8 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Squirrels in Your House

Evelyn Long

Feb 15, 2023

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Squirrels are cute little creatures that look harmless, but they can do a lot of damage to your home’s infrastructure. Infestations usually start because they find access to food, but sometimes they’re looking for shelter and find a nice cozy spot in an attic or cubbyhole. Here are eight simple ways to get rid of squirrels in your house for good.

1. Let Your Dog or Cat Help

If you’re a dog or cat owner, you have the simplest solution of all. Just let your furry friend do the dirty work. Sic’ em on the squirrels until all of the pests are gone. Your pet might make a mess in the process, but it’s better than letting the squirrels eat away at your walls and insulation. Identify the nest and let the dog act on its natural instincts.

In most cases your dog’s presence will frighten the squirrels enough for them to abandon their nests, but if the infestation has been a long-term problem, more drastic measures might be necessary.

2. Play Loud Music

Loud music is a tried and tested way to get animals out of your house. Squirrels, mice, bats, and other critters hate the noise and vibrations. Turn up your TV’s volume or use speakers to maximize the effect. Once the music starts blaring, the animals will start looking for a way out to escape the noise.

It’s best to play songs on opposite ends of the sound spectrum. Heavy bass and high-pitched frequencies will be the most irritating. If you have pets or young children, make sure you remove them from the house before playing the music. It’s also a good idea to warn your neighbors in advance.

3. Sprinkle Spicy Seasonings

Squirrels will eat almost anything, but they aren’t fans of spicy seasoning. Cayenne pepper, paprika and other spices with a kick will get rid of squirrels by stopping them from eating your plants and burrowing into your house. 

Sprinkle a variety of seasonings around your property’s most vulnerable areas every few weeks. You might notice that one is more effective than the others, depending on your climate and the diet of the local squirrel population.

4. Put Mint Plants Inside

Mint is another scent that squirrels hate with a passion. The scent and flavor are too overpowering, so squirrels avoid them like the plague. Put a few potted mint plants around your home’s entrances and in your garden. Any squirrel that tries to enter will get a whiff of the mint and find another place to explore.

If you don’t like the smell of mint, you can also use basil, cilantro or lemongrass. These plants have more appealing herbal fragrances that won’t leave your house smelling like the dentist’s office.

5. Lure Them Back Outside With Food

Food is the most likely reason squirrels infested your house in the first place. So, you might be able to lure them back outside with the same strategy. Put some food bowls around your property where little animals can eat without disturbing your house or garden. Some people even plant whole “sacrifice gardens” to maximize the effect.

6. Use the Old Spraying Technique

As with most other animals, squirrels don’t like to get sprayed with water. Spray bottles are common disciplinary tools for pets and you can use them for trespassing animals as well. Just give the squirrel a spray and it will high-tail in the other direction.

If you want to irritate the squirrels even more, use lemon or lime water. It might sting their eyes, but it won’t do any permanent damage. The smell and burning sensation will cause them to panic and run away, hopefully abandoning any nests they’ve made in your home.

7. Set up Traps

If none of the above tactics work, you can trap the squirrels and remove them by force. Plastic bird nets are effective traps that won’t harm the animals. If you need something more heavy duty, metal mesh or chicken wire will do the trick. The squirrels will either avoid the traps – thereby avoiding your house – or you will catch and evict them.

8. Seal Your Trash Cans

If the squirrels keep coming back, that means you’re providing a constant food source. Your trash cans are the most likely culprits. Seal them with airtight lids and put them in your garage or shed. Once the squirrels realize you have no food, they’ll find another house to bother. It might take a while for them to catch on, so be patient.

Remember – They’re Just Squirrels

If you have a squirrel problem, you should be thankful that the animals aren’t more dangerous. Some people have to deal with possums, racoons and territorial birds. These animals can hurt you if you get too close. Learning how to get rid of squirrels will be easy one you realize they’re harmless animals and you’re in control of the situation.

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