Squirrels are common here in the Fox Cities and throughout Wisconsin. Almost all of us have stories about watching the cute furry creatures scamper around the trees and fence lines in our backyards or sneak away with some food while camping or picnicking. While squirrels are “cute” from a distance, they are wild animals and can cause a lot of damage to your wiring, siding, and landscaping if they manage to make their way into your home. Let’s look for some ways to identify if you have a squirrel problem and some easy ways to keep them out of your home and garden.
How Do You Know You Have Squirrels In Your House?
Squirrels are similar to mice, rats, and other pests, which makes sense since they are also classified as rodents. So, how can you tell the difference if you don’t see them? Much like rats and other rodents, you can tell you have a squirrel problem by their droppings, nests, and behaviors.
- Unlike most mice and rats, squirrels are active during the day and sleep at night. If you’re hearing the scampering sounds during the day, it’s likely a squirrel.
- Because they’re larger than mice/rats, squirrels tend to naturally make more noise and cause more damage.
- Squirrel nests tend to be big and somewhat loosely built and look a bit haphazard. They’ll use grass, shredded insulation, twigs, bark, and other materials and not hide it quite as well as other rodents do.
- Mice and rats tend to leave marks with their tails. Squirrels bound more when they move, so the tracks look different.
- Because they’re bigger animals, squirrel entry points tend to be larger than mice/rats. They’re also climbers, so entry points tend to be higher up around your roofline or windows.
How to Deter Squirrels from Your Home & Garden
The most common problem areas where homeowners have to deal with squirrels causing trouble is their attics and gardens/landscaping. To prevent potential damage to your wiring, siding, and your plants, here are a few easy steps you can take…
- Get a dog to help keep the squirrels at bay. Just your pet’s barking and scent can be a big deterrent for squirrels and other rodents.
- If you don’t have a pet, you can also buy predator urine from your local sporting goods store and use it around plants and your roofline, gutters, and other crevices. The smell will deter squirrels and other pests.
- Sprinkle a mixture of cayenne pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes, and other spices around your plants and your roofline. Squirrels won’t like the taste if they start to gnaw on it.
- Keep your patio area clean. Now that the weather is warming up here in the Fox Cities, more of us are grilling and enjoying time in the backyard. That’s great — just make sure you clean up and don’t leave food out. Squirrels are attracted to food and will likely try and sneak away with your scraps. Along those same lines, be sure to keep garbage cans sealed.
- Use netting or fencing around your garden or as a temporary patch for holes in your attic/roofline to keep squirrels out.
Of course, even these natural methods aren’t foolproof and won’t do as much to help if you already have a squirrel problem. If that’s the case, you’ll likely need to call in a professional before the squirrels cause even more damage.
If you suspect squirrels in your Fox Cities home or business, K&C Pest Control is here to help. Contact us at 920-582-9000.