If you happen to keep a screech owl, one challenge that you are likely to encounter is that of ensuring that squirrels don’t get into the owl’s box. In this article, you will find information on how to tackle that challenge.
This is how to keep squirrels out of screech owl box: by using repellants, using decoys or using baffles. There is also the option of lining the screech owl box opening with metal, to prevent squirrels from gnawing on it and entering.
Proper screech owl box placement can also help in minimizing the chances of squirrels entering the box. You thus need to think deeply, when selecting a spot to locate your screech owl box.
Even the design of the screech owl box can determine how easily squirrels are able to get in it. There are some screech owl box plans that can result in boxes that are almost squirrel-proof.
You may be able to obtain such (almost squirrel-proof) owl house plans free of charge on some websites.
But if you can’t find appropriate owl nest box plans for free, there is no harm in paying a little money for an ideal box plan. All you need is a screech owl nesting place that is free from squirrel interference…
But before proceeding with this discussion on keeping squirrels out of screech owl boxes, there is one thing we need to know. We first need to know why the squirrels would seek to enter the screech owl boxes in the first place.
After that, we can revert to answering the how do I keep squirrels out of my screech owl box question.
So let’s first find out why squirrels sometimes seek to enter screech owl boxes.
Why Would A Squirrel Want To Get Into A Screech Owl Box?
There are two main reasons as to why a squirrel would want to get into a screech owl box.
Firstly, there are situations in which squirrels seek to get into screech owl boxes to steal food.
Thus the reason behind the squirrel seeking to enter your screech owl box may be to steal food.
Squirrels will go to almost any lengths, in search of food. That includes finding their way into screech owl boxes, if necessary.
If the squirrel succeeds in stealing the food, your screech owl may be left with inadequate food.
This is what makes it necessary for you to figure out how to keep squirrels out of bird box.
The second reason why a squirrel may want to get into a screech owl box is to nest there.
Why do squirrels nest in owl boxes? The reason may be in that the boxes come across to the squirrels as ideal nesting places.
They are warm, reasonably dark and typically nicely sheltered.
Unfortunately, if a squirrel takes over a screech owl box, the owl is in turn likely to abandon that box.
This is another reason for you to work out how to keep squirrels out of owl box.
How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Screech Owl Box?
As we have already seen, squirrels can sneak into screech owl boxes, and steal food there.
Squirrels are also capable of venturing into screech owl boxes and nesting. Once the owl finds its box occupied in this manner, it is likely to abandon it.
On account of these facts, it is not uncommon to find someone asking, how do I keep squirrels out of my owl box? Or, more specifically, how do I keep squirrels out of my screech owl box?
You can start with something as simple as getting the screech owl box placement right.
In that regard, you ask questions like, where is the best place to put a screech owl box, in order to minimize chances of squirrels entering it? And the answer is simply to put it where few or no squirrels are likely to access.
Another pertinent question is on which way should an owl box face? The answer is to have the box face away from the prevailing winds direction.
But that also has the effect of making it a sheltered place, which can attract squirrels seeking nesting spots…
Yet another key question is in this context: what do you put in an owl house box? And the answer is that you need to put materials like wood shavings (untreated ones), as well as leaves.
Unfortunately, these are also materials that may draw in squirrels seeking nesting spots.
So actually keeping squirrels out of the screech owl boxes turns out to be quite a challenge.
To resolve it, you can focus on more proactive strategies like using repellants, metal linings at entrances, decoys and baffles. Let’s look at some of those in detail.
Using Repellants To Keep Squirrels Out Of Screech Owl Box
There are certain scents that have been proven to be very unpleasant to squirrels.
Those include peppermint oil scent, ginger pepper scent and black pepper scent.
If you can put such scents in the area around your screech owl box, they may keep squirrels away.
With such scents, the squirrels won’t even dare close to the area with the screech owl box.
The problem with some of these squirrel repellants is in that they may also affect the owl(s) negatively.
You need to understand that these owls are quite sensitive. It is possible to apply something in a bid to keep squirrels out, only to end up also offending the owl.
So sensitive are the owls that even cleaning their boxes is sometimes not ideal. If you research on the do screech owl boxes need to be cleaned out question, you will find lots of information in that direction.
Thus the repellant you use needs to be one that is offensive to the squirrels, without being offensive to the owls.
Using Decoys To Keep Squirrels Out Of Screech Owl Box
The decoys in question here are simply things that scare the squirrels away: akin to the scarecrows people using to keep some pests away from their gardens.
A highly effective decoy you can use here is that of the screech owl itself! Squirrels fear screech owls a great deal. This sometimes actually leads people to wonder, do screech owls eat squirrels?
And the answer turns out to be ‘yes’. Screech owls are indeed birds that are capable of eating squirrels.
Thus when a squirrel is sneaking into the screech owl box, it does do under the assumption that the owl is not around.
The decoy (which looks like the owl) is meant to give the squirrel the impression that the owl is around. So you just place the decoy around the box, and when the squirrel sees it, it will usually keep off.
The key thing here is to ensure that you get a realistic-looking decoy. You also need to ensure that you move it from time to time. Otherwise the clever squirrel will soon figure out that it is a decoy, and stop paying heed to it.
Using Baffles To Keep Squirrels Out Of Screech Owl Box
Often, screech owl boxes are mounted: such that they are some height above ground level. So to access such boxes, squirrels have to climb.
Baffles are simple devices that serve the purpose of frustrating the squirrels’ attempts to climb up the mounted boxes.
If you find good baffles and install them properly, they can go a long way in keeping squirrels out of screech owl boxes.
Thus in the context of how to keep squirrels out of screech owl box, these baffles can be quite helpful.
Using Metal Lining To Keep Squirrels Out Of Screech Owl Box
Since the openings of screech owl boxes are usually not very wide, squirrels often gnaw on them, to widen them.
Such gnawing also helps the squirrels in ‘filing’ their ever-growing teeth.
Now when you install metal lining on the screech owl box opening, it means that the squirrels can’t gnaw on it to widen it. This can help in ensuring that the squirrels don’t find their way in…
Final Verdict – How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Screech Owl Box
Squirrels usually seek to enter screech owl boxes with a view to steal foods that happen to be there.
There are also cases in which squirrels sneak into screech owl boxes with a view to make them their own nesting spots. But if a screech owl finds its box taken over in this way, it typically abandons it altogether.
You can keep squirrels out of a screech owl box by using repellants.
Another way in which you can keep squirrels out of screech owl box is by using decoys.
Installing baffles as well as lining the screech owl box openings with metal can also be helpful in keeping squirrels out.
Welcome to Learn About Pet. My name is Rajkumar Ravichandran and I love all pets, travel, and amazing food. I write about my passion and personal experience caring for multiple pets in this blog! ❤️
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