Squirrels Feed

Evicting Squirrels from Owl Boxes


Over the many years of writing this blog, I have found that the posts that get the most traffic via Google involve screech owls and squirrels (and how to evict the latter from the former's nestbox).

If you don't evict squirrels, they will take over the box and -- sooner or later -- raise babies inside.

Here's the basic info:

When you see a squirrel enter the box,  vigorously whack the side of the box with a broom handle (being sure to steer clear of the opening).

(If you install a nest cam, you can find out fairly easily if have any furry squatters. You can also use a selfie stick, sort of like a periscope.)

Once the squirrel vamooses, remove any leaves that the squirrel(s) have imported. If the squirrels go back in, repeat. And repeat. And repeat, until you wear them out and they give up.

In the coming months, I will be adding more advice on how to make it tougher for squirrels to move in.

If you have any (humane) squirrel-eviction advice to share, please email me. (For example, I recently read a book that suggested giving the squirrel a mild shock of electricity as a deterrent.)


Evicting Squirrels, Step One

IMG_1215 (1)If you see leaves in the opening of your owl box, remove them -- but first, whack the owl box with a broomstick (while standing off to the side) to evict any furry lodgers.

Repeat as necessary, until the squirrel gives up. Owls won't nest there if a squirrel has taken up residence.

For more advice, buy The Screech Owl Companion. (It includes plans by my co-authow Scott Weston for a squirrel-resistant owlbox).

Evicting Squirrels from Screech Owl Nesting Boxes

IMG_6793 I am reposting this column from 2010 by popular demand, with an added link to The Screech Owl Companion.

Squirrels invading Screech Owl nesting boxes are like early stages of a forest fire: If you can fight them early enough, and persistently enough, you have a chance of putting them out. 

   One minute your Screech Owl is chilling in the box (left), and the next minute a squirrel has moved in with extreme prejudice.

    You cannot let the squirrel have a chance to get attached to her new digs. You as the landlord have to evict the squatter asap.

   In the eviction process,  I have found that a nesting box video cam attached to your TV or DVR is half the battle.

    Thanks to the mini-cam, and a three-pronged attack, I have had good success in evicting these bushy-tailed rodents.

   (Note: No squirrels were injured in the making of this blog post.)

Continue reading "Evicting Squirrels from Screech Owl Nesting Boxes" »

Evicting Squirrels from Nestboxes: Part 37

_MG_9427Over the years, some of the most popular posts on this blog have been about evicting squirrels from bird boxes.

When you see a squirrel enter the box,  whack the side of the box with a broom handle (being sure to steer clear of the opening).

Once the squirrel vamooses, remove any leaves the squirrel(s) have imported, and then wait for the squirrels to go back in, and repeat. And repeat. And repeat, until you wear them out and they give up

Not a great strategy, especially when you have to climb a ladder in mid-winter each time you evict them.

This season I am trying a new experimental strategy and am recruiting others to follow suit and let me know the results.

My secret weapon: a bird seed called Fiery Feast, which birds are oblivious to but squirrels hate because it's so hot-peppery.

I plan to put some on the floor of the box before this season's squirrel house-hunters arrive, and see if they still stick around.

What do you think? Please let me know, even if you think I'm Elmer Fudd.



Screech Owl Basics: Rules 9 and 10

This post is part of a continuing series of posts about EastOwl squareern Screech Owls -- and attracting one to your back yard. 

   Other owlers may suggest different advice. Theirs may be just as useful. One thing I have learned: No two screech owls are alike.   

   Here are Rules 9 and 10 of my Top 10 Rules for  attracting Screech Owls -- with big-time advice from David Johnson of the Global Owl Project. (Thanks, David!)   

    More info follows.

Continue reading "Screech Owl Basics: Rules 9 and 10" »