Does Chewing Gum Kill Squirrels? Facts vs Myths
It has been a prevailing belief that chewing gum kills squirrels, but at the same time, many also say that it is simply an urban legend with no real basis, and there are those who earnestly ask what the real answer is.
Squirrels apparently eat chewing gum, which binds in their intestines and kills them. People who have had problems with squirrels, gophers, and chipmunks say chewing gum do kill squirrels. However, there is no known scientific study established definitively if chewing gum kills squirrels.
The odd fact is that many wild rodents, including gophers, chipmunks, and ground squirrels, derive enjoyment in sweet food items.
In this regard, and in efforts to eradicate them, people have presented sweet sticks of chewing gum for these animals.
These rodents are considered pests in many places, and people who want them out of their property offer them chewing gum with the hope of killing them.
Let us explore this concept and determine if it is true or not.
Getting Rid of Rodent Pests
There are many traditional methods of getting rid of rodent pests such as squirrels, chipmunks, and gophers. They have not been specifically proven by scientists to be true or effective.
Nevertheless, despite there being no hard scientific evidence of their effectiveness, they nonetheless continue to circulate among so many homeowners across many states who have been desperate in their attempts to eliminate these unwanted mammals in their backyards.
This is due to the fact that these rodents continue to wreak destruction in yards and properties. Thus, urban legend or not, people want to try this method if ever it has some beneficial effect.
Does Juicy Fruit Gum Kill Squirrels?
The principle is that the gum will block the animals’ intestines, which will kill them. The people who advocate using chewing gum to kill squirrels believe that whether chewed or not, they are supposedly effective.
One method of applying the gum involves chewing some gum, such as the brand Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit, in order to bring out its sweet flavor.
Once this sweet taste starts to manifest, the person chewing it does not fully consume its flavor, and instead drops the partially chewed gum into the habitat of the squirrel or gopher hole.
This supposedly attracts the intended rodent victim to the gum’s fruity and sweet scent. It then starts to eat the gum.
However, these rodents are not able to digest the sticky material, and it interferes with their digestive system, binding it until the squirrel finally dies.
Unusual Practices to Eradicate Wild Rodents
Various practices abound regarding using one substance or another to eradicate wild rodents like squirrels.
Some people think that the only thing that using chewing gum accomplishes is that it merely wastes a good piece of chewing gum.
Some other accounts say that instead of chewing gum, the other substitute materials are instead used, such as Ex-Lax laxative or even Irish Spring soap.
According to those who do not subscribe to such ideas, Irish Spring repels almost everyone, and even if gophers and other wild rodents ingest the Ex-Lax, they will only get diarrhea without eradicating them from the property.
Probably the most unusual technique that has been floated in the web, which was apparently effective, is the account where a garden connoisseur by the name of Karen Ciabattoni wrote a very courteous letter or note to the gophers plaguing her garden.
In the note, Ciabattoni politely asked the gophers to consider finding another garden to relocate in. After writing the note, she rolled it up and slipped it down to the gopher’s tunnel.
The note did not contain any threats, toxic gas, or poison of any kind. By the following day, however, all the rodents had permanently took their leave and were gone from her garden.
The writing of the note most probably did not have anything to do with why the pests mysteriously and suddenly left. No reason was forthcoming.
However, this account only shows how strange the existing theories and practices are with regard to efforts to kill and eliminate rodent pests.
A Different Method of Applying the Chewing Gum
Another method by which chewing gum was used for killing wild rodents, particularly chipmunks, was supposedly provided by no less than an exterminator.
According to the account of an exterminator’s client, they advised putting pieces of Juicy Fruit gum inside the pests’ burrows. This time, the gum is not to be chewed. It was also emphasized that the gum under any circumstances must not be touched by human hands.
Gloves must be used to take the pieces of gum out of their wrappers. These pieces are then placed near the rodents’ burrows. Their intended effect is to emit a disgusting scent that will drive away the chipmunks living in the burrows.
Again, the importance of not touching the gums was reiterated, and at no time should the chipmunks sense that humans placed the gums near their abode.
Using Chewing Gum Against Moles
Still another technique which uses chewing gum has been advocated. This time, it was applied for the purpose of eradicating moles.
The method goes as such: Take several pieces of chewing gum (again, Juicy Fruit was recommended) and remove their yellow wrappers. Do not remove their inner silver aluminum wrappers.
These sticks of gum with their aluminum wrappers still intact are then put inside the holes where moles are. The principle is that the moles are attracted by the scent of the gums, and will therefore consume them.
Take note that the supposed effect of the gum on the moles are as an attractant. This is in stark contrast to the purported effect of gum on chipmunks, which supposedly drives them away.
Once the moles eat the gum, it will along with its intact aluminum foil be undigestible, which will cause the moles to eventually be killed off.
Alternative Accounts on Gum’s Effects
Alternative accounts and variations also abound regarding the use of chewing gum in eliminating pest rodents like squirrels.
One account involved someone putting them in the abode of squirrels, who later observed that the squirrels ate the gum “like crazy.”
Unfortunately, the said person never saw a single squirrel dying or dead from eating the chewing gum.
However, he bought a particular rat trap with which he used gum as bait. Naturally, since it was a kill-trap, the gum had no role in killing the 19 squirrels that were caught by it.
The gum was shown, however, to be a very effective bait since it attracted so many squirrels.
What are the various ways of getting rid of squirrels?
There are several ways that have been done in the effort to get rid of squirrels. Some of the most common and proven ways are enumerated below.
- Do not feed them to discourage them from coming back.
- Remove the things that serve as squirrel attractants, such as food and garbage.
- Scare the squirrels with pet dogs or cats, or by spraying urine of squirrel predators.
- Spray the squirrels with motion-activated sprinklers.
- Exclude squirrels by blocking their points of entry.
- Deter squirrels with the use of squirrel baffles on poles, fences, and netting.
- Repel squirrels with food items laced with taste repellants.
- Plant flowers that deter squirrels, such as daffodils, hyacinth, allium, snowdrops, mint, and peppermint.
- Trap squirrels and humanely kill them or relocate them.
- Remove squirrels from your attic, crawl space, and walls.
What are the hazards of having squirrels around?
There are a lot of harmful consequences of having squirrels around the property. They are enumerated below.
- Destruction of plants – Squirrels bury food on the lawn and grass, and uproot plants and flowers to eat them.
- Stress on trees – Squirrels also gnaw on tree bark, which can stress trees and damage or even kill them. Saplings and young trees fail to develop when they have damaged and stripped bark.
- Damage to the home – Squirrels chew and gnaw on walls, insulation, wood, electric wires, and almost everything inside your home. This is a fire hazard and it damages the structure significantly. Squirrels are also hard to evict once they have settled in the attic and have raised young squirrels in it.
- Stealing of food – Squirrels are a threat to fruit farms and crops because they eat the produce and negatively affect the farm’s productivity.
- Spreading of diseases – Squirrels also carry organisms responsible for diseases such as ringworm, plague, tularemia, typhus, and other diseases.
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