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How to get rid of squirrels?

Squirrels may be cute little animals, but they can be a real nuisance pest. This is because they eat up your fruits and chew on your trees, leaving them with all sorts of damage.

December 28, 2021

26 min read time

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Squirrels may be cute little animals, but they can be a real nuisance pest. This is because they eat up your fruits and chew on your trees, leaving them with all sorts of damage.

You may be wondering how you can get rid of them.

Not to worry, in this article, we’ll be giving you useful tips on how to get rid of squirrels.

These are trusted methods, so keep reading!

Essential things to know about Squirrels

Squirrels come in many shapes and sizes, thanks to the wide variation of their species. However, tree squirrels, ground squirrels, and gray squirrels are arguably the most popular of them all, as far as house pests are concerned.

This is because they invade areas such as the attic, garage, and they scavenge around your trash bins in search of a meal.

They can cause a world of damage to property, including wall interior and exterior, home wiring, and other wooden areas.

They also damage flower beds and eat up the birdseed from the bird feeder.

They aren’t the quietest house pests, in fact, they are among the noisiest. You can clearly hear them as they go about their business

You can find a lot of them in the woods. But due to constant deforestation, these animals are being forced to explore other options. If your home is close to the woods, then you can expect them to invade.

Besides deforestation, they can also come into your attic during the winter season to keep warm. Other entry points for these pests include opened windows and doors.

They may seem harmless, but do not let their innocent looks deceive you. These pests can be dangerous to humans, as they carry and spread diseases such as typhus, plague, ringworms, and tularemia.

Luckily, there are several ways by which you can remove the squirrels in your yard.

But first, let’s have a clear understanding of why your yard seems to be the best option for them.

What Attracts Squirrels To My Yard?

There are a good number of reasons squirrels will choose your yard over any other area. Let’s take a look at these possible reasons one by one.

1. Thickness Of Your Vegetation

If your yard is filled with thick hedges and shrubs, then you can expect to find some of them there.

This is because they aren’t fond of open spaces and are afraid of being carried away by a prey bird such as hawks or owls

2. Nutrition

The major reason pest animals move from one location to the other is to search for food and water. And your home can provide both.

You may have some juicy fruits for them to feast on. You may have also set up bird feeders and bird bath, and both provide food and water for the invading squirrels.

3. Trees

Squirrels are very good climbers, and they will be more motivated to go for your trees if it is filled with their favorite fruits and nuts, acorns inclusive.

What Is The Best Way To Repel Squirrels?

Repelling squirrels isn’t such a difficult task, as there are many methods you can employ to achieve this.

Below are some tips that will cost you less than hiring a pest control service.

1. Plant Some Special Flowers In Your Yard

As much as gray squirrels are lovers of plants, there are a good number of plants species that irritate them. These include fritillaries, hyacinths, daffodils, and lily of the valley.

So what makes these plants offensive to them?

Well, they are brightly colored and give off a very strong scent which squirrels are irritated by. Not to worry, these scents aren’t offensive to humans, they work against the pests, so you’ll be fine.

Another piece of good news is that these plants are actually very beautiful. So they aren’t just repellents, they will also add a touch of beauty to your yard.

Plant such trees across your yard to remove squirrels in your yard.

2. Use Other Offensive Odors

Besides the above-mentioned plants, there are also several other odors that work as repellents to them.

These include the scent of white pepper, black pepper, peppermint, and garlic.

There are several ways by which you can apply these repellents to your plants and around your yard. An effective means is by using a spray bottle.

All you have to do is get the required ingredients, a spray bottle, and some water.

Add some white or black pepper and some garlic to a bowl. Crush or blend them into a smooth paste or powdery form and add some water to it.

Stir the mixture thoroughly until all the elements are well blended then pour into the spray bottle. There you have it, your repellents for gray squirrels is ready!

You can visit your yard and spray all over your plants, especially the ones that they are most likely to be attracted to (fruit-bearing plants). You should also go through your yard and spray. Give it some time to work.

Do not forget to visit the attic, as they are probably lodged in there. Spray as thoroughly as you can to repel them.

Keep in mind that the effects of these squirrel repelling odors can wear off after some time, so be sure to repeat the process regularly. If it rains after you have sprayed, then visit these areas and spray again, as rainwater would have washed off the previous mixture.

Use this as a control against these animals.

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3. Use Predator Urine

As gross as this may sound, this is a means of control that works pretty well against squirrels. Gray squirrels know their predators very well, including what their urine smells like. So if they can pick up predator scent in your yard, they’d be most likely to steer clear.

Thankfully, you don’t have to go looking for real fox urine! There are several commercial repellents that carry the odor of predator urine and the squirrels cannot tell the difference from real urine.

Spray this around your yard floors and across the plants to get rid of squirrels.

The trick here is to make the gray squirrel feel threatened. If they believe there are predators lurking, then your home will no longer be an option for them.

This is another easy way to get rid of them and it is a good control measure.

4. Use Scare Dummies

What’s more scarier to a gray squirrel than a predator scent?

The predator itself!

Well in this case not a real predator, but a dummy.

You can visit a pest control store and buy life-sized predator dummies to reduce scare them away.

Recommended predator dummies include foxes, coyotes, and prey birds such as hawks, falcons and owls, as they control the pests


Keep in mind that these scare dummies have to be life-sized so they seem real to a squirrel. You should also position them in strategic areas around your home.

You can keep a dummy hawk by the entry points to your attic. You can also place dummy foxes in your yard.

If you’re lucky to find a predator dummy that has built-in pre-recorded natural predator sounds, then that would be great! Their image and the sound will be a strong deterrent to any squirrel.

A combination of the above-mentioned predator urine scent and the dummies will surely convince the squirrels that they are not safe in your yard, garden or attic.

Be sure to keep switching the positions of these predator dummies at intervals. As scared as the squirrels, they’d be more confident to try their luck if they find that the “predator” doesn’t move.

5. Introduce A Real Predator To Your Garden

What’s better than a dummy predator?

A real one of course!

Luckily, there are prey birds that you can purchase and introduce to your garden. These will keep the squirrels away.

The major advantage of having natural prey birds over the dummies is in the area of movement. While dummies are effective, they only maintain one position, unless you move them around yourself.

Real predator birds on the other hand have the ability to move on their own, and they can comb every inch of your garden in search of food. A squirrel is no match for a hawk and will flee if they find one or two when they approach your garden or yard.

6. Get A Cat Or Dog

Cats and dogs cannot be considered to be squirrel predators since they don’t have any interest in eating them. Nonetheless, they are the kinds of pets that love chasing smaller animals, especially the ones who try to intrude.

A cat or a dog can help you keep squirrels away from your home most especially. They may not be so effective in the garden, mainly because they don’t spend too much time there. But as far as your home is concerned, a cat or dog will give the squirrels a good chase.

7. Using Ultrasonic Pest Repeller

How Do You Get Rid Of Squirrels Naturally?

There are several natural methods you can employ to get rid of squirrels. Some of them have already been listed above.

These include –

  • Using squirrel repellents
  • Predator scent
  • Introducing predator birds to your garden
  • Use naturally offensive odors
  • Use cayenne pepper, garlic, white and black pepper

The major advantage of getting rid of squirrels using purely natural means is that it is eco friendly and will not harm the environment in any way.

It is also a cheap method of keeping them off your yard, as opposed to hiring a professional pest control service.

Does Vinegar Get Rid Of Squirrels?

Yes, vinegar can get rid of squirrels.

Apple cider vinegar specifically has an acrid taste that squirrels hate. The smell is also repulsive to them.

An easy way to apply apple cider vinegar is to pour it into a spray bottle and apply it on surfaces close to the entry points of your attic or home.

Be advised, apple cider vinegar may be effective against squirrels, but it can also damage or kill your garden plants. Only use on hard surfaces!

Do Dryer Sheets Repel Squirrels?

Yes, dryer sheets are good squirrel repellants. The good thing is, they can be used to ward of other rodents too.

You can get some and place it beneath the doors of your home, as well as entry points to your attic. If squirrels are attracted to your basement, then you should place some under the basement doors. Also place some around your garden sheds.

How To Trap A Squirrel?

Another means of getting rid of squirrels is to use a live trap.

These pests are suckers for nuts, fruits, and peanut butter, so you can use this knowledge to your advantage and trap squirrels.

There are cage traps that are already made which you can buy from a pest control store. But if you’re a DIY person, you can easily create your own squirrel traps.

To use cage traps, you would need some bait, and any of the above mentioned squirrel delicacies will do.

Cage traps usually feature wired net walls or bars (horizontal and vertical). They are tightly woven or welded together so the squirrel, no matter how small will not be able to squeeze through and escape.

The traps also have a lever and a door that seals shut once the unsuspecting squirrel enters. As it closes, the squirrel will not be able to open it and it will be yours to dispose of.

What you need to do is get as many cage traps as you need, depending on the level of squirrel activity in your yard. If you need more than one trap, then so be it.

Position the traps in the areas where the squirrels visit regularly and keep the trap door open using the lever. Keep some of the squirrel’s favorite food in the trap and wait.

You need to position the trap in an area where the squirrels can easily reach.

The lever of the trap door is usually in the way of the entry point, so there’s no way a squirrel can run into the trap without striking it. Once the lever is struck, the trap door will be shut and the squirrel will be locked in.

If you do not know what to do with the squirrel after it has entered the trap call a wildlife official in your area. They will be in the best position to get rid of the animal.

Please keep in mind that the traps should not kill the squirrel.

You should also be updated with the wildlife regulations regarding animal trapping, killing or disposal in your county or state just to be sure you don’t break the law.

You can get a wildlife official’s contacts from the internet.

How Your Yard Can Be Unattractive To Squirrels

Besides warmth, food and water are the only other reasons a squirrel will be interested in visiting your place. If your house provides these, then the squirrels will visit regularly.

Below, we will be looking at some tips on how to make your house unattractive to squirrels.

1. Place Bird Baths And Feeders Out Of Their Reach

Bird baths and bird feeders are great for the birds, but they also attract squirrels in need of food and water.

If the squirrels can access the bath and feeder, then they’ll keep coming back for more.

Luckily, birds can fly and squirrels cannot. For this reason, you should place the feeder high up the ground at a height where the squirrels cannot reach.

The further away from the ground the feeder and bath are, the harder it would be for the squirrels to reach and at some point would lose interest in trying.

This is one of the best squirrel deterrents.

2. Keep Your Garden Shrubs Trimmed

As we mentioned earlier in this article, squirrels do not fancy open spaces, as they would want to remain out of a predator’s sights. For this reason, they creep through thick shrubs and stay hidden.

If you do not practice proper garden maintenance, then you will be left with overgrown shrubs, and this would be perfect for squirrels.

All you have to do to make your garden more unattractive to them is to trim the shrubs regularly so that it is neat and spaced out.

If the shrubs are not as thick as the squirrels would like, they would have to find alternative options, since they wouldn’t feel safe creeping through shrubs that exposes them.

 Keeping your shrubs well trimmed may not deter all the squirrels around, but it will significantly reduce their population.

3. Keep Your Trash Bins Sealed

Squirrels, just like other rodents are very skilled and determined scavengers, and are willing to go almost anywhere in search of food.

Your outdoor trash bin is a great source of left over junk and they will gladly go in to see what they can find, but only if they have access to it.

Make sure you keep your outdoor trash bins tightly sealed so that the squirrels cannot get in.

You should also ensure that the base around the bin is free of spilled food. When you dump the garbage, be sure everything gets into the bin. Squirrels will gladly pounce on whatever pieces of food is left on the floor.

4. Pick Up Rotten Fruits From The Garden Floor

Tree squirrels love trees so they will remain attracted to them. And while you cannot fell your trees simply because of a squirrel problem, you can limit the number of fruits that attract them to your garden.

You can do this by picking up all the fallen fruit on your garden floor. Leaving them there will mean easy pickings for the squirrels and they will keep coming back to see if there’s more.

Squirrels have a good sense of smell, and they will be able to easily pick up the scent of fruits from miles away, especially when they just begin to rot.

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How To Keep Them From Entering Your Home

If squirrels are not satisfied with the food and water your yard or garden has to offer, they may begin to explore other options.

Inside your home is one of them.

It actually may not be food or water that draws them in, it could also be shelter for the winter season.

Whatever the reasons are, they haven’t welcomed guests and we’re sure you’d like to keep them out.

Follow the tips below to make sure squirrels do not enter your home.

1. Keep Your Windows And Doors Closed

Having proper ventilation is great for a home, but that would mean leaving the doors and windows open. If there are squirrels lurking around, they will easily enter through any one of these mediums.

Be sure to keep your doors and windows closed to prevent squirrels.

2. Install Mesh Screens

For ventilation sake and natural airflow, it’s actually a good idea to leave the doors and windows open every once in a while. Yes, the squirrels can run in through an open window, but not if you install mesh screens to prevent squirrels from coming in.

Be sure to have one installed by each window and door. You should also buy a mesh screen made of durable materials. This is because some squirrels may be stubborn enough to try and chew through the netting.

3. Check For Breaches In Your Walls Or Attic

Another means by which a squirrel can enter your home or attic is through a breach in the walls.

If you notice any signs of them around the attic, then you should go round and conduct a thorough inspection of your structure.

Identify all the breaches and get a professional to seal them off. If it is a minor breach, then you can get some pieces of wood and nail them shut all by yourself.

You should also check for breaches in your mesh screens, just in case they have managed to chew through.


Squirrels are very troublesome pests, not only because they eat your garden fruits, mess up your flower beds, and damage structure, but they also carry diseases that are harmful to humans.

Thankfully, getting rid of them isn’t so tough. You can repel them, trap them, or scare them away.

We hope this article on how to get rid of squirrels has been of help.