Did you know that the little troublemakers have five toes on their back feet and four on their front feet? Well, if you didn’t, now you do. And, if you’ve come this far looking into all possible information on them, you might just have got yourself a real rodent problem.
Though we generally see squirrels as cute bushy-tailed creatures that jump in the trees in search of acorns and nuts, they can pose a real threat to your household and do more harm than good. I’m aware of the fact that treatments and remedies against them aren’t really mainstream, so I’ve prepared this article in case you are in need of assistance.
- 1 Kinds of Squirrels
- 2 What Appeals to Squirrels?
- 3 Dangers Coming From Squirrels
- 4 Diseases
- 5 Treatments for Removing Squirrels
- 6 Top 6 Squirrel Treatments
- 6.1 1. Havahart 1077 Easy Set One-Door Cage Trap – Best Squirrel Trap
- 6.2 2. Rugged Ranch Squirrelinator Trap – Assistance in Removing Squirrels
- 6.3 3. Rodent Vehicle Natural Repellent – Powerful Squirrel Control
- 6.4 4. Diaotec Squirrel Repellent Ultrasonic – Sonic Repellent to Scare Away Squirrels
- 6.5 5. I Must Garden Squirrel Repellent – Natural Squirrel Deterrent
- 6.6 6. Farnam Just One Bite Chunks – Best Poison for Squirrels
- 7 Prevention: How to Keep Squirrels Away
- 8 FAQs
- 9 Bottom Line
Kinds of Squirrels
Very few people actually know this, but there is more than just one type of squirrel. In fact, the animals we call ‘squirrel’ is a family name for a variety of rodents that inhabit the ground and underground, trees and bushes.
Ranging from a tiny chipmunk to sciurine, or a huge groundhog, squirrels have individual eating and living habits that you should be aware of before starting to deal with them.
Eastern Gray Squirrel
These tree-climbing fellas are one of the most widely-spread kinds of species in North American. They are easily recognized by their long fuzzy tail that they can use for all varieties of actions – from using it as a shade screen to pretending it’s an umbrella.
The animals are known to be hoarders of all kinds. They can store around tens of kilograms of food as a reserve for the cold seasons. Both males and females are quite alike, and they tend to live in pairs during the mating season.
Their main nutrition includes nuts and berries, and sometimes crops. The Eastern Grey can nest in households and attics where it finds warmth and necessary protection from wind and bad weather.
American Red Squirrel
Spread across the North of North American, this family is a small group of critters that live in the trees. They are the easiest to recognize thanks to their rusty shade.
These squirrels can be called loners due to their solitary nature. It’s been established that this species prefers to settle one-dweller nests and pairs up only for reproduction, after which it escapes.
As a supplement to their nutrition, the Reds can eat bird eggs and mushrooms of all kinds. They also enjoy sweet food, so they sometimes damage tree bark and eat the syrup.
Squirrel vs Chipmunk
Many people wonder how to distinguish a chipmunk vs squirrel. Well, these rodents are much smaller in size and are usually less noticeable. They look rather similar to a common house rat but have a distinct set of white stripes along their backs.
Despite their petite constitution, they can gather nearly the same amount of food that a regular squirrel does. Moreover, chipmunks are capable of stuffing their cheeks with food until they can unload it in their nest. They use their own food as a nest by setting it around their burrow and sleeping on it.
You may know them for their bodacious singing habit that is used as a tool for notifying other representatives of the species about their current location. They are seen multiple times stealing provisions from barns and places of human congregations.
Squirrel vs Groundhog
Groundhogs are one of the largest species that use ground-dug burrows as their natural habitat. Greyish fur and short tails make them very unlikely to be noticed, especially in dim lighting, which makes them perfect for hiding from bigger animals.
Being rather massive rodents, woodchucks are completely harmless to people since their teeth are mostly blunt. However, groundhogs are a threat to land lots, lawns, and gardens.
They create deep burrows where they hoard food and raise their progeny. Connected to one another, the burrows form tunnels, which sometimes can come to tens of yards ruining grassy areas. It’s proven that an average groundhog can shovel over 600 pounds of ground while building a hideout.
Later, when they abandon the burrows, those are utilized by multiple animals, like skunks and hares. What a circle of life, right?
What Appeals to Squirrels?
It’s important to underscore that most rodents don’t have the eagerness to harm your household. They might wander to your house in a search for food and shelter. So, if you find yourself swamped, you probably need to reassess your house maintenance and determine which is the best way to get rid of squirrels for your property.
Apart from eating nuts, acorns, and berries, these rodents are great fans of corn and seeds. If you live on a farm and have large grain storage, then it’s no wonder that all kinds of pests come by to grab some.
On the other hand, if you don’t have any grain storages, there are still bushes and cone trees.
Finding nutritious nuts doesn’t usually come the hard way for rodents as they can find quite a few other supplements. However, open water sources may be rather rare in some areas. Subsequently, animals tend to search for places where they can quench their thirst. Such can be puddles, tin cans filled with water, bird feeders, etc.
Though burrows and tree forks are key locations of small animals’ nesting, they occasionally choose their hideout somewhere else, as long as it’s: wind and rain-proof, dry, with low humidity, and shaded from the sun.
Having stumbled upon a nice old shed, cabin, or even a piece of old furniture abandoned in a yard, squirrels are likely to try to settle there. In addition, they can crawl into the attic of any old house, should they find a breach.
Mind that any place like that will do, but only in case, it’s enclosed and far from any bustle and humans, of course.
Dangers Coming From Squirrels
If a rodent of this kind has just happened to pass by your garden or house, then you shouldn’t have any concerns. On the other hand, if one of them, or a few, have decided to settle in your premises or are rather keen on visiting your household, then you’d probably want to think again. Because their appearance can be followed by these growing pains:
Having constant trouble with their teeth – they like to keep them sharp and neat for grinding on nuts and berries. Tree bark is often used as a means of honing them, as well as nutrition.
Bark stripping squirrels usually cause a lot of problems for the trees and people in whose gardens they are planted. This may lead to the disruption or even decay of the top stem layer, resulting in rotting. Moreover, if the bark has been chewed off the surface of a tree, it’s left unprotected against the cold and pests that are eager to infest it.
It’s great luck for humans that squirrels are mostly herbivorous and have no interest in people. But, having one of them in your yard can get quite messy as they do enjoy fruit and vegetables, and sometimes flowers, like orchards. If you think a minute animal like this cannot do much harm to your 20 square feet garden, then beware, because they are very determined. A small group of squirrels can wipe out a whole vegetable patch in a matter of days.
Due to the fact that their sharp, but tiny teeth cannot handle a whole cabbage or apple, they tend to aim at buds and corms. Thus, ruining your probable harvest.
While looking for a shelter, critters like to occasionally breach your house through cracks in doorways, gutters, ventilation, chimney, etc. Or just enter freely through an open window. They normally prefer storages and barns, where there is little noise, and they feel secure, but they sometimes can get into the attic of a house which is very cozy to them.
- As they settle down, the little ones can take a liking to your wiring that they use for their regular teeth routine in order to maintain the sharpness of the teeth. Chewing on it can result in blackouts or completely deprive a house of its electricity supply.
- Another material the intruders can find in the attic is insulation. Squirrels are known for defecating and urinating into earthwool or pink batts, thus ruining it and making it hard to renew.
- Most intrusions are followed by indoor damages. The rodents use their sharp teeth to grind down beams to make entry points, like holes, for a better movement around the place. This usually makes the damaged sites more vulnerable to weather conditions and exposes the wiring to rains.
- If a critter has managed to stay unnoticed for a long enough period of time, it leaves a lot of biomaterials, such as feces and urine. These always cause odors and unpleasant smells not only in the attic but all over the house. Exposure to the wastes can be harmful to both people and pets as they may contain rodent-borne diseases.
Squirrels are rarely known to be aggressive besides the times when they can start catapulting nuts and twigs at people who have disturbed their peace at the burrow. However, these rodents can bite an intruder as an act of self-preservation.
The danger is not the bites themselves, but certain directly transmitted diseases that can come with them. Here is a list of sicknesses that have occasionally been caused by a bite or an interaction with them:
- Leptospirosis. Generally caused by coming in contact with rodents’ urine or feces, this disease can be a real risk to one’s health if left untreated. Symptoms include a range of mild and harsh conditions, such as high body temperature, rash, underlying digestion conditions, etc. It can result in major brain inflammation and death. If identified, it requires urgent medical interference and strong medication treatment.
- Lyme disease. Though rodents aren’t actually inflicted by the sickness, they can be carriers of ticks and leeches that can transmit it. In case a tick travels from to humans and bites the latter, it can result in drowsiness, body pains, yellow pigmentations around the eyes and mouth, etc. Timely treatment usually eradicates the danger; otherwise, it can lead to gruesome outcomes.
- Typhus. In terms of transmission, typhus is another illness that is spread by various parasites that can inhabit fur. The disease is rarely encountered with squirrels as carriers, but, if it is, then it may cause an epidemic of the worst kind due to its contagiousness. The leading symptoms are rashes, a headache, fever, troubled breathing, and vomiting.
- Rabies. As it’s prone to progressing rapidly and, if treated untimely, is known to result in death, rabies poses a real threat to any human. Squirrels are rarely diagnosed with this condition, but they still can be carriers. The first symptoms comprise a list of manifestations that resemble a mild seasonal cold, such as a headache, drowsiness, and fever. As it progresses, rabies can cause paralysis, both somnolence and insomnia, and brain inflammation.
Treatments for Removing Squirrels
If any of the previously stated damages or signs are applicable to you, then you need to know how to get rid of squirrels because you’ve infested. So, what can be used as a fight-back tool for driving the rodents away?
Yes, you might think it’s an old-fashioned way. But, trapping is 100% effective for getting rid of squirrels for good. Modern squirrel traps are designed specifically to incapacitate a rodent without hurting it if that’s what you’re worried about. Later, you can extract it and set it free or finish it.
Coming in all varieties of sizes, materials, and shapes, a trap can be placed anywhere you need rodents to be extracted from. So, you can stop worrying about how to get rid of squirrels in the attic.
This option is suitable in case you need to deal with squirrels infesting your garden or vegetable patch. Most squirrel repellents contain both natural and chemical substances that most rodents find repulsing. When using one of those, you don’t need to worry about getting messy as naturally infused repellents don’t leave any stains on clothing and fabrics.
Easy to use, it can be sprayed on plants, trees, vegetables, etc. without causing any harm to flora and fauna of your lot.
Modern technology offers quite a lot these days, including devices that help you fight pests avoiding the use of any chemicals. Ultrasonic devices are meant to create unfavorable circumstances for pests’ senses that force them to evade such areas.
Using specific frequencies, ultra repellents aim at designated species of rodents that assure safety for your pets.If you’re not sure how to deter squirrels from the house, this may be an answer. Since the repellents vary in sizes, they can be set at places that are the least reachable for humans.
They are affordable and don’t require recharging, thus making them reliable 24/7 guards of your property.
You might want to apply poison as an actual squirrel killing option, should anything else be not effective. Again, it’s easy to use and can be placed at the most inaccessible sites.
The majority of squirrel poisons are of a similar constituency to other rodent poisons and have a very distinct smell that many animals recognize. For this, it’s recommended to disguise it with bait, something that an intruder would gratefully consume.
You can always strive for a double effect by putting poison in a trap so that a chance of a squirrel’s survival is completely eliminated.
As a substitute for devices and treatments specifically designed for squirrel eradication, you can always apply natural substances and essences. However, alternative pesticides might not be the best way how to get rid of squirrel since mulch, vinegar, peppermint, and safflower seeds are recommended for repelling rodents; they can act less effectively than other means.
Top 6 Squirrel Treatments
1. Havahart 1077 Easy Set One-Door Cage Trap – Best Squirrel Trap
The Havahart 1077 trap is a resourceful helper for dealing with squirrels and other minute rodents. Equipped with a one-set handle, it’s extremely easy to use and doesn’t require any previous trap-setting experience.
Made from high-quality steel, the trap can be set both at indoor and outdoor sites regardless of weather conditions. Its small size is a great fit for places that are hard to access with bare hands, which ensures usefulness for squirrel control of lawns, yards, attics, and close to the house areas.
The device is contrived specifically for safe and handy use. When a critter is trapped inside, there is no chance it’ll hurt itself since the trap’s designed to seclude a critter, but not to hurt it in any way.
2. Rugged Ranch Squirrelinator Trap – Assistance in Removing Squirrels
Have you been bothered by a whole pack of squirrels, not just 1? Then the Rugged Squirrelinator can come in handy. The trap has the capacity to accommodate over 20 squirrels at the same time and is equipped with a plastic water bowl that will keep them refreshed.
When a squirrel finds a bait inside, e.g. nuts, berries, seeds, etc., it pushes itself into the trap-gate all the way through. However, going back isn’t an option anymore.
If you’re more radical and aiming at eradicating your squirrel infestation for good, it’s always possible to add poison to your bait, so that you don’t have to worry about critters at all.
Due to its spacious dimensions, the appliance can be used for large households and placed anywhere on the property; moreover, it can be easily disguised by using various materials that squirrels find attractive, e.g. wood logs, vegetation, etc.
3. Rodent Vehicle Natural Repellent – Powerful Squirrel Control
The Rodent Vehicle Repellent is a cutting-edge treatment that knows how to repel squirrels. The rodents have a tendency to chew on wiring and cables to grind down their sharp teeth, thus damaging essential electronic devices. Whereas the spray is meant to repulse critters from your car, truck, boat, or any other vehicle.
The repellent is a combination of natural essences and oils that most rodents find disgusting, if not threatening; however, it’s absolutely pleasant to a human nose. Thanks to a formula that includes no chemical-based components, it can be applied both inside and outside a vehicle. It doesn’t leave any stains or corrupt metal surfaces, which makes it a great tool in a fight against squirrels.
4. Diaotec Squirrel Repellent Ultrasonic – Sonic Repellent to Scare Away Squirrels
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As the popularity of Ultrasonic Repellents is growing exponentially, the Diaotec Repellent offers an effective solution against critters. The device will, for sure, scare away squirrels from your property using high-volume ultrasounds that aggravate and daunt rodents. The repellent has a wide operational area that, mostly, covers average-sized lawns and yards.
The Diaotec Repellent has three modes that work on specific pest types, like mice, squirrels, as well as mites and parasites. Moreover, it includes a test mode that ensures the possibility of checking the operational capacity of the device.
You don’t need to wait until you get a squirrel infestation, for this appliance can be a prevention utility, too. The location doesn’t matter, since it can be placed in a house, an open area, a food court, etc.
5. I Must Garden Squirrel Repellent – Natural Squirrel Deterrent
The I Must Repellent is another great natural squirrel deterrent solution. It contains no harmful synthetic substances and is completely safe for the environment. The repellent is highly versatile as you can apply it both inside and outside the house. Its composition is 100% natural and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as: securing your land lots and garden, or yard, from squirrels and other kinds of critters.
You can spread it around vegetation, plants, and trees without risking to pollute them with anything harmful. Moreover, it can be used indoors for furniture, bedding, basements and attics.
The container is meant for long-time use, thus making it economical.
6. Farnam Just One Bite Chunks – Best Poison for Squirrels
The Farnam Chunks is a radical answer to the question ‘How to kill squirrels for sure?’ Bulky pieces that make up the pack are meant to work as both bait and a solution in a fight against rodents. As squirrels consume them, they have the average 1-3 days before the poison kicks in, sometimes even within hours.
The treatment has a smell that is pleasant for squirrels though it’s easily combined with additional baits, like wood, nuts, berries, etc. The particles are for outdoor and away-from-the-children purposes only and have proven to be highly effective for eliminating cheeky rodents.
Prevention: How to Keep Squirrels Away
In order to scare away squirrels, it’s essential to follow some guidelines that can save you a lot of time and make your property critter-proof.
- Seal all possible holes and entrances that can help the pests get into the house, such as chimneys, ventilation exits, cracked window frames, etc.
- Cover tree trunks up to 6ft in plastic or metal cases; this will disable rodents from climbing them.
- Use mulch and essences, like peppermint, to enclose areas around plants, grass and low vegetation to repel critters that like to feed on them.
- Eliminate all sources of standing water e.g. old bottles and tin cans, bird feeders (or use squirrel-proof feeders), dog water bowls, etc.
- Avoid keeping uncovered timber and wood logs pile in the yard, as well as seeds of any kind.
- Trim dense bushes and abundant vegetation.
- Put anti-squirrel scare-crows i.e., plastic owls, eagles, and other large birds.
- Install sprinklers and lawn LED lights to scare them if they come around.
Are Squirrels Dangerous to Humans?
Not directly. They don’t attack humans, apart from infrequent cases when they feel a threat; they cause costly damage to households and property, as well as live on vegetation and spread various illnesses.
How Long Do Squirrels Live?
Varying from species to species, an average squirrel lives from 4 to 6 years.
What Do Squirrels Eat?
Small fruit and vegetable corms, nuts, berries, tree bark, etc.
Do Squirrels Make Noise?
Yes, squirrels are one of the noisiest types of rodents. They use their high-pitch voices to communicate location and warn one another about upcoming dangers.
Do Coffee Grounds Keep Squirrels Away?
In fact, they do. A recent study has shown that the smell of coffee so alluring to humans is quite aversive for squirrels.
How to Get Rid of Squirrels Without Killing Them?
Catch them by using a trap and let them go later, though they might come back earlier. You may also utilize an ultrasonic or a spray repellent. They are just the job.
Again, I believe the information above can come in handy for you.
Regardless of how cute and harmless squirrels may seem, they can pose a real danger to your house, garden, and even health. If you find yourself in a confrontation with these rodents, you need to act quickly without hesitation.
Because protecting your peace from them has to be a priority, you shouldn’t be picky about choosing means of dealing with an infestation of any scale.
What do you think about the treatments suggested above? Have you happened to find any other ways of repelling/killing squirrels? Comment below, I would love to hear about your experience! Stay safe!
- Types of Squirrels (Drexel University):
- Squirrels and Chipmunks (National Park Colorado):
- Bark Stripping Squirrels (University of Florida):
- Diseases directly transmitted by rodents (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):
- Alternative Pesticides (Salt Lake City Sustainabilite):