There are several species
of squirrels, but here we are covering the
tree squirrels that inhabit the attics causing damage and noise.
Squirrels are abundant in the wilds because their
natural predators are less abundant.
Because of this population increase and a decreasing natural habitat due
we start to see them in our attics.
They seek warm, safe shelter during the fall and winter months in particular.
A frequently asked question is:What can I do to run them
out of our attic and keep them out?
If you do run them temporarily(example moth balls), it would run you out
Even at that, after sealing up their entry points,
they would gnaw inside making another entry point.
However there has been positive testimonies from the product called Squirrel
A consistent trapping program is best for squirrel complete control.
Removal of any diet source: bird seed for example,
because they attract the squirrels is the first order of business.
Gutter guards and covering down spouts will reduce the amount of
squirrels entering through the roof top and facia boards.
There are no poison baits on the market that squirrels
will eat and none are labeled as squirrel bait...just mice and rat bait.
Live trapping squirrels is the only way to remove unwanted squirrels.
Locate the trap along the path of entry and places of known foraging
You may want to consider local ordinances for trapping squirrels,
in that they differ. Sometimes a professional trapper with a nuissance
is needed to not only capture the squirrel, but relocate it as well.
Go about 4-5 miles away to relocate the squirrels or it will find it's
way back to your area.
Trapping a squirrel is really the only way to get rid of it in your attic, once it has chewed a hole.
It is important to seal up and repair all entry points after trapping the squirrels so they no longer have access.
Steps to prevent squirrel entry in crawl space, basement
Trim tree branches that may overhang the roof line.
Remove firewood stacked against the building.
If there are cracks in the foundational wall, repair them.
Squirrel Traps used:
1. Single Trap -for all squirrel types :
the Red Squirrel, Flying Squirrel, and the larger Gray Squirrel.
This trap also traps rats well.
18"x5 x5" with 1/2" grid. Squirrels (red and flying), rats, weasels,
chipmunks and similar sized animals.
Single door rigid live trap .
Automatic locking doors to provide an almost escape proof catch every
on image to enlarge
#1077 Squirrel Cage- for the larger Gray squirrel types, but not
the smaller squirrel types.
The 1 inch grid would make this trap less preferable for trapping rats
or the smaller squirrels.
Squirrel Trap Single Door Spring Loaded 17" x 7" x 7" has a 1" grid
And always use work gloves when handling the traps with a squirrel
Some trappers like to use a technique called "pre-baiting"....leaving
the trap out,
and wired open(so it won't shut) with the bait so that they can
get used to the object in their environment,gaining confidence.
Most of the time, this technique is not needed.
Place traps where you hear or see the activity.
Using a Rat/Squirrel lure (walnut oil based) on a cracker or piece of
fruit behind the trip pan is very helpful as a lure.
You may also try peanut butter.
Next use sunflower seeds on top of that and trail a line of sunflower
out the front door of the trap so that there are "free" seeds a couple
of feet in front of the trap.
This will help overcome any anxiety the squirrels may have about entering
For trapping gray squirrelsyou will want to place their traps
along their pathways or points of entry...such as along the roof,
at the base of a tree, or base of the building they are entering.
Flying squirrels would need to be trapped inside the attic
in that they glide into the attics.
Look for their areas of activity..such as droppings, when placing
The insulated areas, with their tunnels and nests that look like piles
is another place to set up the traps.
After trapping and relocating the squirrels you can seal the openings
with 1/4" mesh hardware cloth
or metal flashing.
Look for all possible entry points.
If you are not handy with tools, many nuisance wildlife control companies
seal entry points with a year's guarantee for a fee.
Normal habitat is inside tree cavities in hardwoods.
Smaller than the grey squirrel,entering the smallest of cracks and holes.
They are about 9 inches long, which includes a 3-4 inch tail, weighing
about 3 ounces as an adult.
The have a dense soft brown fur, white belly.
The flying squirrels don't really fly, but glide into attics from trees.
They do this by means of a thin skin that extends out from the sides of
the body and connects the front and hind legs as shown in the above picture.
In "flying," the squirrels leap spread-eagled and use their outstretched
gliding membranes for gliding and their bushy tails for guidance. Glides
of 60 metres (almost 200 feet) or more have been recorded.
Flying Squirrels can enter the attics through the eaves and soffits thru
small cracks. These squirrels may easily enter the space between the roof
top and facia board , chewing the area for a wider entry point.
These squirrels chew on ornamental and potted plants. Damages screens.
They may gnaw on wood, electrical wiring and insulation causing fires.
Fly squirrels are nocturnal with their major activity at night. They
are known to make plenty of noise during the night. Can by commonly heard,making
a great deal of noise at night between sunset and sunrise.
May be heard landing on the roof or the sides of the house.
Normally have 2 litters a year, 2-4 young per litter.
Will seek shelter and a hiding place,likes to hide in the insulation.
Diet: Seeds,nuts, insects,bird eggs,fruits
When trapping for these squirrels: place the traps in the attic, where
they are commonly found.
Gray squirrels are about 18 inches long, including their 9 inch tails..
larger than the flying squirrels.
They weigh about 1-1.5 lbs. as an adult.
Their coloration is usually gray, salt and pepper,
but can have tan hairs in the fur as well, white belley.
The winter coat is grey above with a white underside;
the summer coat is shorter, sleeker and brownish grey above.
Red squirrels have red/brown upper parts in summer
but may show some grey on the back in winter,
leading to some confusion.
Reds are smaller, lighter, have ear tufts,
prominent in the winter coat and brown on the legs and tail.
Natural habitats are wooded areas in tree cavities,
can be found near hardwoods like oaks and hickory trees.
Will construct feeding shelters out of leafs.
Generally have 2 litters a year,2-4 young per litter.
They normally breed in midwinter and late spring. Gestation is about
Diet consists of bird eggs, insects, berries, fruit,
vegetables, nuts and nestling birds.
They like to hoard their food.
Gray squirrels are active during the day,
expecting to hear them during the daytime.
Can inhabit the attic areas as well as crawl spaces.
They like to enter the attic areas from your gutters
and nearby trees and bushes.
Installing gutter guards, or down spouts with screen may
prevent them from climbing up to the roof through a down spout.