I have an older house wit... #157357 - Ask Extension


I have an older house wit... #157357

Asked October 16, 2013, 7:43 PM EDT

I have an older house with wooden box gutters. A hole exists and a or some squirrels have entered the area. Is there a squirrell repellant that will get them to leave? Thank you Rick Armstrong

Hamilton County Ohio

Expert Response

Hi Rick,
It's interesting that rain hasn't chased the squirrels out. Have the squirrels entered your home or are they staying in the gutter? Usually when a hole exists, it means the squirrel has or is trying to gain access to the inside. I would recommend checking to make sure there is not another hole leading inside your home. If this is the case, I would recommend trapping over repellents. Ultimately, you need to cover or seal up the holes to prevent access, but the squirrel(s) needs to be removed BEFORE you do that so as not to trap it inside. Here is a fact sheet on dealing with squirrel damage: http://www.icwdm.org/handbook/rodents/TreeSquirrels.asp

If the squirrels are just using your gutter for a home, depending on the size of your gutters, a box trap may fit inside. Prebait the trap (leave it open so it won't shut) for a couple days baited with a mix of peanut butter and oatmeal. This will get the squirrel comfortable going in and out of the trap. After a few days, set the trap. Trap for several days to ensure you get all the squirrels. Then seal up the hole. This strategy assumes the squirrels have no other access to inside the gutter but the hole they created. If they have other access, you may be able to use a repellent to chase them out. Use a repellent label for use on squirrels with capsacin (hot pepper) as the active ingredient. Be sure to also seal up the holes they created by using stainless steel or vinyl-coated hardware cloth, which can withstand gnawing by rodents.

Also remember you have the option of contacting a wildlife control specialist (found with an online search or in a phone book) and they can trap, remove the squirrel, and seal up the hole for you.

I hope this helps, and please feel free to call or email me for further info or questions.

Marne Titchenell Replied October 23, 2013, 11:25 AM EDT

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