Squirrels can be interesting and often funny creatures to watch out in nature, but we’d much rather see them on a walk through the park than in our own homes! Squirrels have a tendency to take up residence in our homes during winter months, and build nests in our attics to escape the cold. They can create havoc for home owners and to top it all off, they can be noisy!
Get Rid of Squirrels Through Exclusion
The first method in getting rid of squirrels in your attic is exclusion. Exclusion is the process of sealing off potential entrances to your home to prevent squirrels from getting in, “excluding” them from the home.
The first step in the exclusion process is to seal off your attic. Patch up any visible holes and make repairs as needed to prevent squirrels from squeezing in. When sealing your attic, keep these few steps in mind:
- Cover your chimney: It may seem crazy, but a dedicated squirrel can make his way into your home through your chimney. The simple addition of wire mesh or a chimney cap can prevent squirrels and other animals from getting in.
- Make sure vents are covered and sealed
- Patch any visible holes on the outside of the home (even the smallest hole can be chewed into a viable entrance)
Once you’ve sealed off your home and closed up all potential entrances, you’ve got to give the squirrels a way to get out that won’t allow them back in. This is most often done by professionals, where a funnel shaped exit, baited with food, is used to lure the critters out but prevents them from getting back in once they’ve squeezed through.
Removal by Trapping
Exclusion is usually best left to professional pest control and wildlife removal companies, as it can take some series knowledge of rodent behavior to do properly. Trapping, on the other hand requires only two things: the trap and the bait.
If you’re noticing sounds or have sure knowledge that there are squirrels in your attic, one of the simplest solutions is to deploy traps. When placing traps, place them in corners and away from open areas of your attic, as squirrels may be wary of obvious traps placed in traffic areas. When trapping squirrels, avoid using large traps, as the squirrels may panic and the large amount of space could cause them to injure themselves once in captivity.
Make sure you use the right sort of bait for the type of animal you’re trapping. Squirrels won’t go near your traps without the right bait, so make sure to use something that will attract them like peanuts, crackers, bread pieces or apple slices. Make sure to place the bait far enough towards the back of the trap to make sure they get in, while leaving it far enough away from the edge to prevent squirrels from grabbing the bait from the outside.
Prevention Through Repellents
You may have seen devices for sale on TV that “guarantee” to keep mice, bugs and other rodents away, simply through vibration or pulses of sound. While these may seem like gimmicks, these type of repellents can actually work very well to deter squirrels from staying in your attic.
Whether you purchase a specific ultrasonic device or simply leave a radio on in your attic, sound can be a great deterrent to any squirrel looking to make a home in your attic.
If leaving your radio on in the attic sounds a bit annoying, consider purchasing a strobe light or leaving the light on in your attic for a brief period of time. Any squirrels that enter your attic will prefer the darkness, and the constant light source may work to deter squirrels from sticking around.
The last option available is to use commercial spray repellents. These chemicals can be applied to your attic to deter squirrels from building nests. These repellents can be made from predator urine, like the fox and can be purchased at hunting supply or farm supply stores. The other option is to use ammonia soaked rags. Simply soak a folded rag in ammonia and leave them placed around your attic in areas you suspect may be home to squirrels.