Red squirrels living in favorable conditions without natural predators around can live up to 5 years. Gray squirrels on the other hand typically lives about 12 years. They mate once or twice a year, producing up to 8 babies.
Seeing squirrels in spring may be a welcome sight for many people but it starts to become a problem when their population grows. They can dig up flowers and crops, gnaw at wires and destroy irrigation pipes. Some species like the red squirrel also hunt baby birds. And when squirrels get inside your house, they can cause quite a mess.
They’ll get into vents and chimneys, build a nest in your attic or basement, and eat through cereal boxes and scavenge your kitchen for food. Squirrels can also transmit diseases to people and other animals such as tularemia and leptospirosis, bubonic as well as fungal and bacterial infections.
If you don’t want to deal with squirrels in your property, here are some tips you can consider:
1. Don’t Give Them Access to Food
If you have trees and plants in your yard, you may want to remove those that bear nuts, berries and other fruits. If you have a bird feeder, you can mount them on tall poles with metal sheet to prevent the squirrels from gaining access to the food. If you have pets, don’t leave food bowls or treats in your garden, patio or yard.
For gardeners, you can fence planting areas in such a way that the squirrels cannot climb over or dig through. By making food sources difficult, if not impossible to get, you can discourage squirrels from staying in your property.
2. Use Squirrel Repellants
You can use repellants specifically made for squirrels, or you can use those that repel rabbits as they can also work on squirrels. These products often contain or simulate the smell of foxes, coyotes and other predator animals to scare them away. You can purchase repellants in gardening stores, nurseries and in online shops.
3. Encourage Natural Predators
If you’re up for it, you can put a harmless, non-poisonous snake in your garden to drive the squirrels away. Hawks and owls can also do the same job. Check your state and city regulations if this is allowed.
4. Set Up Live Traps
Live trapping in urban areas is usually allowed. Make sure the trap is big enough to catch squirrels but not too big that it might catch other wildlife you don’t intend to bother. Bait with food that they like to eat. If your state allows the releasing of live squirrels, you can transport them to a wildlife location far away from where you live. Be warned that live trapping and transporting squirrels may mean having to deal with dozens of them at a time.
Why are Squirrels in Your Property?
The first step to preventing a squirrel invasion is to know why they’re there in the first place. They usually gravitate to a property if they find sources of food, shelter and water so if you don’t provide them with access to these things they won’t be hanging around for long.
Most extermination and pest control services like Massey Pest Control can help trap and get squirrels out of your house, but it gets increasingly difficult to remove squirrels outdoors. They may be able to set up traps and do some changes to make your yard less squirrel-friendly. But ultimately, preventing squirrels from gaining access to your home requires consistent effort from the homeowner.