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Squirrels

Eastern gray and fox squirrels have two litters of two to four babies each year, the first between February and April, and the second between August and September. They consume plant matter, such as seeds, nuts, and even berries and flowers, depending on the season.

Occasionally, a squirrel may choose homes in attics, chimneys, and small openings in buildings rather than their traditional, natural habitats in tree openings or leafy coverings. They may enter the house through uncapped chimneys, unscreened vents, or openings left by loose or rotted boards, and they may potentially cause further damage to a home. 

Tips to prevent squirrels from coming inside

  • Be vigilant around your home—fix any outside holes or damage as soon as you notice it.
  • Cap your chimney to block access to it and to prevent an animal becoming trapped
  • Trim back branches from your house so that it is unreachable by trees.

In the case that a squirrel becomes an unwanted addition to your home, there are several things that you may and must do in order to encourage them to leave.

  1. It is critical to establish whether or not there are babies present, as you do not want to evict the parent and leave the orphaned babies—it is likely they will die without their mother. Locate the nest and listen for noises that will indicate the presence of young, and do your best to leave the nest undisturbed, as the parent squirrel will be more hesitant to return if it has been tampered with. If babies are present, please tolerate them until they are old enough to leave the area with their mother.
     
  2. If you’re sure that there are no young present, consider installing a one-way door, available at home-improvement stores. They will be able to leave and unable to return through the hole. Wait a week or two, and if you are sure that there are no longer animals in the space and have stopped hearing activity, you may remove the door and patch the hole with building materials to permanently prevent re-entry.
     
  3. If a squirrel has found his way into the public areas of your home (your living room, your kitchen, your bedroom), give him a clear way out. The squirrel does not want to be anywhere near humans, so carefully close all doors leading further into your home, and open any doors or windows leading to the outside. You may attempt to usher him out by directing him towards an opening, but it may be necessary to leave the room for a few minutes to allow him time to see himself out. 
     
  4. This same approach may be used for assisting a squirrel out of a chimney - place a rope down the chimney, close off the opening into the home, and the squirrel will climb his way out.

If squirrels are disrupting your garden or fruit trees in search of an easy meal, there are several proactive measures you may take to dissuade them:

  1. You may find deer netting at a hardware supply store to wrap your trees and repellant liquids to put on or around your garden, such as Liquid Fence. 
  2. You may also install a motion-activated sprinkler, which works well for deterring many species. 

Click here to browse online wildlife resources.

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