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SquirrelSquirrels are only active during daylight hours and sleep during the night. They are active year-round and do not hibernate. Squirrels will eat seeds, nuts, berries and pet food (if available).

Squirrels usually build their nest in trees, using leaves and other materials. In the winter, they prefer nesting in holes or crevices in decaying tree branches. They will also nest in attics, sheds, barns, non-running cars or trucks, covered porches, or patios.

What to Do If You Have Squirrels Getting Into Your Bird Feeders
  • Do not feed squirrels!
  • Spread Vaseline on the poles that the squirrels are climbing up.
  • Trim any tree branches that are hanging over the bird feeder.
  • Suspend the bird feeder from a wire.
  • Buy a squirrel-proof bird feeder.
  • Do not feed your pets outside as this attracts unwanted wildlife to your yard.

What to Do If You Have Squirrels Chewing on Trees 
  • Prevent squirrels from climbing trees by placing 18-inch metal cylinders around the tree trunks.
  • Purchase the commercial repellent "Ropel" (available at garden, hardware, pet or feed stores). "Ropel" is a long lasting, extremely bad tasting commercial repellant and will help stop squirrels and many other animals from chewing things such as wood, wire, screens, lawn furniture, etc.
  • Pour the "Ropel", full strength, into a tree sprayer that fits on the end of a hose.
  • Caution: Do not spray Ropel on fruits or vegetables that you plan to eat. Be careful not to inhale the mist of the spray because it will leave a bitter taste in your mouth for a couple of hours. Alert any neighbors that live close that you are spraying.
  • Spray the entire tree. This will make the leaves and bark taste bitter for weeks.
  • Once the squirrels realize the tree doesn't taste good, they will often never chew on that tree again.

What to Do If You Have Squirrels Chewing on Lawn Furniture & Other Things
Cover the furniture with aluminum foil when not in use. Squirrels do not like metal.
Remove cushions from lawn furniture when not in use.

What to Do If You Have a Squirrel in Your Attic
Squirrels in the attic are a very common problem. Damage to attics is often the result of squirrel habitation.

The following techniques are appropriate for adult squirrels. If babies are involved, humane eviction should be delayed until the babies are old enough to leave the nest and survive on their own.

Find their method of entry:
  • Check outside for any entrances.
  • Go into the attic and look for light shining in from the outside. This may be an entrance.
  • Check the attic vents as a possible source of entry.
  • Encourage squirrels to leave by placing ammonia bombs in the attic.
  • For the best results, closing holes should be done mid-morning on a warm, sunny day. The squirrels are usually out eating at this time. Check to make sure the squirrels are out before starting.
  • Block holes with crumpled newspaper and repeat until the newspaper remains undisturbed. This indicates that the squirrels are no longer gaining access to your attic.
  • Once the squirrels have vacated the attic seal the holes with metal or wire mesh and then a piece of wood.

Check for babies: 
  • Babies are born twice a year, in the spring (January - April) and in the fall (August - September).
  • Search the attic for nests.
  • Nests are usually made from insulation and other materials.
  • Nests are usually located closer to the outer edges of the attic. Some are between the studs and into the eaves.
  • A pole may be used to check for babies in hard to reach areas. Be very careful not to injure the babies.
  • You will want to leave the nest undisturbed until the babies are older and on their own. This happens at about 12-14 weeks of age.

Trap Method
Or try the block and trap method:
  • If you need the squirrels out immediately, contact Animal Control or a private pest control company.
  • If all of the holes are blocked and it appears that the squirrel is blocked in, then live-traps may be set in the attic.
  • When the squirrel is caught, immediately cover the trap with a large towel or blanket to reduce stress and then simply take it outside and let it go. The squirrel should be released at or very near the site where it was live-trapped. Improper relocation to other areas or other habitats usually results in death for the relocated squirrel.
  • Be sure to use a repellent around the holes that have been blocked.

Trapping and relocation of squirrels is not recommended as a solution. Since squirrels are territorial, your squirrels will also keep other squirrels out of the area, keeping the population to a minimum. If you remove the squirrels others will simply move in and your problem continues. Also, relocating an animal may result in death, starvation and unnecessary suffering for the animal.

What to Do If You Have a Squirrel in Your Chimney, Fireplace or Exhaust Fan
Under no circumstance should a fire be built to evict any animal. Fires will only burn and/or kill an animal, not evict it.

Chimney or Exhaust Fan
  • From the roof, remove caps from the top of the chimney or the exhaust fan pipe.
  • Drop down a thick rope or cloth, such as old blankets or sheets, so the squirrel can climb out. It is a good idea to tie knots in the rope or cloth about 1 foot apart. This will provide a more secure climbing surface. You may have to tie two or more together to reach the bottom of the chimney. Tie something to provide weight to the bottom of the rope or cloth; such as a hammer, pair of pliers, etc. Be sure to lower it slowly. This will help you to feel the bottom, especially if the pipe is curved. Also, it will provide stability when the squirrel climbs up and out.
  • Make sure it reaches the bottom.
  • Secure the rope or cloth at the top.
  • Leave the area completely alone. The squirrel will climb out in 1-24 hours.
  • Never leave the squirrel in the chimney for over 24 hours; it will die from dehydration (a lack of water in the body).
  • Once the squirrel is out, use a commercially built chimney cap to prevent recurrence. Exhaust fan pipes usually have caps on them. Use hardware cloth to block the area between the cap and the top of the pipe or any space that can be used as an entry point.

  • Under no circumstance should a fire be built to evict any animal. Fires will only burn and/or kill an animal, not evict it.
  • If the squirrel is in the fireplace, open the door to the fireplace so the squirrel can exit. Close all doors and window shades and provide only one source of light. Seal off exits from room to encourage the squirrel to move toward the light source. They will usually move towards the light and exit through an open door or window provided.

What to Do If You Have a Squirrel in Your House
  • Don't leave doors and windows open without having screens. Many curious animals can become unwelcome guests in your home.
  • If a squirrel is in your house, the most important thing to remember is to stay calm. The squirrel doesn't want to be there any more than you want it in your home. Screaming or waving your arms will only frighten the squirrel into running throughout your house, which could cause some damage.
  • Close all the doors to any rooms in the house that the squirrel is not in.
  • Close all the curtains on the windows and/or doors. If necessary, use newspaper to cover light sources.
  • Leave the curtain open on the window or the door where you want the squirrel to exit.
  • Open the window or door as wide as possible. Remove the screen, if necessary.
  • If the above steps are not successful, contact Animal Control and a live trap may be provided.
  • Never touch or pick up any injured or sick wildlife. Always call for an Animal Control Officer to respond. You could be bitten and expose yourself to rabies or other disease or unwanted parasites.