Essentially everyone can identify a squirrel. These little rodents have long, bushy tails, fluffy coats and a charismatic chitter as they chase each other through the tree branches. However, as cute as squirrels look, they can do quite a bit of damage to your property and garden. Learning how to get rid of squirrels naturally can help you deter these creatures without harming them.
How Squirrels Can Damage Your Home
Why exactly should you deter squirrels from hanging out on your deck or in your garden? They're cute and fluffy! Despite their innocent appearance, squirrels can do some legitimate damage to your property. Not only will they eat the plants in your garden and raid your bird feeder, but they can damage your home as well.
Like all rodents, a squirrel's teeth continue to grow throughout its entire life. What does this mean for you? Squirrels like to chew – a lot. These little mammals will gnaw on your furniture, chew their way into your attic or crawlspace and chew right through important wiring around your home. Even though squirrels look quite cute, they can certainly pose a problem if they decide to stay.
How to Repel Squirrels
If you want to stop squirrels from invading your home and backyard, you need to ask yourself a few important questions. What repels squirrels? What are squirrels afraid of? What might be attracting the squirrels in the first place?
Using fake predators and their scents, or even real predators, can help you deter squirrels. However, you can also keep squirrels away by removing access to potential food sources that attract them in the first place.
How to Scare Away Squirrels: The Predator Effect
You want to scare away squirrels, but what are squirrels afraid of? As small rodents, just about every predator on the block can potentially make a squirrel their dinner. Foxes, hawks, owls, coyotes – nearly all predators snack on squirrels if given the opportunity.
Using the scent of a predator can work wonders for keeping squirrels at bay. You can purchase a number of different predator urine scents at home improvement stores and online. Have you been on the fence about getting a dog? Dogs work wonders to deter squirrels, both by chasing them away and through the scent of their fur and urine in the yard.
Can't add a dog to the equation and not particularly fond of handling coyote urine? Enlist the help of a fake predator instead. You can find fake owls and hawks, equipped with heads that turn automatically, to deter squirrels. The presence of a predator, even a fake one, can work wonders for keeping squirrels away.
Deter Squirrels by Removing Food Sources
Instead of focusing only on how to scare away squirrels, you should also consider why the squirrels invade in the first place. Most squirrels begin to congregate in an area because they have a food source readily available. Take a look around your yard or home and look for anything they might be eating. Remove any garbage and take care to dispose of fallen acorns or ripe fruits.
If one thing attracts squirrels, it's bird feeders. If you have a bird feeder, take care to ensure that the feeder is squirrel-proof. Should you struggle to keep squirrels from invading your bird feeder no matter how many options you try, you can also add foods to the feeder that squirrels dislike. Squirrels do not like the taste of pepper, but birds cannot taste it, so adding pepper products to your bird feeder can work wonders.
You should always attempt to remove the food source before trying to remove the squirrels. If there's a food source, new squirrels will just keep coming!
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- Trim your trees to not hang so close to your deck.
- Eliminate hiding spots on your deck.
- Place bird feeders off the edges of decks rather than on them.
- Never try to physically remove a squirrel.
- Never use smoke or pesticides to eliminate squirrels.
- Never corner a wild squirrel.
About the Author
Marina Somma is a freelance writer and animal trainer. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Marine and Environmental Biology & Policy from Monmouth University. Marina has worked with a number of publications involving animal science, behavior and training, including animals.net, SmallDogsAcademy and more.