How do I remove squirrels from my eaves?
January 3, 2004 6:39 PM   Subscribe

Squirrels in our eaves! [more inside]

We are trying to evict a squirrel or squirrels from our house. He/she/they have tunneled through a hole in the eaves and eaten away all our expensive Icynene insulation in that area. We covered over the hole today, hoping that the squirrel(s) would not be home while we were doing the work, but they obviously were, since we got home and heard them scratching.

Any ideas on killing or removing squirrels?
posted by acridrabbit to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are they in the attic, or someplace else that you can get to? Those have-a-heart traps come in some pretty huge sizes. Some home & garden type stores rent them.

Otherwise, obviously, poison. But you probably don't want a dead squirrel rotting in your eaves.
posted by duckstab at 6:45 PM on January 3, 2004

Response by poster: No, they aren't in the attic. I wish we could just put a trap in the attic and be done with it. We bought a Havaheart trap, but have no place to put it, other than at the bottom of the ladder leading to its/their hideyhole.

Definitely don't want poisoned rotting squirrel in our eaves. Eww.
posted by acridrabbit at 6:58 PM on January 3, 2004

Mothballs (the stinky naphtha based ones) will convince them to leave non-lethally if you can get some into the same airspace as their nesting area. My landlord clued me into this last fall when some took up residence in my attic, and it worked like a charm for me.
posted by boaz at 7:59 PM on January 3, 2004

2nd the vote for Mothballs. I had a squirrel living in my attic. Used hardware cloth to cover the hole after he left (and he left in a hurry, after he and I mutually scared the crap out of eachother up there in the dark), but he chewed another hole in a day or two. Local hardware store said mothballs and Low and Behold we're going on 8 months squirrell free. Throw 5 or 6 up there where they're nesting, then do the hardware cloth patch (use a staple gun to secure it in place), that should do the trick.

I also built a squirrell house. People make fun of me now. Don't do it.
posted by daver at 8:08 PM on January 3, 2004 [1 favorite]

(They also make fun of me for my spelling. Whatever.)
posted by daver at 8:09 PM on January 3, 2004

Best answer: Squirrels don't care about mothballs in my experience. Here's a nonlethal solution that I used, one that's even fun for the squirrels (if you call eviction and separation from foodstore in the dead of winter fun):

First, use hardware cloth to block off all ingress/egress spots EXCEPT the most obvious, biggest one. Then cut a piece of HC that's about twice as big as necessary to cover that one hole. Cut a piece of 5" PVC pipe to a lenght of about two feet. Cut a hole in the HC patch you made about the diameter of the pipe, and attach one end of the pipe to the HC, overlapping the pipe about 2". Screw the whole thing to the big obvious egress/ingress. (Use regular screws with really big washers)

The result is a fun little slide that the squirrell will use to get out, but hopefully it's high enough off the ground and far enough away from any jumping points that he can't get in again.

Email me if you want a picture of this. Works like a charm.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 5:25 AM on January 4, 2004

After the squirrel has gone down the slide, you could feed him crumpets and give him a backrub.

While I respect your decision to not harm the animal, would you feel the same way about a rat? Because a squirrel is a rat with an eighties metal band haircut.

A pellet gun should work, but make sure you get a clean headshot to minimize suffering on the part of the animal.
posted by mecran01 at 7:27 AM on January 4, 2004

The little bastards spent the entire season of Autumn dropping acorns on my car, waking me up when the car alarm went off (at 6:45 every morning, like clockwork), and making the car hood look like the aftermath of a bad hailstorm. So I decided to train them...with my potato gun. Every time they were in the part of the tree above my car, I'd launch a potato or, absent spuds, a grapeshot of acorns. After about a week, the squirrels decided it was in their best interests to not hang out on that part of the tree any more.
The neighbors, however, are now a bit leery of the weird guy who pumps up his potato gun with a bike pump and shakes his fist, screaming "Dis means WAW, you wascawy skwuwwels!" ;)
posted by notsnot at 9:27 AM on January 4, 2004

Actually I arranged for a pair of barely legal female squirrels to meet him at the bottom. Nobody gets squirrelly like the squirrels, my friend.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:29 AM on January 4, 2004

Hey, what kind of potato gun is pumped up with a bike pump? That sounds slightly less dangerous than the hairspray variety.
posted by mecran01 at 1:46 PM on January 4, 2004

mecran01, a very special one.
posted by notsnot at 2:48 PM on January 4, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for all the ... uh ... advice. Especially the snarky advice. That provided a little much-needed levity in my household. Now, if only I had a crumpet for myself.

Anyway, I am pleased to report that the squirrel(s) left on their own today (climbed right down the ladder). Now the hole has been repaired and I don't have to worry about squirrel blood on my hands.
posted by acridrabbit at 3:51 PM on January 4, 2004

Best answer: Go to an Indian or Latino grocery store, and get a BIG bag of red pepper. Sprinkle it around liberally. You can even add it to birdfood with no ill effect on the birds. I put it all over my garden--keeps squirrels, rats, dogs, cats, all manner of furry things away. I used in my houseplants to keep the ferrets out. Wonderful stuff.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:38 AM on January 5, 2004 [1 favorite]

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