The presence of these nasty creatures in the attic is a common problem. The very first signs of infestation are the sounds of chirping and scratching, bumping, and jumping from above the ceiling. We all believe that squirrels live somewhere off the ground, mainly in trees, but the reality is such that they never refuse from settling down in the attic. In this article we will show you the proper steps to take on how to get rid of squirrels in the attic.
The very first thing to do is stop worrying. There is the right solution to getting rid of squirrels. Secondly – look for advice on how to prevent further infestation. Thirdly – learn the ways of eradicating those that have already entered your place. We hold all the information you need to know while coping with the situation.
5 Steps Ultimate Guide on How to Get Rid of Squirrels in Your Attic
Squirrels are very intelligent animals and can be troublesome if they decide to live in your attic, garden, or even chimney. In order to prevent them from taking up residence, you have three options: trapping, repelling them with water sprayers or exterminating those that have already moved in with traps and poison.
- The first step is to pick up any fallen fruit.
- Remove the water source and seal off all entry points by caulking cracks, trimming trees, cutting back vines, etc.
- Install a one-way door at the top of your attic stairs so that if they do get in you can't go back out again until you've captured them with traps or poison (use as last resort).
- Set up live traps for those already inside and purchase snap traps or live traps to catch those still inside the wall/ceiling before sealing off all entry points.
- Dispose of rodents caught in traps far away from home after reading instructions on how not to be harmed when using poison made especially for rodents which should only be used as a last resort!
Here are 5 steps you must take in order to get rid of squirrels in your attic!
STEP 1: Get rid of the food source
These rodents can smell food from a mile away and will scout out the best way to get into your home.
- Remove bird feeders.
- Clean up any pet food that has fallen on the ground.
- If you have fruit trees, pick up any fallen fruit.
- Remove the water source. Squirrels need freshwater sources such as ponds, streams, and ditches. Minimize these areas around your house by cutting vines so that they cannot climb on them or dig burrows under them. Fill in any ditches or low spots with gravel or bricks so that there is no standing water.
This will put pressure on the squirrels and eventually force them to leave your property for another source of sustenance and shelter.
STEP 2: Seal off all entry points
Make sure doors are closed and windows are shut tight at night.
Caulk cracks and gaps around any doors, windows, or vents.
STEP 3: Cut down trees near your house
Trim back all branches within three feet of your house so they cannot be used to climb on top of your roof or in through a window. Cut the branches at least ten feet away from your house.
Trim back vines and bushes around your house so that they cannot be used as an entry point.
STEP 4: Install a one-way door at the top of your attic stairs
So that if squirrels do get in, they can't go back out again. This will force squirrels to find another place to live.
For example, you could use a screen door with one section made of mesh. The mesh will allow air to circulate but not rodents to exit the attic.
You'll have to work backward from the entry point to find where the best location for this one-way door is.
Look at where the roofline meets the wall inside your house, then follow it up onto the outside of your gable wall.
When you find an opening where the roof is slanting towards the outside of your house, install this mesh-covered one-way door there.
STEP 5: Set up traps for any squirrels already in your attic
Purchase a one-way door to let them out of their current location, where they can then leave on their own accord. This will prevent them from re-entering your home once you have sealed off all entry points. You can also purchase snap traps or live traps to catch any squirrels that are still inside the walls or ceiling of your attic. Choose the best squirrel bait with my review here.
Be sure to check these traps daily so that you do not catch non-target animals. Dispose of captured rodents by releasing them far away from your home.
Exterminate the remaining squirrels in your attic. Purchase poison made especially for rodents to use as a last resort.
Usually, one application will be enough to take care of any further problems with these animals. However, if you are still experiencing issues after one month, repeat the treatment.
Note that poison is extremely hazardous and should only be used as a last resort! Trapping or killing squirrels yourself would be better than exposing yourself to such chemicals since they can cause serious harm if ingested by humans.
Squirrels are destructive animals when they are in your attic. If you need to get rid of squirrels, use these steps to guide yourself through the process. You can also refer back to this article for step-by-step directions on how to prevent them from entering your home in the future.
Coping with Flying Squirrels in Attic
So, ask yourself ‘I have squirrels in my attic… How did they get in there? What should I do?’
There is no surprise they adore such places: they are dry, warm, and are just perfect for nesting, storing foods, and using all other benefits in a comfortable area without any dangers the surroundings have.
However, this is also the most expensive option that saves your time and nerves and relocates the animals.
According to specialists, attics are the best places for these animals to have and grow babies. And this is why squirrel removal should become your priority.
If you don’t have much money and want to do everything on your own, you can trap the pests yourself. In this case, it is very important to make sure that you have evicted all the creatures. Keep in mind that a single colony contains not less than twenty critters, so the process of elimination can become really durable.
If you would like to set all the traps most effectively, you are to make some research, during which you must find all the entry and exit routes and points, as well as block all of them, except for one. This is your chance to make the creatures use only the route you have chosen for them. Just set a trap there and wait until all the “illegal invaders” get caught.
What Are the Chances to Remove Squirrels from Attic
They are high, even if you are not a professional. The ways of removing squirrels are multiple. Of course, you can’t rely on all of them.
And this is why we suggest paying attention to the most effective ones:
- Option 1 – Trap-and-Remove. Every professional knows that if you are aiming at ensuring these animals will leave and won’t come back ever again, you are to catch them, trap and remove them. For this purpose, we suggest buying squirrel-sized cage traps that are set near the entry holes. Make sure you mount the cage right against the entry point. Keep in mind that squirrels are very active in the morning and evening, but they can also leave home several times a day. If you place a cage, you have all the chances to capture them as they come out. The procedure should be repeated, and not once. Perhaps, this is a slow method, but it really works.
As this is the best way to get rid of annoying squirrels in the attic, today’s market is ready to offer several types of traps:
- body grip traps,
- repeating live cage traps,
- single animal live cage trap.
- Option 2 – One-way Doors. This is another option for those, who want to learn how to keep squirrels away. In fact, this is a way of trapping squirrels in the attic; however, it should be described individually. Specialists call this option the most humane one. All you should do is mount a one-way door on the entrance hole. A special door has a tension flap that allows the animal to exit but leaves no chances for getting back inside. This option is fantastic at getting all the animals out of the attic for as long as you want to. But what if your home has to make holes they can come through? You don’t have to buy many traps. Just seal all the holes and leave only one.
- Option 3 – Using Repellents. Why not use the best squirrel repellent in the area infested by rodents? Special sprays will not kill them, but will only keep them from coming back. Regardless of the type or brand you choose, all the solutions promise long-lasting results. Of course, they are not cheap, but still, they cost less than the repair of damage, caused by pests.
Repellents can be sprinkled in pellet or solid forms.
- Option 4 – Ammonia. What should be done? Wet some rags with ammonia and then spread them near the location where squirrels live. These creatures possess highly developed senses of smell, and they won’t stand the smell.
- Option 5 – Lights and Sounds. How to control squirrels? Leave the light and radio on near the entry/exit points. It won’t bother you or your neighbors, but will drive the pests crazy.
After using one of these effective methods you are to make sure that the creatures haven’t left any younger ones behind. Don’t rush and give them some time and they will take their offspring from the noisy place.
How to Keep Old and Young Squirrels out of the Attic: Preventive Measures
There is a very nice old saying – ‘Prevention is the best cure’. If you have never faced the problem of infestation or have luckily solved it, then you should think of taking some preventive measures of squirrel control:
- Perform regular inspection checks around your property, looking for rot or damage near the roofline. The inspection should be performed at least once per month. If there is something you have noticed, don’t waste your time or postpone the task – fix all the damage immediately.
- Eliminate entry and exit points. No access – no infestation.
- Seal up all the holes that have been created by these animals and do the same with the most vulnerable places. For this purpose, we suggest using chicken wire or hardware cloth. Staple the cloth to the plywood and then spray the entrance either with a taste or animal repellent.
- Install heavy-duty steel screens right behind the vents. Do the same with other large entry points.
- Trim your trees. Keep in mind that low-hanging branches are a kind of encouragement for squirrels to jump into the house. Cut them and you’ll eliminate possible risks by 30%.
- Don’t leave any trash as it attracts squirrels, as well as many other animals.
- Use a few ammonia-soaked rags and place them in strategically important areas. Though this is mainly a folk remedy, it is still very effective. According to the latest statistics, 8 out of 10 homeowners report its success.
- Use commercial squirrel deterrents. You can purchase some chemical solutions at any specialized store. Use the deterrent according to the provided instructions, focusing on nesting areas that are inside the attic. We suggest paying attention to the variants with predator urine. This is a non-toxic option that affects the animal’s senses of self-preservation and smell. As soon as the animal notices the smell, it avoids being in that area.
Combine it with the exclusion and trapping techniques to make sure all the pests are out.
When they are already inside your house, it doesn’t matter how they got in there. What really matters is what ways of pest control of squirrels in an attic can be used.
We provide all the squirrels’ information, education, and elimination tips so that every non-professional could cope with the problem once and for all.
Questions & Answers
You should not use poison if you have pets or small children living in your house! Even non-target animals can be harmed by the application of rodenticide products. For this reason, it is best to resolve the squirrel problem through trapping or exclusion before resorting to poisons.
One option would be to purchase self-closing metal screens that come already sized for your windows and doors. You could also fit screens into any existing entry holes, then secure them with heavy wire or a few short nails.
Use a water sprayer to squirt the squirrels every time they try to enter your garden. Floodlights may be helpful as well since many animals are nocturnal.