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Humane Ways to Deal with Squirrels in Your House and Yard

Humane Ways to Deal with Squirrels in Your House and Yard


Who doesn’t love going to the park and watching a bunch of cute little squirrels run around and play, or sit perched on a tree branch with their fluffy tails curved over their bodies?  It doesn’t matter whether you live in the country, suburbs, or city…squirrels are among the most common species of wildlife around.  But what happens when squirrels get a little too close for comfort and end up in your house, or maybe start burying nuts all over your yard?



PETA has some great cruelty-free squirrel control tips for people who love squirrels, but just don’t want them scurrying around the attic in the middle of the night.  Check out these humane squirrel control ideas.



Squirrels in your yard:

Squirrel visitors to your yard are relatively harmless.  If you have a vegetable garden and suspect that squirrels are eating your tomatoes or other veggies, PETA recommends making sure what animals are actually to blame.  Squirrels are active during the day, so they’ll do any munching in daylight when you can see them.  If your veggies are being eaten at night, a nocturnal animal like a raccoon may be the culprit.  Either way, you can buy or make animal-proof covers for your vegetable beds.  A cheap option is to construct box frames made out of chicken wire and wood or PVC pipes.


You don’t have to worry if squirrels are digging holes in your lawn when they bury or look for nuts.  A little aeration is good for your lawn, and squirrels are a lot cheaper than landscapers.  If squirrels are digging up your flower beds, PETA recommends planting flowers they don’t like (such as daffodils) or covering your beds with mesh.



Squirrels in your house:

More concerning to most people is when a squirrel moves from the yard to inside the home.  Female squirrels may enter places like attics and garages to give birth to their babies in a protected place.  A little work can prevent this from happening in the first place.  Make a yearly inspection of any possible entry points (like attic vents) and cover any holes a squirrel can enter (wire mesh is a good choice).  You should also trim tree branches that are too close to the house.


What if squirrels are already inside?  PETA suggests nesting mothers and babies should be left alone until the babies are grown.  Then encourage them to leave the nesting area by leaving a light on, playing a radio, or placing rags soaked in ammonia nearby.  Check to make sure the squirrels have left before sealing up any holes.  If you’re not 100% sure they’re gone, you can install a one-way door that allows them to leave but not get back inside. 



One final note:  squirrels in your house or yard should not be trapped and relocated to nearby woods.  You’ll never be able to completely stop squirrels from visiting your property, and relocating squirrels to an unfamiliar area could lead to territorial fights between your squirrels and the ones already living there.


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Sarah Andrews - May 25, 2021

I have been renting a house in the lower Hudson Valley of New York for over two years with my two young children. I am a vegan and animal lover and activist and a retired teacher of only ten years due to an unfortunate rare severe disease that left me wheelchair bound at a young age. I have had squirrels living in my roof area for over a a year, an have begged my landlord to take care of humanly, which they never did. The squirrels have gotten into my basement and ruined my children’s artwork from when they were very little, and have recently been eating insulation. This was concerning as I imagine this is very unhealthy to them, and could cause death. Due to covid, and medical bills, and lack of of help, they came while
I was far away in a hospital and simply boarded up the access point to the squirrels! This is completely uncalled for, and terrifyingly inhumane to the squirrels- who may have babies in the roof space as many, many squirrels go in and out of the space daily! I am extremely concerned for these animals, their lives, the absolute disregard for their souls and the fact that the values I instill in my children were taken away so underhanded behind my back while I was desperately seeking medical attention. I want to take down the boards and allow the squirrels to be humanely removed, but they the landlord lives directly across from me and seems to be watching me! Please help me as soon as possible so I can allow this family/pack of squirrels to survive- as it is never my intention to hurt ANY LIVING THING. Thank you for your attention and for all you dox

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