How to Get Squirrels to Keep Out of Crawl Spaces

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Squirrel infestations make crawl spaces unsanitary.
Squirrel infestations make crawl spaces unsanitary. (Image: Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Identified by their brownish-gray fur and semi-bush tails, ground squirrels thrive in burrows undisturbed by human activity and predators. Crawl spaces accessible to outdoors make ideal locations for squirrels to sleep, store food, escape predators and raise their young. Aside from the inconvenience of having squirrels in crawl spaces, ground squirrels may carry ticks that transmit diseases to humans. Large colonies of ground squirrels are especially likely to carry diseases. Keeping ground squirrels out of crawl spaces is essential to the safety of homeowners and the prevention of property destruction.

Things You'll Need

  • Fox urine granules
  • Trapping permit
  • Live squirrel trap
  • 1-tablespoon crunchy peanut butter
  • Work gloves
  • Household cleaner
  • Cleaning rag

Attempt to naturally manage the squirrels before using more extensive control methods. Remove any debris or brush piles near the crawl space door and other outdoor access points to make the location less attractive to squirrels. Squirrels use piles of debris for protection against predators.

Sprinkle fox urine granules liberally on the ground around the crawl space door or other access points the squirrels are using to enter the crawl space. Since foxes are predators of squirrels, the odor of fox urine scares them away.

Inspect the crawl space for squirrels daily for two weeks. If the fox urine granules are successfully repelling the squirrels, continue using the deterrent weekly to manage the squirrels. Otherwise, consider placing live squirrel traps around the crawl space door and other access points if the deterrent is not working. Before trapping a persistent squirrel, obtain a trapping permit from your local government agency.

Select a live trap large enough for the squirrel to comfortably fit in. Since traps vary, carefully follow the trap’s specific instruction guide to properly bait and set up the trap. Apply 1 tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter to the trap’s trip lever to attract the squirrel. Wear work gloves when handling the trap.

Place the baited trap on a flat, stable surface near the crawl space door or area squirrels typically use to access the crawl space. Set the trap at dawn when squirrels typically search for food. Wait for a squirrel to access the trap.

Relocate the trapped squirrel immediately at least three miles from your home in a natural habitat with plenty of shelter, water and food for the squirrel. Free the squirrel from the trap without touching the rodent.

Spray the empty trap with a household cleaner to eliminate the squirrel’s scent and germs. Wipe the trap with a cleaning rag.

Tips & Warnings

  • Replace damaged or rotted crawl space doors to prevent squirrel access.
  • Never touch or handle squirrels as they may carry diseases.
  • Trapping squirrels without permits is illegal in some states.

References

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