How To Get Rid of Squirrels

Squirrels can be delightful to watch in your backyard, however, when they decide to make your home their own, they can become quite a nuisance. In this blog post, we’ll explore the signs of a squirrel infestation, the ways they find their way into our homes, the damage they can cause, and most importantly, how to handle the situation in a humane manner.


What are the signs of a squirrel problem?

Squirrels are sneaky critters, and it can be hard to identify an infestation early before too much damage is done. Here are some common signs to look for: 

  • Scratching and scurrying noises in your attic or walls.
  • Nests or debris in your attic.
  • Chewed or gnawed wires, insulation, and structural materials.
  • Droppings or urine stains (often mistaken for water damage). 
  • Squirrel sightings or tracks around your property.
  • Piles of acorns in your home or on your property.
Squirrel on Eve

What causes squirrels to enter your home?

Squirrels enter homes primarily in search of food, shelter and warmth. As the temperature drops in the fall, squirrels and other critters such as mice, rats and raccoons are driven to seek refuge in attics, crawl spaces, and other cozy nooks within your home. Squirrels are highly adaptable and resourceful creatures, making their way into buildings through openings such as loose vents, gaps in the eaves, and even damaged roofing. 

Squirrels Entering the Home

What damage can squirrels cause?

Squirrels may appear cute, but the damage they can inflict on your home is anything but. Did you know that squirrels can:

Are squirrels dangerous?

Squirrels are generally not considered dangerous to humans. They are small, non-aggressive animals and are more likely to flee from humans than to confront them. While squirrels are not typically aggressive, there is a risk of disease transmission. Squirrels in Canada are known to: 

Bite humans if baby squirrels are present or if backed into a corner.

How to Prevent Squirrel Problems

How to humanely get rid of squirrels

These strategies ensure the safety and well-being of both the squirrels and your family. 

  • Remove Food Sources – Access to food is one of the main reasons squirrels will enter your home, if their access is cut off they will be encouraged to leave. Although nuts and seeds are squirrels’ favourite foods they will also snack on any fruits, vegetables and even cookies they can get their paws on. 
  • Seal Trash Cans – Secure your trash cans to prevent squirrels from scavenging for food. Invest in sturdy, animal-resistant containers or use bungee cords to secure lids. 
  • Remove Bird Feeders – Squirrels love monopolizing bird feeders, they will eat all the seeds leaving none for the beautiful birds. Even if you have a “squirrel proof” bird feeder they will scavenge for dropped seeds under the feeder.
  • Secure Pet Food – Squirrels don’t typically eat pet food, unlike mice and rats, however, if they lose access to other food they will turn to eating and stockpiling dry pet food. 
  • Maintain Your Yard – Regular yard maintenance, like pruning branches that provide easy access to your home, can discourage squirrels from entering your home. Regularly cleaning up fallen fruits and nuts from your trees will also help make your property less squirrel-friendly. 
  • Implement Barriers – Implementing physical barriers, such as mesh or wire netting can block squirrel entry points effectively excluding them from your property. Chimney caps and vent screens are also great options to prevent access. For this to work you need to know all the entry points the squirrels are using and make sure not to install the barriers when the squirrels are in the home! Wildlife exclusion professionals are able to implement these barriers swiftly and effectively for you. 
  • Trap and Relocate – In cases where squirrels have settled into your home, it may be necessary to trap and release the critters. This job should be handled by a wildlife control professional.
Grey Squirrel on Roof

Squirrels may be charming when they’re performing acrobatics in your yard, but when they invade your living space it’s essential to address the situation quickly and effectively. Are you in need of squirrel removal services? Terminix Canada has you covered! We offer expert pest & wildlife control services for both residential and commercial properties with locations across Canada including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Call us today for safe and humane squirrel exclusion!

Canadian Squirrel FAQs

Are black squirrels native to Canada?

Oddly enough, the black squirrels found across Canada are simply a colour variation of the Eastern Grey Squirrel. Similar to how humans have different hair colours the grey and black squirrels are the same species just with different coloured fur. The Eastern Grey Squirrel is native to eastern Canada and is very common throughout New Brunswick, Quebec, southern Ontario and southern Manitoba. Unfortunately, in the past couple of decades, they have been introduced to some locations on the West Coast including Vancouver and Vancouver Island. In these locations, the Eastern Grey Squirrel is considered invasive. 

What is the best thing to keep squirrels away?

The most effective way to keep squirrels out of your home is using exclusion. Squirrel exclusion is a pest control method used to prevent squirrels from entering a building. It involves sealing or blocking all potential entry points that squirrels might use to gain access to a structure, such as gaps in the roof, vents, chimneys, or holes in walls and foundations. The goal is to create a squirrel-proof barrier that keeps these animals from entering or re-entering the home. 

Can squirrels carry rabies and other diseases?

Squirrels often carry diseases, but the risk of them carrying rabies is exceptionally low. Rabies is more commonly associated with mammals like raccoons, bats, and skunks. However, squirrels can transmit diseases like Encephalitis, Lyme Disease, Salmonella and Tularemia.

How do I get rid of squirrels ASAP?

To get rid of squirrels ASAP while ensuring a safe, humane, and legal process, it’s best to contact a licensed pest control company. They have the expertise and resources to address the issue promptly and effectively, allowing you to enjoy a squirrel-free home. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Terminix Canada today for all your squirrel control and squirrel removal needs.

How do I stop squirrels from chewing wires?

Squirrels are known to chew on wires – they have strong, sharp teeth that continuously grow, and chewing helps them keep their teeth in check. Unfortunately, this behaviour can pose a significant risk, especially if they chew on electrical wires. Damaged electrical wires can cause electrical outages, fires, and other safety hazards in your home. 

If you’re having squirrel problems in the experts from Terminix Canada. Our wildlife experts will be able to safely and humanly remove squirrels from your home. 

What is the most common squirrel in Canada? What kind of squirrels live in Canada?

The most common type of squirrel in Canada is the Eastern Grey Squirrel as the name suggests they are native to eastern Canada including New Brunswick, Quebec, southern Ontario and even southern Manitoba. The American Red Squirrel is the second most common type of squirrel in Canada and the most common on the west coast including throughout British Columbia and Alberta.

Learn more about different Candian squirrels.

What kind of squirrels live in Alberta? Are grey squirrels native to Alberta?

The two most common types of squirrels in Alberta are the American Red Squirrel and the Eastern Gray Squirrel. The Eastern Gray Squirrel is not native to Alberta but has now, unfortunately, become the most prominent squirrel in Edmonton and Calgary

Learn more about Canadian squirrel species

How many squirrels are in Canada?

There are 22 species of squirrels in Canada. This includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, and even flying squirrels. 

Learn more about Canadian squirrels.

Are squirrels protected in Ontario?

Hunting squirrels in Ontario is only allowed with proper licencing. If you are dealing with squirrel problems on your property it’s best to contact professional pest control to deal with the situation safely, legally and effectively. 

Are squirrels protected in British Columbia?

Native squirrel species are protected in British Columbia. If you are dealing with squirrel problems on your property it’s best to contact professional pest control to deal with the situation safely, legally and effectively. 

Are squirrels protected in Quebec?

Yes, it is illegal to hunt or kill squirrels in Quebec. If you are dealing with squirrel problems on your property it’s best to contact professional pest control to deal with the situation humanely, legally and effectively.