How can I keep squirrels from climbing on my house and damaging my home and window screens? -Jeri
Squirrels love climbing on houses and can cause damage to the outside of your home by chewing on everything from lead roof flanges and attic vents to wood shutters and siding. If they manage to get inside your walls or attic, squirrels can cause extensive damage to your home, including chewing into wiring and tearing up insulation for nests.
To keep squirrels out of your house, start by thoroughly examining the exterior of your home – paying particular attention to the eaves – for holes and cracks; then fill or cover any gaps you find with a hard material such as fiber cement, sheet metal flashing, or auto body filler. Check gable, soffit, and power vents in the attic – as well as caps on chimneys – to make sure they have metal hardware cloth behind them that’s firmly attached around the edges.
Squirrels have a keen sense of smell and taste, and have a strong dislike for capsaicin – the active ingredient found in cayenne peppers. Commercial squirrel repellents are available; or you can make your own using cayenne peppers.
Here’s a recipe for a homemade squirrel repellent using capsaicin:
- 1 bottle of cayenne pepper sauce
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 teaspoon mild liquid dishwashing detergent
Mix the ingredients up together, and spray or brush the repellent on areas where squirrels are active.
Keep in mind that no repellent is 100% effective to a determined squirrel. Also, the repellent will wear off over time and need to be reapplied periodically.
Another idea is to give squirrels a reason to go somewhere else. Squirrels go nuts for peanut butter and sunflower seeds. So, you might want to provide a nice little oasis with a bird bath for water and a feeding station, so the critters will tend to congregate there instead.
Good luck with your project,
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