How To Stop Squirrels Using A Fake Owl

How To Stop Squirrels Using A Fake OwlUsing a fake owl to scare away squirrels has been a method in use for a long time. It’s meant to trick squirrels into thinking there’s a predator nearby. But how well does it work? Are squirrels scarred away at the sight of a fake owl?

Just like all mammals, squirrels have five senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. For squirrels, however, some senses work better than others. Squirrels have an excellent sense of hearing. Their hearing is so good that the sound of a large bird’s wings beating against the air can send a squirrel leaping into a nearby tree and running for cover.

Squirrels also see movement really well too. If a bird’s shadow zips across the ground near a squirrel, he’ll quickly turn and dart up a tree. But stationary objects, however, are difficult for squirrels to recognize.

A typical squirrel will most likely be oblivious to a plastic owl set on a roof or fence post. Real owl’s are very much aware of this shortcoming and as a result will sit high up in a tree or on top of a telephone pole in the early evenings, before sunset, looking for unsuspecting prey such as squirrels.

In one experiment, pieces of bread were tossed to squirrels in a park. The squirrels were able to visually follow the path of each piece of bread as it flew from hand to ground. The squirrels were observed turning their heads obviously watching where the bread was going. Once the bread came to rest on the ground, however, the squirrels could no longer see it and instead relied upon their sense of smell to find each piece. They would sniff around in the grass until they located the bread and would then pick it up and eat it. This experiment demonstrated an ability to see movement well but not stationary objects.

In general using a fake owl to scare away squirrels will have limited to no success. But should you decide to do your own experiments, some people have had success with the fake owls which turn their heads and make owl noises. These particular fake owls always get mixed reviews. Some people claim they work great while others claim they don’t. I recommend reading reviews before making a purchase.

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  1. I can not keep squirrels off my lawn. They dig 30 to 40 holes every day they distoryed my lawn. i can not stop them. i live in phila. pa. what can i do to prevent?

    1. Harru,
      Thanks for visiting How To Stop Squirrels. It sounds like you’ve got a really big problem with your squirrels. 30 or 40 holes dug into your lawn on a daily basis are a lot. Squirrels dig holes in lawns to either bury or retrieve food. So without being able to see your yard myself, the first thing I would advise is try to figure out what they are burying in your yard and where they are bringing it from. For example, oak trees start dropping acorns around this time of year. If you’ve got an oak tree in your yard, you can rake up the acorns that have fallen to the ground and then take measures to try to discourage the squirrels from climbing into that tree. If the squirrels are bringing acorns from a neighbor’s yard, you can try to put objects in your lawn that might discourage them from using your yard. Check out some of my other posts in the category “squirrels digging holes in lawns” you might find some helpful hints there. Write back and let me know where the squirrels are getting all this extra food from that they are burying in your yard.

  2. It’s hard to come by experienced people who know a lot about problems with squirrels, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  3. I have a problem with squirrels also. I believe they are chewing my fascia on my house. I’ve watched this area for over 2 years now and it’s growing. They are trying to get into the attic I think. I live in a neighborhood with lots of squirrels. They have chosen to nest in my trees for the past several years. How can I fix this problem? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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