How To Get Rid Of Squirrels  

How To Get Rid of squirrels

Squirrels are cute and can be fun to watch. They are also important to our ecosystem and assist in the growth of different plants and tree species by burying nuts and seeds and then routinely “forgetting” where they’ve buried them.

Unfortunately, squirrels can also become problematic, especially when too many of them congregate on your property or when a family of squirrels decides to nest between your walls, in your crawlspace, or in your attic.

So, if you’re here looking for how to get rid of squirrels, we’re here to help.

Let’s begin.

Identifying A Squirrel Problem

Pic 1 a gray squirrel looking through green leaves
Squirrels may be cute, but they can cause serious structural damage to homes if they choose to nest in the wrong spot. 

As we mentioned above, squirrels can be fun to watch, and many people enjoy their presence in their yards and gardens. However, squirrels can get out of control, leading to costly home repairs, safety hazards, health risks, and even emotional distress.

You may have a squirrel problem in your home if you notice:

  • Scratching or chewing sounds in your walls
  • A strong odor of urine or feces
  • Chewed or damaged entry and exit points
  • More squirrels around your home than usual
  • Nesting material in your attic, crawlspace, or chimney
  • Squirrel droppings in your attic, crawlspace, or chimney

You may have a squirrel problem in your yard or garden if you notice:

  • Chewed tree bark
  • Ransacked gardens
  • Large nests in trees
  • Bird feeders emptying quicker than normal
  • More squirrel activity in your yard than usual
  • Squirrel droppings around your property

While most of the time squirrels are harmless and even beneficial, when they become problematic they can become dangerous.

When squirrels overtake your yard, they are more likely to eventually find their way into your home by way of your roof, crawlspace, chimney, or attic. When squirrels nest in our homes, they can chew electrical wires which can lead to fires, cause expensive structural damage, and even lead to a higher risk of allergies, illnesses, and diseases in our loved ones and pets.

Are you wondering how to get rid of squirrels in your home?

The below video discusses squirrels and how to recognize if you have an squirrel problem in your home and what you should do next.

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What Is Attracting Squirrels To My Property?

Pic 2 a squirrel upside down at a bird feeder
Squirrels are attracted to any food left outside like birdseed or pet food. 

You can help reduce the number of squirrels you have showing up on your property by making your home and yard less hospitable to them.

Experts agree that squirrels are most attracted to:

  • Fallen fruits and nuts from trees
  • Vegetable gardens
  • Food left outside for other animals including bird seed and pet food
  • Unattended garbage cans without lids
  • Compostable food waste tossed outside

But does this mean you can no longer feed your beloved Blue Jays? Does this mean you should cut down your fruit trees and remove your vegetable garden?

Of course not! You can still have the yard and home of your dreams and find ways to repel squirrels at the same time. It just takes a bit of extra work.

So, how do you get rid of squirrels in your home and garden? Let’s take a look at some popular methods.

How To Get Rid Of Squirrels – Best Treatment Methods

Pic 3 a squirrel looking down on a tree
There are several safe and humane ways you can get rid of squirrels.

There are a few different methods you can use when looking for how to get rid of squirrels.

  • Repellents

Most homeowners find that repellents work well to keep squirrels and other pests from wreaking havoc on their gardens, yards, and homes. Most repellents are natural and safe to use around children, and consist of natural oils like peppermint oil. You can also use noise repellents like ultrasonic plugins when looking for how to get rid of squirrels.

  • Traps

Traps are one of the easiest methods to use when considering how to get rid of squirrels in the home, especially when it comes to relocating nesting squirrels. If you do have nesting squirrels in the home, however, we recommend you contact a professional who can help you determine the size of your squirrel problem and help you safely trap and relocate them.

  • Preventatives

Preventing a squirrel problem can go hand in hand with working on how to get rid of squirrels. Prevent future squirrels by keeping your yard clean and tidy, and pick up fallen fruit, bring in ripe vegetables from your garden, and don’t leave pet food out.

  • Home remedies

There are plenty of home remedies you can use when working on how to get rid of squirrels effectively. You can use simple ingredients like cayenne pepper or even use essential oils like peppermint oil to make your own squirrel repellent sprays. We will learn more about these home remedies below.

For now, let’s talk about how to get rid of squirrels using repellents.

How To Get Rid Of Squirrels Using Repellents

Pic 4 a squirrel looking up
Squirrels are clever and athletic, but if you make it difficult for them to find food and shelter, they will likely go elsewhere. 

Repellents are some of the best and most effective tools you can use when working on how to get rid of squirrels in your yard. Furthermore, when used properly, repellents can help prevent squirrels from entering your home and nesting in your walls, chimney, or attic.

Some of our favorite products for how to get rid of squirrels naturally are all natural, pet-safe squirrel repellents you can use around your home and garden. We have listed a few of our favorites below.

Ultrasonic Electronic Squirrel Repellent

If you are looking for how to get rid of squirrels in your home, attic, basement, celler, or even walls, we recommend trying an ultrasonic plug in repellent like the one listed above.

This product also works to repel other pests like mice, mosquitoes, ants, bed bugs, spiders, and more. It is safe to use in homes with children and pets and is a humane alternative to traps and poisons for those wondering how to get rid of squirrels safely and humanely.

Rodent Defense Natural Squirrel Repellent

This repellent is specifically designed for those looking at how to get rid of squirrels on boats, tractors, cars, or RV’s, but you can also use this product for inside attics and homes. It is all natural and uses essential oils to help not only deter squirrels, but also other pesky rodents like mice and rats.

It is safe to use in areas where pets and children play, and it leaves a peppermint scent that smells fresh to humans but is repulsive to squirrels.

IMustGarden Squirrel Repellent Granules

Squirrels can cause major problems to gardens, which is why we like this squirrel repellent by IMustGarden for those looking at how to get rid of squirrels and keep your gardens looking lovely.

These granules help reduce digging in flower pots and gardens and deters squirrels from burying their nuts and seeds in your garden’s soil.  The ingredients are all natural and safe for both pets and people, and it also is formulated to be safe for your garden plants.

Grandpa Gus’s Squirrel and Chipmunk Repellent

This is another squirrel repellent we like for those of you wondering how to get rid of squirrels naturally. We love that this is an all natural product that is safe to use in your garden, around your home, and in homes with pets and children.

It uses natural oils including peppermint and cinnamon oil, and it smells good to people but is a strong deterrent to squirrels. This product also helps eliminate squirrel digging, chewing, and damage overall by deterring them from coming anywhere near where it is sprayed.

Plantskydd Animal Repellent

Last on our list is an all around animal repellent for gardens by Plantskydd. This squirrel repellent works to protect gardens and yards from animals who dig and eat flowers and plants like deer, squirrels, rabbits, moles, and voles.

One application should last about two to four weeks. This is an excellent option for those looking at how to get rid of squirrels and other pests while protecting their garden effectively.

Most importantly, this product is safe to use around children, pets, and plants. And while you may need to reapply it more than once according to directions, this product is rain and weather resistant.

How To Get Rid Of Squirrels Using Live Traps

Pic 5 a baby squirrel on a windowledge
If you have nesting squirrels in your home, you may need to use traps to relocate them.  

Wondering how to get rid of squirrels using traps? Most experts agree that traps should be a last resort for those working on how to get rid of squirrels in their homes. However, if you do have a family of squirrels nesting in your home, trapping may be required.

If you choose to try and remove the squirrels from your home yourself, remember that you will need to take them at least three to five miles away from your home so they cannot find their way back.

That said, before you do trap and relocate squirrels, make sure it is legal to do so in your area and that you are following safety measures.

Now, let’s take a look at some of our favorite squirrel traps for those of you looking at how to get rid of squirrels using the catch and release method.

Havahart One-Door Squirrel Trap

Havahart is a humane, harm-free trap that helps capture squirrels alive so you can safely relocate them.

While this trap can catch other problematic pests like rats and weasels, it is specifically designed for squirrels and works using a “gravity action” door lock that is triggered and locks closed, so these intelligent and dexturious creatures can’t escape.

The top of the trap comes with a handle and the ceiling is completely covered for extra safe transportation during the relocation process.

Havahart 2-Door Squirrel Trap

This is another Havahart trap we like for those looking at how to get rid of squirrels by trapping and relocating them. It is similar to the first trap on this list, providing you with a covered ceiling and handle for safe travel, however this trap is a two-door trap and works with a spring trigger.

It also has smooth edges inside so the squirrel will not harm himself. The double doors allow you to place this trap in many different locations and is ideal for trapping squirrels inside and outside.

Kensizer Small Animal Trap

We like this small animal trap by Kensizer because it has extra small wesh siding so you’ll still be able to see when you’ve captured a squirrel but the squirrel won’t be able to claw or get out.

This is a great trap for those of you looking at how to get rid of squirrels both inside and outside. It is small, trigger loaded, and locks automatically once the squirrel is caught. This trap also makes for easy release as you can safely pull the latch from the top, keeping your hands far away from the squirrel inside.

Rugged Ranch Squirrelinator Trap

For those of you with lots of squirrels on your property who want to know how to get rid of squirrels quickly, you may want to try the Squirrelinator by Rugged Ranch. This is a live trap option that allows you to simply bait and set the trap, leaving it anywhere on your property where squirrels are a problem.

This trap can catch several squirrels at once, however, you must drive quite far to relocate them or they will easily find their way back to your property.

RatzFatz Catch And Release Live Trap

Last on our list of live traps that work for how to get rid of squirrels using the catch and release method is this trap by RatzFatz.

The name alone lets you know right away that this trap works for more than just squirrels, but we like it because it is pedal-triggered and you can adjust the sensitivity of the trap depending on your needs.

We also like that you can use this trap both indoors and out, and it allows you to safely and humanely catch squirrels and relocate them.

How To Get Rid Of Squirrels Using Home Remedies

Pic 6 Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper is a natural repellent for squirrels.

Some of our favorite home remedies for how to get rid of squirrels are listed below.

  • Plant Squirrel Repellent Plants And Bulbs 

If you’re wondering how to get rid of squirrels in your garden, why not try planting squirrel repellent plants? Some plants that repel squirrels include hot peppers, peppermint, geranium, daffodils, allium, lily of the valley, and hyacinths.

  • Cayenne Pepper Or Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Like most animals, squirrels aren’t fans of hot or spicy foods. Cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper flakes will irritate their noses and eyes when they dig around, deterring them from rummaging through your garden.

You can sprinkle crushed red pepper or cayenne in your garden, and even around entry and exit points to help deter squirrels from entering your home. However, keep in mind that cayenne and crushed red pepper can also cause irritation to pets.

  • Garlic, Vinegar, And Water Spray

You can make your own garlic spray at home using fresh garlic, vinegar, and water. Simply dice the garlic and add one cup of water and one cup of vinegar to a spray bottle. Let the mixture sit for a day or two and then spray on hard surfaces outside. Y

ou can use this concoction on fences, roofing, trees, and on barriers around your garden. Do not use directly on plants, however, as vinegar can be harmful to them.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Pure apple cider vinegar is perhaps the easiest home remedy to use when looking at how to get rid of squirrels naturally. All you have to do is add some to a spray bottle and spray it on hard surfaces and anywhere else you notice squirrel activity. Again, remember that pure vinegar can kill plants so don’t use it directly in your garden. 

  • Peppermint Oil

If you are wondering how to get rid of squirrels using essential oils, we recommend using peppermint oil. You can soak peppermint oil on cotton balls and leave them around your property, in your attic, in your crawlspace, or anywhere you would like to see a decrease in squirrel activity.

Squirrel Behavior And Habits – Facts You Should Know

Pic 7 a gray squirrel
Squirrels are most active in fall, but can be problematic all year round.

If you want to know how to get rid of squirrels and how to deter them from coming back to your property, it might help to know a thing or two about them. Join us as we cover some fast and fun facts about squirrels.

  • There Are 285 squirrel species in the world but just five squirrel species in the United States

There are quite a few squirrel species, and squirrels can be found on every continent except for Antarctica and Australia. The most common squirrel in the United States is the Eastern Gray Squirrel. This is the squirrel you will most likely find dwelling in your backyard or making a nest in your attic or crawlspace.

  • Squirrels Are Ravenously Hungry 

In fact, squirrels can eat nearly 1.5 pounds of food a week, which is just about their body weight!

  • Squirrels are intelligent problem solvers

Because of this, they can be difficult to get rid of. So, when wondering how to get rid of squirrels, remember that they won’t give up the first time they encounter an obstacle.

  • Squirrels are believed to be responsible for up to 20% of House Fires in The US

When considering how to get rid of squirrels in your home, don’t take your time. It’s not just their annoying scratching and clawing you need to be worried about. Squirrels are infamous chewers and chew through everything, including electrical wires.

Are Squirrels Dangerous To People And Pets?

Pic 8 a person feeding a squirrel
Squirrels are not generally aggressive if left alone, although they can carry diseases and cause house fires. 

Well, considering squirrels are responsible for such a large number of house fires in the United States each year, we would have to say yes, they can pose a danger to humans and pets.

That aside, squirrels are typically not aggressive and can be quite entertaining and fun to watch.

However, squirrels can still pose a danger to humans and pets. Squirrels can carry a number of diseases, and their feces can contain deadly bacteria like salmonella, tularemia, and leptospirosis. Squirrels can also carry fleas and ticks on their fur which can easily transfer to pets and people.

How To Get Rid Of Squirrels For Good- When Should I Call A Professional?

Pic 9 a gray squirrel on a tree branch
If squirrels are outside, you can use the above remedies to repel them. However, you may need to call a professional if you think squirrels have nested inside your home.

When thinking about how to get rid of squirrels nesting in your home, you may find that the easiest, most effective method is to contact a professional.

This applies to those of you who are suffering from an especially serious squirrel infestation in your home or inside your walls. Remember, squirrels can cause hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of damage, and even lead to serious and deadly house fires if they chew through electrical wires.

Furthermore, when squirrels do take to nesting in your home, it’s often because they are having babies. When you remove squirrels, it’s important to remove all of them at once so you can relocate mothers with their infants.

A professional can help you to quickly and safely trap and relocate squirrels. Once you have removed the squirrels from your property, we recommend you take immediate action to prevent them from coming back.

Tips On Preventing Future Squirrel Problems

Pic 10 eight squirrels in the snow
Squirrels may continue to cause problems if preventative measures aren’t taken to control them. 

Just because you have figured out how to get rid of squirrels successfully doesn’t mean they won’t come back. This is especially true if you have a home or property that is naturally attractive to these curious and clever creatures.

Once you have removed squirrels from your property, we recommend following the below steps to ensure you won’t have to face another squirrel problem again any time soon.

  • Caulk and seal entry and exit points
  • Clean up fallen fruit and nuts from trees
  • Fence in gardens
  • Use squirrel repellents
  • Use squirrel-proof bird feeders and install feeders at least 30 feet from your home
  • Keep pet food inside
  • Trim tree branches so they are at least six feet away from touching your home
  • Cover vents and chimneys with mesh screens

Remember, squirrels are athletic, intelligent, and natural problem solvers. Don’t underestimate them and their ability to outwit you. That said, when following these methods for how to get rid of squirrels, you should be able to keep them under control and out of your home.

We hope this article has helped you figure out how to get rid of squirrels on your property and that you will stay safe and squirrel free from here on out! Best of luck!