Although some people enjoy their company when walking in the park, squirrels still have the potential to cause a lot of damage around a house.
Whether black or grey, you should not give these rodents freedom on your property or you could suffer the consequences. You can always use an extermination service, but prevention is better than cure.
Here are a few tips if you want to prevent this animal from endangering your home.
Why are squirrels a danger to your home?
These rodents’ habits can make it exceedingly difficult to keep them away from your home. They do not hibernate, which is why those living in the forest generally move into tree trunks in the fall to protect themselves from the cold. In urban areas, many will choose to live in a well-insulated attic or shed to protect themselves even better and leave them plenty of room to store their food reserves.
The problem is that squirrels have a much greater destructive power than it seems. They can take bird food and destroy bird feeders, dig up plant bulbs, eat plant buds and rummage through garbage cans. They can also gnaw electrical wires, greatly increasing the risk of a fire due to a short circuit.
Squirrels may be cute but it is better to observe them in the park or the forest than at home.
9 tips to prevent squirrels from settling in your home
There are multiple ways you can limit the risk of one or more squirrels invading your home and causing damage. Here are the most effective ones:
1. Trim tree branches that lead to your house
The first prevention step is to trim tree branches located less than 3 metres away from your home. This will stop grey squirrels from accessing your attic or garage from there.
2. Caulk your home’s openings
You can also caulk any opening that could be used by rodents. The most effective solution is to use wire mesh screens with a mesh size of less than one centimetre since they can chew through most materials. However, make sure there is no squirrel inside before proceeding. Sealing the openings yourself is also more difficult than it seems, so hire a professional sealing and caulking service to ensure a job well done.
3. Get rid of food sources
Eliminating food sources is another good way to keep squirrels at bay. These rodents have a keen sense of smell and only have one thing in mind, which is the food you keep at home. Seal garbage cans, clean outdoor dining tables and don’t leave anything edible lying around in your backyard.
4. Get ultrasonic and water repellents
Like many animals, squirrels hate loud noises and flee as soon as they hear them, so ultrasonic repellents are a worthwhile investment. They are effective against many pests and will prevent animal intrusions.
Another type of product to use against squirrels is a motion-activated sprinkler. It can detect movement in your garden and shoot jets of water at the target. Squirrels hate being sprayed by surprise.
5. Use repelling odours
One of the squirrel’s strengths is its thin nose, but this can also be used as a weak point. Many different smells can be used to keep squirrels away from your home, including pepper, garlic, hot mustard or lemon. For example, you can mix a few drops of lemon with water in a spray bottle and regularly spray the areas that squirrels might like.
6. Scare them with CDs and DVDs
You can use old CDs and DVDs to keep squirrels away. Squirrels fear the reflections they create, so take them out of your attic and place them in your garden, on plants or on tree branches. This method is commonly used to keep pests away from vegetable gardens, especially birds.
However, you will need to change these traps regularly so that they retain their full effectiveness. The reflection decreases after a few weeks of use and rodents figure out the trap you are setting for them.
7. Use your pets’ hair… or your own
If you have pets, you probably regularly pick up and discard piles of hair that have fallen to the ground. Instead of throwing them in the garbage, put them in a large bag and scatter them around your garden.
If you don’t have pets, your own hair or a family member’s will work very well. Note that human hair loses its scent within a week or two and needs to be replaced frequently. While this is probably the most surprising method, it is as effective and easy to implement as the others.
8. Keep them away from bird feeders
Bird food attracts squirrels who love seeds, berries and nuts and bird feeders cause many rodent infestations. Use oil to hinder squirrels’ ability to climb.. This won’t harm the birds, but it will make it very difficult for the squirrels to reach the feeder.
For peace of mind, you can also put bird feeders on insulated poles at least 1.5 to 2 metres above the ground and 3 to 4 metres away from your house and trees or structures.
9. Contact prevention specialists
These tips should help you avoid any visits from squirrels in your attic. If you do not feel comfortable applying these methods, or if you do not want to take any chances, pest prevention professionals can do the work for you. They will have all the equipment necessary and know how to keep squirrels away for a while.
Worried about squirrel intrusions and prefer to call in professionals?
In conclusion, although there are many ways to keep squirrels away, you may want to use the most efficient method: hiring prevention experts.
If you have a squirrel problem, contact Elite Pest Control. Our exterminators will be able to get squirrels out of your home and make sure they don’t come back with techniques that respect wildlife.