Squirrels can cause extensive damage should they gain access to your attic. They may rip up costly insulation and gnaw through electrical wiring, increasing the chances of electrical failure or fire. This is in addition to the health risks they pose. Removing squirrels from your attic, and ensuring they do not return, is a task that you need to take seriously.
Things You'll Need
- Sheet metal
- PVC Piping
- Half-inch wire mesh
- Hardware cloth
- Wire-cage traps
- Protective gloves and clothing
Open up any windows or other access points in your attic to allow squirrels to easily leave. They may be trapped inside, rather than setting up home, and could welcome the chance to escape. Leave these access points open for several hours or until you observe most or all of the squirrels leaving the attic.
Trim back any tree branches that serve as access points to the attic. They only make it easier for the squirrels to get inside. Should this be impractical, wrap the trunks of any trees with two-foot-wide sheet metal, placed approximately six feet from the ground to effectively prevent squirrels from climbing the tree.
Slit a twenty four-inch length of PVC piping along its length and place this over any cable TV wires or telephone lines that enter your attic. Squirrels will not be able to negotiate this piece of tubing, as it will revolve on the wire, causing them to tumble.
Check the attic itself for areas where squirrels can gain access. Block any open chimney shafts with a half-inch wire mesh and block vents and other openings with either a wire mesh, sheet metal or hardware cloth, all available from most hardware stores. In addition, shut all windows securely and replace any broken panes.
Bait two or more wire-cage traps, available from many hardware stores, with either peanut butter, walnuts, or apple slices and leave overnight or until you catch a squirrel. Release any squirrels you catch into the wild. Continue baiting the traps and placing them in the attic until you are convinced that no squirrels remain.
Tips & Warnings
- Do not try to chase squirrels out of your attic. This will scare the animals and in all likelihood make removing them more difficult.
- Check your attic every few weeks to ensure that all access points remain blocked.
- Even if you are sure that all squirrels have left your attic, set and place a wire trap as a precaution. A squirrel that is trying to escape from the attic may cause extensive damage as it tries to gnaw its way out.
- Do not attempt to put PVC tubing on any electrical power lines. Check with your local service providers to ensure which lines provide cable or telephone service.
- Wear protective gloves and clothing when picking up traps containing squirrels and when releasing them into the wild.
- University of Missouri Extension: Tree Squirrels
- The Urban Rancher: Controlling Tree Squirrels in Urban Areas
- University of Wisconsin Extension :Tree Squirrels in Wisconsin
- Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences:Tree Squirrels
- K-State Research and Extension: Tree Squirrel Prevention and Control
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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