Squirrels need to be kept off your balcony, despite being cute little creatures with their small size, fluffy tails, and quirky adorable nature. Just like other small rodents, squirrels can be an unwanted addition to any home, balcony, and yard.
They leave droppings and urine, make a lot of mess, and chew on your wall, furniture, and other things. They eat almost anything and can invade even the smallest of spaces. They chew on power lines and phone and cable lines. To top it all off, they also carry potentially infectious diseases and parasites.
So how will you get them off your balcony and keep them out? Here are the options for getting rid of them and maintaining their distance.
To keep squirrels off your balcony, do not feed them. Remove litter and food sources. Put chicken wire over plants. Seal entrances. Trim trees. Use deer repellent, predator urine, soap, vinegar, and cayenne powder. Block access. Secure the birdfeeder. Trap and relocate them.
These solutions will keep those pesky squirrels out of your balcony and property.
How to Keep Squirrels off Your Balcony
Having to maintain an apartment with a balcony may already be a lot for some people. Its maintenance involves a bunch of normal problems, and adding squirrel pests to this list is certainly unwelcome.
While squirrels are enjoyable to watch, they also quickly become bothersome, because they like turning your balcony into their own private playground.
They like to mess up things, and the last thing you could want about your balcony is to have annoying little pest squirrels that take up space, destroy your area, and endanger your health.
With the limited area of your balcony, the challenge of repelling and eradicating squirrels increases.
It is good to know that there are several options available to you regarding various techniques for repelling squirrels so that you can claim back your balcony and kick them out for good.
Below are detailed steps you can perform to keep squirrels off your balcony.
Clean your balcony
The first thing to do is to make sure your apartment balcony is clean and keep it that way.
Regularly remove all dirt, leaves, and trash on your floor by sweeping them up. You can also opt to hose down the balcony afterward for a thorough cleaning.
A clean balcony removes many of the elements that attract and entice squirrels to stay in it. It removes insects and other food sources for these critters, and makes it an uninviting place for them to be in.
Remove various squirrel attractants
After you have cleaned your balcony, the next step is to remove other elements of the balcony that also attracts squirrels. These include flowers and plants as well as all kinds of food.
Once a squirrel discovers that you have live plants placed on the balcony, it will start to visit it either to look for food or dig the soil in your container plants in order to bury their loot of nuts.
If you really want your balcony plants, you can still keep them, but surround their containers with chicken wire or some other material.
Some balcony owners report that squirrels sometimes destroy the chicken wire, so that a sturdier barrier may be needed. This will prevent the squirrels from using the soil to bury their nuts.
If you have pet food or pet dishes with leftover food in your balcony, this is a major attractant to squirrels. Never leave human or pet food lying around, and it will be best if you just feed your pets indoors.
Seal all entrances to your home
Squirrels love to gnaw on wooden things and nibble on electrical wire insulation, which can significantly damage your home.
You should endeavor to keep your home sealed and free from squirrel infestation.
Fix all existing holes in the door and window screens and repair all cracks in the door and windows. Coat your doors and windows with fresh sealant as often as necessary.
In keeping your balcony free of squirrels, you should also let it realize that there is no way it can get to your home, because it will continue to pester you in your balcony if it continues to think that it can find a way to access the house.
Deter such behavior by ensuring that it will find your home simply impossible to invade.
Trim vegetation, especially tree branches
Inspect your balcony for surrounding trees, and if they are present, consult your building’s owners regarding getting their branches trimmed.
Tree limbs are a way by which squirrels can access buildings, homes, and balconies. If there are no tree branches that can help it access your apartment balcony, it will be less inclined to try.
Prune the branches off nearby tall shrubs and trees with the use of pruning shears.
Keep their distance from your balcony at a minimum of 10 feet.
Trim off branches that are overhanging the roof of the apartment building, especially if your apartment is situated on the topmost floor.
Provide squirrel food at another location
Squirrels love to empty bird feeders of their seeds.
While this may be annoying if the birdfeeders are your own, you can also try to ask your building’s owners to put squirrels or bird feeders in some of the trees surrounding the property.
When you provide accessible food for the squirrels at a location away from your balcony, it helps deter them and keeps them from being interested in hanging around your place.
You cangive them feeding stations located nearby, coupled with a water supply. This reliable food and water source will help encourage squirrels to stop visiting your balcony.
It is important to consider, however, to do this only if the squirrels in your area are naturally abundant and cannot be totally eradicated.
If you think you can completely eliminate the squirrels, do not choose this option, for it will only invite more squirrels to come to your vicinity due to the abundance of resources.
Use squirrel repellent
Spray or sprinkle squirrel repellent on your balcony. Use the spray on the balcony railings as well as over the ground. Squirrels love using your balcony rails as a promenade.
You are not limited to using the repellent only on the balcony. You can use it around your deck, your patio, near rain spouts, at your back wall’s edge, and around your property. Wherever squirrels can reach and possibly climb, you can use repellents.
Possible exceptions are inside your house and where children and pets can reach them; this is particularly true for repellent granules.
There are many commercially available squirrel repellents in the market which typically work by irritating the squirrels with their pungent or strong smell.
As with any product, you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Deer repellent has been shown to keep at bay both large pests such as deer as well as little ones like squirrels.
You can use the repellent around the area. It is also useful in protecting outdoor furniture from being chewed; just spray it under the furniture and on its legs to deter the squirrels from damaging it.
Fox and coyote urine is also a possible repellent you can use, although as with all strong-smelling repellents, it may not be applicable if your balcony is small and you will get repelled along with the squirrels.
It is a bit gross too, to think that you will spray urine on the balcony. You can perhaps dilute it to make it undetectable by humans.
You can use the urine around nearby trees which the critters use to access your balcony, as well as surrounding areas that they go to which make them feel at home in your surroundings.
Fox and coyote urine, when smelled by squirrels, will make them think that these predators are around, inspiring them to go away and stay out.
In addition, you may also use homemade repellants that you can mix on your own.
For example, you can use soap and water to spray around appropriate areas.
Soap also repels insects and other rodents.
You may use liquid dishwashing soap mixed with water and placed inside a normal garden sprayer.
Spray areas that the creatures love to visit. Just make sure that you reapply these liquid repellents after rainfall if they are sprayed outdoors. Rainwater washes them off.
A vinegar solution can also be used. The strong odor is the active property that repels the squirrels. As with other repellents with a strong odor, you may find it inapplicable on a small balcony, for it may also repel people as well. However, you can still use it in the surrounding areas that are used by squirrels to access your balcony.
Alternately, you can dilute the vinegar solution enough so that it cannot be smelled by people, but is still effective with squirrels. You can do this with other repellents as well, although their efficacy will be lessened.
You can also mix the cayenne powder with water as a natural repellent. Squirrels hate the spicy smell of the substance and will not go near it.
As with all repellents, especially those that are sprayed, reapply them after some time to maintain their potency.
Meanwhile, baking soda is said to help kill squirrels if it is mixed with certain substances. This solution can help eliminate these squirrels without having to damage other animals and plants in the vicinity.
Determine and block access points
Aside from trimming tree branches, you can also block other points of access. Stake out the balcony in order to find out how these pests gain entry.
You can do this at any time during the daylight hours, because the hours from dawn to dusk, squirrels are active.
Squirrels can leap from tree branches, drop themselves from your gutter or roof, or access your balcony by walking on the phone or cable line.
If it is not possible to prune the tree branches, you can instead install tree trunk guards made of plastic on the trees 6 to 8 feet in height in order to prevent the critters from climbing them.
Use a plastic narrow-gauge trunk guard cut to two to three feet in length for installation on cable and phone lines.
Cut the plastic tubing along the length of the tube in order that it can easily snap over lines. As squirrels cross over it, this tube spins under their weight, causing them to fall from the cable.
Rememberto install these plastic tubing only on cable and phone lines, and never on power lines. Consult with your power company first before doing anything on power lines to avoid electrocution or fire hazards.
Squirrel-proof your birdfeeder
You can repel and deter squirrels by squirrel-proofing your birdfeeder, which will make squirrels less inclined to hang around your balcony.
You can add some cayenne pepper into your balcony birdfeeders.
This will not affect the birds, because they do not have the taste buds for cayenne pepper. Squirrels, on the other hand, will be thoroughly discouraged by the strong taste.
Birds also aren’t affected by hand cream, and so you can lubricate the chains, tops, and hooks, which will deter squirrels with their resulting smooth and slippery surfaces.
Trap the squirrels
You can also trap the pesky squirrels with live traps. Use favorite squirrel foods such as nuts, sunflower seeds, and peanut butter as bait.
They will surely take them.
Relocate them at least five to ten miles from your balcony and property during the night in order to prevent them from coming back.
Do not feed them on the balcony
Justas you may want to feed the squirrels from a faraway tree or area, so you should also avoid feeding them on your balcony. Just like any other animal, squirrels tend to go to places where there is food.
It is not worth feeding them just to see their cute little antics. Soon enough, they will grow too accustomed to you and become the pests that they are.
They will start to mess up your potted plants, chew on things, and defecate on the balcony railings.
Secure the trash
You may happen to have a garbage container on your balcony, and this may have leftover food in it. Make sure that your trash bins are very secure against animal invaders.
Better yet, keep it free of leftover food and let the garbage truck take it as often as possible.
A heavy-duty trash can is also a must, not just on the balcony but in general. Its cover or lid must be impenetrable to the sharp teeth of squirrels. It will be ideal, therefore, to have it made of sturdy metal.
Animals will most often not exert too much effort uncovering a tightly sealed trash bin. They will eventually get discouraged and find better sources of food elsewhere.
Make your place unwelcoming
After food, the next need that animals must fulfill is adequate shelter. Your balcony may be a shelter against predators and bad weather and climate. They may even think of building their nest if your place is ideal.
Therefore, you should make your place as unwelcoming as possible, such as keeping the place free from leaves and debris. Also try to eliminate possible hiding and nesting places.
It is also advisable to clear your entire property, including the house and the yard or garden, of these litter and use other eradication measures both in the interior and exterior parts of your home.
Of course, you can combine different methods of repelling squirrels in order to make your efforts as effective and as permanent as possible.
Make it as hard as possible for the squirrels to enter and stay on your balcony; create the most resistance and install all defensive measures.
These pests will eventually realize that your balcony is not worth it; they will give up and simply choose another area to pester.
Do squirrels attack or scare away mice and rats?
Normally, squirrels do not attack other rodents such as rats and mice. The main reason for this is that the majority of rodents are usually nocturnal, or active at night.
There have been observations of squirrels attacking young rats and mice which sometimes stray away from their nests; however, such attacks are uncommon.
It is more likely for squirrels to attack and feed upon small birds.
Is it okay to keep squirrels as pets?
We have discussed many of the damages that squirrels cause in your home, balcony, yard, and property.
While they can be accustomed to human presence, squirrels have too many spaces and living requirements when they are kept as pets. They also tend to cause too much damage. This does not make them an ideal pet choice.
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