Squirrels belong to the Sciuridae Family, Order Rodentia. They’re cute funny and adorable animals at a far but can be a nuisance when close by. They’re known to cause a lot of damage with their ever growing gnawing teeth always chewing on everything that they come across and in extreme cases can lead to catastrophic cases such as fires and floods. Outlined below are some common methods that will help you get rid of squirrels in both humanely and naturally ways that will do the trick of repelling and killing squirrels effectively.
Types Of Squirrels
Squirrels are divided into three different categories depending with their characteristics and habitation. There are over 200 species of squirrels which either belong to the tree squirrels, flying squirrels or the ground squirrels. Like their names suggests, tree squirrels live in trees while ground squirrels live underground. In addition, the flying squirrels live on trees like the tree squirrels only difference is that they can fly. The tiniest is the Africa Pygmy squirrel and the Indian giant squirrels being the biggest. In America, the most common squirrels are the red, grey, fox, flying and ground squirrels whereas in areas such as Antarctica and Australia there are none.
Characteristics Of Squirrels
Squirrels have slender small bodies with the smallest ranging between 7-10 cm and the biggest ranging 53-73 cm. They have bushy tails which are furry and thicker in some species and have large eyes while their color also varies depending with the species. Their limbs are adapted for climbing and grasping with versatile and sturdy claws. In tree squirrels, they’re able to rotate their hind limbs at 180 degrees hence their ability to descend from the tree head first. Their incisors are large for gnawing and are always growing throughout their life and their cheek teeth are at the back for chewing and are both separated by a diastema.
Life Cycle Of Squirrels
Squirrels mates during winter and summer seasons and after a gestation period of 39-46 days the little critters are born hairless, toothless and blind. The mothers will nurse their baby squirrels for about 6 or 10 weeks until they’re old enough to fetch for themselves and they’ll part ways. The baby squirrels becomes mature enough to reproduce in a years’ time and the life cycle starts all over again. The average life span of the adult squirrel is 5-10 years in the wild and can live up to 20 years in captivity. Life cycle of squirrels
Squirrels In Attic
Have you been hearing some noises in your attic from time to time? Attics are suitable places for the squirrels to live in as they’re warm, dry and safer compared to trees. Like all other rodents such as mice and rats, squirrels also pose a high threat in homes as they gnaw on wood and electrical cables causing damage and in extremes can lead to fire outbreaks. Squirrels will make scratching noises which will help you in identifying their presence in the attic and they’ll also leave scratch marks. They’ll also leave behind their droppings which closely resemble brown rat’s droppings and are about 2cms in size. Similarly holes on the siding, chewed wires or wood, as well as squirrel nests in the attic are signs of a squirrels infestation in the attic.
How To Get Rid Of Squirrels In The Attic
A squirrel infestation is not the greatest thing that can happen in your home. Squirrels will cause damage by chewing on wood, electric cables which can cause power problems and fires, drainage pipes which can lead to flooding. They’ll also poop and urinate all over leaving the droppings behind which can stench your attic and in case of sudden death while there, the odor will only get worse. Below are some remedies and procedures you can follow to get rid of the squirrels;
- Do a thorough inspection searching for their entry points and signs of an infestation.
- Using a mesh wire seal off any entry/exit point and leave one of the holes open.
- Set up a trap or a live cage, preferably a one way excursion door cage so that you can trap them.
- When you’ve trapped the squirrels, release them out and then proceed to completely shut the hole you’d left wide open.
- Alternatively, if you cannot afford a cage, using available materials such as wood or mesh wire at home, you can assemble the parts creating a squirrel trap.
- Repellents also work well in deterring the squirrels and drives them away from the attic.
Get Rid Of Squirrels Using Repellents
Readymade or Homemade squirrel repellents are a good application when it comes to getting rid of this small furry mammals. Squirrel repellents are available in granule or spray forms and they can be commercially produced or made from natural ingredients. Wet repellents are usually made with a mixture of water while on the other hand, dry repellents are water-free. Available electronic squirrel repellents are environment friendly and they range from light, water and ultrasonic repellents.
Homemade/Natural Squirrel Repellents
The most common homemade squirrel repellents are made from hot and spicy ingredients and they include; cayenne pepper solution, hot pepper and chili sauce solution etc. Homemade repellents are made using organic substances which squirrels detest.
Method of application;
- Boil a cup of water and add the required ingredients to create the repellents.
- Stir the solution thoroughly and let it chill after removing it from the heat source.
- Pour it into a spray can or spray bottle then shake well before applying.
- Using the spray can, squirt around the infested areas and apply as often as possible until all the squirrels are gone. Learn more about Squirrel Repellents on How to Create Squirrel Repellent.
Other natural repellents can be created from peppermint. Squirrels detest peppermint scent and you can create a solution out of it or plant some in your garden. Predator urine also works well in repelling squirrels which you can sprinkle some in your yard or attic where the squirrels are.
Commercial Squirrel Repellents
Due to increased numbers of squirrel population around urban areas as well as in attics, repellents have been commercially created for the sake of keeping squirrels at bay. They’re affordable and easy to apply and since they can easily be washed away, they need to be applied regularly from time to time. Some of the readymade squirrel repellents include;
Ultrasonic squirrel repellent devices use sound to chase away the squirrels whereas light repellents flash light which frighten the squirrels away and water electric repellents emit a spurt of water on the animal and since they contain substances that deter squirrels, they will be driven away. The following product is very Effective against Squirrels when you want to get rid of squirrels using Ultrasonic Repellent.
Use of traps is an effective method to get rid of squirrels as long as you’re using the right kind of trap in the right manner. There is a wide range of squirrel traps such as lethal traps and humane traps. Squirrels are cute adorable creatures and despite being a pest at times, it is not right to kill them mercilessly. Humane traps include live cage traps, one-way or two-way doors exclusion traps etc. there are also available readymade traps for immediate use at amazon.com such as the Havahart squirrel cage traps among many more.
Squirrel traps can be made from steel wire mesh, wood as well as PVC materials. Once you have the right tools, all you need is to assemble the different parts together, place them strategically in areas where the squirrels have infested and place a bait to lure the squirrel into the trap. The best bait can include peanut butter or any product made from nuts as this is squirrels best meal.