Squirrel Control - How to Get Rid of Squirrels
Squirrels may be adorable when they’re climbing trees in the garden, but they can become highly destructive when they are in your loft space. Whether you love watching squirrels in the garden or view them as rats with bushy tails, you do not want them taking up residence in any part of your home. If you are dealing with unwanted furry houseguests then here are the squirrel control steps you can take.
Grey Squirrels and Red Squirrels
Most people know what squirrels look like. What you may not know is that there are about 2.5 million grey squirrels that call the UK home. The red squirrel however is now extremely rare and is currently identified as a protected species. Killing them is a serious offense, so it’s important that you know the difference. Other than the obvious colour difference, which can change over the seasons, there are other physical features to aid identification.
Red squirrels have ear tufts and a bushy tail that is one consistent colour. Grey squirrels do not have ear tufts and their tails feature a white “halo” around the edge of it. Red squirrels are smaller, measuring in at only 18 to 22 centimetres in length. The larger grey squirrel is between 25 and 27 centimetres long. Red squirrels also weigh less at 275 to 350 grams compared to 400 to 600 grams for grey squirrels.
The final distinction can be seen in behaviour. Red squirrels are tame, tending to stay close to the safety of tree cover. Grey squirrels, however, are bold and tenacious. They are at home on open ground and become quite the nuisance for your home and property.
Great Britain is also host to the Black Squirrel, which are essentially grey squirrels with high levels of melanin creating the black hair. Like the grey squirrel, they are not native to our Isles, in fact they are American, and were first spotted in 1912. So far, black squirrels have only been spotted in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, but are not protected like the native red squirrel.
These little critters will think nothing of turning your loft space into their own home. They will tear into insulation, put holes in plasterboard, chew on woodwork and even gnaw on your electrical wiring. The damage they cause can be extensive and immediate action to remove squirrels should be taken.
The best way to handle squirrels is to deny them access to your home. Holes in the exterior of the home should be patched. Open vent spaces in the soffits or roof should be fitted with mesh. The mesh size should be smaller than 25 millimetres to be effective against squirrels. Before closing off access, be sure that all squirrels have vacated the premises so you don’t trap any inside.
Squirrel traps are often used as effective squirrel control. It is important to know that the law makes it an offence to release grey squirrels back into the wild after they are trapped. They must be humanely killed by professionals. However, this is one of the best ways to get the invaders out of your home and ensure that they will not return.
The control of squirrels via poisoning is littered with laws and regulations, therefore should not be attempted by a non-professional. Only Grey Squirrel Warfarin Bait is to be used, poison bait for rodent control cannot be used. Warfarin poisoning can be used indoors, but if to be used outdoors consultation with the local Forestry Authority is essential.
Squirrel Garden Control
These little furry visitors can also cause a great deal of damage to the garden. They will dig holes to hide food and will dig up your spring bulbs for dinner. Your bulbs can be protected by covering them with wire mesh or an inverted wire basket that is staked to the ground.
If you have bird feeders in the garden, you will have to make them squirrel proof. You can also purchase a Bird Seed Squirrel Repeller, which humanely ‘spins’ the squirrel away from the feeder, eventually detering them. Of course, the best deterrent in the garden is to simply stop putting out any bird seed at all. Another option is to purchase bird seed supplements that contain pepper additives. The squirrels hate the taste but your birds will still enjoy the meal.
Humane Squirrel Control
Since capture and release is not an option, your best bet for humane squirrel control is to invest in a squirrel repellent available from Pest Control Supplies. Ultrasonic and electromagnetic devices are available for use in the home. They create sonic sounds or electromagnetic waves that the resident squirrels will find quite bothersome. While they should not be used in homes that have pet hamsters, guinea pigs, mice or rats, they will not bother other household pets or humans. You can also choose ultrasonic devices that can be used outdoors.
Other effective squirrel deterrent options are available for outdoor use. One such device is a motion activated water sprayer that is easy to install and can be used to drive away any larger garden pest. A motion detector senses when intruders are making a move for your garden and a burst of water will run the interloper off.
Squirrels can be a major pest if they move into your home. Prevent them from entering by doing a thorough examination of the exterior of your home, sealing any holes with wire if necessary. Humane methods of squirrel control can be highly effective and easy to use, allowing you to rid your home and garden of these furry little intruders.
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