Pest control experts recommend the following simple steps that will discourage squirrels from moving in to your building:
Never attempt to feed any wildlife as they will lose their fear of humans and often become more daring and prone to be hit by cars or attacked by pets
Maintain roofs and buildings to prevent unwelcome tenants
Trim shrubs at least a foot away from the building walls; we prefer 18″. This also reduces the attractiveness of the building to insect pests such as termites and carpenter ants
Install a chimney cap to prevent entry
Make sure garbage bins and composts are secured. Garbage and trash cans should be made of metal and kept closed; clean up any spilled garbage around your trash cans both indoors and outside
Do not overflow bird feeders with seeds. Better yet – use a squirrel-proof feeder.
Humane Squirrel Control
First, consider the time of year as babies may be in nests starting as early as February. The best time to address residential squirrel problems is before February or after September as the potential to separate a mother from its young is much too high. If young are present, please tolerate them until they are old enough to accompany the mother out.
When you are 100% sure there are no babies, you can use mild harassment techniques that are not harmful to the squirrels. To start, ensure that all potential food sources are eliminated and determine their point-of-entry or if there are multiple points. Do-it-yourself exclusion techniques are humane and inexpensive, but may take a little patience.
To wild-proof your home, we suggest that you consider the following areas:
Roof Vents Constructed of light weight aluminum or plastic, they are no obstacle for animals seeking entry into attics.
Chimneys If not screened properly, they make suitable living quarters for raccoons and squirrels. Birds often fall into open chimneys and become stuck at the bottom. Sometimes these animals even enter the living space of the home.
Plumbing Vent Pipes If left unprotected, they are an invitation to animals seeking den sites inside of the house. Once inside the pipe, wildlife often become stuck and obstructs the normal function of the buildings plumbing system.
Roof and Fascia Spaces If not properly constructed or due to deterioration, they offer an opportunity for wildlife to chew on the free edge of the wood and gain entry into the attic.
Roof – Soffit Intersection If left unscreened, they can be easily manipulated by an animal from the outside in order to establish a den site inside the attic space.
Trapping is not the solution!
Trapping of squirrels is inhumane, ineffective and illegal in certain areas of BC. Live trapping and relocation of squirrels is not humane because it takes them away from their food caches and established home, and possibly separates a mother from her young. Most wildlife that is removed from the city generally does not survive and just transfers the problem to someone else’s backyard. Squirrels can be injured in traps and even if they were removed, it will only be a matter of time before another squirrel moves in to claim the existing food source and shelter.