How to Get Rid of Squirrels – 10 Tips

A squirrel climbing down a tree in the yard.

Not everyone enjoys sharing their property with squirrels. While some people invite these bushy-tailed rodents into their yard with squirrel feeders, many other home and property owners want to know how to get rid of squirrels. Squirrels can be pests and may even cause serious damage to your home or property.

When squirrels stay outside, they are usually not a nuisance. They may over-indulge in eating food left out for birds or scare birds away, but they do not usually cause much property damage. The problem tends to be when squirrels are accessing the house, garage or attic. They can damage eaves and roofing, as well as chew through electrical wires, insulation or plumbing, increasing risks of fire or flooding. The best solution is to keep squirrels away from your property entirely to keep them from accessing your buildings.

10 Ways to Repel or Remove Squirrels

If you have a large population of squirrels on your property or they have already begun invading your home, there are steps you can take to repel or get rid of these rodents. Here are 10 ways to manage squirrel populations on your property to avoid damage to your structures.

1. Remove Bird Feeders

Even bird feeders that are designed to repel squirrels can still attract squirrels. The seeds that birds love to eat are also a tasty treat for squirrels. Even if the feeder is designed to keep squirrels from accessing the food, it can spill on the ground and be bait that will bring more rodents into your yard.

2. Remove Any Food Source

Do you have nut trees or garden bulbs on your property? Squirrels love nuts and many bulbs as a food source. You may want to consider removing these food sources if you are struggling with a squirrel population.

A squirrel looking for food in a garden bird feeder.

3. Ammonia Repellent

The smell of ammonia can help repel squirrels. Soaking rags in ammonia and putting them in trees around the yard can deter squirrels from your property.

4. Tree Baffles

There are not many structures a squirrel cannot climb, especially those with a rough or textured surface that they can grip with their feet. However, tree baffles can create a slippery exterior that makes it hard for squirrels to scale. Baffles can be made of plastic or metal – putting them on trees near structures can reduce access to the building.

5. Urine Squirrel Repellent

Most home improvement or garden centers carry squirrel repellent in the form of predator urine. This can be applied to trees and surfaces near structures to keep squirrels at bay. This repellent needs to be used consistently and reapplied as it dissipates with rain and other precipitation.

6. Plant Flowers

While there are some bulbs that squirrels enjoy, there are other flowers that these rodents will avoid. Daffodils, geraniums, hyacinth and lily-of-the-valley are flowers that have odors that can repel squirrels or may be toxic to rodents. Talk to your landscaper about which flowers or plants can help repel squirrels from your property.

7. Apply Strong Scents

The scent does not need to be unpleasant to repel squirrels. If ammonia or urine are not something you want sprayed around your home, try other strong scents. Peppermint, garlic and spicy pepper scents can repel squirrels, but are not as unpleasant to humans.

8. Chemical Repellents

There are many chemical repellents that can be used to deter squirrels from entering your structures or keep them away from your garden. Many of these products use capsaicin as the main ingredient – these products can be sprayed around the eaves and attic openings or around the garden to repel squirrels and other rodents.

9. Live Traps

If you already have squirrels invading your home or taking over your garden, you can use live traps to remove these animals. However, this does not stop the problem or deter other squirrels from invading your space. It may be an option to remove rodents from your attic or inside your house without harming the squirrels.

10. Call a Pest Removal Specialist

When repellents, removing food sources and other strategies are ineffective, you may want to call a professional to help with your squirrel invasion. Squirrels can cause extensive damage, including causing home fires or flooding, so hiring a professional landscaper that offers pest control is a wise investment. Pest removal specialists will help with removing existing squirrels and preventing reinfestation to protect your home and property.

If you have a yard that is overrun with squirrels or you have evidence these fluffy-tailed creatures are entering your home, consider using these tips on how to get rid of squirrels. Making your yard and home less desirable to squirrels and actively repelling them from your home and garden can be effective. When you need professional help, call a landscaper that offers pest control to help you find the best way to manage your squirrel problem.