For the past few months I’ve been seeing damage like chewing on my deck. I couldn’t figure out what it was so I set out my trail cam and discovered the animals chewing are squirrels. This is my cabin (2nd house) and I only go there once a month. How can I stop them? The damage is getting pretty noticeable.
If you read through our SQUIRREL CONTROL ARTICLE, you’ll find we have several options that can be deployed. For most homeowners, I’d recommend setting out a LIVE TRAP just below or on the deck. Using the setting methods explained in our article, I know any number of squirrels could be caught and removed from the area. This would no doubt stop the behavior. Eventually more squirrels would move into the area and they too would need to be removed so it would be an ongoing “process” but such is the price of keeping a house in the woods!
I say this because my house is on a lot that’s on a major river. There are tons of squirrels foraging around my house. And when I first moved here, I had a similar problem. In my case they were chewing the staircase of my deck. I can’t tell for sure but it looks like your deck is cedar. Mine is and I’m sure the squirrels were extracting some kind of mineral from the wood. I believe there was excessive sodium from a treatment done to the wood but regardless of what they were targeting, they would gnaw site that quickly showed a lot of damage.
My first reaction was to spray the area they were chewing with ROPEL. This is mentioned in our article. And it worked. But they would move to another, untreated area so I had to keep applying more and more. This became old real fast which is when I started trapping them. This proved the most efficient way to go and now maybe 4-5 times a year I do some more trapping to relocate sudden surges in the local population. This strategy has worked well for me.
Now given that you are not at the cabin all the time, I don’t know if trapping will work. No doubt you’ll be able to catch squirrels using a trap. But I’m afraid if you don’t employ 4-5 traps at once, it could be a long and arduous process. Plus leaving them alone trapped presents it’s own set of concerns.
As for the Ropel; I don’t think this will help you either. I just feel based on previous experience that they’ll move from treated area to treated area and in the end, the problem will just continue.
That leaves ultra sound. If you set up a TRANSONIC SOUNDING DEVICE under the deck and pointing to the areas where they’re chewing, I’m sure it will keep them away. The unit will have to be set to run continuously and it will have to be protected from the weather since it’s not built or designed for outside use. But it will perform fine in the cold; you just can’t set it out to get rained on or snowed on.
In summary, I’d normally recommend the trapping option for long term control. But based on the circumstances of this situation, I’d say the Transonic is the way to go for a fix that’s easy and effective. Good luck!