How to Get Rid of Squirrels

Everybody knows that squirrels can really make a mess of your backyard. They dig holes everywhere and even build their homes in the nooks and crannies of the garden — giving rise to all manner of problems, not to mention that they just ruthlessly grab seeds out of bird feeders.

If you have squirrels in your attic, basement, or worse yet, inside your house, you probably want to figure out how to get rid of squirrels as soon as possible. Squirrels can be cute and fun to watch from a distance. But from up close, you figure out that they’re wild animals that can do a lot of damage if you let them get comfortable living in your house or business. They are known for chewing things like wires, which can put your safety at risk.

What are squirrels and how do you recognize them?

Squirrels are small, bushy-tailed athletic rodents. They are a part of the Sciuridae family, which includes over 280 different species of squirrels. The most common type of squirrel is the Eastern gray squirrel.

The easiest way to identify a squirrel is by its characteristic bushy tail. Squirrels have brown fur with red, black, and yellow shades mixed in. They typically weigh around one or two pounds, but some larger types can grow up to six pounds. Squirrels live for an average of six years, but some have been known to live as long as twelve years.

What do they eat?

Squirrels primarily eat nuts and seeds, but they will also eat insects, fruits, and other small animals. They have very sharp teeth that ease them to crack open nuts and seeds.

How do you get rid of squirrels?

The first step when dealing with squirrels is to find out how many there are and how they’re getting into your house. You can do this by looking for signs of squirrel activity around the outside of your house: Look for small tracks in the dirt, scratches on paint, and chewed leaves on plants. They sometimes leave droppings behind as well. If you find any evidence of their presence, there’s a good chance that there are more that you just haven’t located yet.

Trying to prevent them from getting into your home is a great idea, but there are times when they get in anyway. When that happens, you need to know how to get rid of squirrels. There are a few ways to get rid of squirrels, depending on the situation you’re in.


There are a few different ways to get rid of squirrels, but the most effective method is trapping. You only need to trap them and release them far away from your home or business. This can be effective if there are only one or two squirrels, but it’s not so practical if there are more. You can buy traps at your local hardware store or online.

Several types of traps are available, including live-traps, snap-traps, and cage-traps. When using a trap, be sure to place it in an area where the squirrel is likely to frequent — such as near a feeder or nest site.

Getting Repellents

Another way is to use repellents. There are two main repellents that deter squirrels from living in your yard: cayenne pepper sauce and hot pepper spray. You can make a spray with this bottle, but be careful as cayenne pepper is extremely hot and will burn exposed skin, eyes, and airways. Hot pepper spray built to keep humans out should do the same job on pests like squirrels. Both of these repellents are very simple but require a time investment; they only deter the animal while they are in your yard and not elsewhere.

The downside to this approach is that the squirrels may just move to another part of your property, and you’ll have to keep applying the repellent over time.

Water Sprayer

A water sprayer is known to be used effectively to scare off squirrels and other small animals. The motion of water hitting an animal may startle it enough to scare it away, or even injure it enough to prevent it from returning. Water sprayers also work as a deterrent to other animals, like raccoons and opossums.

The downside to this technique is that it will only work as long as the water sprayer is on; if you have to leave for an extended period, the squirrels may come back. It’s also hard to constantly spray water in all directions.

Habitat Modification

If you’re not comfortable with trapping or using repellents, another way to get rid of squirrels is habitat modification. You can make your home or yard less attractive to them by doing things like trimming tree branches and removing food sources. This method takes some effort but may be more sustainable in the long run.

Get rid of their food source

When you want to stop squirrels from coming to your house, the best thing to do is to remove what attracts them to your house – food. You can feed the birds in a place where the squirrels cannot reach, or put up a fence around your garden so they will not be able to get to the plants.

Using an ultrasonic device

An ultrasonic device emits a high-pitched noise that is inaudible to humans but will scare away animals. This method can be used for larger areas like yards or gardens and can be effective if the squirrels only occasionally visit your property.

The downside of this technique is that it may not work all the time and may not be very effective on older or more experienced squirrels.

Tips for preventing squirrels from taking over your yard:

  • Keep bird feeders out of reach. Place them high up in a tree or on a pole to prevent squirrels from getting to the food.
  • Feed birds other foods like cracked corn, sunflower seeds, and peanut hearts that squirrels don’t typically eat.
  • Use baffles around feeders and poles to make it difficult for squirrels to climb up.
  • Trim tree branches and shrubs away from your home to discourage squirrels from entering your property.
  • Install motion-activated sprinklers near areas where you see frequent activity by squirrels. The sprinklers will scare off the animals when they approach.

If these tips don’t work and you’re still having problems with squirrels, it is time to hire the services of a professional. Wildlife control experts can help you identify the areas where the squirrels are getting in and provide solutions to keep them out. They may use traps or exclusion methods like netting to solve your problem. Whatever route you decide to take, make sure the professional you hire is licensed and insured.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do squirrels do?

Squirrels are known for their playful and curious nature. They will often play with objects they find, such as acorns or leaves. Squirrels also like to hoard food, so you may see them burying nuts or other treasures in the ground.

Are squirrels a pest?

In some cases, squirrels can become pests when they start to invade homes or gardens in search of food. They may also damage property by chewing on wires or structures.

Are squirrels dangerous?

Squirrels are not considered to be dangerous animals, but they can carry parasites or diseases that can be harmful to humans or pets.

How do I remove them from my house?

Depending on the situation, there are a few different ways to get rid of squirrels. Some methods include using traps, repellents, or exclusion tactics. How successful these methods are will depend on the individual circumstances. For example, if there is a lot of food available for the squirrels, they may be less likely to leave an area. Conversely, if access to food is limited, the squirrels may be more inclined to relocate.

How effective are these methods?

The effectiveness of these methods will vary depending on the situation. Some people have success with store-bought repellents, while others find exclusion tactics more successful. Trapping is often seen as a last resort, as it can be difficult to release trapped squirrels without harming them.

What if I can’t get rid of them myself?

If you are unable to remove the squirrels from your property yourself, you may need to call in a professional. Wildlife control experts have the experience and knowledge to handle difficult situations. They will be able to assess the situation and recommend the best course of action.

How long will it take for them to leave?

The time it takes for the squirrels to leave will depend on the methods used and the individual circumstances. In some cases, they may leave immediately. In others, it could take a few weeks or even months for them to relocate.


The best way to get rid of squirrels is to make sure they have no food and water. And, if possible, you should also try to move your bird feeder away from your home. Squirrels can sometimes be beneficial around a house because they help keep the insect population in check. They may be cute and useful, but they can also cause damage to attics, as well as eat through insulation. Squirrels can also carry diseases that can be passed on to humans. If these pests become a serious problem, you may need to consider contacting an exterminator.

In conclusion, it is clear that squirrels can be quite a pest in a backyard area. They are hard to get rid of, and they may even cause damage. However, this is not a reason for you to despair because there are several solutions to solving the problem. Try using these suggestions to find out which one works best for your squirrel problem.