or any other space indoors where they establish nests. Remove all fallen fruits, nuts, and other debris from the backyard with a view to reducing food availability for squirrels. Tightly seal garbage cans. Trim the trees and shrubs adjacent to the house and avoid planting new ones, otherwise, their branches will turn into a perfect bridge to your house.
- Then do all you can to protect the house. Inspect the building and reveal all openings and gaps in the structure. Seal them with foam insulation or screen with metal mesh. If squirrels have already established their nests in your house, wait until they have left for hunting and only then block all access points. When applicable, erect a fence extended 12 inches below the ground level so that squirrels can not get under it.
- Since the attic is a prime target for squirrels, clean it up, removing garbage and old stuff, particularly, edibles.
- Scare squirrels out using natural repellents. This is safe and cheap, so try this method first. Place hairs of dogs and cats in the place where squirrel activity is detected. They are likely to frighten rodents. Such repellents as garlic, peppermint, essential and castor oils affect the senses of smell and taste. They can be homemade or ready-to-use sprays purchased in the store. Apply the solution to plants, fruits, and other objects preferred by squirrels. There are commercially available repellents, such as Shake Away granules, which are based on the urine of rodents’ natural enemies — the fox or coyote.
- Well, if that does not work, frighten squirrels with chemical repellents. The most simple and cheap way is soaking cotton balls in ammonia or distributing mothballs. The latter is effective indoors only as the foul smell will evaporate quickly in the open air.
- To ensure a 24-hour protection, place electronic frightening devices. A motion-activated sprinkler will drive squirrels out with the help of a sudden spurt of water while an ultrasonic repeller is better for the indoor use. The latter creates a constant noise current gradually making the atmosphere unbearable for rodents.
- Trapping squirrels is an effective way to get rid of them. Purchase a cage trap sized 4 x 6 x 6 inches and place it near your squirrels’ entry points. Simultaneously, block all other entrances they use to get into the house. Once the rodent is captured, release it far from your house. There are no poisons registered for squirrels. Keep in mind that rodenticides are permitted to be used against mice and rodents only.
If you want to learn how to get it right, what products are recommended by scientists and other helpful tips, read our detailed guide below. How to repel squirrels by means of electronic devices or natural repellents? What should you know about their behavior? This is what our guide is about.
Getting rid of squirrels is the task of many days, which requires time and patience. If you want to get rid of dependants forever, mobilize your strength and begin now. In our guide, we try to give complete information that helps you to control the rodents indoors and outdoors by both humane and more radical ways.
How Dangerous Are Squirrels?
Under the mask of this touching and lovely animal is a real monster that is capable of changing your careless life into an inferno.
Squirrels are dangerous because:
1. They gnaw the cortex of fruit-trees and young sprouts.
2. They ruin birds’ feeding troughs and deter nests.
3. They root up flower-beds.
4. They make noise when settling down in attics, air pipes and walls of the house.
5. They defecate and make everything dirty with their excreta.
6. They gnaw conductors and may cause short circuits and fires.
7. They transfer various diseases and parasites.
All You Should Know about Squirrel Behavior
Squirrels are all-consuming and gnaw everything they can reach. Chisel-shaped incisors and strong muscles in the lower jaw help to crack and grind hard food. Front and back teeth grow constantly, and it is needed for the squirrel to grind them, so everything goes – the beasts don’t neglect even electrical conductors.
These creatures are rather clever and it is very difficult to trick them.
High intelligence and skill allow them to reach any feeding trough or get deeply planted bulbs out of the ground. Strong claws help the animal realize its perfidious plans – they jump from one branch to another with ease, pick on conductors and dig out the holes.
Birds’ nests attract squirrels very much. The animals destroy them, settle in and begin to multiply. Even hand-made starling-houses fit the beasts for the purpose of habitation and reproduction. Their high resistance explains their dynamic assimilation and the aggressive reproduction of these creatures in any climate. Over a year, the number of animals may double several times!
The ration of rodents includes nuts, seeds, fruits, green mass and even frogs and nestlings, nevertheless, squirrels don’t digest cellulose. That is why they eat vegetables and food rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. If you want to get rid of squirrels using baits, remember it!
How to Get Rid of Squirrels in the Yard and Attic
The simplest way of fighting against squirrels is not to allow them. It is much easier to control squirrels outdoors than try to drive them away from your attic. So you should do everything to avert squirrels from your house before they get inside. Begin with simple steps.
Take off everything that can attract a squirrel
- Pick up from the ground nuts, acorns, fruits as well as cut off branches of the trees in order to prevent pests from climbing on the roof.
- Purchase hermetic garbage bins with tightly-fitted covers and always keep them closed.
- Find special feeders for birds – there are various models and types. Don’t place them near trees or the house. Clean the area under them.
- Plant bushes and decorative plants away from your house and put plastic netting over your flower-beds. Though this doesn’t add an esthetic appeal to them, you will be able to save your favorite plants.
Keep Squirrels Off Your Home
- Seal all apertures in walls and entries to the attic. Patch all holes and places through which a squirrel can crawl into.
- Close ventilation openings with netting and put a metallic enclosing over flues.
- Place a wire fence digging it into the ground no less than 30 cm – so squirrels won’t dig under it.
How to get rid of squirrels in the attiс
- Take away all edible things, the smell is likely to attract squirrels. Clean the attic from everything that can be used by the rodents for their nesting – paper, old wallpaper, wool things and so on.
- Scatter around the hair of your pets – cats and dogs. The permanent feeling of beasts’ presence will frighten the pests.
- Try a popular method – moisten cloths with ammonia and scatter them in places where squirrels accumulate. The sharp smell will drive the animals away. After the “tailed” disappear, put on a ventilator to clean the air and ventilate the attic!
- Scatter around small balls moistened with naphthalene. They must be found in the attic entries, near boxes and in any corners. To increase the remedy impact, combine it with other types of squirrel repellents. Follow measures of caution! Naphthalene is flammable!
HOW TO REPEL SQUIRRELS
If nothing stops the jumpers, and they go on visiting you, then try these simple tactics to keep them away:
- Frighten them with sound, leave the radio on or a CD playing on the roof - the squirrels must constantly hear human voices.
- Try to effect them with light – leave winking small lamps right on the territory and in the attic. They may force an animal to run away and refuse the idea of settling there.
- It is known that squirrels like to travel along cables, climb roofs and get into attics. How can you prevent this? Put electrical conductors and visible cables into the plastic pipe so they have enough space in there. When the animal begins its climbing, the pipe will be rotating and throw the rodent off on the ground.
ELECTRONIC SQUIRREL REPELLENTS: Visual and Acoustic Deterrents
These are environment-friendly and safe repellents. They are of various kinds: ultrasonic, light, water, etc.
Ultrasonic devices emit sound waves that only animals are sensitive to. Squirrels feel discomfort and have to keep away from the device. High decibels of ultrasonic repellents sound may make the attractive place unbearable for the creatures just planning to occupy it. Ultrasonic squirrel repellers are desirable to use when caudate monsters just begin to pay your garden visits.
Winking stroboscopes. Constant light in the attic may make squirrels leave, especially those who are not used to live among people. In especially difficult situations, the pulsating light ray or bright flashes may frighten rodents off. When using stroboscopes, don’t allow the animals to come back and make certain that the squirrel has taken her young with her.
We have studied various electronic devices and made TOP-3 Best Electronic Repellents. These devices are universal and, among other things, function as squirrel repellents.
Victor M792 Heavy-Duty Sonic PestChaser Pro Rodent Repeller
This ultrasonic device has an unjust low rating, though it can repel squirrels well, it even acts as through a thin glass and is absolutely harmless to people and home pets! If your headache is squirrels on the roof, then this device will help you to get rid of it. Look at the opinions of the Amazon customers:
- “Put this up in the attic of the garage where squirrels had made their home. This chased them off really fast”.
- “This device does not bother my dog when plugged in”
- “I purchased a four pack of these units in November. I mounted one outside about a foot below the eave on the outside pointed straight up. I mounted another inside up in the rafters. I placed a third on a shelf in the barn/garage. Three days later and I have no squirrels. I am happy”. More customer reviews you'll find on Amazon.com
Price: ~$29.97 Check the current price
Yard Sentinel - Electronic Pest & Animal Control Repeller with Motion Sensor
Yard Sentinel is an ultrasonic device with a sensor of motion which can work both from batteries and a network. It is comfortable and absolutely safe to use. Don’t be surprised if you have already met the reviews of this article: it is proved to be a universal repellent that is both easy to use and capable to work for many years. For example, many homeowners use it as a raccoon deterrent. But let us return to squirrels: did Yard Sentinel help the Amazon customers to get rid of these rodents?
- “Works very well, but must be wisely positioned. My lawn was under attack by squirrels digging and burying acorns. The war is over and I am the victor! I have had this product for 6 months. I use the electric plug”.
- “We live in the woods and had built a huge, beautiful treated wood deck which was being chewed by squirrels, so I bought Yard Sentinel Repeller to see if it would help turn them away. It seems to have made a difference, so I'm going to try one indoors for mice. My only problem was that it was extremely difficult to open/close up the rubber backing that covers the controls”.
- “Just what I wanted. Not one tomato was taken by a squirrel this season. It should be taken in when it rains...the batteries might get wet”.
Price: ~$26.99 Check the current price
Read more: Yard Sentinel is one of the best Repellers
Contech CRO101 Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler
Contech Sprinkler is markedly different from two other devices in this TOP-list: this is a universal electronic battery powered sprinkler for the garden. The motion sensor permits to repel squirrels at that very moment they are going to invade your territory. No chemicals – simple water! Just link it up to a garden hose, and the repeller is ready to work.
When the sprinkler fixes the appearance of a rodent, it sends towards it a thin but very powerful spurt of water. An animal memorizes this negative experience and will appear at this place no more. We recommend you to read Amazon.com customers' reviews before purchasing such an expensive unit: “Would recommend it to anyone with a deer or dog or squirrel problem. A hint on knowing when the battery needs to be changed: if the bursts of water lessen, it's because the battery is getting weak and cannot hold the valve open for as long - took a while to figure it out. I'm only on my second battery now (from June to mid-October)”.
Price: ~$45.99 Check the current price
BEST SQUIRREL REPELLENTS
There exist lots of traditional animal infestation treatment methods, but once you start looking for a ready-to-use natural Animal Deterrent and Repellent Spray, you’ll find that no special products for repelling each individual species, such as squirrels, rats, rabbits, raccoons or other small animals/rodents are available. As a rule such items are marketed as universal ones and they contain multi-action active ingredients.
The scientists from University of Florida explain that “Most of these deterrents operate through one of several mechanisms: odor aversion, taste aversion, or fear inducement”. Pepper, peppermint, tarragon, garlic, various essential oils, castor oil, diatomaceous earth, capsaicin, and putrescent egg solids are considered to be the so-called contact plant origin repellents operate through the first and the second mechanisms. The third type of repellents contains the ingredients of animal origin, such animals' enemies urine (such as coyotes or foxes), dried blood and hair induce pests animals’ panic and make them flee, as confirmed by the University of Massachusetts Amherst specialists.
Yes, repellents look cool, especially for those who are lazy. We all wish for a miracle that once we buy a bottle of the product and spray it all over the place, all of the annoying pests leave for good and never come back. This is what usually the manufacturers of such repellents promise, they claim that the taste or the odor of a repellent will avert the pests and drive them away from any treated objects or plants. Is that really so? It is partly true, but there are several disclaimers to be taken into account.
Theoretically, any of the above mentioned ingredients is effective. However, without a systematic approach the effect doesn’t last long because the animal would get used to the stimulus and understand that it is not lethal.
Havahart, Shake Away, Eco Defense, Ortho, Bonide, Expel and others are the renowned brands manufacturing animal repellents. The ingredients of these products will likely differ, but their effect is pretty similar. The manufacturers constantly improve their products and constantly try to advance their effectiveness. You can choose the suitable one by yourself in the Animal Repellents category on Amazon.com. The prices for the Animal Repellents start from $12.
Shake Away 2852228 Fox Urine Granules
The fact is that a lot of people like squirrels. And squirrels like to eat your tomatoes, avocadoes and gnaw your wooden buildings (those who have faced it know). We have tried to select as safe remedies as possible for these lovely hooligans in order not to harm them. One of them is special Fox Urine Granules, which succeed to repel rabbits, squirrels and other unwanted neighbors.
As you already know, foxes are natural enemies of mentioned animals, which is a law of wild nature. That is why these granules can make wonders happen: having felt the familiar enemy’s scent, squirrels escape. If there are too many squirrels in your area and they are cunning, use it as an auxiliary remedy. Bye-bye, Mr. Squirrel!
Read customer positive feedback:
- “We were having a big problem with squirrels and chipmunks coming onto our deck and eating the plants, both vegetable and flowering, in the growing containers there. After using this, the problem went away unless I forgot to refresh it after a big rain. It must be "refreshed" or the scent seems to wash away. But it did better than other products we have tried. I will use again this coming summer”.
- “I purchased this because I was at my wits end trying to keep squirrels from eating our home. Yes, eating our home. The squirrels were really damaging our wood siding. I sprinkle some on a paper plate and set them on the front and back patio- replace periodically obviously. Very happy for the bigger container to purchase”.
- “I have squirrels nesting under my second floor porch. This product got the squirrels to leave for a day or two (maybe) but then once they realized that there was no real threat, they came back”.
Price: ~$12.42 Check the current price
Havahart Deer Off II Deer, Rabbit, and Squirrel Repellent Spray
This spray is non-toxic too, and you may calmly use it in the garden where your children and pets play. In the base of the repellent, there is a formula that is capable to resist rain and keep the repelling effect for many days. Besides, the animals will want to come to your garden flowers no more because of eggs solids, garlic and capsaicin in the composition of this deterrent.
Let's know what Amazon customers think about their experience of Havahart Spray using:
- "Easy to use and fairly effective in keeping squirrels from chewing and nesting in my gazebo. Must be reapplied fairly often, but it's better than having to continually maintain the integrity of the gazebo. The handgun is battery powered and can reach up into the roof eaves where the squirrels love to nest”.
What gun has the customer spoken about? It is a battery powered spray which is available in the set together with 64 ounces of the given remedy.
- "I will reorder another bottle of this when it's used up. Thus far I have sprayed it on my trashbags and left them curbside and haven't had any issues since. The next day I race to the trashbags to check for tears or rips from rodents...and nothing!! I also spray this on the ground to keep squirrels away and it has worked like a charm!”
- “Bought it to keep the squirrels from eating my wooden porch. Seems to do a good job for a month or so. Then I have to re-apply”.
Price: ~$16.99 Check the current price
BEST SQUIRREL TRAP REVIEW
To trick and catch a squirrel is not so easy as you may think, because you are dealing with a clever creature. There are some types of baits available which are used according to the instruction.
- Mortal (snap) trap. It resembles a huge trap for rats. It is intended to catch a squirrel on its way to the bait with the help of a spring mechanism and eliminate by means of suffocation or crushing. Indeed, these devices are dangerous and not humane, that is why many choose the alternative ways of fur-bearing rodent catching.
- One-placed automatic “live-catch” cage trap. If you want to know how to get rid of squirrels without killing traps, use this way. This is the commonest device to catch squirrels. It is a strong metallic cage trap with a special mechanism to slam a door. When an animal enters to taste something “delicious,” the mechanism works, and the squirrel turns out to be enclosed quite safely.
A number of cages are made of hard plastic, metallic pivots, and other materials. Squirrel traps must be spacious enough and tough enough to hold a rodent in. Practically, the optimal size is 15.25 cm х 15.25 cm х 45.75 cm.
We have investigated the market of humane cage traps for squirrels. In this category, the leading company is Havahart, whose main specialization is traps for squirrels, hares, and other animals.
Havahart X-Small One-Door Animal Trap for Chipmunk, Squirrel, Rat, and Weasel
This steel cage trap is a good choice for catching squirrels, flying squirrels, voles, rats, weasels and similar-size animals that want to damage your yard. It's a live animal trap: you can free them in local park or forest, so, if you don't want to kill the little fluffy hooligans, we suggest you pay attention to this time-tested model of a squirrel trap. Let's check out what Amazon customers say about Havahart Trap:
- “A great trap, it really works. Just smear some peanut butter on the trip plate, set it, and listen for the squirrels. We must have relocated about 6 squirrels this summer - they eat our almonds. Per other reviewers I painted it green and used gloves while baiting it. Recommended”.
Use the right squirrel trap bait – the cunning creature won’t be lured in by unappetizing or unfresh food. Make sure that the bait is placed deeply inside, and the squirrel won’t be able to get it from any side. The best baits are nuts, crackers, pieces of an apple, peanut butter, and bread crusts.
Price: ~$19.61 Check the current price
Squirrel Repellents & Traps Comparison Chart
How to Kill a Squirrel: POISON BAITS
Let us say the truth: to poison animals is not the best idea. But if you have tried a lot of remedies and squirrels go on spoiling your life, use this extreme measure and put them an end for ever. There are no legally registered squirrel poisons for market trade, but you may purchase them. In an extreme case, use a remedy for other big rodents. Squirrel poison baits contain active chemical compounds that cause internal bleeding or intoxication in an animal.
Suppose you have got a poison and are ready to feed the pests with it. What should you consider?
First of all, it is not easy to “persuade” a squirrel to eat the poison. The bait must look enough appetizing and not have any strange scent for the rodent to pay attention to it.
Secondly, mind that clever rodents make food supplies for future use, especially in the cold season. It is evident that a squirrel may simply put the bait away for a rainy day. Then you should wait for the time of fatal lunch.
Thirdly, dying squirrels try to retire. As a result, the decomposing corpses of rodents turn out to be in places difficult of access, and to clean the house will not be easy. Besides, the situation is dangerous for home animals, especially cats, which have access to the attic. Close the squirrels’ morgue to them until all small carcasses are found and utilized.
We stick to legal and humane ways of getting rid of squirrels, so we advise you not to use poisons but to keep the squirrels alive and either repel them or capture and then free together with their babies.
If you can’t manage squirrels, just feed them. Purchase special food and give them the opportunity to eat their fill. Place their favorite “dishes” so they are able easily to find them, or scatter seeds across the yard. Squirrels will memorize the spots where the food is waiting for them and so they will be busy all day getting it.