Printer Friendly Version: Nuisance Wildlife - Squirrels

Nuisance Wildlife - Squirrels

Nuisance Wildlife - Squirrels

Occasionally, a squirrel may choose homes in attics, chimneys, and small openings in buildings rather than their traditional, natural habitats in tree openings or leafy coverings. They may enter the house through uncapped chimneys, unscreened vents, or openings left by loose or rotted boards and can potentially cause further damage to a home.

Ways to Squirrel-Proof Your Home

  • Repair any openings in your home where animals can gain entry. Even dime-sized holes are access points.
  • Screen open windows.
  • Cap your chimney.
  • Close the open spaces of a raised home with cement blocks or lattice.
  • Use artificial owls, hawks, or snakes to discourage small birds and squirrels in fruit trees.
  • Sprinkle cayenne pepper around gardens/flower beds to keep wildlife from digging them up.
  • Clean up spilled birdseed under and around bird feeders.
  • Wrap plastic/metal guards around tree trunks about 5 to 6 feet high to limit access to trees and roof tops.
  • Trim back tree limbs several feet from roof tops.
  • Lock all pet doors at night to keep animals out of the kitchen or garage.
  • Spray fox scent to deter raccoons away from your property.

Encouraging an Animal to Leave Your Attic

The animal living in your attic chose the space because it is a dark, warm, and quiet place to spend the day or raise a family. Follow these three steps to encourage the animal to find a new home.

You will need:

  • clear ammonia
  • empty cans or containers
  • rags to act as wicks
  • a bright light
  • a portable radio

Step 1: Make the attic smell unpleasant.

Soak a rag in ammonia and place it in a container. Pour extra ammonia in the container and place in the attic. Use enough ammonia that the aroma is unpleasant but not so strong that it will kill the animal.

Step 2: Make the attic bright.

Hang a portable light in the attic using a high wattage bulb. Leave the light on 24 hours a day. The bright light will make the animal feel insecure because potential predators can see it and cause it harm. It also makes it hard for the animal to sleep, so the animal will search for a darker and safer location.

Step 3: Invade the attic with loud human voices.

Place a radio in the attic tuned to a talk radio station. Raise the volume so that the sound reaches the entire attic. Wild animals do not want to be around people, and by providing constant human voices, you make the attic a scary place. Note: Don't play music. Only the sounds of talking will scare the animals.

You have now eliminated every reason the wild animal chose your attic. It is now a smelly, bright, and noisy place. The animal must find a new home.

If it is a mother with young babies, it isn't easy to create a new nest in one night. Give the mother 3 to 4 days to move all her babies. Once all the animals have left, secure all entry points to prevent a new animal from moving in.

For more information, visit the Nuisance Wildlife webpage or call (985) 873-6709.