How to Keep Squirrels Away from your Property
Whether in urban or rural environs, squirrels are everywhere. Harmless and often amusing, they can also be a serious nuisance when they assault our lawns and gardens and occupy our buildings. When this becomes an issue, it’s time to take action. It’s not always easy, and it’s not always permanent, because squirrels are both clever and persistent. They often leave only to return when they decide it’s safe.
There are three basic approaches to reducing the creatures’ impact on your property. First, remove their reason for sticking around – and that means eliminating or reducing their ability to find food on your property. Second, make it unpleasant for them to live there and third, scare them off.
If you know what they are eating, make sure that that there’s none available to them. That means removing fruits, nuts and acorns that have fallen under the respective trees, and keeping a tight lid on the container you keep them in. Another common nutrition source for the animals is a bird feeder. If you have one, equip it with a squirrel guard. And be sure the feeder is not so close to a tree that squirrels can jump to it. Keep the area around the feeder clear of bird seed.
Certain repellents can also be helpful in discouraging squirrels’ presence. Some are common kitchen items. For example, they dislike the aroma of garlic, so placing some strategically around the premises can discourage them from entering. Similarly, planting a peppermint plant in the garden or, alternatively, dispersing cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil will help keep them away. Hot spices such as cayenne pepper and chili pepper sprinkled over the leaves of plants will quickly dissuade them from dinning as will a solution of chopped jalapeno pepper or garlic in vinegar, applied via spray bottle.
Commercial repellents such as mothballs can also be effective. Importantly, most of these solutions will have to be applied more than once, especially after rains.
Squirrels also are alert for predators. The predator threat can be as benign as a dog or cat that sees the rodents as playmates. They can also be real wild predators, such as bobcats and coyotes, so deploying animal urine or other repellent scents can be effective. These solutions also need to be reapplied after a rainstorm.
Physical barriers, electronic devices and motion-activated sprinklers have also been shown to be more or less effective. But in the end, once a squirrel gets used to the deterrent or senses that the threat no longer exists, it is likely to return.
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