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How to Keep Squirrels Away: 8 Expert Strategies That Work

How to Keep Squirrels Away: 8 Expert Strategies That Work

Feb 26th 2021

Squirrels look cute and cuddly, but they can pose a big danger to your home and yard. They dig up plant bulbs and they chew.

Like most rodents, squirrel’s teeth grow nonstop. They chew on anything and everything to keep them trimmed down to comfortable levels. This doesn’t sound too bad until the little pests get into your attic.

Not only do squirrels love wood, but they’ll gnaw on electrical wires as well. Chew on the wrong cable in your home and you’ve got a problem.

Wondering how to keep squirrels away from your home and wires? Check out this guide to get a few pointers.

1. Feed Them and They Will Come

You are an avid birdwatcher, so you make sure to keep plenty of seeds in your yard to attract them. Whether you know it or not, you're attracting squirrels as well. The good news is you won't have to stop your hobby to detour the pests. 

Keeping squirrels away from bird food is easy if you're smart. You can mix your regular birdseed with safflower seeds. The birds won't mind the bitter taste too much, but squirrels are a different story.

You can also buy a squirrel stopper birdfeeder. The birds will be able to get to the food just fine, but the squirrels will have a problem with it.

Birdseed isn't the only source of food that your yard has to offer. If you leave your garbage can outside, the little guys will get into it. Make sure that you keep the lid on your trash secure at all times.

If you have trees in your yard that drop nuts and fruit, you'll have to go outside with a rake each day to clean up what the trees drop. It will be a free feast for the squirrels otherwise.

2. Maintain Your Plants

Squirrels don't like being out in broad daylight. They don't want to be seen by their predators, so they try to stay hidden in thick plants. If you don't have thick enough shrubs around your home, they won't view your yard as a safe place to nest.

Having long tree branches that lead to your attic windows is almost like rolling out a welcome mat to the pests. They will use it to get inside and nest. Be sure to trim your trees on a normal basis, or at least hire someone else to do it.

3. Predator Decoy

Squirrels are skittish little things. If they just see the shadow of something that looks like one of their natural predators, they'll scurry off.

You can pick up owl, fox, hawk, and eagle statues from the dollar store and put them in your yard. That will be enough to scare them away.

One important thing to note is this method is less effective the more days you leave your statues in one place. You'll have to move them around, or the squirrels will catch on.

4. Motion Activated Products

Again, squirrels are easily frightened. Sudden lights and sprinklers going off will make them run out of your yard faster than anything. Like with the decoys, you'll have to mix things up.

If the sprinkler goes off at the same time every night, they'll get used to it. You should set up your systems so they go off at varying times. This way, the squirrels will never know what's coming at them.

5. Natural Repellents

There are certain essential oils that squirrels can't stand. Put a little bit of peppermint oil in a spray bottle and douse the areas that see a lot of squirrel foot traffic. If you don't have any peppermint oil on hand, they don't like garlic either.

Squirrels are also not fans of spicy foods. You can sprinkle cayenne pepper or hot sauce in an area where they frequent and they'll leave it alone. It hurts their sensitive skin and eyes.

6. Predator Scents

If your squirrels aren't fooled by the fox statues that you have in your yard, you may have to up the ante. You can buy fox urine online or from a zoo and distribute it in your yard.

It's not the most pleasant way of keeping squirrels out, but it's effective. If they get a whiff of urine, they won't mess with your yard because foxes are one of their biggest natural predators.

7. Get a Dog

One of the easiest ways to stop squirrels is to go to your local shelter and get a dog. The dog will love playing in your yard and when it sees a squirrel, it will chase it. No pest will dare enter without the fear of coming face to face with this natural predator.

8. Discourage Them from Digging

Squirrels love to dig into your yard and pull up your bulb plants. You can prevent them from doing this by laying down mulch. They don't like it that much.

If you don't want to use mulch or whatever reason, you can also use gravel. The small pebbles make it hard to dig, so they'll give up after a while.

How to Keep Squirrels Away for Good

Squirrels are adorable, but they pose a danger to your home and yard. If they're able to use a tree branch to get into your attic, they'll chew up your cables. The good news is that they're easy to detour. All you need is a dog, gravel, or a few essential oils to keep them away for good.

Knowing how to keep squirrels away is only half the battle. There are even more pests waiting to wreak havoc on your garden. Check out this post to find out what they are and learn how to stop them.