Toronto’s urban landscape is filled with numerous wildlife species, but one creature stands out as charming and mischievous: the squirrel. These arboreal acrobats have adapted remarkably well to city life and are common in parks, residential areas, and even bustling downtown streets.
While squirrels can be entertaining to watch as they scamper across tree branches and perform daring leaps, they can also become persistent pests when they invade our homes and gardens. In this blog, SWAT Wildlife will explore the antics of these sneaky critters and provide tips on outsmarting them to protect your property.
Understanding Squirrel Behavior
Before we can outsmart them, it’s essential to understand their behaviour. They are active during the day and spend much time foraging for food.
They have a keen sense of smell and are attracted to easily accessible food sources such as bird feeders, vegetable gardens, and garbage cans. They are also excellent jumpers, climbers, and chewers, capable of accessing hard-to-reach places.
Squirrel-Proof Your Bird Feeders
If you enjoy feeding the birds in your yard, you may deal with unwanted squirrel visitors. They are notorious for raiding bird feeders, scattering seeds, and monopolizing food for our feathered friends.
To squirrel-proof your bird feeders, consider the following techniques:
- Install baffles: A baffle is a cone-shaped or disk-shaped device that can be placed above or below the bird feeder, making it difficult for them to reach. Ensure the baffle is positioned far enough from jump-off points, such as trees or fences, to prevent them from bypassing it.
- Use squirrel-proof feeders: Look for bird feeders specifically designed to deter them. These feeders often have mechanisms that close off access to the seed ports when the weight of a squirrel is detected.
- Create squirrel-free feeding zones: Establish a dedicated feeding area away from the bird feeders and provide a separate food source, such as corn or nuts. This can help divert their attention and reduce their interference with bird feeding stations.
Protecting Your Garden
If you have a cherished vegetable or flower garden, squirrels can quickly become a frustrating obstacle. Here are some strategies to help protect your garden:
- Install a fence: Surround your garden with a wire mesh fence to create a barrier that deters them from entering. Ensure the fence is dug into the ground to prevent them from burrowing underneath.
- Use deterrents: Scatter repellents around your garden, such as cayenne pepper or predator urine. These odours can be effective in deterring them. Use motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic deterrent devices to startle and discourage them from approaching.
- Opt for squirrel-resistant plants: Choose plants that are less appealing to squirrels. Research squirrel-resistant varieties and incorporate them into your garden. This can help reduce the chances of them turning your garden into a buffet.
Another technique is employing companion planting, which involves growing complementary plants nearby that attract beneficial insects or repel squirrels.
Examples include planting garlic and onions near lettuce to deter squirrels or interplanting marigolds, daffodils, or alliums with tulips to repel them with their pungent aromas.
Seal Entry Points to Your Home
Squirrels can be resourceful when it comes to finding ways into your home. They may exploit small roofs, vents, eaves, or damaged siding openings. To prevent infestations, inspect your home for potential entry points and seal them off.
Use sturdy materials such as wire mesh or hardware cloth to cover vents and openings, ensuring they can’t chew through or push them aside. Trim tree branches that overhang your roof to minimize easy access points.
Seek Professional Help
If you have persistent issues despite your best efforts, seek professional help. Swat Wildlife removal experts have specialized knowledge, equipment, and experience dealing with squirrel infestations. They can assess your property, identify entry points, and implement effective exclusion methods to safely and humanely remove them from your home.
In addition to exclusion and removal, a professional wildlife control provider may handle larger infestations by implementing habitat modifications. This may involve programs to discourage them from nesting on your property, such as pruning back trees and removing dense vegetation adjacent to your home.
Squirrels are fascinating creatures that bring life and energy to Toronto’s urban environment. However, when they cross the line between entertainment and nuisance, it’s crucial to take action to protect your property.
By understanding their behavior and implementing preventative measures like squirrel-proofing bird feeders, protecting your garden, and sealing entry points to your home, you can outsmart these sneaky pests.
If all else fails, professional wildlife removal services can provide the expertise necessary to tackle problems effectively. With perseverance, you can enjoy their presence in your surroundings without compromising your peace of mind.