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Squirrel Repellent


Summary: Squirrel repellent products make claims of guaranteed effectiveness, but most of these products carry no scientific data and are little more than professionally packaged home remedies.

Love to watch those playful squirrels. Hate to get them out of your garden, flowers or attic? Here's a collection of products that claim to repel squirrels for once and for all. Well, maybe not for all time, but for all day. Whatever! You read it and chose to be a believer or non-believer.

Let's start with the animal repellents that you apply to the lawn, bushes, garden and other outside locations where squirrels are driving you crazy. Of course, there is the champion internet advertiser, Dr. T. Seems this guy has an answer for most pests including deer, raccoons, skunk, dogs, snakes, cats, woodpeckers and, least we forget, squirrels. This product relies heavily upon naphthalene, or for you laypeople, mothballs. Problem is, mothballs volatilize or dissolve into the air. The mothball œperfume not only irritates the lungs of the squirrel, but it can get to you, too.

I've seen people throw fistfuls of mothballs into attic spaces to get rid of squirrels, only to realize a few days later that the smell is permeating through the ceiling into a bedroom below. Now, they have to crawl into the attic and try to remove all those decomposing mothball and hope they don't succumb to the toxic odor. Now you know how I feel about Dr. T's products.

There are lots of squirrel repellents that use granules or powder impregnated with coyote urine. The mere presence of the smell of coyote urine is supposed to trigger the squirrel's inborn fear instinct and make it bolt from your property. Little problem here. If the squirrel is frightened it will climb a tree knowing the coyote cannot follow. The squirrel will sit there looking around and quickly figure out that no coyote is present. Bingo! End of repellent effectiveness.

If you don't like toxic mothballs or the thought of spreading the urine of wild animals, how about something natural? Someone has decided that mixing up spices that burn in our mouths is sure to do the same for wild animals like squirrels. So, we have hot pepper mixtures available under various names and labels. All claim œproven formulas. None can substantiate their claims. If you are really bent on trying this one here is a recipe offered by one online advertiser. Take special note of the last line of directions.

  • Take one small bottle of hot pepper sauce. (I suppose you get to select your favorite.)
  • Mix in one gallon of water.
  • Also, mix in one teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent to help the products stay in suspension.
  • Spray on plants or anything you would like protected from chewing, until a permanent exclusion of welded wire or hardware cloth can be applied.

Still thinking you like smelly products. Try Bio-Defend which says their product uses offensive smells and tastes using white pepper, vinegar and sulfur to scare off squirrels.

One of my favorite repellers is a device that you hook up to your garden hose. It incorporates a motion detector and turns the hose on when it detects something within its range. Seems like a good idea and you can keep your grass watered at the same time.

There are a few new ideas out there. One example is a strobe light device that you hand from the rafters in your attic. The constant blinking light is supposed to drive squirrels out of their minds. I can just hear them screaming, "I can't get any sleep with all that flashing."

Lastly, there are the sound devices. These products are supposed to emit a powerful sonic and ultrasonic sound wave that attacks the auditory and nervous systems of most animals causing them pain and discomfort. Humans cannot hear it and after watching some of these devices in action, I'm not sure the animals hear it either.

So many choices. So many dollars to spend. I know many of these products offer a money back guarantee, but I strongly advise reading the small print before plunking down your hard-earned cash. Trapping and removal is what rings my personal bell. It is not the most enjoyable thing, but I have physical evidence that I am removing an animal that was, heretofore, tearing my house apart.



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