How To Catch A Squirrel In A Trap

How To catch a squirrel in a trapsometimes, trying to detter a squirrel from a nusiance behavior is not enough. Squirrels living in your attic, damaging your home or killing your trees by stripping off the bark are examples of times when physically removing the squirrel from your property may be necessary.

Trapping squirrels is relatively easy. As determined as squirrels are to get into bird feeders for a little bit of food, it doesn’t require much to persude them to climb into a trap.

live traps are designed to catch the squirrel alive without hurting it. The cages typically work by placing food on a weight sensitive plate that’s connected to the door. When the squirrel enters the cage and steps on the plate, the door drops behind him and locks. Sounds simple right? But that’s where it gets complicated.

Once a squirrel is captured most people will take the squirrel to a park or wooded area nearby, assuming he’ll make a new life for himself. What they don’t know is that squirrels have a powerful and accurate homing ability. Experiments show that 80% of squirrels released within two miles of where they were captured return to their home.

The further away a squirrel is released the less likely it will be to return. But don’t start making your plans just yet because when I say “further away” I mean far, far away. From even five miles away a small percentage of squirrels will make it back home again.

If using this method my recommendation is to release the squirrel on the other side of a river, (squirrels can swim so I’m specifically referring to a river and not a stream, creek, or canal). Once you’re on the other side of the river, if you can add in an extra mile for good measure, go for it.

One point to note however is that there may also be squirrel haters from the other side of the river bringing their trapped squirrels to your side of the river.

Havahart makes quality live traps which are available on Amazon.

I’ve also written some additional tips on using live traps for squirrels.

10 Responses

  1. Tree Rats (squirrels) are disease carrying vermin, nothing else. Why would anyone even consider trapping their problem and turning their destructive disease ridden tree rats loose on another person. How is the damage to that person any less if they live across a river. How totally self centered ! You might as well slice their car tires while you are at it.
    The most common symptom of a well meaning liberal is a near sighted brain, a lack of linear logic thinking capacity, the total intellectual lack of ability to think through the horrible subsequent consequences of their well meaning actions and the next 4 generations of bad consequences beyond that. Some call it light brained others right brained.
    The person who suggested feeding squirrels as a solution had to be a liberal. A typical light brained well meaning solution with devastating long term results. Feeding squirrels will simply double to quintuple the neighborhood damage and disease in 60-120 days as rats quickly multiply in direct proportion to their food supply. That will cause a massive nesting site shortage and squirrels taking drastic actions to break into houses to solve the nesting shortage. It only takes one light ( you can use the terms light or right interchangeably) brained well meaning neighbor that starts feeding tree rats to cause massive damage in the entire neighborhood. That nesting site shortage that causes the tree rats to invade and chew car wiring and destroy gardens often causes major damages to homes they invade and cause house fires.
    You can’t spend your way out of debt or solve tree rat problems by feeding them. Making any problem 4 times worse is not a solution to the mentally stable.

    1. Larenzo,
      thanks for visiting my site and taking the time to comment, however, your assertions about squirrel behavior are totally fabricated and incorrect. After reading your comment I can only conclude that you derived your ideas purely from preconceived notions created in your own mind. First of all, squirrels are not rats, they are squirrels. Second, any living creature can carry a disease, but that doesn’t mean that every squirrel now living has one. I could go on and on but I have more important things to do with my time.

  2. I have a problem and don’t know what to do. I have wood damage on my deck from, what I believe are squirrels chewing on the end of the wood planks. Should I use a product of some kind? If so, which one

    1. Perhaps some taste repellant will help.

  3. I am having a problem with squirrels chewing their way into my screened=in porch! I specifically used heavy-duty screening, but they chew right through it. I never leave food on the porch, but do have a couple of potted plants. I have not seen any damage to them, so I don’t know why they are coming in here. They also completely ignore the cat sleeping out there!

    Help! They are causing damage and costing me money!
    Any suggestions on using a spray on the screens?

  4. Much of the damage seems to be lack of squirrel habitat. We have lots of trees as we live in a rural area. We have a few Walnut trees on our property as well as Apple trees. There’s plenty of natural habitat for the squirrels to gnaw on & nest in. While they do love to eat our apples and walnuts they don’t damage the crops.

    It’s a good idea to help out wild creatures by landscaping with native plants. We plant bushes and trees of berries for the wildlife. Especially the songbirds. Songbirds eat thousands of insects. My wife and I feel each species on our planet must be filing a niche of some sort otherwise they’d go extinct. As we destroy the natural habitat of wild animals of course they’re gonna try to survive by moving into our neighborhoods.

    Creating natural habitat by planting native plants helps ourselves as we are all dependent on a healthy natural environment.

  5. I’m not sure if I have a squirrel or a groundhog. I have had to replace my vegetable garden 3 times already. I covered it with chicken wire but the little rascal dug under the planter box. It seems to love my zucchini, peppers, peas, carrot & radish tops. It stays away from Tomato & celery. Our garden in next to our chicken coop. It has dug holes under the rocks & out in the garden area. Im not sure if it is eating the chicken feed. We have tried organic spays but it seems to act like a salad dressing.
    I’m very frustrated & needs some advice. We put out a trap but it is to smart for it.
    I would appreciate any advice. I live at the base of the Cleveland National forest.
    Thanks for any suggestions. Rhonda

    1. Is the perp eating whole vegetables? Eating the entire zucchini? if so it might be a raccoon. But if it is a squirrel, it sounds like perhaps you might try extending the chicken wire a foot underground. dig a small trench, set your chicken wire and then backfill the trench so that your chicken wire fence is both above and under ground.

  6. I am working on a customer’s house that has squirrels in the walls. They have been there before, so we set a trap and removed the critter, only one of them and the rest of them seemed to disappear for a year. But now there back. An exterminator has installed a one way do to keep them out for10 days. His plan is that after 10 days they will go find another place to nest. I do not agree, as I had blocked the old hole for over 10 days and they started a new hole nearby to get back into the house. I think we need to do something else but I do not know what it could be. We plan on putting new siding on the house and do not want it ruined. It is the cement, wood fibre clapboard style siding. It is chewable even though it is tough. I prefer the lead poisoning method myself, AKA .22 caliber. Not always acceptable though.

  7. I use two VERY effective relocation strategies.
    1. take a small supply of nuts and other food the squirrel may enjoy, take the squirrel and food to relocation site; place food on ground outside cage. release squirrel.
    Oh – one very important note – the release site is the median of a very busy interstate highway
    2. relocate squirrel, still in the cage of course, to a near-by 30-gallon trash can filled with water for about 5 to 10 minutes.