Dear Sun Spots: Is there someone out there that knows how to get rid of squirrels from my home for good. Thanks. – A.G., Poland.

Sun Spots can commiserate as she’s heard plenty of wild stories about squirrels in residence at a coworker’s home. Glad to say they have been evicted but not without a lengthy fight. Yes, the homeowners won in this case.

Sun Spots recently had the pleasure of speaking with Nancy Coverstone, extension educator at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Androscoggin Sagadahoc Extension, 24 Main St., Lisbon Falls, ME 04250, 353-5550, who had a wealth of information that hopefully will assist you and others plagued by this problem.

She says your first step is to visually inspect the soffits and eaves around your home, or have a professional such as a carpenter do it. Any openings can be enlarged by a squirrel, and red squirrels will typically enlarge openings so you’ll want to block them. Coverstone recommends that you think of keeping your house proofed from wildlife, and it should prevent these and other intruders.

Coverstone says you don’t want to seal any squirrels inside the home because they’ll do a lot of chewing and damage trying to escape. Sometime around the end of March, early April, after the young have weaned themselves and start to explore outdoors, you can begin sealing. First, you’ll want to seal the smaller holes with ¼-inch mesh hardware cloth, which is woven metal. Take the main entrance the squirrels are using, don’t close it. Coverstone recommends attaching an 18-inch section of PVC pipe that is 4 inches in diameter (making a one-way door). Attach it in the opening at a 45-degree angle, facing down toward the ground. They’ll leave but won’t be able to get back in. Wait awhile, several days, to ensure everyone’s out before finally sealing it as well. This should solve your problem. You will need to continue being vigilant by checking foundations, eaves, soffits for holes before the squirrels take up residence. For a fact sheet on rodent-proof construction as well as other tips, contact Coverstone who’ll be happy to fax you some tips.

Dear Sun Spots: The community services classes for the seventh-and eighth-graders of Raymond Middle School raised enough money to put in a community ice rink. It has now been installed. Unfortunately, a lot of children cannot afford ice skates. If any readers have any outgrown pairs to donate, the school is providing a box for students to “borrow a pair of skates to skate.” These donations would be placed in the box for our students. Please call Barbara at 655-4743, ext.: 107, if you’d like a pick up. Please call 998-2804 and I will gladly help. – Bea Loux, No Town.

In addition to responses from readers, you might encourage students to check out their local Goodwill store. There is one in Windham, right beside the post office, 765 Roosevelt Trail, Windham, ME 04062, 892-8463. It is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Donations end at 5 p.m. Sunday’s they are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with donations ending at 4 p.m. You can also reach the Auburn Goodwill at 279 Center St., Auburn, ME 04210, 783-1702. It is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Donations end at closure time.

Another option would be to contact Play It Again Sports at 250 Center St., Auburn, ME 04210, 777-7427. It is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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