When squirrels get into your garden its destructive but have you experienced them inside your attic? Squirrels can damage insulation, sheet-rock, structural support, louver vents, gable vents and attic ventilation vents. They can chew electrical wires, air-conditioner duct-work, and dig holes in your ceiling. Squirrels also bring in nesting material and leave urine, feces, and parasites in your attic. There are a number of products on the market for Insect and pest Control, but do any of them actually work?
Home owners and home gardeners struggle to control their population, and to keep them away from plants, vegetables, and the flower bulbs you so carefully planned for next spring. They gnaw and chew through just about anything.
Here are some tips and ideas that we have tried with some success on the war against squirrels:
1. Trapping: Have-a-hart traps are an effective way to eliminate squirrels, but you need to remove them completely from the area, and they have a habit of just coming back. Depending on who you talk to, depends on is this works. Before you trap squirrels or any other animals, make sure to check your local laws. Many localities allow you to trap animal pests, but do not allow you to transfer or release an animal into another area.
2. Pepper Sprays and other sprays will discourage them. This one works for a time frame and depending on your olfactory likes and dislikes, could make your whole yard smell interesting. One taste or smell, and they may scurry to your neighbor’s garden. Apply sprays on plants and fruit. Apply every one to two weeks, and after rain.
3. Fences and screens: These have a limited effectiveness. Squirrels easily climb over a fence. Only if the plant can be completely screened, will you keep squirrels out. In most cases this is impractical, and it is also not aesthetically pleasing. The fencing must also be metal. Squirrels will effortlessly chew through wood and plastic netting.
4. If you can hunt in your area, this will obviously eliminate them if you are a good shot. A local large garden grower in my area told me flat out that Buck Shot was the only thing I would ever to find to solve my Squirrels problems. Check your local laws, for rules and regulations.
5. A natural predator that will help keep them away is cats, only if the cat is a good hunter. But you may hear about placing used cat litter and urine along your property, I found this worked only for a day or two.
In the end we came to the conclusion that pruning our branches back, removal of seeds (or securing bird feeders) along with other structures on the property (greenhouse) and removing any attraction for them was best. However, since they live in my neighbors’ trees I can only do so much.