How Do You Get Rid of Squirrels?
If you’re trying to get rid of squirrels, you’ve come to the right place.
In this Pest Strategies guide you’ll learn:
How to identify characteristics that signal the presence of squirrels
About squirrel biology and dietary requirements
About the six methods of controlling squirrel populations
Which methods yield the best results and which ones are ineffective
Squirrels have biological determinants (food, mating, etc.) that dictate their behavior. Once you understand those biological determinants you’ll be able to target the little critters more effectively. You’ll learn when is the best time to catch or kill them, and their most probable hiding spots.
Can Squirrels Be Defeated?
We’re bigger, smarter, and more creative than squirrels. So of course they can be defeated, although “controlled” is perhaps the more appropriate term to use. Here’s the catch though; you’re fighting for your yard, they’re fighting for their lives. What does that mean?
It means they’re coming into your yard, house, garage, etc., because they’re hungry and looking for food. Think back to a time when you were “starving” and felt like you were going to die if you didn’t get something to eat right then. You were so desperate you’d have done anything to get some food.
That’s how squirrels feel . . . (literally) all the time. But squirrels don’t have human intelligence to guide them or temper their actions. They’re operating solely on emotion (hunger) and instinct (foraging). As a result, they become very persistent. They don’t give up until they get what they want.
How to get rid of squirrels
Whilst some of us like to see squirrels bounding around the parks, most of us are not so happy to see them in our own garden, or even worse the house. So for those of us taunted by boisterous squirrels in the loft or scaring off our feathered friends, below is some useful advice to deal with them.
How To Get Rid Of Squirrels In The Loft
Squirrels can be a complete disaster for property owners and cause thousands of pounds of damage, by nibbling through wires and woodwork or tearing into insulation and plasterboard. Here’s a few short term solutions to scare squirrels away to allow enough time for access points to be detected and sealed to prevent a further infestation. It would also be advisable to try a combination of ‘solutions’ to increase chances of success in removing the squirrels from the loft.
Make Sure Squirrels Can’t Reach Your Loft
Make sure that any trees or tall shrubs are more than 5-8 feet away from the property. This is the recognised distance that squirrels are able to jump, so if they can’t jump to the roof, they can’t get access to the roof.
Prevent Squirrels From Accessing The Loft
Prevention is better than cure, as always it’s always easier to prevent a problem than solve it. Ensure there are no access holes into your property. Use mesh less than 25mm wide, to cover all access points from the space behind soffits to the arrow slits in the gables.
Live trapping is another method of removing squirrels from the property, but this can be highly ineffective unless you know exactly how many squirrels have taken up residence. They will also have to be humanely destroyed if they’re grey squirrels as they are classified as a pest.
How To Get Rid Of Grey Squirrels?
Why are there squirrels in my attic?
Attics are dry, warm, safe and often full of soft, fluffy insulation perfect for nesting. The abundance of timber makes them not unlike a giant tree trunk where they would make their nest in the wild. Unless they fall in by accident, squirrels usually enter the home in search of a nest rather than food. Squirrels only take a few weeks to reach maturity, and with an average litter size of six, a small squirrel problem can quickly become a big, noisy, destructive one.
How can I tell if squirrels are in my attic?
Unlike mice, which can sneak around your house undetected for weeks or even months, you’ll know straight away if squirrels have made their way into your attic. Grey Squirrels are very noisy creatures. They sprint around, gnaw, chatter and scratch. This means that squirrels usually only do serious structural damage when a building has been left vacant for some time.
How to get rid of squirrels in the attic
If you have live squirrels in your house, you need to hire professionals to trap and kill them. As grey squirrels are categorised as an invasive species, it is illegal to release them once they are trapped, so if you’re not up to the task of humanely dispatching them, leave the job to professionals.
What about red squirrels?
In the very rare event that red squirrels have entered your property, you have to react very carefully. Red squirrels are a protected species experiencing population decline due to the introduction of grey squirrels. It is a serious offence to kill or injure red squirrels, or damage their nests.
How can I stop squirrels getting into my house?
Squirrels are unrivalled climbers, so proofing against them is a real top-to-bottom effort. Holes in the roof far beyond the range of rats or mice are easy routes into your home for squirrels. Other than being more thorough, proofing against squirrels is the same as it is for other rodents. Like rats and mice, squirrels easily chew through ordinary filler, so you need to use a gnaw-proof filler is used to fill in any holes which might provide access.
Home Guide: Getting Rid Of Squirrels
Those are just a few things you can expect if you have squirrels or rodents in your attic. Since I’m in the process of evicting several squirrel families from my home (they never pay their rent on time), I wanted to learn everything I could about these little rodents. Hopefully this post will help you keep these freeloaders out of your space! First, let’s find out who we’re dealing with.
These large squirrels come in two flavors: the Eastern Grey and Western Grey. The Eastern Grey Squirrel lives, as you can guess, on the east coast of the US and also from south through the Midwest. It has even been introduced into Europe where it’s an invasive species.
Western Grey Squirrels live along the west coast from all the way down to northern. These squirrels are shy compared to the Western Greys, and their ears grow reddish tufts in winter.
Fox Squirrels live all over the US except the north eastern coast. If you’re eastern, you’re probably not dealing with Fox Squirrels. They are the largest species of squirrel native to North America.
Fox Squirrels have two color variations: dark-furred (any shade from black to grey with tan or gold undersides, with black heads, white ears, noses, and feet) and reddish-furred (red, tan, or orange with no white markings).
Homeowner Tips: How to Keep Squirrels Away
Keep Squirrels Away from Your Yard and Home
A squirrel may look cute and cuddly, but only from a distance. Once squirrels start getting into your yard, digging around and eating your plants or birdseed, they become much less precious and more of a pest. Not to mention, if one gets inside your home — now you’ve really got a problem on your hands!
What About My Yard is so Attractive to Squirrels?
There’s a reason squirrels are camping out around your house. Below are the factors that attract squirrels to your property.
If you have lots of hedges and shrubs, you will probably notice squirrels running in and out of them. Squirrels don’t enjoy open spaces, for fear of their safety (read: they don’t want to be scooped up by a hawk). This is why they love the cover of thick vegetation or other areas around your home that provide shelter.
Food & Water
Maybe you want to have birds around your home, so you set up some bird feeders and a bird bath. While the birds will surely love it, unfortunately, so will the squirrels.
A squirrel will do just about anything to get to the food in a bird feeder. More often than not, it’s extremely entertaining and results in some pretty funny videos. Without a doubt, these food and water resources in your yard are one of the reasons squirrels keep coming back. If you do keep food and water out for other animals or birds, try to keep it in a place where only they can reach it. Or, use specific bird feeders that are squirrel-proof.