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How to get rid of squirrels in the attic

Waking up suddenly at midnight by hearing the scratching sound coming from your attic may frustrate you. If your good sleep is also disturbed by the pitter-patter sound of nesting squirrels, then beware! One squirrel trying to nest in your attic may turn into a whole population if you do not take immediate action. Having squirrels in your home can be frustrating, especially when they start causing damage to your home. They may chew your electrical wire, insulation, and boards, causing significant damage to your home. Although getting rid of squirrels is a very challenging task, you can take ownership of the attic back from the squirrel.

In this article, we will discuss how to get rid of squirrels in the attic and also talk about some preventive measures that you can take to prevent future infestations.

Signs of Squirrel Infestations

Before we jump into ‘how to get rid of squirrels in the attic’, make sure that the animals in your attic are really squirrels. You do not need to investigate too deeply if you have a whole family of squirrels in your attic.

Here are a few signs that these innocent-looking pests have infested your attic:

  • Strange sounds – This is often the very first sign that homeowners notice. Even if you have one or two squirrels in your attic, sounds like scratching, chewing, and scampering indicates that these fluffy-tailed creatures are living in your home. As the squirrels are active in the daytime, you may hear these strange noises most prominently in the morning and evening. But you may hear these strange noises coming from your attic, crawl spaces, or ceiling at any time of the day.
  • Damage – When you have a squirrel in your home, the damage is soon to follow. You may notice chewed-up wires, air vent damage, holes in the wall or ceiling, and many more.
  • Foul odors – A dying squirrel in your house leaves a terrible smell in the entire house. Not only this but the feces and urine of these infested animals also spread awful odors.

If you see a larger population of squirrels around your property, especially on the roof, it may mean that squirrels are already living in your house. When the squirrel population increases in one area, it pushes some squirrels to take shelter in the house.

If you are sure that squirrels are living in your attic, you need to take immediate action. The longer you wait, the more squirrels will be there to be removed. An uncontrolled population of squirrels poses many serious physical and health risks, including:

  • They may chew electric wires, causing fire hazards.
  • Electric wires are not the only thing that squirrels can get their mouths on. They may chew PVC pipes and wood and may build their nest in your insulation.
  • Pests living in your attic defecate everywhere. This may cause some serious diseases, such as mold and salmonella.
  • The terrible smell of their urine, feces, and fur grease easily attracts more predators. The longer these animals live in your home, the more likely you will find more animals checking out your property.

By considering these risks, you should take immediate action to move them away from your property. Now we are going to tell you what you can do to get rid of these troublesome animals.

How to get squirrels out of your attic?

Once you are sure that the animal scraping in your attic is a squirrel, don’t be late, otherwise, they will turn into a large population. We will never suggest you kill squirrels just to get rid of them. You should always remove them humanly.

Here are some methods that you can follow to remove the squirrel from your home:

Use squirrel repellents – Listed below are some of the home remedies that you can use to repel squirrels from your home:

  • Use ammonia – Soak a rag in ammonia and put it in your attic or in the place where squirrels are trying to nest. Ammonia has a terrible smell that will irritate the squirrel. They feel your place is bad for nesting and leave your place on their own. If you do not have ammonia, you can use other repellents that have a strong smell, such as pepper-based and mint-scented repellents.
  • Use bright light in your attic – Squirrels feel uncomfortable when they are exposed to bright, artificial light. If you use overhead lights in your home, they will likely leave your place in search of a new one. Put the light directly toward the nest if you know where the squirrels are nesting. If they are nesting in your attic, you can use a flashlight to remove them. You can use other repellants alongside it to get the best result.
  • Use loud sounds – Squirrels get disturbed when they hear a loud sound, especially a human voice, nearby their nest. So you can turn a radio on to the talk station and let the sound of a human voice fill the attic. The squirrels will ultimately feel that your place is not suitable for nesting, and they will leave your place themselves. If you know the exact location of their nest, put the radio closer to that. Use the other repellants alongside to get the best result.
  • Use natural or chemical repellent – There are two types of commercial squirrel repellent: natural and chemical. Natural repellent often uses the scent of predators’ urine to scare the squirrel away. Read the repellent label and use the product as directed. Apply the repellent directly to the areas where you notice squirrels frequently, such as entry holes, near their nest, around urine and feces, and other areas. You can easily find the commercial squirrel repellent at a nearby store or online.

Squirrel trap and remove method – Trapping squirrels and removing them one by one is the most humane method that you can follow to remove squirrels from your home. Here is how you can do it:

  • Place a squirrel trap – Observe the areas where you see squirrels more frequently. Place a squirrel trap there. If you place the trap in the middle of the floor, squirrels are not likely to enter it, so place it in the corner or near the wall. The best spot for placing the trap is the entry point from where the squirrels enter your home. If you do not know the exact entry holes, you can place traps over the areas where you notice tracks, urine, or feces. When you buy a trap, make sure that the trap you are buying is specifically intended for squares. The wrong type of trap may cause harm to the squirrel or allow the squirrel to escape. You can easily find the squirrel trap nearby at a hardware store, or a hunting and fishing supply store, or you can order it online.
  • Bait the trap – Bait the trap with peanuts or peanut butter and place it in such a way that squirrels can’t reach and pull out the bait from outside. Then set the trap in the correct spot. When the squirrel enters the trap to get the bait, the trap door will be closed. If peanuts and peanut butter are not available to you, use alternatives such as walnuts, soda crackers, bread crusts, and apple slices. After capturing the squirrel, release it far away from your home.
  • Reset the trap if you have more squirrels left in your home – Once you release the trapped squirrel, place the trap again if you have a population of squirrels living in your home. You have to follow the trap and release method again and again until all the squirrels are gone. Most of the traps are capable of holding one squirrel at a time, so it may take some time to get rid of the entire squirrel family. Have patience and keep trapping and releasing them until your home is free of squirrels.

We will never suggest you use a deathtrap for squirrels.

Hire a professional – Dealing with the entire population of squirrels is a daunting task. If you are unable to deal with squirrels on your own, hire a professional. They can determine the population of squirrels and can remove all of them efficiently and humanely. They also take preventive measures so that the squirrel can not infest your property again in the future. You can simply search for a wildlife removal expert online or ask your family and friends for referrals to professionals in your area.

While dealing with squirrels, do not use mothballs as they are toxic to humans and pets. Mothballs have a pungent odor that many people find offensive, and it may not work against squirrels.

Measures that you must take to prevent future infestations

Once all the squirrels have been removed from your home, you now need to take action to prevent future infestations. Here is what you can do to prevent future infestations of squirrels:

  • Cut tree branches – The overhanging branches of the trees are the way for squirrels to reach your roof. Take a trip to your roof and cut those branches that allow squirrels to access your roof easily. Squirrels mostly live in trees but visit your attic in search of nesting supplies or to take shelter during bad weather. If you feel uneasy about cutting tree branches, you can hire a professional for this job.
  • Cover the holes outside of your home – Preventing the entry of squirrels into your home is as essential as removing them after infestation. If you notice any holes either inside or outside of your home, cover those holes with animal-resistant patches. Patching entry holes prevents squirrels from entering your property.
  • Cover air intake and exhaust vents – Install a mesh screen to cover the air intake and exhaust vents. This will prevent squirrels from entering your home through vents. Your vent will be as effective as it was before you installed the mesh screen. If you don’t know how to install a mesh screen, you can hire a general contractor to get the job done.
  • Apply seals around electrical wiring – Cover the gaps you notice around the wiring with a combination of mesh screens, plaster, and caulk. This will prevent the squirrel from squeezing through the holes. Also, they wouldn’t be able to make the gaps bigger by gnawing around them.
  • Cover the chimney with wire mesh – Install a mesh screen or chimney cap to cover the chimney. This will allow the smoke to get out of it as well as prevent squirrels from entering your home through the chimney. When you cover the chimney with a chimney cap, make sure all of the debris around it is removed; otherwise, the chimney may catch fire. Keep your chimney cap or mesh screen clean regularly; otherwise, soot buildup can become a hazard. If you live in the UK, there are some rules and regulations on how to install chimney caps. Once you put it in place, a building inspector will come and check whether the chimney cap is installed correctly or not. So it would be best if you hire a professional for this job.

So these are the preventive measures that you can take to prevent future squirrel infestations. We hope this article will help you get rid of squirrels from your attic, and you will also be able to take measures to prevent the squirrels from re-entering your home.