How to prevent squirrels from diging up my lawn?

ZoysiaLadyMay 26, 2011

Please, help! Every morning some squirrels come to dig up my lawn. I have tryed some methods: 1. blood meal and fox urine - effective, but after rain or watering the lawn, stop being effective at all; 2. ultrasound adjustable units Yard Guard - not effective - squirrels can tolerate them well no matter what setting the units have.

Does anyone know how to prevent squirrels from digging up holes in my lawn? Thank you!

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Homechicken(7b/metro-Atlanta)

Honestly unless you have an outside dog that'll chase them whenever they come into the yard or are willing to kill them, there's not much I've found that's effective in detering squirrels.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 12:21PM
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krnuttle

Stop fighting them, the were probably there before your house was.

They will give you hours of entertainment if you let them. Somewhere on the net there is a video of a man in England who spent his life make squirrel obstacle course and enjoyed watching the solve the problems.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 2:58PM
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ZoysiaLady

Knuttle, they are ruining my newly sod lawn - it is no fun to watch, it is really sad.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 3:47PM
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johnb352(9)

Pellet gun.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 7:22PM
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krnuttle

While my comment was a bit facetious, it reflects a truth about dealing with nature. Yes in some ways squirrels are destructive with the holes in the lawn and the enlarging the hole in a birdhouse.

However there is no way to keep them off the yard. If you kill them as someone suggested, in about three days, the territory will have been taken over by another squirrel who goes about his task a little quieter and less obvious. This is true with all of the wild life, chipmunks, birds, rabbits, the raptors, coyotes, etc.

About two years ago, our neighbor spent $250 for the set up and then $75 a head to have someone come in and trap the racoons. After a couple of weeks they appeared to be gone, but if you knew what to look for they just went under cover.

While it is difficult to see the little holes in the yard, you have to think of it as not having to spend the money to have the yard aerated. Unless you accept them the only thing that will be accomplished is the loss of a lot of money, stress, and ulcers.

You have to learn to enjoy the mother squirrel as she tries to put a roof back on the "birdhouse", after she broke the roof while trying to throw another squirrel out of the house that she had used for years. They are quite interesting little animals.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 8:40PM
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Texas_Tifway(8 East Texas)

Im sure there are many ways to get rid of these furry marauders. You could take a more direct approach and bait a spot in your yard with feed and wait for them to eat it then pop out of the bushes and blast them away with a pellet gun. Or you can go to your local home improvement store and get you a small live trap. Then after you got them traped take them a few miles away and release them back into the wild. I think both are pretty effective at decresing the squirrel population around your house but you probably will never completly eradicate your problem.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 1:27AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Knuttle has another point built into what he did not say. You should always plant species which are adapted to your location. Your location includes every aspect of the environment, including squirrels. You can minimize the impact of the squirrels in your yard by keeping cats, but I'm not thrilled with that idea. One Jack Russell terrier will take care of every squirrel, much better than even a small army of cats. Anyway that doesn't help you but it sort of explains how your choice of sod can be a loooong term source of frustration by trying to make it fit into your location.

Specifically for squirrels there are the natural predators (cats and dogs), live traps, and pellet guns. You probably want some sort of chemical solution. I'm not aware of one. I live in a very squirrely neighborhood. From the satellite view, you cannot tell there are any homes in here because everyone has 10 or more live oak trees. I have three cats and a dog and that has seemed to work, but I also have St Augustine grass that will recover nearly immediately from squirrels digging up acorns.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 8:53AM
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ZoysiaLady

I have just read about fox urine repellent that is supposed to scare squirrels and turn them away. Does anybody know if it really work?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 4:48PM
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Homechicken(7b/metro-Atlanta)

Fox urine did not work for me.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 9:28PM
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botanicalbill(9b SWFlorida)

The best cure for squirrels is to remove them, or remove the reason they are there. They are in your yard for two reasons, they live close by and there is a food source.
Removing the food source would include removing all oak trees with a half mile or so from your house. Removing their home will only cause them to move, but not far.

Get a humane trap, trap them and drive them to an area of wilderness at least 5 miles away. Keep the trap set up till you do not catch one for a week. Drop off the critters at the same spot so they can reunite.

These repellents are gimmicks that rarely work and just cost you money and false hope.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 12:24AM
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Big_Papi

You clearly need this man's services.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 12:32AM
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nearandwest(7)

My HERO!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 12:50AM
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sunnytop

I ran across this method by accident but it provided a profound and effective removal of all squirrels and rabbits as well within my yard and all of my neighbor's yards for an entire season. I set a rabbit trap early last summer. It didn't catch any rabbits and I soon forgot about it because it became lost in the vegetation that grew. We went on vacation midsummer for 2 weeks. Upon return we noticed a putrid smell in the backyard. Using my nose sniffing like a dog, I led myself to a spot where I gingerly pulled away the vegetation to find a squirrel in the trap I'd forgotten I'd set, flat as a pancake, dried to the wires and smelling to high heaven. Every rabbit and squirrel from miles around must have run for the hills for fear of their lives not knowing what lurked for them amongst the vegetation of our flowerbeds.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 2:00AM
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doggonegardener(Wyoming, Zone 4)

Animal control officer here...you can trap squirrels all day long until you are blue in the face but unless you remove the habitat that they appreciate, the void will be filled by new squirrels very quickly. It's like osmosis. It's really a waste of your time. They are rodents and reproduce very quickly. Thus, their population is always going to be ready to fill the void you create with your trap and comfy habitat. It's sad, but true. This is an issue we deal with a lot. I suggest you get a glass of iced tea and give them some nuts and enjoy the show. Embrace the little devils. Trying to eradicate them will only cause you grief. Good luck with adjusting your outlook. Additionally, it's entirely likely that you are the only one that would notice the little holes in your lawn. Again, consider it aeration and enjoy your summer.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 11:43PM
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nearandwest(7)

I wish I could trap one of my neighbors and relocate them.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 12:01AM
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sunnytop

I wasn't in the business of trapping squirrels, it just happened in the process of going after the rabbits. After getting scared away, honestly, we had no squirrels for 2 months, then a teenager moved in, winter came, now it's back to normal. I don't recommend trapping them and leaving it to rot just to scare the rest away. I feel terrible about what happened. If I'd realized it, I'd never have let that happen. But it sure was amazing at how effective rotting flesh sitting around had been.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 1:17AM
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doggonegardener(Wyoming, Zone 4)

Sunnytop,

I hope you didn't think I was directing anything at you. There have been lots of comments here suggesting trapping and removal and I just wanted to let folks know, from the years of experience I have from working in the field, that trapping and removal is truly a futile endeavor. The homeowner may see some short term relief but it's a losing battle. Same would apply for rabbits.

I'm sure you did feel terrible having set the trap and forgotten.

Wild creatures are opportunists. They find a niche and fill it. It may be a garage opportunity at dry housing. It may be a birdfeeder opportunity at a free, easy meal. It may be a chimney opportunity at a place to raise their brood in warmth and security. They will take advantage. If one is removed, the next fellow in line steps up to take his place. I watch people day after day in my work try to eradicate the member of the wildlife kingdom that they disagree with. It might be chipmunks, voles, squirrels, badgers, foxes, raccoons, skunks, etc. Their efforts are almost unwaveringly futile. Just can't control Mother Nature. She's a powerful force.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 1:00PM
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paulsiu(5a)

Do not attempt to trap squirrels. One the squirrel is gone, another will take its place.

Unless you own a dog that lives out in the backyard, it's pretty tough to keep them out them out. Unless you spend all of your time watch your yard, you can't keep them out. Even repellent don't want too well. The squirrels in my area aren't really afraid of coyotes, they just jump on a tree whenever it passes by.

If all that you care about is that they don't up your sod, cover your sod with some chicken wire until they are grown. It wont' look nice, but it should work. They probably just want to bury a nut, if you prevent them from doing it, they will stop coming.

Paul

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 1:45PM
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Connie.111244

I have read all the suggestions and/or ideas posted here. I didn't see anytrhing about spreading hot pepper around the yard. Has anyone ever heard of using this to deter the little pests from digging up the yard? We had our yard sodded several years ago and this is the first time we've had this problem. Every day there are more holes. I've seen squirrels digging in my neighbors yard so I feel fairly sure, that's our problem as well.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 9:29AM
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kevin2e(7)

If you live in a suburban neighborhood like I do, the trapping works great. However, if you live near or next to the woods I would think there would be an endless supply and harder to control (then you need a dog). When we moved into our house it was overrun by squirrels. IâÂÂm pretty sure the people before us fed them, along with birds, etc. They had even been in the attic and made nests there but were removed at some point well before we moved in. I bought a "humane" trap and moved 16 out in one weekend! As botanicalbill said above, I moved them all out to the wilderness to the same area. They must have had a family reunion.

I still get more squirrels moving in from around the area, usually a few at a time about once a year, but it's much more manageable now. Once they start annoying me I get the trap out and start the shuttle to their new home. Also, I only do it on a weekend when I have the time to check the trap every 30 minutes or so. As much as I dislike them, I don't like to see them trapped for too long. Good luck!

This post was edited by kevin2e on Tue, May 14, 13 at 10:45

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 10:43AM
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chiefsfan(raytown,mo)

.22 wink, wink.
I deal with them too, i just live with them. When that owl showed their was a reduction in the squirrel population.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 7:41PM
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texas-weed(7A)

Got trees? If yes you likely have a tree rat problem. If you ever take notice when you see a squirrel, there are always trees nearby. Trees provide a squirrel protection, shelter, and the squirrel interstate highway.

They rarely venture very far away from a tree. They know they are on the menu of all predators and will not stray very far from a tree to provide an escape route.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 11:23PM
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enigma7(6)

We had major squirrel problems until (as previously mentioned) 2 large trees were removed from our property (10 and 20ft from our house respectively). After that they moved next door. :)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 2:25PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Cut down trees. I lived at this house for 7 years and never saw a single squirrel in my yard because trees around aren't big enough for them to hop tree to tree. At my parents, they were everywhere. Drove my dad crazy and he did try to get rid of them with .22, pellet and traps. Still didn't work. Lol. Dogs are good at keeping them off the ground as long as they are outside 24/7.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 3:56PM
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spoozer

We hang corn cobs from tree branches that are away from the areas of the lawn most sensitive to squirrel pits. A cob on either end of a 4 foot length of cord easily hangs itself on a tree limb when tossed up. Kind of like teenagers like to do with old sneakers on overhead lines.
The dangling kernels are so much work to get to that the our squirrels have little energy left to go out to the other areas of the yard and leave the lawn alone. the corn is also a short term food less likely to get burred by the squirrels like acorns, seeds, and nuts.
The awkward antics are funny enough that the lawn pits almost becomes a secondary issue.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 11:18AM
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nykenny

Sunnytop,I had the same exact thing happen to me. We actually didn't even have any food in the trap, and went on vacation!! Came home to a foul smell and a dead squirrel. Tried everything before that, and that mistake kept the rats with tails out for a good month!!! Told a buddy about this trick just joking around and he now leaves them dead in the trap. Not my cup of tea, but he also has gotten rid of them for the past 2 weeks with no lawn damage!!!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 9:39PM
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