No, Squirrels Are Not Cute

Prior to moving into our home, I enjoyed squirrels. They were cute little guys that could elegantly jump from tree to tree. Then I moved into our house. Our house that had a family of squirrels living above my girls’ window. Now, they are tree rats.

Cassie and I love to research. We dove into the internet and searched for squirrel poison. Turns out, there are no poisons marketed for squirrels. We then looked into lethal and non-lethal traps. We couldn’t find any lethal traps and I didn’t know what I would do with a squirrel caught in a non-lethal trap.

We eventually landed on a service. They were great and professional. They caught the squirrels and humanely moved them to a forest preserve far from our house. The downside was, they charged $75 per squirrel. That adds up quickly! I think we caught about 15 squirrels using them. That’s $1,125!

Me shimmying 30+ feet in the air to the end of our roof to fix a shingle the squirrels displaced

Me shimmying 30+ feet in the air to fix a shingle the squirrels displaced

We finally stopped catching squirrels and we were able to temporarily cover the squirrel holes with hardware cloth (they chewed three holes around the window!). We got a quote for $2,500 to completely redo the wood around the windows, but that’ll have to wait.

Being in a yard with 100+ trees, though, means the squirrels were still around, but they no longer lived in our house. I thought we reached an agreement, me and the squirrels. Unfortunately, that was not the case. They started chewing around the hardware cloth, new ones trying to get into my house.

This meant war, and I was no longer willing to drop $75 on each of these critters. Instead, I dropped $75 on an air rifle and some pellets. I got home, excited about my new, cheaper endeavor. I unpackaged the air rifle, took out the pellets, then read the packaging on the pellets. It turns out that most air rifle pellets are made out of lead. Yes, lead! Tell me how that makes sense! I can’t fill my yard with little pieces of lead for my girls to pick up and eat! That is a terrible idea. I did find some lead-free pellets on Amazon, but they are way lighter than lead pellets. That makes the pellets faster, but unable to penetrate the squirrels hide. I hit one and fur went flying, but the squirrel ran off with just a bare patch.

The answer to all my squirrel problems

I did more research and this time I stumbled across this site, which recommended the Rat Zapper as a humane and clean way to kill squirrels. It worked better than anything else! So far, it has killed four squirrels in six days. I use peanut butter in a bottle cap to keep it from getting all over the trap and making a mess. Also included some bird seed from our parrot (apparently, sunflower seeds attract squirrels). My experience has been that 3 squirrels is all it could take without a change of batteries. After that, I would get false positives probably because there wasn’t enough power left in the batteries.

How have you dealt with these little pests?

-Jimmy

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