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Controlling Squirrels and Chipmunks

Squirrels and chipmunks can easily become nuisances to a homeowner. They will chew away at expensive ornamental plants, dig up valuable bulbs, and devour eatables in the vegetable garden. Chipmunks can be especially destructive. They will burrow under patios, driveways and foundation walls, or tunnel under flower beds and retaining walls. If squirrels get into your attic and build a nest for their young, they can be very difficult to eliminate, as they will chew through roofing, soffits, and fascias.

If you would like to control the number of these rodent pests on your property, consider the following:

  • The easiest way to stop the destruction of plant material is to spray the plants with a taste aversion product. These sprays are especially formulated to taste so bad to animals that they will not eat the plants. The disadvantage of these repellents is that they will probably need to be reapplied after every rainfall.
  • Traps are another way of eliminating these pests. If you do not mind killing the animals, you can use a trap that will electrocute any animal weighing less than 5 pounds that is lured into the trap by a tasty bit of food bait. A battery supplies a charge to a pad on the floor of the cage.
  • Humane animal traps can also be used. These traps also rely on food to lure the rodent into the trap, but they will not harm it. The animal can be released at a safe distance away from your property. Be aware, however, that squirrels and chipmunks have very strong homing instincts. You will have to release them several miles away, unless you want to risk their immediate return. You may be more successful in relocating these pests if you confuse their sense of smell by spraying them with some perfume before you transport them to their new territory.

Before you take action, do your research. In many communities for safety reasons, it is illegal to either poison or shoot at an animal with any kind of fire arm.

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