Squirrels are really crafty creatures. They manage to get into some pretty tight places. Here in Memphis, and I am sure in other places as well, they really love to get into attics and crawl spaces. And I am here to tell you, nothing freaks a tenant out more than hearing the pitter patter of little feet up in the ceiling.
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So What do You Do?
First, try and find out where they are getting in and seal it up. Sometimes it is easy to find as they have chewed a hole right through the eaves. Other times you may never find the access point. I once had some critters in my house and I never did find out where they were getting in.
You can hire an exterminator to come out and trap and remove them, but exterminators can be expensive and once the critters are back outside they usually will find their way back in.
You can put out some poison. This may eliminate your critter problem. But it may also create another one. Critters really smell bad once they die behind a wall, especially if it is summer time. It may take weeks for the smell to fully go away.
A Simpler Solution
I have found another solution and it is located at your local hunting goods store. No, it is not a .38 revolver but fox urine. Fox urine comes in a little spray bottle and it costs about 5 bucks. Hunters use it to disguise their scent when they are out in the woods.
I use it to trick the squirrels or other critters into thinking there is something higher up on the food chain in the attic. They smell the urine, they leave and do not come back.
Simply wear some rubber gloves, spray some urine on some cotton balls and throw them around the area you hear them in. The scent is imperceptible to humans, so don’t worry about that.
9 times out of 10 this fox urine will work. It is cheap and easy and it solves the problem. I wish all my landlording problems were this easy to solve.
Photo: Mr. T in DC