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.

24 Responses

  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.

      1. Hi! The squirrels in my yard have come up kn the deck & eTen my outdoor cushions!! Help!!!

  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

    1. You are 100% best off starting NOW with your squirrel deterrent and not waiting until they get into your house. All you need to do is get up to where the hole is and patch it up. A little square of chicken wire and a staple gun is perfectly fine but depending on the location of the hole and the way it looks, you might want a different approach. Either way, close off the hole and they will not continue on. You can’t stop them from nesting in your trees but honestly, why would you? They’re wild animals who’s natural habitat is in the trees in your area. Let them be squirrels and let you be a human 🙂

      So my opinion is, enjoy them, let them play and hang in your yard, and do what you can to keep them out of the house.

      If they already do get into the house you can make or buy a device that allows the squirrels to get out of the home but not get into it. Its a perfect solution and avoids you having to kill the squirrels. It is best to do that when you know that there are no babies in there. If you suspect babies (look up the breeding season for your location) then wait until they are gone (otherwise you will lock out mom and have dead babies in the space, and you dont want that). Basically the device is a one way door. It lets them out but doesn’t open the other way.

    2. Get some Wolf or Coyote urine and put it anywhere
      Squirrels inhabit. They will think that predator is near
      And stay away!

  4. Goodmorning, Squirrels away advisor, my pear tree has a problem. Each year at fruit bearing time, the long tail rats celebrate every day in the tree until they have eaten all the fruit, before they have rippened. Can you advise me on some type of device that will work? I have thought, if I had a battery run voice box that was on a timmer or a motion detector that would sound off like shot gun blasts every couple of minutes. This type of device may solve my problem. The point being, I could scare these squirrels by the loud, sharp, starteled sounds of shotgun blasts. I could then watch the rat tails scramble while I’m rocking, in my chair, and eating a bowel of boiled peanuts. Do you know where I can find a divice like this or can you make me a special order on one to purchase from you? Please let me know or give me a suggestion on what to do about this problem with instead of (a partrage in a pear tree,) (squirrels in a pear tree.) Thank you Derrell

  5. Hello. I have squirrels in every tree in the neighborhood. they are eating the wires on all our cars causing several hundreds of dollars worth of damage. All our cars will not fit into the garage. I cant relocate them because of our laws and I wont put someone else in this position. I have been checking into an owl but I read your post about fake owls. Have you any idea’s for me.


    1. A car is usually the second most expensive item a person ever buys. No one wants to have a squirrel chew up and ruin there expensive investment. My suggestion would be to trap the squirrels that are damaging your car and relocate them a great distance from your home. It’s probably not all the squirrels, most likely just one or two individuals who, for some reason, have fixated on your car.

  6. Thank you for the article on How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Fruit Trees. I wrapped matting around my young fruit tree and then put aluminum foil around it, from about two feet off the ground to about four feet, This did not deter the large rodent. Pursuant to your article, I will make the boundry higher and add ribbons and plastic bags, etc. Wish me well, it has taken 6 years for this Fruit Salad tree to bear fruit.

  7. We have squirrels that hang out in our large oak tree. They jump into our neighbors, on either side, that both have large maple trees. AND we have 2 beagles! The howling can be deafening. We try to get them in as soon as possible, but our neighbor came and complained yesterday. We need help, we love our dogs….we are getting an anti bark collar for the rescue beagle (main culprit) but was wondering if owl windsocks are any use?

    1. Did you ever get any help with this? I have the same problem – my 3 dogs bark at the squirrels that run on the power lines across my back yard, and neighbors are complaining.

    2. You might try placing the owl windsock at or near the site where the squirrels are moving from tree to tree. But I still think this may help only temporarily until the squirrels become acclimated to the sight of the windsock.

  8. We have having issues with squirrels chewing wires and tubes in our vehicles. We have had our vehicles in the garage very often the last year and every time it gets repaired we are told there were chew marks in the hose, tube, or wire. We actually had a truck start on fire while our two year old was strapped into her car seat in the back of the truck. That was scary enough. Now I am getting my fuel line repaired for the second time in a years time with chew marks in it. I have witnessed a squirrel running out of the back end of my Subaru a couple times leaving for work in the last year. How do I keep them away from our vehicles? We put rodent repellent in the hoods of the vehicles but that didn’t help them getting into the fuel line.

  9. The squirrels are eating our wood siding. Any suggestions?
    We have tried hot sauce concoctions, fox urine granules. Help!

    1. my mother has the exact same problem and worse! They’re eating her wood siding and keep getting into her attic and have now caused a hole in her roof. She’s used every trick in the book…..and they just seem to be multiplying. It’s a nightmare and pest control people want to charge over 40 or 50 PER SQUIRREL they catch!!! She has hundreds…she lives near the woods and natural predators aren’t catching them.

  10. Squirrels were digging into the flower boxes on the railings of my deck soon after planting plants. It was so frustrating to see plants either eaten or uprooted, day after day. I tried sprinkling them with cayenne pepper, store bought squirrel repellent spray and peppermint essential oil all at different times. Nothing seemed to work. As a last resort, I bought some wooden barbecue stakes and stuck them in the soil around the plants and in any exposed soil in the boxes. So far, this seems to be effective……keeping my fingers crossed.

    Dear fellow squirrel sufferers, I too have had the wires under my hood eaten (TWICE) by squirrels. I read a number of hints on the internet and found ONE that seems to work.
    The premise is that based on the fact that squirrels nails are curved and can easily get caught on things.
    The hint was to place tree netting (like the kind that covers fruit trees) near the area you wish to protect. I purchased fruit tree netting (which is now made of plastic) at a local hardware store. I placed a double layer of the netting on the ground and attached it to the gravel ground where I park our second car. I have been using this method for about one and one-half years and have had no further problems. Hope it will work for you as well.

  12. Yes please tell me how I can deter the squirrels from eating my peaches from our peach tree. They start right after the flowers bloom and they devour every last bit of peach until there is nothing left.

    I have tried hot pepper flakes, fox pee, tabasco..but i can’t reach the top of the tree..

    How can I save some fruit for our family to enjoy?


    1. Hi Elaine,
      Sorry to hear about your peach tree. I understand this is a big tree because you wrote that you can’t reach the top; so covering the tree with netting is probably out of the question. I would try pruning low hanging branches and then makeing some sort of tree baffle, (an upside down cone wrapped around the trunk about 5 or 6 feet above the ground. Here’s a simple one I found online, using a 5 gallon bucket.

  13. Will little birds or hummingbird be afraid of fake of Owls ? Or should I use fake coyotes to keep the squirrels away from my feeders ! Arghhhhhhhhhh….

  14. Squirrels have eaten the side of my expensive awning, before I get new fabric, how can I prevent reoccurrence?

  15. Squirrel has chewed my awning fabric.. how can I prevent reoccurrence if I recover?