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Squirrel & Rabbit Problems Solved
Do you have a squirrel management problem? If so, this advice will solve your problems.
A Squirrel is a Dangerous Animal - They carry disease in their feces and fleas which can bite you and give you bubonic plague or other diseases. They are rats with a bushy tail. Sure, they are cute to look at, but they can be a real problem rodent for many people. They will try to burrow under or into your home and they can eat up electrical wires can even cause your house to burn down. Not so cute now, huh? The multiply faster than rabbits. In springtime you may see one, then suddenly in just three months you will see 14 and that can double again in July. They can overrun your property and they will steal your bird food, cat food, fruit and vegetables and just make life miserable for you. The also have amazingly powerful teeth and those fangs are really long fangs too. One bite from a squirrel and you will be visiting the emergency room for stitches. Some squirrels can become aggressive and attack you or your kids.
"Squirrels have caused more than 50 power outages in 24 states in the year 2013 alone. Squirrels caused the blackouts and small explosions that shut down the New York Stock Exchange, twice!"
Trapping - You can trap the squirrel with a humane box trap and release it, but be prepared to discover the moment you trap one and release it five miles away so it will not return, when you get back home you find another squirrel has moved into the den. Really, it will happen that fast! Eventually after 14 trappings and trips it gets real old very fast that this humane treatment is punishing for you. I enjoyed trapping them and I still do for some that are difficult to manage. They can be very smart! Click here for a nice high quality Safeguard Products trap. Buy one size larger than what you think you need for best results.
Rat Trap - You can use a large spring-loaded wire snap rat trap that will quickly snap the wire down on the squirrel's face or neck. It will not kill the squirrel 100% of the time so you must risk the danger of approaching the animal and dispatch it with a shovel along the neck. Not very pleasant as they do not die on the first or second or third strike and they cry like a baby sometimes. As cute as a squirrel looks it is a tough job to do. You can try drowning them, but again you must use a shovel to pick up the wounded, scared and very angry animal and if it happens to fall out of the trap, which can easily happen, the squirrel may be biting your face to shreds! Plus, watching the animal drown is not fun.
Electrocution - This is the best way to lethally get rid of mice, rats and squirrels. I purchased the Rat Zapper brand and it works like a charm. Instant death for the squirrel, rat or mouse. No pain, no mess. After about three electrocutions when using it outdoors you need to clean the electric plate in the device with a damp soft cloth bottle brush with the unit shut off. If dust is a problem like out West on windy days you can choose to not use the unit on those days or clean the unit. Believe me, cleaning the unit is easy to do and well worth the effort considering the grief it is solves for you... it gets rid of the squirrels! I doubted the Rat Zapper would work, but after seeing it in action I am a believer. I know, killing the little cute animal may seem cruel, but I found these rodents to be overrunning my home/property and dying, defecating and urinating under the house stinking up the home to the point something has to be done to control mice and squirrels. The Rat Zapper works best when you use fresh alkaline batteries and the internal chrome ground plate is very clean and dry with no dust accumulated on it. Replace the batteries after 10 electrocutions on squirrels as they take a lot of juice out of the batteries.
Wild Rabbit Bait: To get a wild rabbit to enter a cage trap? Well, a carrot won't work unless people have been feeding them carrots. Normally, a wild rabbit will not eat lettuce or carrots as they do not know what they are being that these items do no grow wild (unless you own a farm growing such foods). Lure the rabbit into the cage by placing corn on the cob inside the trap. Raw or microwave corn or both should work, even bird seed.
Trapping Tips - Often you do not even have to insert bait into a live trap. If the rodent hole they use is under your home or shed you can place the trap against the foundation. Animals exit the hole and do not travel straight out as they like to hug the wall and they will enter the trap. Mice also do this.
Professional Trap to Buy - Search Internet for, "Professional Rear Release Humane Animal Trap" The Pro 17 model for squirrels and small juvenile rabbits works great. You need that rear-release gate to let the animal out of the cage without getting bitten by the animal. If you buy a animal cage with only one entry/exit it will be a mistake. Use what the professionals use for your own safety. Squirrels will bite so fast charging at you from the back of the cage your eyes will not even see it happen! With the rear release gate you can even tie a rope to it and open that gate at a great distance from the released "angry" animal.
Tips on using Rat Zapper device:
Killing squirrels with the device requires new alkaline batteries for 8 kills then replace the batteries as the batteries may not generate the high voltage to kill the animal, only stun it. It is still a good deal as the device kills fast and eliminates the squirrel problem! You can use rechargeable batteries to keep long-term costs down, but make sure the rechargeable batteries are of a high milliamp design, buy the most powerful batteries you can find. I saw powerful 5,000mAh batteries at Radio Shack. For mice? The batteries will last all year long. It is just the squirrels that need the highest voltage. I believe that is why the device is not advertised to kill squirrels, though large rats are the same size or larger than a squirrel so it may take more power to kill a squirrel due to their greater density muscle mass. Also, use the Rat Zapper in the cool morning in a shaded area not in direct sunlight as the infrared sensor will not trigger on a very hot summer day and the bait will be taken by the squirrel. If you find the bait being taken install new alkaline batteries.
When Rat Zapper initiates an electrocution the red light will flash, but if the animal is still alive the Rat Zapper will soon sense this and it will trigger another instance of electrocution so do not remove the animal from the device. A squirrel may need a two or three "zaps" to kill it. For best results let the animal stay in the Rat Zapper for fifteen minutes or longer. Make sure the batteries are in top condition so plenty of voltage is available. I find it works best if you place the Rat Zapper in a weather proof shed or a plastic box so wind-blown dust, mud from the animal's paws or rain won't foul the chrome ground plate which if it gets "dusted" will not trigger the electrocution. Using bait way back into the device, such as peanuts, fresh cherries or bird feed, works like a charm to attract squirrels. For mice, you can bait, but simply placing it adjacent to a wall on the floor gets the job done.
Poison - Just One Bite brand works. Click here. This powerful product is designed to kill mice, but unlike other mice and rat poisons this product actually kills squirrels and rabbits. There's specialized squirrel poisons but they are expensive and they don't work quickly. They are mostly sunflower seeds soaked in a poison. The squirrels bury them and eventually after many weeks or months will eat the seeds. Just One Bite is so irresistible to squirrels they will eat the entire solid bait in one sitting and in about four days the squirrel will be in heaven (or hell). You can toss the bait bar down mice, rat, rabbit and squirrel holes. I have placed the bait inside a plastic Tupperware box, cut a hole inside of it and place rock on the lid. For squirrels and mice and rats you can buy a poison bait chamber which lasts for years. Just keep adding bait each six months to control rodents. The problem with using poison is if the animals are living under or inside your home when they die it will create a horrible stench for many weeks. Before you use poisons find the dens. Make sure none of the rodents are living under or in your home. Also, a dead, poisoned animal is loaded with poison and if another scavenger animal or bird eats the deceased critter it may poison the healthy animal too. If this is a concern then use the other methods mentioned in this article.
Gunfire - Don't use a gun to kill animals as it may be illegal to discharge firearms, even pellet and BB guns on residential zoned properties. Also, there is a danger of ricochet and somebody get seriously hurt including yourself. Also, a missed shot to a vital area will cause the animal to escape and suffer a slow death.
Smoke Bomb - There is a product that you can light the fuse and put it down a burrow hole and the toxic sulfur smoke kills the animal right away. The only drawback is that it is a pyrotechnic device that can start a fire so be fully aware of this for it is not worth burning down your home or somebody else's home. The soil should be moist I was told as dry soil absorbs the smoke and fails to kill the animal living in the burrowed home. You also need to block the escape hole as there are two or three or four holes animals use as escape routes, toss the lit bomb into one hole and cover it up with soil or a large rock immediately. You can also place the device at one end of a long pipe, screw a cap on one end and poke the open end under a shed. This way you won't burn the shed down and only the smoke without sparks or flame will contact exposed wood. I don't like using these smoke devices as the risk of fire is too great.
Bottom Line - The best method for troublesome squirrels is still the Rat Zapper electrocution device. It is a humane kill and gets the job done.
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1. Question: We have 30 acres with hundreds of squirrels taking over our land and buildings. What can we do?
Answer: Poison works, such
as "Just One Bite" brand, but it will kill rabbits, cats, dogs, birds too so use
that as a last resort. But, to use poison in a safe manner you can also trap
the animal first in the cage then insert the poison, let it eat and release it.
Problem is, it may die under your home stinking up the bedroom, etc.
2. Question: We notice squirrels keep coming back to the same holes under our house even if we cover the holes up after killing the squirrel. What is going on?
Answer: The little pest spray the hole and inside with a marker letting other squirrels know, "This is the place, come here." That odor, only squirrels smell not humans, will last for years. That is why once a squirrel makes a hole you are doomed as squirrels just keep coming back. They are like zombies. Kill them and another will come take its place doing the exact same damage. It never ends. I have tried using hot cyanine pepper ground up, but found it will not stop them from reentering that hole location. If I find a product that works I will post it here. So far, no such luck.
3. Question: I was wondering if a stuffed decoy of a coyote would act as a scare crow?
Answer: I have not tried it yet. I can almost bet it won't work as squirrels I think will eventually find out it is fake. I know some products use predator urine and feces in their squirrel repellant product, but so far I have not seen them work. Or, if they do work, they don't last long just a week and the monsters return.
4. Question: I am tired of killing squirrels. Isn't there another way?
Answer: Poison works. Just be aware the squirrel will die under your home or garage stinking up the place for a week or two. Also, other squirrels will cannibalize it and they too can die eating the poison meat and the stench will go on for another couple weeks with often two more dead, decaying squirrels under your bedroom. See Question #1 about caging the animal. Also, even if the squirrel you poison is under your barn, another squirrel will drag its dead body under your home. These guys are truly horrible pests. They live in stinky nests of their own making.
5. Question: Can squirrels damage my home?
Answer: They can set your home on fire! If you let them live under your home or in the walls of your home the cute little squirrel(s) will nibble on the electrical wires and you will have a serious house fire or at best broken wires. Yes, those cuddly-looking squirrels can kill you and your family. They are rats with a bushy tail. They will structurally weaken your home as they gnaw through 2x4 wood beams behind walls and in ceiling and floors. They are like termites. They don't eat the wood, but they devour it to cut pathways and create dens. Then they spray the paths with scent and breed and squirrels invade your home for ever and forever. It never ends. You have to create a method to block the entry under your home, usually with physically sealing the foundation with metal plates or concrete, stone slabs or asphalt so they can't dig through or go under to gain access to your home. You got to seal up the entire foundation. This problem is serious if you have a manufactured home with just plastic or metal skirting and no concrete perimeter foundation. Squirrels also carry disease and if they live in or under your home their feces will stink up your home to the point you can not live in your own home anymore. Plus, disease from the dried feces can contaminate your home. Squirrels are a serious menace.
6. Question: I can't get my squirrels to enter the trap?
Answer: Bait is the great trick of the trade. There are three baits I have found squirrels can not resist. Peanut butter. Put a teaspoon of peanut butter in a small paper Dixie cup and put it in the trap. If you find some squirrels are not attracted to the peanut butter then switch to black oil sunflower seeds as they go crazy for those seeds. But even then, if you have a troublesome or very wise and old squirrel that is not taking the bait use a fresh red color Bing cherry... they can not resist this bait, not even the most intelligent and wise squirrel that has been trapped before in cages, it will enter the cage to get that red Bing cherry. But first, place one cherry outside of the cage and let the squirrel dine on it, and with one inside the cage it will lure and trap that squirrel... guaranteed!
7. Question: Can squirrels damage my home?
Answer: When you buy a trap make sure it functions. Sometimes the mechanism gets sticky, gummed up, pebble or stone prevents the trip device to trigger the trap door. I often have to adjust the sensitivity of the trap door release mechanism my slightly adjusting the angle of the trip lever with a pair of pliers. I have seen squirrels and even rabbits enter the cage, sit or even stomp on the trip plate and the trap never operates.
8. Question: I bought a trap but the squirrel keeps going to my bird feeder. Now what?
Answer: Stop feeding the birds for a couple to five days. If you can't bear to stop feeding your birds you can put the bird feed in a bowl on the ground and when the squirrels arrive move the bowl inside your home or garage. When the squirrel sees the bird feeders are empty and not dropping seeds on the ground they will smell the food in the trap you have set. See question #6 above.
9. Question: I trapped a squirrel but I am terrified of its mean hissing and growling. How do I release it from the cage?
Answer: You will begin to see the real mean nature of these pesky animals once you trap them. They are cute, but they are vicious monsters with sharp teeth and claws. You saw them chase your birds away and even kill your birds. Yes, those feathers you see are not feathers that fell off your birds, the squirrels are killing the birds. They get along with the birds so it seems, but then suddenly it will turn and kill a nearby bird and eat it, even if there is plenty of food to be had by all. I like the traps that have a sliding release door at one end of the trap. You can tie a strong nylon string or rope to it and slide it open at a safe distance. I just open the sliding door about 4 inches, walk away and the squirrel escapes and runs like the Dickens (whoever the Dickens are, I do not know). I suppose a squirrel could turn and attack you, but I have never seen it happen, yet. They just run for freedom.
10. Question: Should I relocate squirrels or kill them?
Answer: Maybe both methods to be used. Once you get a squirrel problem you will always have a squirrel problem for ever. So, get used to trapping, release or killing them. If you surrender? The squirrels will eventually take your home one bite at a time and destroy it. What is sad, many people are squirrels eating away their homes and do not even know it until it is too late to reverse the internal damage.
11. Question: How do I dispose of dead squirrel bodies?
Answer: Wrapping them in plastic bags and tossing the in the trash can does not work well. They stink so bad as they decompose no plastic bag will hold the odor, unless you use a special hazardous biohazard material plastic. Believe it or not, if you just use a shovel and hurl the body away from your home (not in your neighbors yard) other squirrels will come dine on it and birds will dissect it further. You may see a slight increase in flies, but the dissection will take place quickly and odor will not be a problem. Squirrels are cannibals. You will see them dragging body parts into their dens. Make sure squirrels are not dragging body parts under your home. You don't want that odor inside your house. You can bury the animals too, but you can get strong odors from that method coming from the soil, so bury them a couple hundred feet away from any open windows or air breezes or bury them very deep in the earth two feet or more down. Other squirrels can still dig and uncover the cadavers. Squirrels are so much of a nuisance that even killing them does not solve the problem because you got to get rid of the bodies too. And, more squirrels will soon arrive to take their place. Another method that works is to just let the dead squirrel lay on the ground away from your home and the birds of the air will devour it in about 3 days or so.
12. Question: Safe Mouse Poison. Does it exist?
Answer: Sprinkle baking soda where mice are. The soda powder gets on their paws and then when they lick the powder it expands in their stomach killing them.
13. Question: I heard mice can burn a house down. Is this true?
Answer: Mice chew on electrical wires cause house fires! Wall Street in 2015 was shut down for hours due to mice eating computer data wires and fires were started. The television news often reports on fires caused by rodents; mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons, etc.
14. Question: Is there a method to keep rodents from entering under my home?
Answer: Yes, you can purchase 6" x 6" L-shape stainless or galvanized steel and bury it so the L-shape is aligned as shown (looking horizontally along the home foundation you see an L-shape). The bottom of the "L" should be facing away from the home's foundation skirting. Another method that requires no digging is to purchase 1/8" (or 1/4" hardware wire cloth), cut it to 3' x 1' lengths and lay it down on the earth up to the home's foundation, then cover it with a row of red or black bricks so animals can't move the wire cloth. The brick should be against the home skirting at ground level, then cover it with decorative stone or bark chips. Mice and rodents can not penetrate this barrier. It is the quickest and fastest method to install and to remove when access to under the home needs to be performed.