How to Get Rid of Grey Squirrels in the Yard


Gray squirrels get their name from their predominant color, though some individual animals show a tinge of red, and a few share a genetic trait that makes them almost completely black. They reside in nests they make in trees. The favorite foods of gray squirrels are nuts, fruits, tree bark and other vegetation. While arguably cute in their branch-hopping, scurrying antics, gray squirrels pose enough of a problem to home insulation, garden trees and plants that measures need to be taken to remove them from some areas.

Controlling Gray Squirrels

Step 1

Block all holes where squirrels can enter. For houses use wire mesh or a similar material. Check for access points under eaves, in wall spaces, on roofs and under garden fences. Use netting to cover vulnerable young trees. Make physical barriers to prevent gray squirrels from entering unwanted areas wherever possible.

Step 2

Apply non-lethal repellents to drive gray squirrels away from sensitive areas. Sprinkle strong-smelling spices like ground cinnamon or chili powder everywhere gray squirrels are not welcome. Alternatively, make a spray by steeping fresh garlic in water and apply the spray in off-limits areas. Reapply the repellent every few days or after a rain.

Step 3

Trap local gray squirrels, if physical barriers and repellents are not sufficiently effective. Check local ordinances to see if it is legal to release squirrels from live traps elsewhere, as many municipalities allow only traps that kill these pests. Put corn or similar bait in the traps. Check them at least once daily to see if any squirrels have been snared. Dispose of dead animals promptly.

Step 4

Poison squirrels with a warfarin-based formula if all else fails. Follow the package directions very carefully and place the poison-laced food in areas infested with squirrels. Check the area every two or three days. Replenish poison as needed. Dispose of dead animals promptly.

Tips and Warnings

  • Poison is always dangerous. Make sure the poison will not be attractive to neighborhood pets or children.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire mesh
  • Netting
  • Ground cinnamon, chili powder or garlic
  • Squirrel traps (optional)
  • Warfarin (optional)


  • Exterminate: How to Get Rid of Grey Squirrels
Keywords: repel squirrels, squirrel pests, gray squirrels

About this Author

Elise Cooke's first book, "Strategic Eating, The Econovore's Essential Guide" came out in 2008. The UC Davis international relations graduate's second book, winner of the 2009 Best Books USA Green Living Award, is "The Grocery Garden, How Busy People Can Grow Cheap Food." Her third book, "The Miserly Mind, 12 1/2 Secrets of the Freakishly Frugal," will be out early in 2010.