I had a dog named Oreo who absolutely HATED squirrels. He had a high prey drive which means if he saw anything that scurries or crawls, he wanted to kill it. He has killed everything from rats, to lizards and birds…but he never got the squirrels. I could always tell his failed attempts even if I wasn’t outside, he had a very specific frustrated bark. The squirrels would run up to the power lines, swish their tails, and give out a snarky chirp.
Squirrels are crafty little creatures that can easily start wreaking havoc in your yard. From digging up flower beds to stealing birdseed, squirrels can cause damage and frustration for homeowners. If you find yourself dealing with a squirrel invasion, here are some effective methods to help you get rid of squirrels in your yard.
- Remove Attractants: The first step in squirrel control is to eliminate the factors that attract them to your yard. Squirrels are drawn to food sources like bird feeders, fallen fruits, and unsecured garbage. Regularly clean up any fallen fruits, secure your trash cans with tight-fitting lids, and consider using squirrel-proof bird feeders that are designed to keep these critters at bay.
- Trim Tree Branches: Squirrels are excellent climbers and can easily access your yard by jumping from tree branches to rooftops. Trim tree branches that are close to your home, particularly those that provide easy access to your roof. This simple step can prevent squirrels from getting onto your property in the first place.
- Use Repellents: There are several natural and commercial repellents available that can discourage squirrels from visiting your yard. Some popular options include cayenne pepper, predator urine (like that of foxes or owls), and commercial squirrel repellent sprays. These repellents create an unpleasant scent or taste that squirrels will want to avoid.
- Install Physical Barriers: To protect specific areas, like flower beds or vegetable gardens, consider installing physical barriers. Chicken wire or hardware cloth can be placed over the soil to prevent squirrels from digging up your plants. Just be sure to bury the barrier a few inches underground to prevent squirrels from burrowing underneath.
- Provide Alternative Food Sources: If squirrels are primarily attracted to your yard for food, consider providing alternative food sources away from your main living areas. Place squirrel feeders filled with nuts and seeds at the outskirts of your property, directing the squirrels' attention away from your garden or bird feeders.
- Seal Entry Points: Conduct a thorough inspection of your home's exterior to identify any potential entry points. Squirrels can fit through surprisingly small openings. Seal gaps, cracks, and holes using materials like steel wool or caulk. This will prevent squirrels from finding their way into your attic or crawl spaces.
- Use Traps: Live traps can be an effective way to capture squirrels and relocate them away from your property. Place bait like nuts or peanut butter inside the trap and position it where squirrel activity is high. Check local regulations before using traps, as some areas may have specific rules about trapping and relocating wildlife.
- Consider Predators: Introducing natural predators or predator decoys into your yard can deter squirrels. Owls, hawks, and even well-placed rubber snakes can give squirrels the impression that danger is nearby, leading them to seek safer grounds. A cat or a dog with a high prey drive will work as well.
- Repel with Scents: Squirrels have a keen sense of smell, which can be used to your advantage. Scents like garlic, white vinegar, and ammonia can be sprayed around your yard to create an odor barrier that squirrels will find unpleasant.
In conclusion, while squirrels can be delightful to watch, they can also become a source of frustration when their activities negatively impact your yard. By employing a combination of preventative measures, repellents, and humane removal methods, you can successfully get rid of squirrels and reclaim your outdoor space. Remember that patience and persistence are key, as it may take some time to see the desired results. With these strategies, you can strike a balance between appreciating wildlife and maintaining the beauty of your yard.