How to Get Rid of Squirrels
Did you know that squirrels are a great contributor to plant growth? Seeds are a major part of a squirrel’s diet, and because squirrels constantly bury and save their seeds, we benefit from seeds that are left uneaten. However, when a squirrel takes shelter in your home, those seeds end up inside insulation, where they are unable to grow and where they provide squirrels with a source of food while sheltering inside your home.
Many DIYers do not realize how long the squirrel removal process can be. Successful squirrel removal includes trapping, removing, relocating, locating entry points, exclusion repairs, cleaning, and disinfecting. Squirrels are rodents and therefore have many similarities to rats. In fact, having a squirrel or squirrel in your attic is comparable to having rats.
When are Squirrels Most Active?
Squirrels can be found year-round though they are most active during the spring and summer months. Squirrels give birth twice per year. They mate in late winter as well as in the spring/mid-summer, and their gestation period is about 4-6 weeks. Attics are a great place for squirrels to give birth to their young because they provide safe shelter. When squirrels are born, they are deaf and blind, so an attic allows squirrels to avoid potential threats like predators.
You will most likely hear squirrels in your attic around dawn or dusk. Squirrels are active during the daytime and use the daylight to forage for food. The noises heard are typically described as fast skittering sounds. If you have baby squirrels in your attic, you may hear noises like a bird chirping; it is important to be thorough when inspecting your attic in case a squirrel's nest is present.
How To Remove a Squirrel from Your Attic
If you have squirrels in your attic, the best method of removal is through live trapping, a one-way door, or hand removal.
Trutech’s squirrel removal process:
- Removal: Live Trap/One Way Door/Hand Removal
- Exclusion Repairs
- Sanitize & Deodorize
If an entry point allows and there are no babies present, we will utilize a one-way door in order to allow squirrels present in the attic to leave the property safely.
If babies are present, we will live trap the momma, hand remove the babies, and release them into the wild. If momma is not present, our Wildlife Specialists will reach out to local wildlife rehabilitation centers to seek help for the babies.
When performing squirrel removal on your own, keep in mind:
- Your state’s laws. It is illegal to harm/kill squirrels in many states.
- The damage will continue until the issue is fully resolved, so it is essential that the problem be resolved quickly and properly.
- Thoroughly inspect your attic in case there are baby squirrels. You may trap momma and think your problem is resolved, but you could have a nest of baby squirrels in your attic that will not be able to survive without their momma.
One Way Doors & Live Trapping
One-way door is the safest method of squirrel removal.
It will allow squirrels to exit your home, but not re-enter. In order to use a one way-door, you must first locate all the entry points that the squirrels are using. Then you must securely install the one-way door to ensure there are no gaps around the one-way door.
Seal all other entry points on your property
After installing the one-way door properly, seal all other entry points on your property so that the squirrels only have one way to leave the attic.
Remove the one-way door
After the squirrels leave, remove the one-way door and seal the entry.
Use live traps
If a one-way door is not successful or there are babies present, using live traps with bait is another effective method to remove squirrels from your attic.
Note: If babies are present, once the momma is caught, you will need to retrieve the babies in the attic with proper animal handling gloves.
- Live squirrel traps can be securely placed on a roof, in an attic, or on the ground.
- Choosing a location on the ground may lead to catching non-target squirrels.
- When using live traps, it is important to thoroughly inspect the attic before sealing entry points even if a squirrel(s) was caught because you need to ensure you caught all target squirrels.
- You will need the proper PPE for the job. If squirrels are in your attic, there will likely be squirrel feces and urine in your attic, which carry bacteria that you do not want to breathe in. Respirators and animal handlings gloves should always be used.
All openings must be sealed
After squirrel removal, all openings must be sealed. In addition, sanitization is highly recommended to remove any bacteria associated with the animals’ waste.
Are Squirrels Causing a Nuisance in Your Yard?
Squirrels, like all other animals, seek food, water, and shelter. The first step to get rid of or prevent squirrels from choosing your property is to ensure you do not create an environment for them.
Follow these tips to prevent squirrels from causing problems in your yard:
Avoid Bird Feeders
Seeds are a main part of a squirrel’s diet, and they will continue to come to your yard if you are providing them with food.
Avoid using birdbaths.
Squirrels are just as attracted to them as birds are.
Squirrels will be attracted to fallen nuts, fruits, and other food. Retrieve fruits and vegetables from your garden as soon as they’re ready.
Do not leave food outside.
If your pet eats outside, please ensure you remove their dish and water bowl after they are finished eating. If your family has a meal outside, be sure to take all used plates, utensils, and condiments inside and ensure the space is crumb-free.
How to Prevent Squirrels from Entering Your Home
- Trim any trees that provide access to your roof.
- Keep your yard clear of debris that can be utilized as nesting material.
- Ensure your bushes are trimmed and maintained. Squirrels love coverage for protection.
- Inspect your property for any potential entry points. If any entry points are found, have them repaired.
- If you have a chimney, ensure it has a sturdy, tight-fitting cap.
- If you have a crawlspace, ensure the crawlspace door fits tightly.
Do Squirrel Repellents Work?
Squirrels do not like strong scents like cayenne, peppermint, and garlic. You can buy repellents with these scents, or make a homemade repellent using these ingredients. Other squirrel repellents available may contain the urine of predators.
Apply squirrel repellents to your yard to help prevent a squirrel problem. However, over time, squirrels will become adapted to these repellents and will gradually begin to ignore them. Many people will use mothballs to try to deter animals like squirrels, but mothballs can be toxic to humans and animals.
In order to ensure the safety of your family and visitors, please do not use mothballs on your property.
The Most Effective Squirrel Removal
The most effective solution to a squirrel problem is population reduction. Trutech offers recurring programs to safely and humanely keep squirrels from causing a problem on your property. At the time of each service, we thoroughly inspect a property for any new damage or openings.
Squirrels can be very persistent. They are rodents, and they constantly need to chew in order to keep their teeth trimmed. Squirrels can chew through materials like wood, aluminum, plastic, and drywall. For this reason, it is important to maintain a squirrel-free home even after properly sealing a property. For a guaranteed peace of mind solution, call your Trutech Wildlife Professional today.
Adrienne, a graduate from Wilkes University in Biology, has been with Trutech since 2016. She loves animals and is always willing to help any customer. Her favorite part of the job is providing her customers peace of mind while solving wildlife issues.