Asked on Feb 28, 2017

This may sound crazy...but I, need to get rid of squirrels!

by Sma17446697
Squirrels have eaten the harnesses out of a brand new car twice in the last 2 months. This is a very expensive fix. We have tried so many things: vinegar, tabasco, moth balls, little machine intended to chase off critters. Please help!
  47 answers
  • Julie Julie on Feb 28, 2017

    We deter squirrels with cayenne powder mixed in with bird seed. Mammals won't bother with it but birds love it. So I wonder if there is a way to saturate the "harness" with a cayenne mixture. Not sure what you mean by "harness" though.

    • Sma17446697 Sma17446697 on Feb 28, 2017

      The harness is what holds all the wires in place. This particular car has 3 harnesses and he has completely chewed thru 2 of them and damaged connections on the 3rd. So aggravating...not to mention, it is a brand new car.

  • Dfm Dfm on Feb 28, 2017

    if in trap baited with peanut butter. out in might get by with the 3 "s" method - shoot/shovel/shut up. i would get a trappers permit and relocate the critter. check state regulations and city regulations. some places will loan you a trap- you put a deposit down and get your mony back when the trap is returned.

  • William William on Feb 28, 2017

    Prior to the 1990's, almost everything in the car was made from metal, glass and plastic which was made 100% from petroleum. None of those material particularly tasty or suitable for nest building by rodents. The quest for being "Green" correctness started also in 1990's. OEMs started by replacing the durable components that really did not need to last as long as they did, with generally untested improvements in material composition and with the use of "natural" materials to substitute for the petroleum in plastics. OEMs also started replacing were possible any durable metal parts with limited lifespan plastic components. Soy - has been utilized in just about anything from wiring harness covers, to wire insulation, to seat cushion foam and interior carpeting and trim. Cars just started to taste way too good ! All that said, if you were rodent would you prefer to chew on stinky gooey made from petroleum foam rubber, or a vanilla smelling one made from Soy? Squirrels do not like the smell of irish spring soap (MUST BE THE GREEN BAR..THE ORIGINAL) .You can grate it with potato peeler or just place bars around area . Don't know if ya can use it under the hood but maybe. They don't like it. Repeat as necessary . Especially good in attic. Use half water and half ammonia. Car manufactures did not want to acknowlege the problem but there are many class action lawsuits filed. Most insurance companies won't cover the damage. Allstate Insurance advises spraying the wiring with bitter apple or other bitter unpalatable and unforgettable taste.

    • Sma17446697 Sma17446697 on Feb 28, 2017

      What you are saying makes good sense. We have never had this problem until we purchased a 2017 model. At this point, we have put so much money into repairs that we must have something fool-proof...not just something that may work. Thanks for the information.

  • Dixie Dixie on Feb 28, 2017

    What I have done is buy traps. I use peanut butter on the "plate" with a pecan piece on it. I put pieces of pecan about 1/3 and 2/3s of the way into the "plate". I put another piece (about half of a half) of pecan about 6" in front of the entry of the trap. I have two of them, so I hopefully take them both to the woods far from my home and let them go in late afternoon. Sometimes, I only get one in a day. I've gotten rid of as many as a dozen in about ten days. I bought the traps at the Northern Tools or whatever it's called. They were about $25 and well worth it to get them out of my patio. When you catch one, move the trap away from the area so the other squirrels aren't warned to stay away.

  • Judyms9 Judyms9 on Feb 28, 2017

    Squirrels can carry rabies, so be very careful however you decide to deal with them. Live traps work well, and peanuts make good bait. Our neighborhood has a large population of them, and they are bold and very destructive.

  • William William on Feb 28, 2017

    Personally I would loosely rig up 100V wires where the squirrels go on the car. Once they get zapped they won't return. It wouldn't hurt them. They're so agile and quick they'd back off quick.

    • See 1 previous
    • Brenda L Hatfield Brenda L Hatfield on Mar 01, 2017

      Did it keep snakes out?

  • A A on Feb 28, 2017

    I hate squirrels; nothing cute about them and they are exceptionally destructive. I usually trap them and relocate them, but I'm not adverse to their demise as well. As others have mentioned, I have traps and peanut butter. I also spray bird seed with the typical homemade hot pepper concoction. If I don't, the birds get nothing. I did try spraying the pepper mix on my wood fence, but it doesn't stay long enough to make a difference. I think most of it is absorbed and the rest is washed off by rain or sprinklers.

  • Betty Brill Kubat Betty Brill Kubat on Mar 01, 2017

    Order a SQUIRRELONATOR online $48.00 they don't get hurt,just caught .

  • UpState UpState on Mar 01, 2017

    Horse urine keeps squirrels away. Soak each harness, and no more squirrels.

    You can simply ask any farmer or police department that has horses for some.

  • Loyd Loyd on Mar 01, 2017

    CO2 BB gun works well, plus squirrel makes a good gumbo.

  • Dolores Dolores on Mar 01, 2017

    I have a rodent problem also but mine are mice. Unless you "terminate" them they will just keep coming back. I make my own mouse poison that is safe for dogs and cats Dogs and cats can pass gas (fart) mic e and rats cannot (being rodents, I imagine squirrels can't either). One part flour (corn meal might work), one part granulated, and one part baking soda. You can mix in a pinch of cinnamon or finely crushed nuts to entice them. Mix well and put in a small shallow dish (jar lid works) and place where they frequent. Perhaps a little pile in a flat place in the engine compartment. You might see increased activity for a day or two but eventually as they eat the stuff the population will die off. If in future you see evidence of "visitors" just repeat. When the baking soda hits their stomach it forms a gas rupturing their digestive systems. Cruel? Yes. Anyone up for some Hanta virus? Rabies? Plague etc.?

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    • Dolores Dolores on Jan 17, 2020

      This really does work. also squirrels hate moth balls I use them in the flower garden. for veggie garden place in cup so can't contaminate veggies.

  • Cst17895213 Cst17895213 on Mar 01, 2017

    My family has this problem and their simple and effective solution is to prop the hood up so light gets into the engine area. Rodents don't like it because they are exposed to predators. Works in the city too. They really loved my sister's red sports car. No more problems now she props up the hood!

  • Johnchip Johnchip on Mar 01, 2017

    Look close. Squirrels are hairy rats. Don't feel bad if you have to exterminate them. It s all that will solve the problem.

  • Susan Susan on Mar 02, 2017

    Saw a news clip...the wires are coated with a soybean based substance. New car? Try holding the manufacturer responsible.

  • Sma17446697 Sma17446697 on Mar 02, 2017

    Thank you. This is exactly the problem. Toyota actually has many complaints for the very reason you mention. Of course, they are not taking any ownership in the problem and say that it is NOT their problem.

  • Chrissy Wells Chrissy Wells on Mar 02, 2017

    Squirrels are nothing but RATS! BIG RATS WITH FUZZY TAILS!!! THEY ARE NOT CUTE UNLESS FROM A DISTANCE IN SOMEONE ELSE'S YARD 5MILES AWAY! They are destructive especially when they have found a way into Your house! 2 yrs. I fought those little disease infested B*****DS, FLEAS AND DROPPINGS BEING THE WORST! Then the MONEY it cost to replace main beams between the ceiling, tearing up / replacing the upstairs floor. Wall studs/beams and drywall, and cleaning out the nest/droppings and where they chewed into stored boxes of clothes on the far side of the house back to their nest and walnut shells were unreal. We live trapped 2 and drove them 2 miles to release them...they came back (someone told me they would so I spray painted their tails blue) sure enough they came back and chewed a hole into the foyer roof for winter. Again the repairs began... trapped and took to a park 5 miles away. This time we put chicken wire, sprinkled cayenne pepper around and put out peanut butter with de-Con in it. 3 years squirrel free....!

    • Barbara Jo Louise Barbara Jo Louise on Mar 04, 2017

      We have Rabbits! they too are very destructive.We put up chicken wire down into ground about 6". They still dig! Not doing the live trap thing.I just want them GONE! ps, we don't even have a veggie garden to attract them. They chewed up 2 feet of our Arbratives (sp) and last winter chewed up the electric lines of our Xmas decors! I'm sick of them. We'd put out Decon but in what?? what would they eat?

  • Angela Cosner Angela Cosner on Mar 03, 2017

    Have you tried coffee grounds? I've had better luck with them not bothering my plants since adding it to my garden soil.

  • Eclipsebigdog Eclipsebigdog on Mar 03, 2017

    Mix Vaseline with crushed red pepper flakes. Rub on parts that the animal has to contact with their paws, they can't stand to have greasy stuff on their paws plus they can't stand hot foods. They lick their paws, get the pepper on their tongue and that should be it. I used this on my bird feeder support poles and they stopped robbing my birds!

  • Angela Stone Angela Stone on Mar 03, 2017

    I live on five wooded acres in a private community, (13 years now), with all the usual no hunting laws, etc. To even think of being squirrel free is ridiculous. Rather than fight nature I have found that working with it is much less stressful. We feed birds, deer, raccoons and others, but our most useful residents are a clan of feral cats. What they cost us in food and care more than covers the work they do on the property. The squirrel population is kept in check and they are not as free to roam near the house or driveway, we have never spotted a snake and all the moles that had the yard a mess are long gone. By the way, what's a mouse?

    I understand that this is not a solution for everyone but for those who can, you will be nicely surprised how you get rewarded for the kindness. Just don't overfeed. You want them to keep their hunting skills in tact. And don't be offended if you have a squirrel tail or something else left at your door. Cats like to say "thank you".

  • Tina Tina on Mar 03, 2017

    Auto parts stores now carry a spray-on chemical that is made especially for this purpose. I saw this on the national news a few months ago.

  • Par10775528 Par10775528 on Mar 03, 2017

    Because. I live in Florida with fruit trees in the neighbor , we also have fruit rats! They are smaller than the city rats. We have to put out poison, in the trees. The "Rat man" said they are cousin, and share the same living space. In our attic! Do not put poison in the attic, they consider it food, and you sure do not want them to die there! Best of luck!

  • Rhonda Brooks Rhonda Brooks on Mar 04, 2017

    We had about 12 squirrels in our attic when we moved to our new home. They drove us crazy! So we heard you could put bowls of ammonia around in the attic and they would leave. It worked . They will also eat your roof of your house this happened to our neighbors home they're not cute they are rats with bushy tails!

  • Pat Thomas Pat Thomas on Mar 04, 2017

    Cayenne pepper! I also use it in a hose fertilizer sprayer for my lawn and mulched areas, as well as sprinkled in my bird feeder. It will not harm the birds as they do not have mucus membranes so they don't even know it's there.

    • Janie Janie on Mar 05, 2017

      Hi Pat,

      Do you use the Cayenne the same way, and sprayer as Miracle Gro?

      I've been looking for a method of applying cayenne with less waste in my planted areas.

  • Deanna Nassar Deanna Nassar on Mar 04, 2017

    Although cats can be a great deterrent; cats only hunt if taught by the mother cat. Maybe a little used kitty litter spread around car will keep them at bay. The Vaseline idea sounds good but check with mechanic as to what greasy stuff would be safe on your car parts.

  • Ban323177 Ban323177 on Mar 04, 2017

    After trying almost all of these hints, I can tell you none of them worked for us. We finally bought live traps, caught the squirrels, and released them in a wooded area that wasn't near any houses. This is the only way we were able to get rid of these destructive critters.

  • Chrissy Wells Chrissy Wells on Mar 04, 2017

    I don't know if rabbits would eat de con unless maybe you ground it up and put it rabbit food, We put moth balls down and do not have problems, but 3 of our neighbors have cats too and they spray everything in site....try getting used cat litter and empty that about ....they have a very sensitive noses...

  • Kathy Ewart Kalina Kathy Ewart Kalina on Mar 05, 2017

    put several rubber snakes around your car.....keeps away squirrels, cats, neighbors....we have one rubber snake that we often put on our hood, and try to remember to remove it before going anywhere.....

  • War15939090 War15939090 on Mar 05, 2017

    live traps

  • Von Von on Mar 05, 2017

    not sure how many squirrels you have in your yard, neighborhood, area. but you can buy Havahart Small 2-Door Live Animal Cage Traps at Lowes or Home Depot stores and relocate the squirrels once trapped if there are not too many of those critters.

  • Carol Carol on Mar 05, 2017

    If you trap and plan to release them, take them at least 5 miles away or they will come back. A friend painted them to see if they came back and less than 5 miles did.

  • Nancy Nancy on Mar 05, 2017

    Squirrels ate the roof of my gazebo, the cable wires, and my neighbor's engine wires. Two squirrels came down my chimney and destroyed all my cellular shades and drapes trying to climb up the walls. I also found a live one in my dryer. We have tried every spray, every type of pepper etc. The DNR told me that we can't catch them and release elsewhere. There are hundreds of thousands of them in our city in Michigan. He also told me that their teeth continually grow, so they must continually chew. My cousin had an RV parked over last winter in the Upper Penninsula. When they finally checked on it last spring, the interior of the RV was totally destroyed by 26 chipmunks (dead and live body count.). So if any of you dedicated gardners have a foolproof solution, please help.

    • See 1 previous
    • Debbie Robson Debbie Robson on Mar 07, 2017

      There is a product called shake away and it helps keep them away. They do not like the smell

  • Pat Thomas Pat Thomas on Mar 05, 2017

    Yes, but you'll have to reapply after a rain.

  • Corinne Gach Corinne Gach on Mar 05, 2017

    I live in Chicago and only have a porch deck for plants. Squarrels would tear up all my expensive plants until I planted Mint plants. Last summer was the first year the critters didn't touch anything I planted! So maybe you should try a mint oil!?!

  • Vicki Vicki on Mar 07, 2017

    Some companies specialize in critter removal. They cost you some money and the one i used would not take the momma squirrel if she was lactating. They were all caught eventually and relocated. I have only seen 1 since this happened 3 years ago. It was worth the money. They were in my attic and my shed.

  • C C on Mar 07, 2017

    My parents have found them twice in their toilet! How they got inside, we have no idea. No fireplace, septic tank, no attic access from the outside....

  • Jackie Lett Jackie Lett on Mar 07, 2017

    I had mice getting into my garage and nesting in the engine and eating the same, so I put dryer sheets under the engine. They have stayed away every since. This is a vehical that is not driven but a few times a year.

  • Cat Cat on Mar 07, 2017

    Squirrels are rodents and very destructive. We had some friends that would come and hunt them in season. You might try that or else get a pellet gun

  • Ana15693509 Ana15693509 on Mar 07, 2017

    We have a lot of nut trees so they are storing enough to eat so don't bother any thing.....

  • Kat Kat on Mar 08, 2017

    we live in the woods so we have the same problem! and we DO have nut trees in the yard. squirrels, chipmunks and field mice get into our attic, garage, etc. and I can hear the buggers "bowling" with their nuts up there!!!! drives me crazy.

    anyway, we've used traps, bad and good, and somewhere I read if you put peppermint oil on cotton balls and put where you see them, they dont like the smell and leave; havent tried it yet, but will. and refresh the oil on new balls every month. hope this works, I dont like the idea of them eating wires, and things, they can cause electrical fires!! BTW, I also heard that their urine smells like ammonia, so having a sensitive nose.....I smell it. ugh!

    • Judy Judy on Mar 09, 2017

      I had a friend die in a house fire caused by squirrels eating wire. It is a serious problem!

  • Linda Cabler Linda Cabler on Mar 08, 2017

    Go to Walmart and buy a snake. ( toy) and place it where you do not want the squirrel to be. They see the "fake" snake and think it is a live one and wont enter. If they are getting into your roof you can place one of those owls with the heads that bobble and they leave also.

  • Robin D Ballard Robin D Ballard on Mar 16, 2017

    They sell packets of rodent repellent at Lowe's. It's in the garden area, and they are like sachets. Just put one under the hood somewhere that won't affect the engine.

  • Cyndie Cyndie on Mar 16, 2017

    We have the same trouble with raccoons getting into the insulation and fireplace, and trash. We used cayenne pepper and it worked - but warn your trash man!

  • Cyndie Cyndie on Mar 16, 2017

    Also, ammonia on a rag might work.

  • Deanna Perata Deanna Perata on Jan 16, 2020

    Get a Cage trap...bait it ( they like peanut butter)...and catch them and then you can take them at least 3 miles from your home and release them at a park. They won't come back

  • Nightmare Nightmare on Jan 28, 2020

    PVC pipes with moth balls

  • Rweldon Rweldon on Sep 13, 2021

    Actually squirrels do pass gas

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Sep 17, 2021

    Hi there, Here is a link to some good ideas that may help!