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Squirrels, Squirrels, Squirrels and more Squirrels

20 years ago

Help! I bought a house late last year. This Spring brought everything to life such as Squirrels. They are everywheres and are getting into everything. Two weeks ago, I scared several Squirrels out of my garage and promptly closed up the hole which was located in the front side of the garage where they were getting through. Well, this past weekend, I noticed several Squirrels running on the roof to the backside garage. Upon close inspection, I noticed a large 3 to 4 inch hole that was chewed through sofit area. This is a new hole. Now I got a nest of these Squirrels in my garage.

Luckily, they are not in the house as of yet, but there is strong evidence that they did nest in the attic sometime in the past. The previous owner must have closed up any entry points. I think it's a matter of time before they make a new entry point into the house.

I don't believe in killing these Squirrels since in general they are neat little things, but now I consider them as Tree Rats. I'm sure if I scared them out again, they will chew a new hole into the garage or the house.

Yesterday, I bought Rat poison at Home Depot. I know it will kill them since several years ago my father used it in his attic to get rid of mice/rats only to find out his problem was Squirrels. It did such a great job, none of the friendly Squirrels that my mother feed lived. They all died.

I am one step away from setting up the poison. Trapping is not practical since there are too many of these Tree Rats in my yard and I don't have a cat. Please email me at if you have a sure shot solution of getting these Tree Rats out of my garage so I can patch their new hole and how to deal with them letter on. I can garentee anyone if any of these Tree Rats get into my house, it will be full war on these rodents.



Comments (40)

  • trekaren
    20 years ago

    Spread mothballs around. Make sure to use enough to repel, but not so much that you smell up the whole house.

    It works. Make sure, also, that you don't have any other dogs/cats in the area that might ingest them. Better yet, put the mothballs in containers that are open enough to let the repelling aroma out, but not enough so that friendly critters aren't tempted to get nosey.

  • joed
    20 years ago

    A rag soaked in ammonia and stuck in a can up in the attic should drive them out.

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  • joed
    20 years ago

    Don't just fling the moth balls into the attic if you go that route. Put them in a can or something so you can remove them if the smell gets too bad.

  • saucydog
    20 years ago

    I thought I was the only person in the world who has "carpenter" squirrels. We repaired the damage in our soffit last summer and within a week, they chewed a hole right back in the same spot. We put hardware cloth over the hole to keep them out until we could repair the hole again, and they removed the hardware cloth and drug one of my children's beanie babies up there and left it sticking out of the opening!

    They're mocking us! I will try the mothball idea.


  • jasper_austin
    20 years ago

    The tree rats chew their way through the wall of of our old old board and batten garage. When we moved in, we thought in was kind of quaint that previous owners had patched the garage wall with a liscence tag sometime in the ancient past and painted over it. . . now I have about six new holes and I can picture over time that whole garage being made of car tags if I start using that patch method.

    They also get in our attic. We tried mothballs in the attic. The animals didn't seem to mind that much, but I hate the smell- big flashback of my great aunt's house every time the smell wafts down.

    And they plant pecan trees everywhere. And they throw sticks and nuts at my car. And they scold everyone who goes out in the yard. So besides being destructive, they have their annoying side as well.

    Don't feel guilty if you kill them. They really are just rats.

  • heymon43
    20 years ago

    ok, not really, they are actually quite different from rats! but i know it probably doesn't seem like it right now....i used to raise orphan squirrel babies, but before that, i used to really HATE squirrels....

    ANYWAY, don't bother with poison, yes, it will kill them all, and possibly some critters you don't want to kill (like pets, if they move any of the poison bait to pet accessible areas), but more than that, if you kill these ones, new ones will just come in to take over the same habitat....squirrels are nothing if not little opportunists, and certainly dexterous and clever enough to find a way in where they want to be....the trick is to make them NOT want to be in your garage or addition to mothballs or ammonia soaked rags, consider what else could ruin their happy home for them....they want a nice dark quiet place to raise their kids, right? brightly light your garage or attic 24 hours a day, and try obnoxiously loud music such as rap or heavy works for a lot of critters, and personally i got rid of a raccoon family in the porch roof like that....took less than 24 hours of a work-light and radio, and mom was going back and forth carrying her kits out of there to a nicer location..

    also the book outwitting squirrels may have some suggestions, my sister has pesky squirrels and i heard about it from her....and GOOD LUCK!

  • bigdummy
    Original Author
    20 years ago

    This message is the followup on my squirel problem..

    I regret that I had no workable option offered to me to rid the squirrels other than poison. I had many responses via my personal email on suggestions posted here as well as others not posted. The garage that housed the unwanted squirrels is rented to someone with a classic car worth thousands of dollars. I am liable for any damage to his car through my neglect if the squirrels decided to nest in his car. Luckily, when the problem was discovered, he had his car in the shop for upgrades and body work and no damage was found to his car other than he complained that something was dropping junk on his car while it was parked inside the garage.

    Mothballs would drive the renter out of the garage, lights and loud music are out of the question, setting up a live trap is not reasonable since I am not at the house everyday (I got two houses), chasing the squirrels out and repairing the holes only result in new holes chewed through the wood within hours. I tried the special sprays made to drive out squirrels that I purchased from the local garden center, but that had no effect other than making me choke and run for fresh air. If I'm successful in driving the squirrels out of the garage, they may take refuge in the third floor attic/sofit area where they originally nested when I purchased the house last fall. It cost me big $$$ to have the damage repaired since I could not reach the third floor with my ladder. I can not afford these needles expensive repairs.

    I did not feel good after seeing innocent wildlife dead because of this situation and it brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. We have and enjoy the many species of birds, a few rabbits, a ground hog, and a sunk that made a home on my property. I enjoyed watching the squirrels running around the yard too.

  • twelvepole
    20 years ago

    Never use mothballs indoors. The EPA states that they are toxic to humans. The smell is next to impossible to get rid of. Click the link to learn about squirrels and their control.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Squirrel Control

  • trekaren
    20 years ago

    All I can say is we spread mothballs in the attic where we had squirrel problems, and it repelled them. We used just enough to repel, but not so much so that we could smell it. It didn't take very much. I think if my choice was strictly between mothballs and poison I would choose mothballs (in containers such as coffee cans so they can be removed when the problem is gone.) I'd rather repel, than have dead rodents in unpredictable places. Also, to solve your problem, the poison must kill all that come, and the idea is to keep them from coming in at all.

    In my case, the squirrel problem was not year-round. It was mainly in Sept/Oct. So I didn't have to leave the mothballs there long. And so far, I haven't had to do it again. They decided to find other places to nest.

  • Droopy
    20 years ago

    We used moth balls to get rid of squirrels and rats and it works great. I put about two boxes of moth balls out and I smell it for about a week it's not real stong. I live in Houston and Moth Balls dissolve quickly so the smell never stays.

  • dancnbns
    20 years ago

    I too am a squirrel lover. I especially like the hind legs battered and fried. Squirrel and dumplings is good also.

    Our previous house was a board and batten wooden chalet. Needless to say, after enough expensive damage by squirrels, combined with their ruthless destruction of plants in our landscaping, destroying bird feeders, etc. I finally took action against them. I used the rat poison. It amazes me how many people think this is terrible, but they don't hesitate to use it on rats and mice. What makes it okay on one and not another?

    It's not enough to temporarily drive squirrels off. They will come back. Squirrels in and around homes are not the cute little creatures we see in Disney films or scampering through the woods. Do you want to know how cute and sweet squirrels are? Male squirrels will invade other nests and use their teeth to castrate the male babies in that nest. How's that for cute and cuddly?

  • trekaren
    20 years ago

    I don't think poisoning rodents is bad, I just don't like the unpredictability of where the dead rodents end up, or what critters might get into the poison inadvertently, like a child or family pet. And repelling them once has kept them away for good.

  • heymon43
    20 years ago

    i definitely agree a dead rodent that size is not going to be pleasant, and lets just say never mind nesting in his car, let's just hope nobody like a squirrel, or that skunk, or other cute critters decides to hole up in there to die!!!!.....that poison is out for anyone who takes it, be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that no kids or family pets can get into it, you do not want to have to deal with that, speaking of liability, there may be some if kids get hurt in any way!

    i still maintain that measures to get them to leave the area voluntarily are best....the lights and music probably won't even require 24 hours time to be effective, but after that, they won't come back....same with the other things such as the grease w/ cayenne pepper....if you kill these squirrels, i can pretty well promise you will NEVER be rid of your squirrel problem....educate the ones you've got that this is not a good nest site (and same with other locations you mention) but still if they're in the area, other "uneducated" squirrels are kept from taking their place, but if you kill them, there's wide-open habitat, and there will be squirrels to inhabit it.....

    people are so quick to resort to this as a "final" end to the problem, i don't have a stat for squirrels, but i've seen pigeons get poisoned (along with other birds accidentally) and in a few weeks there are as many pigeons as ever....with pigeons you have to obliterate 90% of the population for it to work (and i guess you're hoping to get 100% of the squirrels), but even then, other ones move in.....yet simple tactics to prevent pigeons from roosting on something will permanently solve the problem.....

    i just don't believe killing is the most effective (and for the record, i've live trapped mice rather than use poison, so i don't think it's ok then either!...mostly i'm afraid of "collateral damage" of accidental poisoning other than the intended victims)

  • bigdummy
    Original Author
    20 years ago

    There is one thing you did not think about.. That is after the squirrels are gone, I ripped open the area they chewed into, cleaned out their nest, and replaced the wood with pressure treated wood. If I did not get rid of the squirrels, I'm sure they would have fought as i cleaned out the nest. With the new wood that replaced the old semi rotted wood, they ( I mean their relatives) won't be making a nest in the garage anytime soon. If they get back into the house, .22 caliber bird shot will fix them.

  • iggie
    20 years ago

    A pellet gun with a scope works wonders

  • cindy_lou_who
    20 years ago

    My father has the same problems with squirrels. At any given time, you can sit on his front porch, and see at least 15 squirrels.

    Over the years, people have fed these squirrels, and they have become almost tame. They will walk right up to you, and alot can even be hand fed.

    They remove the soffit and build nests, they chew the shingles, and basically destroy anything in their path.

    The soffit has been replaced several times, and they still get in. Every once in awhile, you can hear them trying to get into the attic.

    I know it is illegal in most towns (my dad's included), but he has resorted to Iggie's suggestion. He keeps a pellet gun on top of a curio in the livingroom. He makes sure no one is watching, and shoots them.

    While I don't condone it, I have to sympathize with him. He has spent alot of $$ repairing their damage, and nothing works. He does use rat poison, but they just avoid it.

  • carrie50
    20 years ago

    Great!! Here I am feeding the Squirrels on my back porch. I guess I better stop.

  • jasper_austin
    20 years ago

    Here's a new thought on squirrels I heard today. They like to live where there are dense shady trees. You might consider if you have dense trees having and arborist come see if the branches could be thinned and canopys opened up a bit. That might convince them someone else's yard and garage look better.
    The other thing suggested was that the squirrel problem results from a lack of large birds to eat them- you need more hawks and such in the neighborhood-- which suggests that the poison thing could be a bad idea. It could contribute to the problem if it concentrates up the food chain.

  • liketolearn
    20 years ago

    I should send my little 10-mth-old Jack Russell to your place for a "play-date". He just loves hunting squirrels. Last week's stats ... Dog 7 : Squirrels 0. Go get'em boy!

  • lasershow
    20 years ago

    Please check out this link and post a query to the board. The guy who runs it is an exterminator and will be the first to tell you that the only way to get rid of squirrels permanently is to trap 'em, dunk 'em, and use hardware cloth to board up the holes. They will chew through ANYTHING. They are rodents and are very destructive. I live in an apartment building and the attic was overrun with them. The landlord kept dragging his feet on doing anything; meanwhile, I live on the top floor under the attic. They were climbing down my screens, sitting on my ledge, and scaring the you-know-what out of me. Not to mention the fact that I couldn't sleep because they were scampering above me, dragging wood, you name it. I finally sought my lawyer's advice and sent the guy a letter, saying he was liable for this and if he didn't correct the situation, I'd report him to the housing board. That did it. He called in an exterminator who trapped and boarded the holes for a week. That's the only way to do it.

    Here is a link that might be useful: United Exterminating Company

  • finnzoo
    20 years ago

    Please dont use Mothballs. They are hazardous to your health. Plus, our squirrels made a bed from them and were snacking on it. Our house stunk forever! It took us painting the house to remove the smell. Go to the link that Twelvepole listed above. There was a previous posting that suggested you get the clumped kitty litter urine from your cat or a neighbors, get a milk carton or jug and cut the top off and place the kitty clump in it and place it in the attic or where ever the squirrles are. I didnt get the chance to try that out cause I had a great FRIEND.

    She and her husband would check on our house every week and a half when we were working out of state. Our squirrel found a way into the main part of the house. When they came in one week...they thought someone had broken in and vandalized our house. Traps didnt work, mothballs didnt work, now it had destroyed our house. It ate all my potpourri. Took my silk flowers and made a nest for itself in an expensive vase. Ate my willow chair. Ate all of my husbands vitamins and supplements. Tried to break into a bottle of wine we received as a wedding gift that we were saving for our anniversary. All of our plants were killed, potting soil everywhere. Broken dishes, my collection of teapots destroyed. It ate all of my packets of cheese and hot peppers from the pizza place. Any bit of candy was gone, just left the wrappers. Peed and pooped everywhere. Ruined my hardwood floor with the pee. So now I absolutely hate squirrels.

    But how did we get rid of it....
    My friend cleaned up my house so that I wouldnt have to come home to the mess. She ran into this creature. She said it just looked at her arrogantly and the fight was ON. If she would have had her gun with her, she would have shot him. But all we had was a broom she had in her hand. She and that B*@!*%! went round and round, room to room...Her husband was laughing so hard, he couldnt help her. Said it reminded him of Caddy Shack. She finally got a hold of him and whacked him over the head several times. It was dazed and she swept him out the door. He has not been seen from since. For a year, we have not had a single squirrel anywhere near our yard. Recently there have been two that run down our fence, but they keep on the neighbor's side.

    So that is the tale of our squirrel incident. Anyone who thinks they are cute will change their mind once they get into your house. We are currently remodeling and still finding "evidence" of our squirrel. Plus, our hardwood floors are being redone, room by room.

  • stu9000
    13 years ago

    i used to tease my wife about her anti squirrel stance. my 2 and 4 year old kids copy her and raise a hulabaloo every time they see them in the garden. I used to laugh. Not laughing now, as ive got one in the garage. Apparently its a bumper year for nuts here in the uk so its squirrel city out there. Last year my neighbour had one in the box behind the guttering (sophits?).

    Banging the box with a broom every day for a week did nothing, nor did pouring bleach into the hole.

    Im worried about using some rat poison mixed with nuts in case they bury a nut in the garden and the kids get it. Its not that likely but i dont really want to risk it.

    Id use a pellet gun but i dont have one and i wonder what the neighbours would think. Perhaps the armed response helicopter hovering over my house might scare the little buggers off.

    Might try Moth Balls, but i dont have any. i AM going to try the vaseline and pepper idea though. Im liking that a lit, backed up with a bit of chilli powder i think.

    If that does not work Im going to try the amonia rag and light and music on a timer.

    From what ive read though, Squirrels will put up with almost anything until the offspring are ready to leave the nest. I think that takes about 12 weeks.

    Other advice says that if you block them out they will do untold damage trying to get back to the nest. So ive got to kill or evict before i finally get round to whacking a bit of concrete on the busted roof tile (3 years in the waiting).

    If i could only find someone to lend me a pellet gun.

  • 66and76
    13 years ago

    Horrible, isn't it? Our last straw came the morning we went into our living room and saw a squirrel taking a nap on one of our lampshades! I guess it came down the chimney. We tried all of the suggested ways to get the squirrels out of our attic. Finally, we hired a handyman to locate all holes inside the attic and install hog wire covered with a cement mixture over each hole. Then, he repaired any exterior damage with more wire and new siding or wood as required. We trimmed off all tree branches that were hanging over the roof, and put wire over our chimney opening. Even though we have four large pecan trees in our yard, we have not heard any more of the maddening scurrying, leaping, or nut rolling in our attic for the past three months. Poison may work for the squirrels you have now; however, until you stop up their entry into your house, they will come back. We are holding our breath to see how long our repairs will keep the nasty little vermin away. Good luck to all of you. The only good squirrel is either dead or gone somewhere else.

  • mulchmamma
    13 years ago

    OMG, Pink Paula-only the squirrel that came down my chimney ate some nice plastic flower pots and dog rawhides, then stretched out on my living room sofa and DIED (figure from some sort of blockage)?

    As long as the squirrels stay on their turf, they are safe. However, I now dispatch them with a PBA pellet to the head from a high power, pellet rifle with scope. Since the pellets aren't lead, the hawks and foxes can enjoy their meals.

  • Happyladi
    13 years ago

    We had a squirrel rip the cushions on four patio chairs, a barbeque cover, and a boat cover. My husband shot it with a BB gun and it went away and hasn't been back.

  • dancingsams
    13 years ago

    We have WAY too many squirrels. These are really dangerous (I know many think they are cute, and I used to think so, too). My paint (a horse) caught his foot in a new hole. It took 6 months for the sprain to heal! I stepped in one of their new holes and had to have knee surgery.

    My best solution to date? Dogs, pellet guns, and large traps (we get them at Farm Supply) baited with sweet feed (a horse feed that squirrels love!).

    Good luck!

  • brickeyee
    13 years ago

    Rat poison bait trays mixed with peanut butter.

    They will lick the box clean.

  • mikie_gw
    13 years ago

    I bought a wire trap off ebay for like 10 bucks... they love name brand peanut butter. Sit that cage at the base of a tree, catch one every couple hours. Add fress peanut butter in a tuna tin, reset the spring door.

    Rid all the locals.. lots of them.... the area stays clear for several months. Only problem is.. rats will suddenly appear and move into their attic homes. So the squirrel trap because the rat trap too. Name brand peanut butter.. store brand doesnt get them?

  • pejibaye
    13 years ago

    We have a wraparound porch on the log home we just bought. The squirrels were eating the railings until we decided to have our labrador retriever sleep on the porch. She stays there until 8:00 am. Works great though she'll never eat them -- they're just scared off by the big (lazy) dog.

  • memarcus
    13 years ago

    Set a few snares that'll get rid of them. These are easy and cheap to make and really effective. You can google squirrel snare for construction details. Just a four foot log and few feet of wire. You could set them right near the holes they frequent. Perfectly safe in town and doesn't make any noise like an air rifle or 22.

    If it's as bad as it sounds you might get dinner out of it if you're so inclined. In additon to dinner you can also get 25 cents for tails from the Mepps company (they use them for artificial lures).

  • guido_gardener
    13 years ago

    Quite funny, just before opening this thread I was reading another one from a squirrel lover, see link below.

    Maybe you could get a cat.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Killer cats

  • kikikaruna_google_com
    11 years ago

    I'm a vegetarian but if I could catch one of the squirrels defecating and tearing up the insulation in my attic, I'd cook it up and eat it in front of its squirrel friends.

    I'm off to buy everything you guys listed above as well as a nail gun. I plan to use thousands of nails pegged into pre-cut boards and wedge them against every nook of my attic's interior. I'll let you know how it goes.

  • ohnikki_live_com
    11 years ago

    haaahaha...i now don't feel so bad knowing that a family of squirrels has taken up residence in my garage. good thing my garage is not attached to the house. but they have torn a huge hole in the back of my garage, and it seems that they are not even scared of me anymore. when i go in the garage, the mother squirrel does not even move from her spot up in the rafters. i swear today that one of them was waiting for me on my back thankfully my husband has just bought a giant assault rifle type pellet gun and is excited to use it. the squirrels have done so much damage to our garage, i almost feel like we might as well tear it down and build a new one. they have ripped down ALL the insulation, and the holes are ridiculous. so...good luck to all you squirrel hunters out there...and just remember...they might be cute..BUT THEY ARE STILL RATS!!!!

  • brickeyee
    11 years ago

    Rat poison bait tries with some peanut butter added works well.

    I have had them lick the trays clean and even chew up the cardboard.

    The rat trays use Warfarin and cause the squirrels to bleed internally and become thirsty.
    They then leave looking for water and die.

    The only real hazard is then if another animal finds the dead squirrel and eats it.

  • cas66ragtop
    11 years ago


    If you poison any of them and they go crawling outside to die somewhere - hawks, owls, falcons, foxes - all kinds of wildlife will eat the carrion, and in turn will ingest the poison! This is a HUGE problem - especially with birds of prey. They prefer to catch live prey, but they are also opportunists and will eat a lot of dead critters too.

    PLEASE - use your brain before resorting to poison!

  • jdpds1072
    7 years ago

    Yes, please, please no poison. Trapping and rehabber is best. Really the best and most affordable way is to adopt two spay or neutered cats to live on the property. Feed them well, but just their presence will scare the squirrels away. Plus they are a lot of fun to own. Just don't leave cat food out at night or unattended.

  • jackfre
    7 years ago

    Bushy tailed rats. Years ago I helped a farmer get rid of them. They were cleaning out his walnut orchard. My friend and I made a big stew out of them and had a big party. Everyone loved the stew. It was excellent. Some kinda freaked when I told them what it was. I have no patience for them when they become destructive. I use a powerful scoped air rifle. It is very effective. can help.

  • Bonnie Bullock Lohman
    7 years ago

    My husband doesn't hate squirrels but he hates how they destroy his garden and bird feeders. They'll eat a $40 bag of seed in 1-2 days. Not to mention a "tamed" squirrel attacked my 2 yr old son years ago and really freaked him out to the point of having a borderline phobia. My husband bought a great pellet gun wth a scope and shoots several per year/month/week. While I don't particular like him killing the squirrels he has what I believe is a humane approach, and they have certainly thinned out. He has a great outlook, freshly killed squirrels are strategically placed in the yard to appear as easy prey for Red-Shouldered Hawks and Great Horned Owls. The perished rodents are rarely in the yard for more than 1 day and a half and are quickly gobbled up by birds of prey.

  • Nick Haglund
    2 months ago

    Wonder if those squirrels ever gotten taken care of?