Will Repellents get Squirrels out of a Chimney?
When you move into a home, you don’t expect it to be a haven for wildlife. But squirrels, like other rodents, find that the living environments people create can be equally comfortable for themselves. For squirrels, open chimneys can be especially ideal or nesting and for nurturing their twice-yearly litters. And once they take up residence, they’re hard to dislodge.
The good news is that like almost every other animal, squirrels are terrified of predators and if they sense a threat to themselves and their babies, they are not likely to stick around. And therein lies the householder’s advantage. Chimneys generally are small, confined spaces with limited air movement, particularly when a damper is closed or if air flow within the flue is blocked by nesting materials. As a result, any odors introduced are likely to linger, whether noxious fumes like ammonia or naphthalene or predator derivatives like fox and coyote urine.
Few if any commercial repellents directly target the squirrel population but various general purpose solutions are available that address a range of vermin, including unwelcome squirrels. Eviction fluid, for example, is developed from the gland secretions and urine of male raccoons. It has been used effectively against various rodent populations and as such, it can also be useful in expelling squirrels from tight confines like chimneys.
There are also home-grown solutions that can apply as well to the confines of a chimney as to the expanse of a garden or lawn. All intend to establish an environment that’s discomfiting to the animals and thus induces them to leave. Such solutions include garlic, which seriously offends the animals’ sensitive noses. It can be deployed in bulb form or in pads soaked in the plant’s oil and lowered into the chimney. Peppermint oil can create a similarly offensive olfactory environment.
Eventually, of course, such deterrent fumes diminish in strength, making the space livable again and allowing the squirrel or one of its relatives to return. Squirrels are persistent creatures and since mother squirrels bear a couple of litters every year, they’re not likely to give up easily on a well-sheltered nesting place.
So, yes, repellents can work, but they’re not permanent solutions. The defense against a squirrel aiming to occupy your chimney is to block off their mode of entry with a chimney cap. If they can’t get in you don’t have to worry about getting them out….
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