Squirrels

General info

Squirrels are destructive little marauders that cause serious problems for homeowners. They damage trees, shrubs and ornamental plants when they burrow around the roots, gnaw the bark and feast on twigs and leaves. 

In the process of excavating their underground burrows, squirrels frequently tear out grass and other small plants. Things get really serious when they get in the attic and chew on electrical wiring. Squirrels can even burrow under concrete slabs.

The agile little acrobats are extremely difficult to control, so it’s best to use several techniques in conjunction. 

Signs of activity

There’s usually little doubt that squirrels have invaded your yard. Look for small, golf ball-size holes in your lawn. Leaves and fruit may show telltale bite marks or may be partially eaten. 
 

Habitat modification

Remove weeds and plant debris from your yard, especially beneath trees. Rake up fallen nuts and berries. Trim branches that overhang roofs or telephone wires to make it more difficult to squirrels to travel around your yard. Make sure garbage can lids fit tightly. 

Distraction

Sometimes it helps to keep squirrels occupied with a “legal” food station in an isolated area away from your favorite trees and plants. Keep the area well-stocked with squirrel favorites like sunflower seeds, corn or peanuts. 

Exclusion

Make sure vents and entry holes to your house or attic are securely sealed or screened. Cover plants with netting or chicken wire. Circle the lower 6 feet (2 m.) of tree trunks with wire or sheet metal (be sure the trunk has room to expand as the tree grows). 

Scare tactics

Motion-activated sprinklers or lights may help, but the benefit is usually temporary. Sometimes, the scariest thing for squirrels is the family dog or cat. 

Repellents

A repellant with the scent of predators may discourage squirrels when applied to grass and foliage.

Trapping

Trapping doesn’t work well for squirrels because a new population usually moves into the territory very quickly. Check with local authorities before trapping; squirrels are protected by law in many areas.

Squirrels are destructive little marauders that cause serious problems for homeowners. They damage trees, shrubs and ornamental plants when they burrow around the roots, gnaw the bark and feast on twigs and leaves. 

In the process of excavating their underground burrows, squirrels frequently tear out grass and other small plants. Things get really serious when they get in the attic and chew on electrical wiring. Squirrels can even burrow under concrete slabs.

The agile little acrobats are extremely difficult to control, so it’s best to use several techniques in conjunction. 

Signs of activity

There’s usually little doubt that squirrels have invaded your yard. Look for small, golf ball-size holes in your lawn. Leaves and fruit may show telltale bite marks or may be partially eaten. 
 

Habitat modification

Remove weeds and plant debris from your yard, especially beneath trees. Rake up fallen nuts and berries. Trim branches that overhang roofs or telephone wires to make it more difficult to squirrels to travel around your yard. Make sure garbage can lids fit tightly. 

Distraction

Sometimes it helps to keep squirrels occupied with a “legal” food station in an isolated area away from your favorite trees and plants. Keep the area well-stocked with squirrel favorites like sunflower seeds, corn or peanuts. 

Exclusion

Make sure vents and entry holes to your house or attic are securely sealed or screened. Cover plants with netting or chicken wire. Circle the lower 6 feet (2 m.) of tree trunks with wire or sheet metal (be sure the trunk has room to expand as the tree grows). 

Scare tactics

Motion-activated sprinklers or lights may help, but the benefit is usually temporary. Sometimes, the scariest thing for squirrels is the family dog or cat. 

Repellents

A repellant with the scent of predators may discourage squirrels when applied to grass and foliage.

Trapping

Trapping doesn’t work well for squirrels because a new population usually moves into the territory very quickly. Check with local authorities before trapping; squirrels are protected by law in many areas.