Squirrels can also cause extensive damage in the vegetable garden or
flowerbeds by eating vegetables flower bulbs and freshly planted seeds, and may
strip the bark off of ornamental trees and shrubs. They are often a nuisance
around bird feeders, frightening desirable birds and scattering seeds. Raccoons
are attracted to easy food sources, like garden produce, garbage, and pet food.
There are a number of animals commonly found in the urban setting that
can become pests. Squirrels, can tear up turf and flowerbeds, destroy
bird feeders and consume pet food.
During the winter, these animals will take advantage of spaces in
homes and storage buildings that can provide them with shelter and
warmth. Common damage caused by animals in attics and crawlspaces
include torn insulation, chewed electric wires and odors from their
Squirrels can enter a structure by traveling along electrical
lines, cable TV wires, or by jumping from nearby tree limbs and entering
holes in siding, unscreened vents or chimneys. Once inside, they often
damage insulation, wiring or household contents.
In addition to causing all of the previously listed problems that squirrels
cause, raccoons have also been known to wreak havoc in the water garden in their
attempt to catch the fish in a pond.
Get Rid of Squirrels.pdf
- Because using firearms within city limits generally is prohibited,
shooting squirrels is not recommended in urban areas.
- Trim overhanging tree limbs and limbs that are within jumping distance (5
to 6 feet) of the house.
- If they are traveling along a power, cable TV or telephone line have the
company or an electrical contractor place a slit piece of plastic PVC pipe ,
24 inches long, over the wire. When a squirrel or raccoon tries to cross it,
the pipe rotates and the animal loses its footing. Do not attempt to do this
- Cover chimneys or attic and crawl space vents with mesh screen. If a
squirrel does get into a chimney, it may be unable to get out on its own and
have to be removed. Consult your local animal control agency for help in
accomplishing this. Also be sure to remove any material in the chimney that
the squirrel may have brought in for nest building.
- Distract squirrels away from bird feeders by providing ear or shelled corn
away from bird feeders. Place bird feeders at least 8 feet away and 6 feet
off the ground. If the bird feeder is atop a pole, place a baffle on the
pole so that it cannot be climbed or lubricate it with petroleum jelly to
keep the animal from getting a good foothold.
- Place plastic pipe over ropes or wires suspending feeders so that the
squirrels cannot get a good footing.
- Animal-proof trees by placing 2-foot wide metal bands around them, 6 feet
off the ground.
- You can protect vegetable gardens by surrounding them with a fence of
1-inch mesh wire at least 30 inches high. The fence should extend 6 inches
below ground, with an additional 6 inches bent outward at a 90-degree angle
to discourage burrowing. Set at least two electrified strands, one 2 to 6
inches above ground and the other at fence height, off the fence about 3
- Protect newly planted bulbs with l-inch mesh poultry wire over the
plantings and covering it with mulch. You may also want to try soaking the
bulbs in a squirrel repellent before planting.
- Protect trees by wrapping their trunks with metal sheeting or using
baffles to keep the squirrels from climbing the tree. Remember to allow for
tree growth when applying wrapping.
- To help prevent scavenging by raccoons, use metal trash cans that are
fastened to a pole or to another solid object. A strap or latch that secures
the lid of the garbage can is also helpful.
- Consult your local animal control agency before attempting to trap any
animal so that you don't violate any local laws and always take precautions
to reduce hazards to non-target wildlife or pets. If you do resort to
trapping, good bait to use with squirrels is peanut butter.
- Repellants and Poisons: There are repellants that target both squirrels
and raccoons available at most nurseries and garden centers. Poisons are not
recommended because they place other wildlife and pets at risk.
- A three-foot, single-wire electric fence is the surest way of keeping
raccoons away from a pond. Do not use this method if children are a concern.