Squirrel Control - Information for Homeowners


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Yes, squirrels are adorable to look at. They're cute and fuzzy ... and in some cases, they are pests, too. It is a reality that with humans encroaching on nature, we are going to have to deal with wildlife who find our homes just as warm and cozy as we do. Squirrels happily live in treed areas but they also live in urban areas. And if they enter your home, you just might end up seeking information on .

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There are hints that you may have squirrels inside your home. Since they are larger than a mouse and usually larger than an average rat, you might hear loud chewing or scratching sounds coming from inside your walls. You might hear them scampering across your roof or even through your attic. Feces and urine stains may also be seen. Squirrels can cause both inconvenience and significant damage to homes and yards, including:

  • Large holes. Squirrels chew all the time, and that might just include holes through the walls of your home, or damage to the roof and soffits.

  • Chewed wires, which can be a fire hazard.

  • Big, messy, dry nests - also a fire hazard, especially in combination with chewed and damaged wires.

  • Urine stains and contamination from both feces and urine.

  • Strong, unpleasant odor that can be difficult to remove.

  • Stashed food in attics and walls, which can in turn attract other pests.

  • Holes in the lawn (from squirrels digging for nuts); chewing damage to the bark of trees and shrubs; and consumption of flower bulbs or fruit.

  • Power outages - squirrels can easily scamper across power lines.

These little creatures are lightning fast, can jump great distances, chew constantly, and are always on the lookout for food. If they are already inside the house, you will need to take steps to remove them before the problem becomes bigger. Here are a few things you can do to try to control them:

  • Scent repellents: it's debatable whether using the scent of a predator really works in deterring squirrel. It appears in many cases that it does not, plus it also leaves the homeowner with the issue of trying to clear up the scent of the repellent itself.

  • Ultrasonic devices: while this may help to initially repel squirrels (and other rodents like rats and mice), they can quickly become accustomed to it and basically ignore it at that point. However, using the device may give you a chance to rodent-proof your home before they return.

  • Poisonous baits: bait is usually toxic and must be used with care particularly in households with children and pets. Poison is clearly not a humane method of squirrel control, and is only mentioned here for completeness.

  • Humane live trap and release: squirrels are trapped without injury and released elsewhere.

  • Special one-way doors or traps, also called exclusion doors: these special doors can be installed over the openings through which the squirrels entered your home. They allow the squirrels to leave your home, but prevent them from coming back in. A professional pest control service would be needed.

Squirrels can be found nearly everywhere. The reality is that we need to learn how to make our homes much less attractive and less accessible to them, and that includes our yards as well. They are looking for a warm, dry site that's relatively safe from predators, and one where food is available - make these things unavailable to them and they will go elsewhere. Squirrel control is an ongoing task (think of it as regularly maintenance) that will pay off in making your home less of a temptation for these opportunistic rodents.