When you have any animal living in your attic, you want to get it out as soon as possible. Squirrels, in particular can cause a significant amount of damage if left alone, chewing wires or wood. This in turn can lead to structural damage or fire risks. The easiest way to get a squirrel or group of these animals out of your attic is to hire a professional, but with the right supplies and a bit of time, you can complete the task yourself. Here are the basic steps to follow when getting a squirrel out of your attic.
- 1. Check For Babies
- 2. Find Entry Points
- 3. Seal Most Entrances
- 4. Use Exclusion Or A Repeater Trap
- 5. Clean And Decontaminate
By combining these steps and throwing in a few additional tasks to prevent the animal's return, you can soon have a squirrel free home without potential damage, annoying sounds, or bad odors.
Check For Babies
The very first thing you need to do if you have a squirrel in your attic is check whether any babies are present. You do not want to separate a mother and her babies when they are newly born as they are completely dependent on the mother. This means that separating them will sentence the baby squirrels to death and the mother will probably notice their absence and feel increased levels of stress. If there are babies present, the ideal would be to wait until the newborn squirrels are old enough to move out on their own and proceed as normal. Alternatively, you can sometimes remove the baby squirrels separately, but must always reunite them with their mother within a short period of time. In the case of baby squirrels, you should really either wait or consult a professional for assistance.
Find Entry Points
Once you have determined that you only have an adult squirrel or group of squirrels in your attic, you can start the process of getting them out of your home. This begins with finding all of the possible entry points, both those leading to the attic and those that go to the walls, rafters, or other areas. You will want to walk around your home and pay close attention to the walls and roof. To make sure you find all of the points, you can also carefully enter the attic during daylight. Leave the lights off and you will easily notice any entrances as they will be filled with natural light.
Seal Most Entrances
After you have discovered where the entrances to your home are, it is time to seal them up. Do this with any hole larger than a quarter, using sturdy mesh, wood, or some other material. Remember to leave one hole open so the squirrels can still leave and are not trapped inside. You never want to trap squirrels inside your home as this will give you a different issue: dead squirrels. That can lead to health hazards, foul odors, and other problems.
The most popular and effective method of getting squirrels out of your attic is known as exclusion. This method involves sealing all the holes except one and covering this entrance with a one-way door that allows the animals to leave but not go back inside. The idea is that you can simply wait a few days and within that time, the squirrels should have all left to go scavenging for food, been unable to reenter, and moved on.
Use A Repeater Trap And Relocate
There is also a type of trap known as a repeater trap that uses the same type of one-way door as an exclusion device but is able to hold multiple squirrels. Professionals will use this type of trap to humanely catch up to half a dozen squirrels before relocating them. When relocating a squirrel, you want to give it a good chance of survival by selecting a location with food, water, and shelter.
After successfully using an exclusion device or repeater trap, you want to stop the squirrels from coming back into your attic. To do so, seal up the final hole and make sure there is no way for an animal to get inside your attic. This is also a good time to check your entire property for items that could attract squirrels to the area, such as fallen bird seed, nuts, or berries. If you notice any issues or potential food sources, clean them up.
Clean And Decontaminate Attic
Finally, you will want to clean your attic and decontaminate it as well. This process will ensure that the squirrels didn't leave any organic material including food behind when they moved out. It is important to at least clean up leftover food and any squirrel waste to prevent foul odors in your home. If you prefer not to do this task yourself, there are professionals that specialize in it and will have the proper materials, equipment, and experience.
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