Squirrels, living in your attic, can become a big nuisance. They damage the exterior of your home to gain entrance to your attic, they poop and pee inside your home, dislodge and displace insulation and worst of all they have been known to set houses on fire after chewing on electrical wires in the attic.
It goes without saying that they need to be removed. There are 3 steps for getting rid of squirrels in the attic.
Step one – find where the squirrels are getting into your attic.
Go outside and walk around your house while looking along the roof line. Look for any holes that may have been chewed into the siding or eave of the roof. Pay close attention to gable vents. Look for bent or broken slats.
If you find an opening, make a mental note of its location and then keep looking. Don’t assume they have only one entrance, although they may, it’s better to make a thorough search of the entire roof line.
Step two – Get the squirrels out of your attic
This is the hard part. First, if you are able, go up into your attic and try to find out exactly how many squirrels are there. Look for trails of packed down insulation. Look for droppings.
Squirrels often get into attics to build a nest and give birth. If you find a mother with babies, be careful. Just like any wild animal she will attack if you try to mess with her babies. Squirrels have big teeth.
If you locate a nest of babies while the mother is outside foraging, you’ll have an opportunity to remove them without a fight. Wearing gloves, pick them up and put them in something such as a shoe box and remove the squirrels from your attic. Understand, however, that doing so will cause the babies to die, but that’s better than having your house burn down.
Take the babies to your local animal control center or take them into a wooded area and leave them there. Something will come along and eat them like a snake, owl, hawk, coyote, bobcat, etc… (I know, it’s sad. But as mentioned above, it’s better than having them chewing on wires in your attic and starting an electrical fire in your home.)
If the squirrels in your attic are adults, set up a live trap. Place it along the paths they travel through the attic. Not blocking the path, but joining the path. Check it at least once a day. Once trapped relocate the squirrels.
Step three – seal the holes
Repair the damaged area that allowed them entrance to your attic. You can also use hardware cloth or chicken wire to block the entrance. Staple the hardware cloth to the interior plywood if possible. Spray the exterior of the opening with some animal repellant or taste repellant.
No matter what, make sure you don’t seal squirrels inside your attic. Once they die, the smell of decomposing, rotting flesh will make your home nearly uninhabitable and can last for weeks.
Once the squirrels are removed and the holes are repaired and blocked from future use, you will have no more worries about squirrels in the attic.
(photo credit: flickr creative commons, Attic Framing by ArmchairBuilder.com)