Squirrels are cute but unfortunately, they are quite destructive so squirrel repellent is a must. They get into your vegetable garden and ruin your veggies, they eat the seeds that you leave out for the birds.
Depending on the type of squirrels in your garden, they may even dig burrows in your yard. Squirrels, unfortunately, also like to nest in attics, leaving droppings and urine.
If there is a crack or a hole in a building, squirrels will make it bigger so that they can get in. Despite this, squirrels are essential to the environment since they carry microriza which help plants to grow.
They are the only animals who do. So before killing them, consider non-lethal methods. Let's look at how to get rid of squirrels in the yard naturally and keeping them out of your home too.
How to Repel Squirrels Naturally
There are many squirrel repellents on the market but these are often ineffective and harmful. Make sure that your squirrel repellent is natural and safe for your family and pets as well as effective.
1. Squirrel Deterrent (Natural)
Hot peppers work very well. You can sprinkle dried ground peppers or flakes around your garden or you can make your own pepper spray. You can use the dried flakes or powder, or chop up some fresh chilies or hot peppers and add hot water. Allow it to cool and put the mixture into a spray bottle.
You can also add crushed garlic and oil or Castile soap to your pepper spray.
Tip: If you find any cracks in your walls, you can apply the spray, or even some hot sauce, to the crack to deter the squirrels until you can fix it up. Mix cayenne pepper or paprika into your bird seed. This doesn't harm the birds but deters the squirrels.
2. What Smells do Squirrels Hate?
The smells that squirrels hate are usually pungent:
You can use these to make sprays to repel them. With the garlic and onion, you can use the same method as you would for the pepper spray.
With the other herbs and spices (essential oil), add 10-20 drops of essential oil to water in a spray bottle depending on the size. You can also add a teaspoon of Castile soap.
Tip: Another way to use these smells that repel squirrels is by dipping cotton balls in the essential oil and distributing them around your garden and other places squirrels like to hide, such as the attic.
3. Natural Predators
If you have a dog or cat, you may already have a natural predator. They might not always catch squirrels and eat them, but most dogs and cats will at least chase the squirrels. Though it's rare, keep an eye on your pet's stools and behavior to make sure that they don't get sick from eating the squirrels.
Owls are also predators that eat squirrels. You can attract them using an owl box which you can either build or buy. Put some pine needles or wood shavings in the box to make it more attractive.
If you have a lot of squirrels or have any rodent problem, the owls should be attracted to your garden. Keep in mind that owls regurgitate food and will have droppings when you think of placement.
Excretion from their natural predators will also repel squirrels. These are smells that squirrels hate because in nature it signals the presence of a predator. It becomes a natural squirrel repellent.
Tip: Pour fox urine around your garden. You can put it up in your attic too but using essential oils is a better option to use in your home. Your cat's litter can also be sprinkled in your garden.
There are a few types that you can use:
For Squirrels in Your Attic or Softlift
One-way doors are best. The trap is mounted at the hole used by the squirrels on the outside of your home. Once a squirrel enters the trap, it can't get out again. Don't place this trap anywhere the squirrels can just chew their way out again.
There may be kits (baby squirrels) up there too. You will need to get them out too. A mother squirrel will have nipples to feed her kits.
For Squirrels Outside
One-door traps, two-door traps, and repeater traps will work well. Place them in areas that the squirrels frequent or the paths they take to get there. You will need to get the squirrel to step on the trigger plate, so place bait like peanut butter, nuts, and seeds on the plate but make sure that the squirrels can't get to bait from outside.
Tip: Use gloves so that the bait doesn't smell like you.
Need to Trap a Squirrel But Have No Trap?
If you find a squirrel in your home and need to get it out right away, you can use a blanket. Put on some thick gloves, get a blanket and try to corner the squirrel.
Throw the towel over the squirrel and then wrap it up and put it outside. This may take a while and it's best to have someone help you, but it can be done.
Once your squirrel/s are trapped you can relocate them preferably to a wooded area away from your home. If you prefer, you can call a wildlife protection group or animal control to collect the squirrel instead.
All of this will be for nothing if you don't squirrel-proof your home and yard:
- Once the squirrels are out of your home, get all the holes and cracks fixed. Clean out the areas that they stayed in thoroughly.
- Put guards over your chimney and any vents.
- Keep all food including your pets' food closed securely.
- Put chicken wire around your plants to protect them.
- Plant peppermint, onions, and garlic between your other plants to help deter the squirrels.
- Keep your garden neat and rake up any berries, nuts, and seeds that have fallen regularly.
- Put a squirrel guard around your birdfeeder as in the video, or buy a squirrel-proof birdfeeder. You can also use thistle or safflower seeds that are fine for birds but squirrels avoid.
Get in touch with us if you have any questions on how to repel squirrels naturally.