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How to Get Rid of Squirrels

This article is primarily about squirrels in the attic or home. If you merely want to get rid of squirrels on your property, then read my How to Keep Squirrels Away article for some prevention methods. But if you've already got squirrels in your house, attic, ceiling or walls, you must follow the below steps.

First, you've got to find the entry holes, in areas such as shown in the photo above. Then you must get rid of the squirrels either with trapping or exclusion. Next, you need to seal these entry holes shut permantently, with steel screen, usually.

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How To Get Rid Of Squirrels
There are many people who will find squirrels to be very cute animals when they are seen in woodland, but once they get into your home then they become much more problematic. For those who have their own detached home, squirrels will usually look to make their home in the attic or the roof cavity. This is because they are natural climbers that will feel safer away from the ground, and also because it will often provide the kind of conditions they will want in their nest.

Identifying A Squirrel Infestation
There are many tell tale signs that people can look for if they think that they might have a squirrel or squirrels living in their roof space. The first sign that there is an animal in the roof will usually be the scratching, but finding out that it is a squirrel will take a little more detective work. Squirrels are naturally nocturnal, so seeing an increase in the noise during the night will often be a sign. Unlike rats or other rodents that will get in through spaces fairly low to the ground, squirrels are expert climbers and can get in through a vent or can even chew their way through the woodwork around the roof. As with many other animals, squirrels will usually look for somewhere safe like a roof cavity if they are preparing to have their young, and feeding babies will often mean that squirrels will be coming and going regularly.

Dealing With The Problem
One of the most important things to do is to identify if there is a nest with young squirrels to be found there. For people who are planning to go into a roof cavity that they think may be infested, it is smart to consider using a mask because of the atmosphere in the roof. Although squirrels are not particularly pestilent, they will leave droppings and can also carry parasites, so taking precautions can be a smart move. Professionals will normally look to remove the young of the squirrel before trying to trap the mother because the young will not stray far from the nest for the first few weeks at least. The mother will often have to go out in order to find food to ensure her young can feed. Once the young have been removed, setting a trap to catch the mother is the natural next step. If there is more than one adult squirrel in the roof space, then a number of traps may be necessary.

Removing And Disposing Of Squirrels
Some people will want to destroy the squirrels, and in many states this can be compulsory, but there are also plenty of people who would prefer to release the squirrels back into the wild. For those who do feel that they don’t want to kill the animals, it is smart to release the animals back into the wild at least ten miles from your property to ensure that they don’t come back.

Once all the squirrels have been trapped and removed from the property, this isn’t the end of the work. If there is a significant amount of damage to the insulation and masonry in the roof then professional repairs may be necessary. It is certainly wise to remove and litter and feces, and also to remove any soiled insulation which will often be used as a nesting material. It is also vital to close up and routes into the cavity that the squirrels have been using, otherwise the problem will often occur again. Squirrels moving in to your home may not be something that is particularly pleasant to think about, but it is something that will be easier to deal with if caught early.

What Can You Use To Get Rid Of Squirrels When Traps Don’t Work -
The best way is to use a one-way exclusion door, such as seen above, on the right. Mount it over the squirrel hole, and they can get out, but not back in. No traps necessary!

When a trap does not seem to be working to trap a squirrel it can be a frustrating time. You have spent time and money getting these traps and now you have to do something else. Perhaps you did not want to kill the squirrels and that is why you tried to catch them alive so you can release them. In the rare cases where the traps do not work you can do other things that will get the squirrels out of the home; the one method that is ineffective is the popularly recommended repellent. While they may keep a few squirrels out, they will come back and often they will not even work.

If the cage traps that you have set do not work, then perhaps it is time to go to the lethal traps. They have a higher catch rate. In some cases people will even resort to poison; poison is not the most recommended method because it is not only cruel, most of the time it does not even work. Lethal traps on the other hand when used properly can even entice the squirrels to come in when they are looking for a hiding spot. Placing them in corners where you have found signs of a squirrel will go a long way in trapping them. As always you should use peanut butter as bait, because PB attracts squirrels to a trap very effectively.

PHOTOS: For great pictures of squirrel trapping and removal, click on my: Squirrel Photographs gallery.

Here is a complete list of my squirrel control pages:
Baby Squirrels in the Wall
Squirrel in the Chimney
How to Get Rid of Squirrels in the Attic
Squirrels Chew on Your Home
Squirrel Control
How to Get a Squirrel Out of the Wall
How to Kill Squirrels
How to Catch a Squirrel
How to Trap a Squirrel

Why You Should Vacuum Squirrel Feces Up - If your house has been infected with squirrels, one of the most important things to do once you have gotten rid of them is to clean your house thoroughly, concentrating especially on the areas the squirrel and its family were living. If you don’t do this, other squirrels will be attracted to your house and you could find yourself back at square one. One really important thing to remember when you are cleaning up squirrel feces is that you can catch certain diseases from it, so you should wear protective gear especially covering your mouth and nose so that you are not breathing bacteria and infections into your lungs and body. If the problem is particularly bad, you may need to get a professional cleaner in to deal with the problem. They will be able to use the proper equipment and then also fog your attic to make sure that absolutely everything has been dealt with. By fogging the attic, all of the organic matter will be destroyed, including things like parasites that may have been left behind. It will also kill the odor, meaning that you won’t get repeat offenders returning, and more to the point your house won’t smell like squirrel feces! The fog will break down urine as well as feces, so it if the infestation has been particularly severe this is definitely something you should consider.

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