Do you hear the soft tapping of little feet coming from beneath your deck? This might be a sign of red squirrels turning your space into their new domicile. This is certainly an unpleasant surprise, but rest easy, many have faced this situation before, and there are effective ways to handle it.
You will learn how to utilize light, noise, and scent to discourage these unwelcome visitors naturally. We'll also provide guidance on how to make your deck less appealing to squirrels, so they don't consider it as a potential home in the future.
So, let's roll up our sleeves and work towards restoring the tranquility of your outdoor living area from these adorable, but bothersome critters.
Identifying Red Squirrel Infestation
Recognizing the Presence of Red Squirrels
The initial step in addressing the issue of red squirrels living under your deck is to accurately pinpoint the signs of an infestation. While a squirrel or two might seem endearing, it's crucial not to let your guard down. These little creatures can cause significant damage if they aren't removed promptly.
Be attuned to their sounds. Red squirrels can be quite noisy, particularly during the daytime. If you hear scuffling sounds, it's a clear indication that you're dealing with a squirrel infestation.
Inspect for droppings. Just like other animals, squirrels leave behind feces. If you observe small, rounded feces beneath your deck, it's another indication of an infestation.
Check for any damage. Squirrels are fond of gnawing, and they might be causing harm to your deck or house. If you notice chewed wires or wood, take it as a serious warning sign.
The last defining sign is noticing the squirrels themselves. If you spot squirrels near your deck often, especially in groups of 36 or more, it's almost certain that you're dealing with an infestation.
Recognizing the presence of red squirrels is the initial step towards their removal. After you've pinpointed the issue, you can initiate measures to remove them.
Understanding Red Squirrel Behavior
Gaining Insight into Red Squirrel Behavior
Getting a handle on red squirrel behavior can aid you in making your deck a less attractive haven for these determined critters. Red squirrels are drawn to decks because of the easily accessible food in our trash cans and the cover these platforms offer. Knowing their preferred living spaces can aid in their expulsion.
Your deck, to a squirrel, is just a den waiting to be occupied. They gnaw on the wood, a necessary activity to keep their perpetually growing teeth in check. Wood is their material of choice, as it's softer and more absorbent than composite material. The downside for you is the potential harm to your property, as their gnawing can cause holes that might appeal to other wildlife.
It's worth noting that trapping isn't a lasting solution to a squirrel problem. Their quick reproduction rate, with two litters per year, means removing one squirrel won't be enough to solve the issue. To discourage them, you might try unsettling their sense of safety with potent smells, like ammonia-soaked rags, or bright lights. Being aware of their behavior can aid in crafting a more thorough and successful strategy to reclaim your deck from these unwelcome guests.
Safe and Humane Removal Methods
Armed with a better understanding of red squirrel behavior, let's discuss how to gently persuade them to vacate your deck area.
A simple and effective way is employing light as a deterrent. Red squirrels are fans of dim, snug spaces, so placing bright lights under your deck might dissuade them.
Another technique is the use of ammonia-soaked rags. Squirrels find the odor of ammonia very off-putting and may opt to relocate. A word of caution - use this method with discretion as ammonia is potent and might pose a risk to other animals and pets.
Auditory distractions, such as loud music or noise, can also unsettle the squirrels and motivate them to leave. If all else fails and the squirrels remain adamant, it might be time to call in a wildlife removal specialist. These professionals can safely relocate the squirrels to a new habitat without causing them harm.
Finally, to stop the squirrels from returning, you may want to consider setting up a wire mesh around the edges of your deck. This forms a physical obstacle that the squirrels will find difficult to navigate. The ultimate aim is to gently coax them to find a new home, not to inflict any harm.
As an anonymous animal lover once said, 'In our shared environment, it's all about coexistence, not dominance'. This mindset is key as we explore ways to live harmoniously with our natural neighbors like the red squirrel.
Preventive Measures for Future Infestations
Safeguard Your Deck Against Red Squirrels: Preemptive Actions
To keep red squirrels from invading your deck, it's necessary to put in place several preventative and deterrent strategies.
The first step is to set up motion-sensor lights under the deck. Such lights are designed to make the area unattractive to these bothersome creatures.
A bonus tip is to use ammonia-soaked cloths in bags with holes. Placed under the deck, the potent odor of ammonia serves as an excellent repellant.
As the cold snap of late autumn sets in, squirrels start their search for ample food and a secure spot for nesting. If your deck is roomy enough, it could potentially become their ideal habitat.
To forestall this, you might want to consider fitting steel mesh on any under-deck openings, denying squirrels easy access.
Maintaining the cleanliness of the space under your deck is also a good measure. By removing any debris or potential food sources, you lessen the chances of attracting squirrels.
After a heavy downpour, it's a good idea to reapply your chosen repellants to keep their potency intact.
Implementing these preemptive actions will help your deck stay off-limits to squirrels.
As an old saying goes, 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.' This rings true when it comes to keeping your deck squirrel-free.
Professional Assistance for Squirrel Removal
When all your efforts to discourage red squirrels from invading your deck seem futile, professional intervention for squirrel removal becomes a viable option. Assess the severity of the issue. Are your preventive actions ineffective? If so, the squirrels might persist in damaging your property.
A reputable wildlife control firm, Wildlife Removal, operates in over 500 locations throughout the United States. They specialize in humane wildlife removal, ensuring that squirrels are removed from your property with care. Alternatively, pest control companies offer free quotes, along with their expert advice on how to make your deck less appealing to squirrels.
Should you continue to face issues, don't shy away from reaching out to these experts for assistance in handling the squirrel nuisance. They can also help you implement proactive strategies to deter future invasions and deal with wildlife incidents efficiently.
Dealing with the situation isn't just about resolving the current issue. You may need to consider other alternative materials or techniques that can effectively prevent squirrel damage, such as using a composite deck. Take into account factors like cost and durability before deciding. Professional intervention for squirrel removal can guide you through this evaluation.
'Dealing with a squirrel invasion is more than just a current issue resolution. It's about future-proofing your property.'
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Get Rid of Ground Squirrels Under My Deck?
If your goal is to deter ground squirrels from taking up residence under your deck, there are several steps you can take. A simple yet effective solution is to install a light that triggers with motion, which will likely scare the critters away. Also, you can strategically place rags soaked in ammonia, as its strong smell is known to repel squirrels.
An unexpected tactic could be to keep a talk-radio station playing. The sound of human voices often discourages squirrels from settling. Another preventative measure is to secure any deck openings with sturdy steel mesh to prevent entrance.
One key strategy is to remove any potential food sources and hiding places near your deck. When squirrels find it difficult to find food and shelter, they'll likely move elsewhere.
What Is an Effective Repellent for Red Squirrels?
A successful method to deter red squirrels involves a blend of bright illumination, rags soaked in ammonia, and loud, unusual noises. It's a good idea to make sure all possible entry points are blocked off with a material like steel mesh to prevent the squirrels from making a comeback.
What Can I Put on My Deck to Keep Squirrels Away?
There are a number of practical ways to deter squirrels from your deck. One effective method is using a light that is triggered by motion. Squirrels are naturally wary of unexpected light changes, so this can work to keep them at bay. Another method is utilizing rags soaked in ammonia - the strong scent is unpleasant for squirrels and can deter them. A battery-operated radio can also be used; the noise can scare them off. For physical barriers, consider attaching a steel mesh to any openings to prevent squirrels from entering. Lastly, maintaining a clean deck, free of potential food sources, is a proactive measure to avoid attracting squirrels.
Do Squirrels Make Nests Under Decks?
Absolutely, squirrels are known to build their homes underneath decks. These furry creatures find decks appealing due to the protection and warmth they provide, particularly during the spring and autumn seasons. It's advisable for homeowners to regularly inspect their decks and promptly remove any squirrel nests they come across. As one famous naturalist once said, "In nature, nothing exists alone." So, while we co-exist with these critters, it's best to ensure our homes remain our own.