How do I keep squirrels from chewing through my window screens?
We just came home to discover large pieces of bread and baked goods all over the kitchen counter, along the windows above the sink. Thinking that we had just become house mates with super-rat, I summonsed my DH to find it while I packed.
Closer investigtion (by him) revealed a tear in the screen, pushed outward, as in exit. Apparently Einstein Squirrel climbed onto my new window box and chewed his way in and out through the screen. I was somewhat relieved to find a large piece of bread outside, on top of the fence a few feet away.
We just moved here and have lots of squirrels. I love leaving my windows open, which is something we couldn't do in our previous home for safety reasons. Now this! Is this normal? OMG!
Gwen from OH
Are you sure the guilty party is a squirrel? Several years ago I had an apartment that backed to the woods. One night (of course I was home alone) my little dog woke me up, growling and barking like crazy. I found him just outside the kitchen doorway, every hair on his little body standing straight up. I called my mom on the cell phone, whispering: "Yeah, Mom? I'm in my hallway. Charlie is going nuts. There is someone in the kitchen. I have a baseball bat. Stay on the line, mom. If I scream, please call 911, okay?"
Then I flipped on the light to find a giant raccoon sitting on the counter, an entire loaf of wheat bread scattered from here to there. He just sort of looked at me and blinked, as if to say, "Join me for a midnight snack?" He wasn't afraid of me or my ferocious watchdog! I had to hop up and down and throw things before he sauntered back out through the window screen, which he had torn from the lower corner and pulled out of the way for easy entry.
The maintenance man fixed that screen the very next morning. Two weeks later, the intruder returned. We had to stop opening our kitchen window altogether.
Good luck with your bandits! (07/18/2007)
I"m with MissouriMom. I live in an area with lots of squirrels and I've never known one to chew through a screen. Sounds more like a raccoon. Here's how you can tell: what time does this occur? Squirrels are strictly dawn to dusk animals. Raccoons are nocturnal. (07/18/2007)
Yes, indeed squirrels will chew screening if food is in sight! I caught a squirrel chewing on the porch screen. After chasing it off a few times I realized it was after a piece of bread in plain sight on a shelf. I removed the tantalizing bread and the squirrel was no longer tempted. I have the hole covered with heavy tape until the screening can be replaced. (07/23/2007)
Mothballs! Scatter them around the yard and varmints will high-tail it out of there. Works as a snake deterrent too. (07/23/2007)
The previous owners probably fed the squirrels. However I might suggest you get rid of the window box you just put up otherwise you will never be rid of them. They have had a taste of what's inside your home now so don't give them a way to get in your windows again. Keep them clear of tables, tree limbs and keep an eye on your screen door. Don't leave the inside door open. We humans always under estimate the thinking of squirrels. They are quite intelligent and they will get into any kind of bird feeder there is out there and will study it to get in to it. I guess the only way to beat them is to put some corn cobs out there that Lowe's sells or any pet food institution. Basically just feed them and away from your house. (07/23/2007)
I think I'd cover my screens with some heavy duty ventilated material, like the light weight metal grids you can get for your screen door to keep pets from puncturing your screen. Better still, since you obviously can't leave your windows open while they are doing this, could you just take out the screens for a while? At least they wouldn't get torn up and you'd save the expense of replacing them. We're in the middle of heat wave, so I haven't had my windows open for several weeks. (08/10/2007)
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