15 Humane & Effective Ways to Get Rid of Squirrels Fast

Squirrels are cute and furry animals that can be fun to watch in the wild. But when they invade your yard or home, they can become a nuisance and a threat. Squirrels can damage your plants, dig up your lawn, chew on your wires, and nest in your attic. They can also carry diseases and parasites that can harm you and your pets.

If you want to get rid of squirrels without hurting them, you have to use humane and effective methods that will deter them from your property. In this article, we will show you 15 tips on how to get rid of squirrels fast and safely. These tips include:

  • Installing a motion-activated sprinkler
  • Using squirrel-proof bird feeders
  • Planting flowers squirrels hate
  • Spraying natural repellents
  • Using live traps and relocation
  • And more

By following these tips, you can protect your yard and home from squirrels and enjoy a peaceful and squirrel-free environment.

How to Get Rid of Squirrels Without Hurting Them

How to Get Rid of Squirrels
How to Get Rid of Squirrels Without Hurting Them

Before attempting to remove squirrels, it’s essential to understand their behavior and motivations. Squirrels are opportunistic foragers, seeking food and shelter in easily accessible places. They are also territorial and may consider your property part of their domain.

Install a motion-activated sprinkler

One of the easiest and most humane ways to get rid of squirrels is to install a motion-activated sprinkler in your yard. This device will spray water at any animal near it, scaring them away. Squirrels are naturally jumpy and afraid of sudden movements and sounds, so a blast of water will make them run for cover.
A motion-activated sprinkler is also eco-friendly and non-toxic, as it only uses water to deter squirrels. You can adjust the sprinkler’s settings to control the spray’s sensitivity, angle, and timing. You can also choose to turn it on only during the day or night, depending on when the squirrels are most active.
To use a motion-activated sprinkler, you need to connect it to a hose and place it in a strategic location in your yard. Make sure it covers the area where the squirrels are most likely to enter or feed. You can also use multiple sprinklers to cover a larger area or different zones.

Use squirrel-proof bird feeders

tips to get rid of squirrels
get rid of squirrels

Another common attraction for squirrels in your yard is your bird feeder. Squirrels love to feast on the seeds, nuts, fruits, and grains that you provide for the birds. They can also scare away the birds and take over the feeder, leaving you with no avian visitors.

To prevent this, you need to use squirrel-proof bird feeders that will keep the squirrels out and the birds in. There are different types of squirrel-proof bird feeders that you can buy or make yourself, such as:

  • Hanging feeders: These are feeders that are suspended on a wire or a chain, making it hard for squirrels to reach them. You can also add obstacles like plastic bottles or slinkies on the wire to make it more difficult for squirrels to climb or jump.
  • Baffle feeders: These are feeders that have a barrier or a cone-shaped device around them that prevents squirrels from climbing up or down the pole. You can buy a baffle at the store or make one yourself using a metal or plastic sheet.
  • Weight-activated feeders: These are feeders that have a mechanism that closes the feeding ports when a heavy animal like a squirrel lands on them. This way, only the lighter birds can access the food. You can also adjust the sensitivity of the mechanism to suit different bird sizes.

Plant flowers squirrels hate

Squirrels are not fond of all plants. In fact, there are some flowers that squirrels hate and will avoid at all costs. These flowers have strong smells, tastes, or textures that squirrels find unpleasant or irritating. By planting these flowers in your yard, you can create a natural barrier that will repel squirrels and other rodents.

Some of the flowers that squirrels hate are:

  • Daffodils: These are bright yellow flowers that have a toxic substance called lycorine in their bulbs, leaves, and stems. This substance can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and convulsions in squirrels and other animals that eat them.
  • Hyacinths: These are fragrant flowers that have a similar toxin as daffodils in their bulbs. They can also cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in squirrels and other animals that touch them.
  • Alliums: These are onion-like plants that have a pungent smell and taste that squirrels dislike. They can also deter other pests like aphids, slugs, and moles.
  • Geraniums: These are colorful flowers that have a bitter and sour taste that squirrels find unappealing. They can also produce a sticky substance that can trap and deter insects.
  • Marigolds: These are bright orange flowers that have a strong and spicy smell that squirrels find offensive. They can also attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.

Spray natural repellents

If you don’t want to plant flowers or install sprinklers, you can also spray natural repellents around your yard to get rid of squirrels. These repellents are made from ingredients that squirrels hate, such as hot peppers, garlic, vinegar, or ammonia. They can create an unpleasant smell or taste that will make squirrels stay away from your property.

You can buy ready-made natural repellents at the store or make your own at home. Here are some recipes that you can try:

  • Hot pepper spray: Mix one gallon of water with one tablespoon of cayenne pepper, one teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and a few drops of dish soap. Spray this mixture on your plants, bird feeders, and other areas where squirrels frequent.
  • Garlic spray: Peel and chop a few cloves of garlic and boil them in a quart of water for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid and add a teaspoon of vegetable oil and a few drops of dish soap. Spray this mixture on your plants, bird feeders, and other areas where squirrels frequent.
  • Vinegar spray: Mix one part vinegar with one part water and spray this mixture on your plants, bird feeders, and other areas where squirrels frequent.
  • Ammonia spray: Mix one part ammonia with one part water and spray this mixture on your plants, bird feeders, and other areas where squirrels frequent.

DIY Squirrel-Proofing Tips for Your Home

DIY Squirrel-Proofing Tips
DIY Squirrel-Proofing Tips for Your Home

There are numerous DIY methods to make your home less appealing to squirrels. From using metal or plastic guards around tree trunks to installing one-way exit doors, these approaches are worth exploring.

Squirrels can be quite crafty and persistent when it comes to infiltrating your home and causing disruptions. To safeguard your property effectively, consider these detailed do-it-yourself tips:

  1. Seal Entry Points:
    • Inspect Attics and Crawl Spaces: Regularly check for any gaps, holes, or cracks that squirrels might use to gain access to your home.
    • Use Steel Wool or Hardware Cloth: Fill openings with steel wool or hardware cloth, securing them in place with caulk or screws.
  2. Protect Roof and Eaves:
    • Trim Overhanging Branches: Prevent squirrels from leaping onto your roof by trimming tree branches that are within six feet of your house.
    • Install Eave Screens: Attach wire mesh screens along the eaves and gables to block squirrel entry while ensuring proper ventilation.
  3. Reinforce Vents and Chimneys:
    • Mesh Vent Covers: Place mesh covers over vents and chimney openings to deter squirrels from nesting in these spaces.
    • Chimney Caps: Install chimney caps with mesh sides to prevent squirrels from entering through the chimney.
  4. Secure Outdoor Structures:
    • Strengthen Shed Doors and Windows: Reinforce shed doors with sturdy locks and install mesh over windows to prevent squirrel entry.
    • Use Elevated Platforms: Elevate outdoor storage units like woodpiles to reduce squirrel hiding spots.
  5. Protect Wiring and Pipes:
    • Wrap Wiring: Wrap exposed electrical wires and cables with protective conduit or PVC piping to prevent squirrels from chewing on them.
    • Add Pipe Insulation: Insulate pipes with foam or rubber sleeves to deter squirrels from gnawing on them.
  6. Garden and Bird Feeder Solutions:
    • Squirrel-Resistant Bird Feeders: Invest in bird feeders with weight-sensitive perches or mechanisms that close off access to squirrels.
    • Plant Deterrents: Grow plants that squirrels dislike, such as daffodils, hyacinths, and alliums, around vulnerable areas.
  7. DIY Scent Deterrents:
    • Homemade Repellent Spray: Create a repellent by mixing vinegar, water, and essential oils like peppermint or citrus. Spray it around potential entry points and problem areas.
  8. Predator Decoys and Visual Aids:
    • Use Motion-Activated Lights: Install motion-activated lights near squirrel-prone zones to startle them away.
    • Predator Cutouts: Place cardboard or wooden cutouts of hawks or owls in your yard to mimic natural predators.
  9. Regular Maintenance and Monitoring:
    • Inspect and Repair: Conduct routine checks for any signs of squirrel activity and promptly address any vulnerabilities.
    • Adapt Strategies: If squirrels persist, adjust your DIY methods and try new techniques to find the most effective deterrents.
  10. Educate and Involve the Family:
    • Get Everyone Involved: Ensure all family members are aware of squirrel-proofing measures and encourage their active participation.
    • Teach Responsible Feeding: Educate children about the importance of responsible bird feeding and discourage leaving food out for squirrels.

Use live traps and relocation

Squirrel Infestations
Handling Squirrel Infestations in the Garden

If none of the above methods work, you can also use live traps and relocation to get rid of squirrels. Live traps are cages that capture squirrels without harming them. You can bait them with food that squirrels love, such as peanut butter, sunflower seeds, or corn. Once you catch a squirrel, you can relocate it to a distant and safe location, such as a park or a forest.

However, before you use live traps and relocation, you should check your local laws and regulations regarding trapping and relocating wildlife. You may need a permit or a license to do so, and there may be restrictions on where and when you can release the squirrels. You should also be careful when handling the traps and the squirrels, as they can bite or scratch you.

To use live traps and relocation, you need to follow these steps:

  • Buy or rent a live trap that is suitable for squirrels. Make sure it has a solid bottom and a spring-loaded door that closes automatically when the squirrel enters.
  • Place the trap in a shaded and quiet area where you have seen squirrels. Bait it with food and cover it with a cloth or a tarp to make it look more inviting.
  • Check the trap regularly and remove any captured squirrels as soon as possible. Wear gloves and protective clothing when handling the trap and the squirrels. Avoid touching or stressing the squirrels, which can carry diseases and parasites.
  • Relocate the squirrels to a distant and safe location, at least 10 miles away from your home. Release them in a wooded area with plenty of food and water sources. Avoid releasing them near other homes or farms, as they can cause problems for other people.

How to Avoid Attracting Squirrels in the Future

Preventing future squirrel problems involves consistent efforts. Regularly cleaning up fallen fruits or nuts, using covered bird feeders, and securing garbage cans are some ways to make your property less enticing to squirrels.

Here are detailed steps you can take to avoid attracting squirrels in the future:

  1. Effective Waste Management:
    • Secure Garbage Bins: Use tightly sealed, animal-proof containers to store trash and food waste, reducing potential food sources for squirrels.
    • Compost Carefully: If you compost, avoid adding nuts, fruits, and other squirrel favorites. Turn the compost regularly to discourage nesting.
  2. Limit Access to Food:
    • Store Pet Food: Seal pet food in airtight containers indoors to prevent squirrels from raiding it.
    • Bird Feeder Placement: Hang bird feeders away from trees and structures, making them less accessible to squirrels. Consider weight-sensitive feeders.
  3. Landscaping Techniques:
    • Trim Tree Branches: Regularly trim branches at least 6 feet away from your home to prevent squirrels from jumping onto your roof.
    • Clear Debris: Remove fallen fruits, nuts, and seeds from your yard promptly to reduce potential food sources.
  4. Garden Design:
    • Choose Squirrel-Resistant Plants: Opt for plants that squirrels dislike, such as marigolds, daffodils, and lavender, to discourage them from foraging.
    • Use Raised Beds: Elevate garden beds using raised platforms to make it harder for squirrels to access your crops.
  5. Seal Entry Points:
    • Regular Inspections: Routinely inspect your home for gaps, holes, and cracks that squirrels could use to enter. Seal these openings with durable materials.
    • Chimney and Vent Covers: Install screens or caps over chimneys and vents to prevent squirrel entry.
  6. Scent and Sound Deterrents:
    • Mothballs and Cayenne Pepper: Place mothballs or sprinkle cayenne pepper around potential entry points to deter squirrels with strong scents.
    • Wind Chimes and Radios: Hang wind chimes or play a radio in your garden to create unfamiliar sounds that squirrels may find unsettling.
  7. Educate Your Neighbors:
    • Community Efforts: Coordinate with neighbors to implement squirrel-proofing measures collectively, creating a more effective barrier for all.
  8. Regular Maintenance:
    • Inspect and Repair: Continuously assess your property for new vulnerabilities and address them promptly to maintain an inhospitable environment for squirrels.
  9. Professional Help:
    • Consult Pest Control: If squirrel issues persist, seek advice from pest control professionals who can provide tailored solutions.
  10. Educate Others:
    • Share Knowledge: Inform friends and family about effective squirrel prevention methods to collectively reduce squirrel-related challenges in your community.


Squirrels can be a nuisance and a threat to your yard and home, but you don’t have to resort to hurting or killing them to get rid of them. Many humane and effective methods will deter them from your property, such as installing a motion-activated sprinkler, using squirrel-proof bird feeders, planting flowers squirrels hate, spraying natural repellents, and using live traps and relocation. By following these tips, you can enjoy a peaceful and squirrel-free environment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Are squirrels dangerous?

    Squirrels are generally not dangerous to humans. However, they may cause property damage and pose a threat to electrical wiring.

  2. Can I use poison to get rid of squirrels?

    Using poison to eliminate squirrels is not recommended, as it can be harmful to other animals and pets.

  3. How do I know if squirrels are in my attic?

    Signs of squirrel activity in the attic include scratching noises, droppings, and damage to insulation or wires.

  4. Can squirrels carry diseases?

    Squirrels can carry diseases such as leptospirosis, so it’s best to avoid direct contact and handle them with care if necessary.

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