How To Get Rid Of Squirrels
Squirrels are a natural part of the environment, but if you let them get into your home or live on your property in high numbers, you can quickly find yourself with problems. Squirrels need to constantly chew on nuts and other hard objects to keep their teeth from growing too large and in some cases, they may use elements of your home for this purpose. They can also simply make a mess of your property or create fire hazards in the attic by chewing wires. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to get rid of squirrels, whether they are simply on your property or within your home. These steps combine prevention and removal and even if you decide to trap and relocate a squirrel, you will want to follow the preventative advice.
Home Repairs As Prevention
There is only one method of keeping squirrels out of your home that will be 100 percent effective in all situations. That method is ensuring there are no entry points for the squirrels, including to the walls, roof, chimney, attic, porch, or other areas. The best way to limit potential squirrel entry points is to stay on top of home repairs. This means adding a chimney cap to your chimney and ensuring it is in good shape and taking the time to examine your home, sealing any holes on the walls, roof, or eaves.
Cleaning Your Property As Prevention
Another way to get rid of the squirrels is to discourage their presence by making your property unappealing to the critters. Squirrels most likely selected your property for it shelter, water source, or food source. While you can't always remove the water source in the case of a pond, you can almost always limit the squirrels' food source.
These animals have a preferred diet of nuts, berries, seeds, and other plants, although they can also include small birds or insects. That means they will see an accessible bird feeder as a buffet with unlimited dining and the base of your nut or fruit tree as a picnic. Add squirrel guards to your bird feeder or remove it entirely. You should also clean up any fallen fruit, nuts, or other squirrel food on your property. Even if this doesn't convince squirrels currently living on your property to move, it should discourage them from returning after you get them off using other methods.
Exclusion To Remove
One of the best methods for getting rid of squirrels that are already in your home is known as exclusion. This is the process of sealing up all of their entry points with the exception of one, preferably their main entrance. You then attach a one-way door or exclusion device to this hole and this device will let the squirrels out but not back in. You can either buy a one-way door or make one yourself using some basic materials and online instructions. The thing to remember, however, is to only get rid of the squirrels by excluding them if there are no babies present or the baby squirrels are old enough to move around on their own.
Trapping To Get Rid Of Them
There is a variation of an exclusion device known as a repeater or repeating trap. This trap has one end that is just like that of a one-way door and attaches to the squirrels' entry point, but instead of leading to an open area, it leads into a large cage. This is a popular system among professionals for catching multiple squirrels at once. You can use this type of trap or any other live trap to catch the nuisance squirrels so they can be relocated to an area at least several miles from your home.
Repellents Don't Work
All it takes is a quick internet search or glance at your local store to consider repellents as a way to get rid of squirrels, but this method will almost never be effective. In some cases, they may work as a temporary measure, but it is more likely that the squirrels will simply ignore them as they don't want to leave their home. To make matters worse, some of the repellents you can buy in stores will actually contain harmful chemicals that can be dangerous to you, your family, your pets, or other wildlife in the area. In some cases, these chemicals may even enter the soil or water supply.
What Else Not To Do
In some situations, it may seem tempting to get rid of a squirrel by killing it as this will ensure that particular squirrel never returns. There is always a better, more humane alternative to killing a squirrel and depending on where you live, it may not even be legal to do so. You can find kill traps, but these are difficult to use and may be triggered by any animal, including your pet, the neighborhood cat, or even a small child. There aren't any poisons which have been proven effective on squirrels and using an ineffective one leaves you open to the risk of causing an animal a slow, painful death or simply wasting your money. Instead, it is best to try prevention techniques, exclusion, and trapping to take care of your squirrel problems.
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What Should I Do If I Find an Orphaned Baby Squirrel Wandering About?
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