Squirrels may be cute, but no homeowner wants to share their house with them. Squirrels are one of the most common pests found in homes throughout the United States and they can put your property and your family at risk. Getting rid of squirrels is enough to make someone go nuts, but we have compiled a guide to help you stay sane when dealing with your current squirrel infestation.
Here are a few ways to remove squirrels from your home:
- Traps and Cages
- Frightening Devices
- Chemical treatment
Dealing with squirrels in your home can be a time-intensive and expensive investment. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways one can go about dealing with a squirrel problem depending on your situation. Seeking assistance from a pest control professional shoud be the first thing you do.
After calling your local pest management professional, there are some do-it-yourself methods for a mild squirrel problem.
Traps and Cages
You may be tempted to catch the squirrel with a pair of gloves, but we recommend using a type of cage or trap. It is also possible that trapping a squirrel in your state without a professional license is illegal. There a number of different types of traps on the market, some of which work well for squirrels and some that don't:
1) Body Grip Traps
Many wildlife removal experts DO NOT recommend using a body grip trap. Body grip traps are meant to be lethal and can leave you with a smelly carcass.
2) One-Way Door Cages
The one-way door cage goes at the site where a squirrel is gaining entrance into the home. The one-way door cage lets the squirrel exit the home without being able to re-enter. While this can help remove squirrels from your home, it's not a long term solution as squirrels can usually chew new entrances into your home.
3) Live Bait Traps
A trap with bait is a humane alternative to body grip traps and is more effective than one-way door cages.These traps capture the squirrel without causing it harm, so that you can then let it go in the wild far away from your property. Instead of buying special squirrel bait, you can save money and use sunflower seeds, peanuts, or peanut butter from your local grocery store. This can be the most practical option to solve a squirrel infestation.
When it comes to setting traps on your own, they have to be inspected at least once each day and failure to do this is a violation of wildlife control regulations. There are also plenty of state and local regulations that must be followed when deciding what to do with the trapped squirrel. You should release squirrels at least 5 miles from your property and preferably 10 miles.
There are a few other options that you may consider when faced with a squirrel infestation. Frightening devices such as, strobe lights, radio noise, or ultrasonic sound producers may discourage squirrels in attics or other confined spaces. These techniques are rarely effective because the squirrels get used to the devices or may ignore the device if they have young to care for.
Chemical treatments like repellents and poisons aren't the most effective way to deal with squirrels. They can be ineffective in some case, and illegal in others. Read on to learn more.
Repellents, especially scent-based repellents tend to be ineffective. Squirrels are territorial and don't find new homes just because of smells. Irritation and taste based repellents work the best. Electronic motion sensing sprinklers are available that detect animals and spray them with water to keep them away from your house and yard. These sprinklers also keep your plants hydrated. Make sure to read the reviews before you purchase one of these. You should consult your pest management professional before choosing to go with a repellent.
While these can discourage squirrels from living in your yard, if they already have nests in your home, sprinklers can do little to eradicate them.
Oftentimes, people will attempt to try to poison the squirrels as a form of removal. This is not advisable for a few reasons. There is always the possibility of killing a mother squirrel and may be illegal depending on what state you live in. Any decomposing carcasses also pose a health hazard to you and your family, which is why we recommend consulting a professional to aid you in removing any squirrels from your home.
Do-It-Yourself or Use a Professional?
It is recommended that you consult a pest control professional to remove the squirrels. Most pest control companies offer consultations at no charge. Hiring a professional to take care of your squirrel problem may be more expensive, but can save you a lot of time, frustration, and money. As stated earlier, traps and cages are the best methods for removing squirrels, but there are some complications that can occur even when using this method by yourself. There are a variety of health risks and legal obligations that make removing squirrels on your own more complicated than what it seems. Wildlife removal experts recommend always consulting your preferred pest management professional even if you plan on resolving your squirrel problem by yourself.