x
 
 
Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Squirrel Proof Your Home

By Erin Ringwald

Squirrels can be a nuisance. They can eat your birdseed, knock over trash cans, and destroy plants and trees. They can also find their way into your home. Once inside, they can chew on siding, scratch walls, and tear out insulation. Squirrels are notoriously smart. Many people use squirrel-baffling bird feeders to protect birdseed, but squirrels manage to find new and creative ways to reach the food. They are able to chew through thin wire mesh coverings. And, worst-case scenario, they can find their way into your living quarters and run wild. Protecting your home from squirrels is a two-step process. You'll want to protect your garden and property as well as your home.

Garden

Protect your trees. Attach a 1-foot-wide band of smooth sheet metal approximately 6 feet up the tree trunk to prevent squirrels from nesting in the tree. Adhere with a staple gun or nails. Keep branches pruned at least 6 feet from the ground.

Protect your bushes. Prior to fruit ripening, cover your bushes with a canopy of wire mesh that allows the plant to breathe but prevents the squirrels from reaching it. Hang aluminum pie plates from bushes to startle squirrels.

Protect your bulbs by placing store-bought metal cages into the holes. Or, cover the entire flower bed with wire mesh after planting. Dip bulbs in a commercial repellent prior to planting.

Barricade your flowers and produce. Use chicken wire, hardware cloth, and metal mesh. Spread over the planted area like you did with your bulbs.

Home

Remove the squirrels' food source. Feed pets inside only. Get rid of bird feeders. Keep garbage cans well covered.

Inspect your home for entrance points. Check corners for any failings. Use binoculars to check high spots. Look for black rubbings around suspicious-looking areas. These rubbings will be animal hair. Install a chimney cap. Repair or replace any damaged or missing trim.

Determine if holes are currently being used. Stuff newspaper in the holes, and leave for two or three days. Then check to see whether the newspaper has been disturbed. If it has not been moved, repair the hole.

Re-screen rooftop ventilation fans with galvanized steel wire hardware cloth.

Use animal traps that can be purchased at farm and supply stores. Place the trap near known squirrel routes. Trap inside only, as the outside is ineffective. Release captured squirrels a minimum of 10 miles from your home.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Sheet metal
  • Staple gun or hammer and nails
  • Wire mesh, hardware cloth, chicken wire
  • Pie plates
  • Commercial repellent
  • Newspaper
  • Animal traps