So you have figured out that the noise in your attic is due to squirrels, you have seen them coming and going like they own the place. Now you are wondering how to trap squirrels in attics and rid yourself of the little guys for good? It may feel at times that you are up against a never ending, fully trained and equipped army. Do not feel that you have failed if you need reinforcements from a trained professional even despite your best efforts.
With that said the best way to start is to find how and where they are getting into the house. Look for things like holes in the soffits, vent covers that have been removed or damaged, anything that is not fully secured (meaning no gaps). Even though the average squirrel is between six and nine inches, tail included, they only need an opening the size of a U.S. quarter to get into something. You are going to want to get all of these entry and exit points sealed up to prevent future entry. To seal the holes you would need sheet metal, flashing and hardware cloth. You can also use hardi board or hardi planks to replace wood trim or soffits. You can normally find all of these things at your local hardware store. Take a day and get everything you can sealed up.
Then onto the trapping, there are various types of traps that you can get through hardware stores or even sometimes on loan from your local animal control, they are non-lethal and have a trip pan that causes the door to close. You want to make sure they are about 16 inches long and at least 5 inches high. This is so there is enough room for the squirrel to enter fully and not cause any reason for the door to not fully close, if you go much larger than this you also risk the animal running around in the cage and harming itself. You want to get the trap into the heart of the activity, place a spoon full of peanut butter in the back of the trap and let it go to work. You want to check it at least once a day to see if anything is inside. Once you have trapped your squirrels make sure to handle them with caution. Don’t put your fingers in the trap and use gloves, as cute as they may seem remember, they are wild animals. Look for any sign that the squirrel you trapped is a nursing mother. If so you will need to launch a search and rescue party, her babies are warmly nestled somewhere close. This may take time to find them, be patient. Once you have found them, while wearing gloves place them into a safe container like a box with high sides and move them out of the attic. You should take the babies and mother more than five miles from your home into a wildlife area and release them together. They have a higher chance of survival this way. If for some reason you are not able to find the mother yet have a litter that you need to remove find a local rehabilitation center. They are more equipped to raise the pups and release them back into the wild when they are ready.
You will need to “rinse and repeat” these actions until you are no longer hearing any activity.
A few key things to know, squirrels are tenacious, especially mothers who have been removed from their young. You may need to look after a few days for any new entry points you had not previously found as she will work her way back to her pups if she has been trapped away from them. Also there may be more than one, so be patient and you should succeed. Most of all, don’t feel disenchanted if you are not able to handle this alone. Most companies that are successful are so due to the experience they have and even then they have to work at it sometimes to get things just right.
How to trap squirrels in attics often will take the help of a nuisance wildlife removal service.