How to remove squirrel in the attic

A handful of animals are comfortable living in the attics of homes, but the number one nuisance animal seen in this situation is the squirrel. Because squirrels are so agile and have an unparalleled climbing ability, they can easily climb to the roofs of homes, even when no trees are nearby. Squirrels have been known to climb even seemingly smooth surfaces, like drainpipes. This makes prevention difficult, and many homes become victims of squirrel invasions.

To remove a squirrel in the attic, you have three effective choices:

  • 1. Set up live cage traps
  • 2. Use a one-way door trap
  • 3. Set out lethal traps

How effective are common traps?

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Live cage traps are effective–and recommended –for most nuisance animal situations; however, a squirrel in the attic is not one of these scenarios. Squirrels are smart, and they will very rarely enter a cage trap just sitting out in the open. That’s not to say it won’t happen; it is possible to get lucky, especially if the attic is small and the squirrels have little space to move around. If you set live cage traps out, they will be most effective if baited with seed. Otherwise, it may take some time for the squirrel to venture inside.

The one-way door trap is the ideal way to handle a squirrel in the attic. The animal will have one or two openings in the space it uses to get back to the outside. By attaching a door that allows the squirrel to leave but not return, it will have no way to reclaim the space. This process is a form of exclusion, but simply blocking the squirrel from re-entry isn’t always the best method. Squirrels are determined–especially if they young still trapped inside the attic–and will chew and claw their way back inside if at all possible. For this reason, the one-way door is best used in combination with an attached cage trap, and these specialized devices for wildlife management are often sold as a single unit.

The one-way door trap does not require any bait since it attaches directly to the exit holes the squirrel uses. By habit, the animal will dart out one of these holes only to find itself enclosed within a small cage. The squirrel can then be relocated far enough away to prevent return to the property.

Is removing a squirrel in the attic simple?

The process to remove a squirrel in the attic sounds simple, but there are many hurdles to face. The most important consideration in this situation is the presence of baby squirrels. The majority of the time, a wild animal has entered an attic or crawlspace with the intent to find shelter to raise offspring. When removing adult animals, it is important to look for babies. It’s inhumane to leave young animals to starve to death, and if they die, the smell from their decaying remains will infiltrate the home. Baby squirrels must be removed one way or another. Removing them while alive is significantly more advantageous than having to locate their dead bodies after they have started to stink up a home.

Finding a nest of baby squirrels in the attic isn’t easy. Even if they are out in the open area, they may be covered under a layer of insulation or nest material gathered by the mother. If the babies are quiet, they can be impossible to find. This, along with the proper installation of the one-way door trap, is why it is reasonable to hire a wildlife professional to get a squirrel out of the attic. Through experience alone, a wildlife removal specialist will know the most likely places a squirrel nest can be, and will then handle any young found within accordingly.

After the squirrel has been removed, the attic must be sealed up completely. Repair is important to keep new squirrels from entering the space. Keep in mind, patch jobs won’t be enough. The holes must be repaired correctly and with durable materials or squirrels will just be able to tear the patch apart. At the same time, cleanup inside the attic is important. Squirrels and other animals leave behind scent in their waste and oil secretions. These smells are intended to draw others of the species to the location; after all, a female squirrel needs a male if young are to be born. Leaving the squirrel mess in the attic but sealing up the holes may still encourage other squirrels to try and enter the building.

If cleaning up the area yourself, be sure to wear protective clothing, a mask and goggles. Squirrel droppings can be a source of hantavirus, the cause of a potentially serious respiratory illness in people.

Humane Hints

Squirrels are intelligent creatures with feelings.  Whenever possible, aim for prevention techniques or humane trapping and relocation instead of killing the animals.  And please never use poison!  It's inhumane and rarely solves the problem.  Our company provides 100% effective and permanent wildlife removal, while employing the most humane approach possible.

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Over 1000 locations across the United States!

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