How to Get Rid of Squirrels in the Yard
Squirrels can be a real nuisance. These chittering, feisty rodents are common across the U.S. Though they’re generally harmless, you might want to get them out of your yard for a variety of reasons:
- Squirrels can be noisy and distracting.
- They eat nuts and berries that you might want.
- They might find a way into your house and decide to make their home there.
PetsAn aggressive dog or cat can keep the squirrel population low around your house. Dogs will often chase and bark at squirrels. Though the rodents can usually escape up a tree, they may eventually get scared off for good. A cat with good instincts will take a more lethal approach, hunting and killing the squirrels off.
Make Your Yard InhospitableSquirrels will avoid your property if they have no reason to go there. They’re looking for food and shelter, so deny them easy sources. Avoid using birdfeeders or birdbaths. Keep your trees and shrubbery neatly trimmed. Quickly harvest or remove accumulations of acorns, berries, seeds, and nuts. Keep your yard free of clutter and debris.
Rodent RepellentGeneral rodent repellents will scare off squirrels. These sprays usually contain the pheromones of predators. Squirrels, along with rats and mice, will avoid areas where they smell the presence of predators.
TrapsRodent traps can work well on squirrels. Bait them with seeds, peanut butter, or fruit. Some traps are designed to be lethal, but nonlethal options exist if you prefer. If you take the nonlethal route, be sure to release the squirrels several miles away from your home. Otherwise, they’ll just come right back.
HuntingDepending on where you live and your own capabilities, hunting the squirrels may be a viable option. Only consider this if you are trained in firearms use and live in an area where it is safe to use guns. You’ll get some good target practice, and squirrel meat makes a good stew.
No one of these strategies can guarantee a squirrel-free yard. However, they can effectively reduce the population if used in conjunction. If your own efforts don’t work, consider calling in a pest control expert for advice.