My almost comical story and the experience of using Peppermint oil to get a family of squirrels out of my walls and kitchen ceiling. The 5 steps are at the end of this post -however- you may want to read my story because sometimes you will have to deal with… ummm, unusual circumstances.
It was only a couple of days after moving in to our new apartment when at sunset I heard a lot of noise coming from the kitchen. I got onto my crutches to go see what was going on and by the time I got there the noise had stopped. Each evening, at about the same time, I heard the same type of noises and each time I hobbled out to the kitchen the noise stopped.
Finally, I happened to be in the kitchen when the ruckus began. Ahhhh, it’s squirrels in the crawl space over the kitchen sink! Each evening after that it seemed like the squirrels were inviting friends over, I could hear more and more of them each night. Great, that’s all I need, one of them to chew on the electrical wiring and get zapped, the smell that would follow for two weeks as the furry little body decomposed was something I didn’t want to live with again. That’s happened twice to me many years ago, just thinking of having to leave the windows open 24 hours a day for the next two weeks during October to rid the house of rotting flesh gave me goosebumps just thinking about it. Not to mention, having to deal with an electrician coming in to replace the chewed up wiring.
Low and behold, two nights later during one of their more active episodes one of them must have found a small hole or space between the studs and slid down between them… he ended up between the kitchen and living room walls.
Bandit was very quick to run to the kitchen and sniff at the baseboard where he heard the little critter moving, trying to climb back up the inside of the wall. I watched as Bandit sniffed and snorted, and touched the wall with his paw and let out one of his loud woofs. I smiled and said, “squirrel.” Since he knows the word “squirrel” he jumped up into the air wagged his tail and proceeded his sniffing, snorting and pawing… “oh mom, this is great fun, a squirrel in the house,” I could hear him thinking.
Then, the excitement shifted and the little squirrel began squeaking. Of course Bandit was right there to hear the series of three squeaks (which always came in threes). This continued for over three entertaining hours. After 45 minutes, Bandit became concerned and kept coming over to me as if to say, “something is wrong here, do something about it!” He knows the word “help” and he also knows when ‘help’ is being applied. So now I felt bad for both the trapped squirrel and for Bandit who couldn’t understand ‘why’ I wasn’t doing something.
I emailed my landlord and told him what had happened. He said he’d be over around lunchtime the next day to break a hole in the wall if the squirrel was still trapped. By morning I could hear the squirrel was indeed still trapped.
My landlord arrived with a live trap and tools and began pulling the wall apart and sawing, surely that loud noise would make the squirrel want to high-tail it out of there at the first crack of light entering the space.. but nope, he went into the furthest corner between the walls and planted himself there. We all must have been delusional thinking it would happen quickly and easily!
After an hour the squirrel hadn’t moved any closer to the trap, that corner was his safe domain and he was set to stay there. Curt and the landlord devised many tools in attempt to pry this critter out of the corner. No matter what they did this little guy was NOT going to budge – he had his feet cemented in place, we could learn something from animals who refuse to budge, like how to be extremely grounded. He’d squeak, hiss and growl as these two men tried to softly coax him into entering the alien world if our apartment.
After they duck taped my large gray ladle to a 3 foot long 1×1 and still couldn’t get this critter to budge they began discussing how they could wrap up their hand and arm and reach in and pull him out, a scary thought for me… all we need is for one of them to get bit.
I was thinking out loud, “what can we do… to make that corner he is set on glueing himself to less safe and appealing??? I suddenly blurted out… “Ack, peppermint oil! That’s suppose to repel rodents.”
So we took the old fishing rod (long, thin and flexible) and fashioned a cotton ball on the end of it scotch taping it in place and I put about 20 drops of peppermint oil on the cotton ball. Yes, it was potent!
Curt guided the tip of the fishing rod back into the corner without bumping the squirrel with the peppermint drenched cotton ball and there we waited. The three of us spoke softly, waiting and wondering if it would work – if so, how long would it take.
With our flashlight shining into the corner we could clearly see that the little guy didn’t care for the peppermint scent at all. The corner was no longer a safe-haven. The squirrel slowly came to the opening in the wall, stuck his head slightly into the live trap to examine, checking it out to see if it was safer than being in what was now an inhospitable corner.
We watched and watched as he thought about making a move into the trap. Then, he jumped in the trap! Darn, the door didn’t trip and he quick as a shot went back into the wall when we manually tried to spring it.
We could see he clearly was NOT going to stay in the wall for long with that peppermint. Just a few minutes later, he made his way back into the trap, this time the door sprang shut. Finally!
I highly recommend getting creative with your Young Living peppermint essential oil whenever you find squirrels, mice or other rodents in your home!
They say ‘one drop’ of Young Living peppermint oil equals about 28 cups of peppermint tea, so with my putting about 20 drops on this cotton ball, holey smokes was it ever strong-smelling! Good smelling but strong.
If your lawn is infested with moles or voles you may want to try dropping some peppermint soaked cotton balls in their holes and see if it works on them too… (grinning) and keep an eye on your next door neighbors lawn and see if the rodents take up residency there!
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5 Steps to Remove a Squirrel Family From Your Home
- You will need – Peppermint essential oil and some cotton balls.
- Put 10 drops of peppermint on each cotton ball.
- Place the peppermint cotton balls as near to the location of where the squirrels are living inside your home.
- Wait 24 hours for them to move-out.
- Repair entry points that have given them access to enter your home.
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"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly." ~ R. Buckminster Fuller