Countless homeowners find themselves asking, “How do I get squirrels out of my attic?” The attic is one of the most common places for the creatures to settle into. If left unattended, one will turn into a whole population.
The thought of any unwanted animal living in your home can be disturbing. However, pests disrupt a lot more than your peace of mind.
If you need to know how to get rid of squirrels in your attic, read this detailed guide.
Signs of Squirrels in the Attic
Before we jump into answering the question, “How to get rid of squirrels in the attic?” you need some concrete evidence these rodents are truly there. You may not feel comfortable investigating too deeply if you suspect you have a large population, but there are still some general issues you can watch out for.
Here are some specific signs to keep an eye out for:
This is often the first sign that homeowners notice, and it may even be the only sign with a small population. Sounds you may hear include scratching, chewing, and scampering coming from the structures in your house.
Noises will be most prominent in the morning and evening but might be heard at any time of the day.
With small rodents running around your home, damage is soon to follow. Common issues include chewed-up wires and structures, holes in the walls or roof, water damage, air vent damage, and more.
An animal dying in your house will leave a terrible smell throughout your home. Feces and urine from a pest infestation will also leave strong odors.
If you notice more squirrels on your property than usual—especially your roof—it may mean they’re already living in your attic. Additionally, large amounts of squirrels in one area may push some to take shelter in houses.
Ignoring the Signs of Squirrels in Your Attic
Most homeowners are not okay with sharing their house with pests of any kind. Even so, many people don’t know how to rid squirrels from the attic. The idea of confronting squirrels living in your attic can be especially daunting sometimes.
It’s in your best interest to confront a pest problem as soon as you can. An uncontrolled infestation could pose serious risks to your house and health. Additionally, there will be more squirrels to remove the longer you wait.
Here are some risks you may face when ignoring the signs:
- Fires. Rodents need to wear down their teeth, so squirrels in the attic damage anything they can get their mouth on. This includes electrical wires. Make sure to check for new fire hazards as you address your pest problem.
- Widespread Damage. Electrical wires aren’t the only things rodents get into. They may chew through PVC pipes and wood, make nests in your insulation, and tear up your furniture if the problem gets that far.
- Feces Contamination. Animals living in an attic may leave droppings and urine everywhere. Not only is the smell extremely unpleasant, but droppings may spread mold and salmonella.
- More Pests. The scent of animal droppings, urine, and fur grease can easily attract other predators. The longer that animals are left in your attic, the more likely it is you’ll find larger animals checking out your property.
How to Get Squirrels Out of Your Attic
After you establish exactly what kind of animal is in your house, the next step is getting rid of squirrels in the attic.
If you notice a single squirrel in your attic, it’s highly advised to not take action until you hear more squirrels running around. The single squirrel you hear is most likely a mother with a litter. If you remove the mother, you may have a dead litter in your home shortly after.
Note that this guide doesn’t cover how to kill squirrels in your attic. It’s important you know how to get rid of squirrels in the attic without killing them. A decaying animal’s body poses further health risks.
You may have also heard old wives’ tales about other methods, like how to get rid of squirrels in the attic with mothballs. Some of these methods—like placing excessive mothballs—could also make you sick.
Instead of ineffective methods, there are humane ways to remove squirrels from your attic. Listed below are multiple tips on how to get rid of squirrels in the attic and walls.
1. Trapping Squirrels in the Attic
Traps are a popular method. It’s recommended to use repeating-type traps that allow you to catch multiple animals at once. You should also use smaller traps when possible, as they may injure themselves in a panic with more space to move around.
Traps can be placed at entry or exit points and around your property where you notice squirrel activity. Try to remove the caught animal as soon as possible to avoid them hurting themselves or dying.
2. Seal Entry Points
This may be the best way to get rid of squirrels in the attic because it will also prevent more from coming in.
The best way to apply this method is by using one-way door mechanisms on their entry points. These devices look similar to traps, but they allow squirrels to naturally exit your attic, The design of the device also stops them from coming back in.
Fixing up all but one entry point will force the squirrels towards the one-way door, and will protect your home once the last squirrel exits.
3. Create an Unsuitable Shelter
Rodents will naturally attempt to leave your attic faster if you make it an unsuitable shelter. Getting rid of food sources and nests will disrupt their activity. Making the attic bright and loud with whatever means you have may also scare them off.
4. Call a Pest Control Company
Getting squirrels out of your attic by yourself is possible, but can sometimes be difficult or risky. If you think there’s a large population of squirrels in your home, or you’re not comfortable encountering a squirrel, it’s time to call a pest control company. Make sure to research the company before scheduling a service.
Cleaning Up After You Remove Squirrels from the Attic
Droppings, urine, and carcasses can spread disease. After you figure out how to get squirrels out of the attic, it’s important to do thorough decontamination. Feces can be moved into a sealed bag—while wearing gloves—and then disposed of.
How to Keep Squirrels Out of the Attic
Many homeowners ask themselves, “How did I get squirrels in my attic?” If you don’t know how to keep squirrels out of your attic in the future, you may soon find yourself with another infestation.
Sealing entry points will not only help you remove squirrels, but will also prevent them from entering your attic in the future and provide a number of other benefits. Avoid leaving out anything that attracts rodents, including bird seeds or fruit that’s fallen off of trees.
Get Rid of Squirrels in the Attic as Soon as Possible
Dealing with any kind of small critter in your house may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. As with anything, exercising caution and following expert advice will lead to great results, and your attic will be your own again before you know it. Watch for squirrels near your house, and take the recommended steps to protect your home from future infestations.