Squirrels may look cute and may do some interesting things but as many property owners know, these bushy-tailed creatures can cause some serious damage around the home and may just be general pests, eating from the bird feeder and nibbling on whatever they can get to.
Squirrels also find it enticing to get into the attic or the eaves of the house to find a warm and cozy home during cold weather. In fact, some homeowners have found that only the strongest lumber or metal blocking gaps will deter a determined squirrel. In addition, these pests can dig up plants and flowers on your property.
Get Out, Squirrel
Sometimes a squirrel may even carry fleas or some disease that can be hazardous to the health of family pets. For this reason and the others mentioned earlier, property owners often do whatever they can to get the squirrels out of the home, off the property and out of their lives.
First of all, you have to eliminate the things that are attracting squirrels to your property. If the fuzzy-tailed fellows enjoy cleaning out the bird feeder you may want to invest in a new squirrel-proof model. These are usually designed so that the extra weight of a squirrel prevents the larger animal from getting to the food. The openings that birds can use close in response to the weight of the squirrel. They may cost a bit more at first but they will save you enough time and bird feed to pay you back.
It’s also possible to keep squirrels from reaching the bird feeder by place a baffle around the post. Birds can fly onto the feeder but squirrels cannot get past a well placed round plate about five feet from the ground. But make sure that the feeder isn’t close to a tree or building from which the squirrel can jump onto the feeder. You should be prepared to place a feeder 15 feet from the nearest launching pad.
Keep It Clean
Bird feeders aren’t the only things that attract squirrels to home and property. The simple rule is: Don’t leave anything around that squirrels might like to eat. This means keeping the lids on trash cans firmly in place. You may even have to strap them down. If you have pets and feed them outside, squirrels will take advantage of this free meal. You may have to feed pets at selected times and keep watch for thieving squirrels. During warm weather or in warm climates squirrels will find the leftovers from picnics and outdoor grilling quite inviting.
You may have to resort to setting up live traps and then transport the healthy squirrel far from your home, even taking them to isolated woods far from town. In addition, you can try products that work as squirrel repellant. These often use hot pepper ingredients that are sprayed or sprinkled on flower beds or gardens to keep squirrels at bay. As a last resort, you may have to contact a professional animal-control service.