Squirrels are very active all year and they usually build their nests in trees using leaves and other materials. In the winter they would rather live inside holes or crevices of old trees that are hard to find. Making their way into your attic is easy if you have small holes providing them with a way in and they will wreak havoc inside your home.
If you take yourself to be a savvy DIY homeowner, use these 5 tips for removing squirrels from your home:
1) Wait For The Mating Season To End
Squirrels give birth two times a year, once between January and April and again in the fall between August and September. There are usually 2-4 babies per litter and they do not become self-sustaining until about 12-14 weeks.
If you find out you have squirrels inside your home during their maternal season it is best to wait to remove them. If you remove the mother the young can die in your attic which is inhumane and will cause a stench in your home if you cannot find them. The mother squirrel will also do whatever she can to get back inside to her young which could mean more damages to your home.
2) Check for hiding squirrels
Squirrels are usually outside finding food in the mid-morning on a sunny day, check to make sure they are not hiding inside before you start. Use a ½ inch hardware cloth, you can find this at any hardware store. Cut the hardware cloth about 2 to 3 inches bigger than the hole is on all sides, use a staple gun to secure it and then re-enforce it with sheet metal screws.
Repeat this process for all holes you find in your home, so that squirrels cannot re-enter your home.
3) Make Use Of Live Cage Traps
If you have blocked all the holes and notice that a squirrel may have gotten trapped inside, then use a live trap inside your attic. When you have trapped the squirrel inside the live trap, cover the trap with a large towel to reduce stress. Take the trap outside and release the squirrel, if you relocate the squirrel it could result in its death.
4) Try Repellant
You can make a squirrel repellant that can help stop squirrels and other animals from chewing things around your house. You can purchase it in a garden center or create your own using this simple recipe.
- 1-chopped yellow onion
- 1-chopped jalapeno pepper
- 1-tbsp cayenne pepper
Boil ingredients for about 20 minutes in about 2-quarts of water, cool and strain the mixture. Use a pesticide sprayer or spray bottle to apply to areas around your home, use it around holes that you have repaired. The mixture only last for about a week so you will have to re-apply it often.
5) Disturb Their Nesting Area
Squirrels like a peaceful nesting area; you might be able to get them to leave by placing a radio in the attic on an all-talk station or a lamp in the area that they are nesting. Always use a cool LED bulb, not a hot incandescent bulb, to eliminate fire risk.
Preventing squirrels from getting inside your home can save you a lot of time and money on repairs. Always repairs holes in your siding, roof, etc. before they become a squirrels entry door and make sure trees and shrubs are about 5 feet away from your house because squirrels can leap this far.
The bottom line is: The best method for removing rodents from your home is always to seal up entry holes, after using some type of removal/exclusion technique. Many homeowners will turn to killing and baiting methods, however using poison to get rid of squirrels is a bad idea and will usually make matters worse.