Your garden really needs a lot of attention, especially when spring rolls around and you need to find out more about the repellents you can use to keep it safe. However, when it comes to getting a squirrel repellent, it wouldn’t hurt to have a few extra tricks up your sleeve to get the job done.
Being among the most widespread rodents in North America, you will literally find squirrels everywhere. Since they share the same family with chipmunks, marmots, and prairie dogs, their passionate pursuit of food should come as no surprise.
Even though they have a benign, endearing appearance with their bushy tails, short legs, and pointed ears, squirrels can actually bring disaster within the walls and attics of homes in their search for a shelter. Having thought of this, we prepared a guide that is guaranteed to solve your furry problem.
What To Look Out For
The first thing that you should do when trying to ward your house off from invaders is to look for potential entry points. Squirrels are not subtle by nature so you can count on them leaving multiple clues in their wake that you will spot easily.
Check for damage to bird feeders and garden plants in their neverending search for food. Tree branches and limbs that are within jumping distance from your roof should all be watched carefully for signs of activity. Furthermore, if you’re out for a walk and you step into a hole you may have found another sign of squirrel presence.
When we think about inside-the-house infestations, the first sign will, of course, be noise in your attics or even inside the walls. If you hear them during the daytime, this can indicate the presence of a gray or a fox squirrel. If your visitors make noise during the night, it’s most likely a flying squirrel (don’t worry, they don’t actually fly).
Holes in your insulation measuring a few inches are typically a tell of their presence while droppings in the attic speak for themselves. Furthermore, holes in siding or under soffits are also not unknown to them.
Since the best defense is a good offense, your best bet will be to fortify your property with a few DIY measures that will help in keeping squirrels off for good.
For this, make sure you cut the tree branches that run close to your roof or any other parts of your home and which could facilitate their entry. Get a 23-gauge hardware cloth wire mesh installed in places such as drains and gutters. At that dimension, the wire is thin enough to be adjustable with hand tools but also thick enough to prevent them from clawing through.
Go to the store and buy a 2-foot-wide metal collar that you can then place around power poles and isolated trees. This will stop the squirrels from ascending vertical surfaces and delay their advancement into your territory.
A pro tip would be to stuff newspapers into any holes that you find inside your home or its structure. If they last there for a few days, you can consider the area safe and proceed to repair it.
Believe it or not, it seems like squirrels are not really big fans of Mexico and India. What we mean by this is that they completely dislike spicy food. In fact, they hate it so much that simply sprinkling black pepper or cayenne pepper around your property will sometimes be enough to do the trick. This is an inexpensive fix and you can easily find the materials in the spice aisle.
If you were thinking about doing this anyway, installing a few motion activated sprinklers should be a good way of getting rid of squirrels without harming them. This will startle them as they run through your backyard and, if scary enough, may even make them disappear for good.
Squirrels All Year Round
Like everybody, squirrels have their active and their passive periods. Fall is the time when you will see their most ambitious actions, especially for tree squirrels. This is because they sense that winter is coming – Hello, Jon Snow – and they kick the nesting and hoarding for food in high gear.
Winter will usually bring low squirrel activity because food gets scarce and since their main activity is looking for it, they are usually very free during this season. Since the temperatures drop so low, they consider their time can be spent wiser if they share a den to conserve the warmth.
In the warmer seasons of spring and summer, squirrels usually enter their second breeding season. Depending on the region, they may enter the first one during the winter months (December through February) with the second one happening either late spring (March) or early summer (July).
This is important information when you are trying to plan their removal from your backyard or house. Fall is likely to bring an increase in squirrel numbers in your backyard so it will be harder to fight them off. If you can build your defenses in the first days of spring you should be ready once the time comes.
More Measures Against Them
Another very important thing that you must do is remove the food sources from the equation. If there is nothing to eat, then they won’t come, right? While their diet is usually made up of seeds, nuts, insects and other things like these, they also like to sample pungent smells and much of the waste from your trash.
To prevent this, you have to regularly inspect your trash cans to make sure all of them are sealed. Even if they only have a little crack, a squirrel can easily find their way inside it. When it comes to food that has a strong smell, such as meat or fruit, it wouldn’t hurt to double bag it before you throw them in the trash.
Don’t leave pet food out after your companions finished eating it. Any kind of open food source, be it outside, in the trees or even in the basement can be a constant drawing for squirrels. For that reason, be very careful where you place your bird feeders. They are expert climbers who won’t shy away from high-risk maneuvers to get to their next meal.
Even if they don’t find food, squirrels will certainly be looking for water too. You need to eliminate as much water as possible from your backyard as this will go a long way in creating a squirrel-friendly environment. After it rains, check to see if you can find any small pools of water. If you do, you can easily fill them in to prevent small puddles from turning into squirrel pools.
To be honest, if you’re not dealing with them in large numbers, your best bet is to capture and relocate them. Most commercial squirrel traps will allow you to catch and release them, so just make sure to drive a few miles before finding a nice area in which to release the furry invader. Distance like this will usually discourage it from ever coming back to your house.