We weren't aware of the tenacity of squirrels when they are trying to get into your home looking for food until we bought a cottage on a lake. My father-in-law told us to always leave the toilet lid down when we were away to keep the squirrels out. Yeah, right, I thought. Then we returned one weekend to find a squirrel which had drowned in one of the toilets. They get into those little roof pipes which connect to the toilets, come down, and then scamper about destroying everything in their way trying to get out again.
We also had nests built in our free-standing steel fireplace on two different occasions. They were trapped in there and we didn't discover them until we opened the lid to insert wood for a fire. Good thing we had the door closed. We added a wire screen over the top of the chimney to prevent another intruder. Our neighbors had one which destroyed the window grids in their kitchen trying to escape. Hope this will be of some use to you wise readers.
A few years ago I was sitting in my living room and I hear a ripping noise. A squirrel had perched on the edge of the chimney and ripped off the wire screen. He then peoceeded to fall down inside between the liner and chimney wall. H thrashed around for a day or two then died. I was afraid to use the fire place after that for fear of fire.
Keep all windows closed too--even in the hottest summer months. When pregnant, squirrels get the taste for metal and will rip metal window screens to gain access to food.
Not to mention how long it takes to clear a home of the smell of a dying squirrel, or family of dying squirrels in the attic or walls, or some remote area, poor things. I suggest that you do not leave water or food for them outside if they are a problem in your area, because it encourages them to search for you when they need things. They have chewed the weed/shade-cloth beneath my mulch and pieces of my stored cloth patio umbrella. All for their nests, the scoundrels.
Hot pepper sauce will keep the critters away from anything you put it on, re apply after a rain. I put some around our house. They don't come near any more, good luck.
I use coffee grounds. I make a couple of pots of coffee daily and save the grounds from each pot, then sprinkle them into my potted outdoor plants, and around the garden. It's harmless, non toxic and, for some reason, the squirrels don't like it. For months I've gone out daily to find my cuttings dug up and spread around, the soil shifted to the point that the roots of the plant were exposed. But, seriously, in just a matter of two days of putting out the coffee grounds, my plants have remained intact. It's so easy and effective, and it's free if you're a coffee drinker!
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