What Are Squirrels Attracted to? How to Prevent Them?
Squirrels are a common critter everyone encounters, but despite their cute image, they come with problems. Knowing what are squirrels attracted to around your home will help you to keep them away.
If your home has a garden, it could be a huge attraction for squirrels as they have destructive eating habits. But besides the garden, the main problem with squirrels is that they attract other animals who in turn cause bigger problems for you.
Animals like opossums, raccoons, mice, rats, skunks, and snakes can make their way into your home while chasing squirrels. So, the best way to keep those pests away is to keep squirrels away.
Let’s first evaluate what are squirrels attracted to in and around your home. Then we’ll discuss some preventive measures you can take to keep them away.
What Are Squirrels Attracted to Outdoors?
First and foremost, the wide-availability of food attracts squirrels more than anything else. These opportunist eaters love to munch on fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, and nuts. The availability of these in your garden is the major reason behind their invasion.
Also, they are greatly attracted towards bird feeders and will eat away the food you put for birds in your yard. Squirrels are skittish in nature and prefer to live in dark and secluded areas. Therefore, sometimes thick vegetation around your home makes them feel comfortable. As they find themselves safe there they will most definitely nest in this place.
The forest and green areas are the natural habitat of squirrels. They use these areas to set up their nests, and at the top of the trees.
A tree in your garden or some shrubs will be a welcome signal for squirrels for them to nest.
What Are Squirrels Attracted to Indoors?
Squirrels can make their way into your home as well. This is especially true if you live near fields, forests or wooded areas. Unfortunately, their natural habitat is facing annihilation because of overpopulation and urbanization. But like all living creatures, they still need a place to live. So, they start invading indoor spaces to find a suitable place to nest.
They can sneak into the home via cracks, holes, and crevices. Once they are inside they will find plenty of food to feed on. Squirrels are quite adaptive in nature, and over time they are able to live in urban and suburban spaces. Even if they can’t get into your fruits and vegetables they’ll find something to gnaw on. It could be anything from wires in your attic to clothes in your laundry.
Squirrels are usually active in autumn because they are getting ready for the winter season. They stock up on food supplies for the upcoming cold weather.
Squirrels generally invade homes in autumn during their food foraging, but sometimes they are just looking for shelter for the upcoming winter season.
How to Prevent Squirrels in Your Garden
Food is the biggest attraction for squirrels. So, removing food sources is the first, and most effective remedy to avoid them. Obviously, you can’t get rid of all the trees, nuts, and berries from your yard. You need to prevent their entry while keeping your yard blooming. Some helpful tips you can use to accomplish that include:
- Squirrel Repellents: You can find squirrel repellents available on the market. Some consist of urine of squirrels’ predators. Simply spray it around your yard and garden, they will avoid those areas fearing possible predators.
- Cayenne Pepper: Sprinkle some cayenne pepper or pepper flakes around your plants, especially when they are about to bloom, their strong smell will deter squirrels.
- String Scented Flowers: Plants like marigold, mustard, and nasturtiums flowers have a strong unpleasant scent for squirrels. Planting them around your garden, and making a border with them will prevent squirrels from crossing over them.
- Human Hairs: Squirrels despise the smell of humans, and don’t come near them. You can use this to your advantage. Dig up the soil in your garden slightly, and scatter human hair around it. You can even use dog hair if you prefer. You can even get a small amount of human hair from a hairdresser, and scatter it around your garden. When squirrels come across it they will pick up the scent of humans, and instantly leave that area.
- Bird Feeder: A bird feeder is not only loved by birds, but squirrels love them too. Most bird feed consists of berries, seeds, and nuts; all things squirrels crave. Squirrels can jump long distances, so you have to keep the feeder as far away from their reach as possible. Also, try replacing your regular bird feed with safflower seeds. Birds probably won’t mind the change in taste, but squirrels will detest it, and keep them from stealing the birds’ food again.
Keep the area around your bird feeder clean, and if possible, put them 10-12 feet away from your home or trees, and 5-6 feet above the ground.
How to Prevent Squirrels in Your Home
The best way to prevent squirrels from sneaking into your home is to trim the branches which are touching the roof or windows of your home. These can provide them with easy routes to your attic and crawlspaces. Seal all the gaps, holes, and cracks in your home with a wire grid.
Having one or two squirrels in your garden or home may not seem problematic at first, but you need to curb their presence instantly. If you give them free access into your home they will make it their home, and soon their families will accompany them.
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