Squirrels are cute but pesky critters who can create a lot of costly damage when they get into your home. Attics are an attractive nesting space for them. Out of harsh weather and hidden from predators, it’s an ideal space to raise their pups.

Getting rid of squirrels on your own can be a tough nut to crack. Yet many homeowners decide to take matters into their own hands and purchase readily available squirrel repellents to rid their houses of them. From chemical to natural remedies, here are some common types you’ll find in stores and online.

1. Repellent Sprays

Repellent sprays are a common choice because they are so easy to use. Natural sprays can contain capsaicin from chili peppers, peppermint, eucalyptus, garlic, and citrus oils. These are supposed to be smells that squirrels dislike. Sprayed on garden beds or bird feeders, they are supposed to fend off squirrels. These sprays have limited use as wind, rain, and time reduce their efficacy. In addition, squirrels are dogged creatures and will put up with these scents until they fade.

It’s important to note that there are no specific squirrel poisons available, as poisoning squirrels is illegal.

2. Ultrasonic Repellent Devices

These devices emit ultrasonic frequencies or electromagnetic pulses that create an irritating environment squirrels want to get away from. They are plugged into any electric outlet, and many are activated by a motion detector that switches on when the squirrel is close at hand.

These types of repellents have been growing in popularity as, unlike chemicals, they are seen as harmless to both the squirrels and house residents. However, there is no scientific evidence that these devices work, and the Federal Trade Commission has been warning consumers against them.

3. Granular Repellents

Granular repellents are typically made from natural ingredients, such as dried blood, predator urine, or hot pepper flakes. These granules can be scattered around gardens or outdoor areas to create a barrier that squirrels will avoid.

These have strong odors you would not want to use in your attic. Used outdoors, just like the spray deterrents, these will also fade away, requiring frequent applications. In addition, predator urine, such as fox urine, can attract fox predators like coyotes. And coyote urine can attract coyotes looking for a mate.

4. Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Motion-activated sprinklers are another recommended natural squirrel deterrent. When activated, they are supposed to startle and scare squirrels away. They might work on squirrels scampering outside, but most squirrels that nest in attics are tree squirrels that hop onto your roof from tree branches. These squirrels will not be affected by the sprinklers at all.

In addition, how you place the sprinklers is key. They need to spray the path the squirrels take to approach your home or garden bed. And squirrels can learn how to avoid the spray.

5. Taste Repellents

Capsaicin is a chemical that makes chilies hot. Squirrels do not like it. Effectiveness wears out quickly, so it requires constant reapplications. And it’s easy for squirrels to avoid. It might work to protect certain plants, but it won’t get a squirrel out of your attic.

Unfortunately, capsaicin can harm squirrels and other small animals that come in contact with it. If it gets on any animal’s paws, it could blind them if they then rub their eyes. This would jeopardize their survival, as it would make it impossible for them to find food.

The Truth About Squirrel Repellents and Deterrents

The internet is full of squirrel deterrent products, but none work well. There is no such thing as an effective squirrel repellent. Stores and the internet show products packaged in striking colors that they market as a cure-all.

The damage squirrels create when in your attic is serious. They gnaw on wood and wires, tear insulation, and make a mess with the nuts and acorns they’ll bring in. They also carry parasites and diseases and will become aggressive if cornered.

When you need to get one or more squirrels out of your attic, call a professional wildlife removal company such as Critter Control. We not only remove squirrels from your home but also exclude them from returning. Then, we sanitize and restore your space to its original condition.