The Q&A Archives: Squirrels

Question: What is the best way to rid my house and attic of squirrels? They are notorious for digging in my deck planters, destroying my plantings.

Answer: It's tough to deter these furry fellows. They seem to adapt to human strategies fairly well. I searched our database and found quite a few methods of pest control. Try to vary some of them over a period of time, which seems to help keep the animals at bay. Use a commercially produced predator urine. Cover the soil around planting beds with sheets of 1-2 inch diameter wire mesh. Squirrels don't like to walk on it. You can also try pruning trees so the lowest branches are at least 6 feet above ground and placing 2 foot wide metal bands around the tree trunks, positioning them so the bottom of each band is at least 2 feet off the ground. This will discourage squirrels from taking up residence in your yard. Squirrels and rabbits can be repelled by a number of home remedies including cayenne pepper mixed with garlic and sprayed around the lawn or blood meal sprinkled on plants. Other repellents include Ro-pel, Bonide rabbit-deer repellent, fox urine and vinegar. Repellents can also be applied to the bulbs before planting. A good dog or cat provides defense, but sometimes just the presence of pet hair around the garden is enough. Obtain dog or cat hair from a groomer if you don't have a pet. Good luck!

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