I live in a rural housing development on approx. 4 acres, most of it tree covered. I am having expensive problems with squirrels. They mess up my garden, I’m afraid they are in my attic crawl space, and we have had repeated, expensive damage done to our vehicles. A few years ago they ate the computerized portion of the engine in our truck. Last year they got my SUV, and this year they got it again. We didn’t have insurance that covered the damage and so spent $3,000 out of pocket. Last year, our new insurance covered it, but we’re afraid to submit another claim, only a year later. The damage in our home, well I have no idea What to do! Maryland DNR protects them from us. What can we do to protect ourselves from them?
Charles County Maryland
Squirrel populations may be up due to the mild winter. Encourage squirrel predators, such as hawks and foxes. A big brush pile may be a home for foxes (far from house.)
Apparently car manufacturers are now using soy in vehicle wiring. Look into replacing wires with regular non-soy wiring, if you must do so again. Perhaps an insurance company would pay for that as an alternative to repeated claims.
You can use bitter-apple animal repellents (spray) on car engines. Check with your car dealer or mechanic about that.
You can also leave the hood up to discourage this as a warm snug refuge. Particularly if you notice a pattern, season or time of year, try this then.
Read through this and try calling the Maryland Nuisance Wildlife hotline for advice:
Here is our page on squirrels, with more ideas:https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/squirrels
Lastly, you can hire a wildlife control service to get the squirrel out of the house. Once out, plug up all entry points thoroughly.