Are you hearing scratching and scurrying sounds in your attic? If so, it’s likely that you have some unwanted guests – squirrels!
Not to worry though, with my step-by-step guide, you can safely and effectively get rid of squirrels in your attic.
From identifying the problem to sealing off entry points, we’ve got you covered.
Say goodbye to the pesky squirrels and hello to a peaceful and quiet attic!.
How to Identify if Squirrels Are in Your Attic
Here are six ways to identify an issue with squirrels in the attic:
- Strange Noises
- Foul Odors
- Visible Damage
- Nesting Materials
- Footprints or Tracks
- Squirrel Entry/Exit Point Sightings
Squirrels will exit the home during the hottest part of the day. If you hear activity in the early morning or early evening, it’s likely that you have squirrels living in there. Frequent sounds from squirrels in an attic are scratching, clicking, gnawing, or scampering sounds coming from the attic.
Squirrels often leave behind droppings or urine, which can accumulate in the nest. The odor may be stronger near their nests, where there is a high concentration of waste. Additionally, a decaying body can also create a foul, pungent smell in your attic.
Squirrels may chew through wood, insulation, and electrical wires, leaving visible signs of damage. When squirrels chew on electrical wires, it may result in a fire. For more information read my post on 7 Ways to Stop Squirrels From Chewing Wires. Squirrels can cause extensive damage to your home if left unchecked, so it’s important to identify and address the issue as soon as possible.
If you find shredded insulation, paper, leaves, twigs, feces and bits of food in your attic, it could be a sign of a squirrel nest. Squirrels build nests in attics to protect themselves from predators and harsh weather conditions.
Footprints or Tracks
Check for footprints or tracks in the dust or insulation in your attic, which can indicate the presence of squirrels. Squirrels have distinct footprints, so it’s relatively easy to identify them.
Squirrel Entry/Exit Point Sightings
If you’ve seen squirrels entering or exiting your home, there’s a good chance they’re living in your attic. Look for holes or gaps in your roof or siding, which can serve as entry points for squirrels. Identifying these entry points is crucial to preventing future infestations.
How to Get Rid of Squirrels From Your Attic Using Exclusion
The best option to get rid of squirrels in an attic or roof space is to use a one-way exclusion trap door. These devices are mounted at the entry/exit holes that squirrels use to get in and out of your attic.
When the squirrel leaves the nest, the one-way exclusion door will let the squirrels out but prevent them from going back inside your attic.
See the video below of a squirrel that was evicted using a homemade one-way trap door. If you don’t want to make your own one-way exclusion door, check out the Tomahawk Excluder for squirrels on Amazon.com.
Once all of the squirrels are excluded, seal up the holes so they cannot return. You must remove all baby squirrels after the adults have been evicted.
If you cannot remove the nest, you should wait 7 weeks for the baby Kittens to have grown up enough before starting the eviction process.
Ensure you clean and disinfect the nesting area to discourage squirrels from returning. Here is a step by step guide to help you get rid of squirrels from your attic.
How to Remove Squirrels From Your Attic: Step By Step
- Inspect Home For Squirrel Entry Points – Inspect inside the garage, attic, crawlspace, and outside of the home for entry points. Remember these holes can be as small as a 1″ wide openings. Also, trim any tree branches too close to the roof to discourage squirrels from going on to your roof. If your dealing with them outside use a motion sprinkler, live trap or capsaicin spray to keep them away from plants and vegetable gardens and fruit trees.
- Seal All Holes Except the Main Entry/Exit – Seal shut all holes with the proper materials such as steel wire mesh and leave the main entry/exit point open.
- Install One-Way Exclusion Door – Install a one-way exclusion door for three to five days at the main entry/exit point to ensure all squirrels exit the attic or roof space.
- Relocate or Euthanize Trapped Squirrels – If you are trying to relocate squirrels, check your local laws before setting live catch steel traps outside near the main entry/exit point. Bait with peanuts in the shell or bird seed in a shady area to prevent animals from overheating when caught. Live catch traps must be checked regularly and squirrels need to be properly relocated or euthanized. For help with euthanasia check the American Veterinary Medical Association Panel on euthanasia guidelines. When relocating ensure squirrels are moved 10-15 miles from the original nest.
- Check and Rebait Traps – Check and re-bait as needed regularly. Once you do not see squirrel activity, trapping is complete.
- Re-Inspect and Remove Squirrel Kittens – Re-Inspect the Attic or Roof Space for nests that may have young still in the nest. Remove the kittens and follow local laws for euthanasia or relocating.
- Remove Exclusion Door and Seal Entry Point – Once all the squirrels are gone, remove the one-way exclusion door and seal the remaining hole with the proper materials. Steel mesh works best to prevent squirrels from chewing a new hole.
- Clean and Decontaminate the Area – Clean and decontaminate the space with a Virucide Disinfectant Sanitizer to kill bacteria, viruses or mold spores. Follow the direction on the product packaging. You may have to let the Virucide sit for several hours or days before removing the droppings and nesting materials.
Clean Up Tip: Never Sweep or Vacuum Droppings Before Disinfecting. This will cause virus particles to get into the air which can make you sick.
Alternative Options to Solve Squirrel Problems:
- Hire a Pest Removal Service
- Use Poisons
- Use Traps
- Prevention Methods
Hire a Pest Removal Service to Get Rid of Squirrels
If you feel you need help with your squirrel issue, hiring the right professional can be a good option, but it will come at a significant cost.
As a general rule of thumb, it can cost $250.00 to $500.00 dollars to have squirrels removed from an attic and can be higher depending on the repairs required to complete the job.
However, if you are a bit handy and physically able, you can get rid of them on your own and save money in the process.
If you decide to hire a Pest Removal Service, make sure they are licensed and insured professionals following all local and state laws.
Use Poison to Get Rid of Squirrels
Using poison to get rid of squirrels is not recommended. If you are leaving poison outside to get rid of squirrels, you may end up poisoning the wrong animal such as a dog or cat.
Also, a poisoned squirrel could be eaten by natural predators such as owls, hawks, and eagles leading to poisoning them as well.
Squirrels usually enter your attic or roof space to raise young. The babies rely on their parents for several months, without them, they will suffer from starvation.
In addition, if you are unable to retrieve the dead animals, your home could smell for several months. Using poison is just not a humane way or a good method for getting rid of squirrels.
Use Kill or Live Catch Traps to Get Rid of Squirrels
When considering traps for squirrels, you need to decide if a kill trap or a live catch trap is the right choice. The first and most important thing to consider when making this decision is to find out what your local and state laws are for trapping, killing and relocating squirrels.
With that in mind, trapping squirrels can be more challenging than you think. If a squirrel is in your attic or roof space, kill traps and live catch traps are both not effective.
Unlike mice or rats, squirrels tend not to eat where they nest. Since squirrels will not be looking for food in the attic, a trapping campaign is almost always useless.
What Are Prevention Methods for Squirrels
Preventing squirrels from entering your property can sometimes be a difficult task, however, there are things to can do to keep them away from your vegetable garden, fruit trees and out of your attic or roof space. For more information on how to get rid of squirrels read my post on 26 Best Ways to Get Rid of Squirrels.
Conclusion: How to Get Rid of Squirrels From Your Attic
In conclusion, removing squirrels from your attic requires patience and diligence, but it’s necessary to prevent potential damage and health risks.
Inspect your home for entry points and seal them shut with the proper materials, except for the main entry/exit point where you should install a one-way exclusion door.
Remember to follow local laws when relocating or euthanizing squirrels, and check traps regularly to ensure squirrels do not suffer without water. Be sure to remove baby squirrels from the attic after the adults have be excluded. Once all the squirrels have left, remove the door and seal the remaining hole.
Don’t forget to clean and decontaminate the area with a Virucide Disinfectant Sanitizer to eliminate any bacteria, viruses, or mold spores left behind.
By following these steps, you can safely and humanely remove squirrels from your attic. If you take action quickly and are persistent you can resolve the problem with minimal work and damage to your property.
Keep in mind that it may take several campaigns to rid your home of squirrels. If you become overwhelmed with the situation and feel your efforts have not worked you can always call in a professional.