How to get rid of squirrels in the attic? These fluffy animals are considered by many as cute and innocent but, for the pest control industry, squirrels are known as destructive pests. These little animals will cause damage to your house and attic if you don’t get rid of them effectively.
If you have been experiencing a squirrel invasion in your attic, this article is useful to understand why squirrels should be controlled, the signs that show you have squirrels in your attic, and the most effective methods that work best to get rid of them, and some tips against future invasions, to keep them away from your house.
Why Control Squirrels
Squirrels like people and human food, and that’s why they approach naturally humans. They are accustomed to searching for food in the trash cans, street residues, and with the nuts and bread that people feed them. In open spaces everything is acceptable, but when they are inside your house, you need to address the situation quickly and effectively before the situation gets out of control.
Squirrels can cause different damages to your attic, to you, and to your pets. Among the most common problems that they can cause in your attic and your house are these:
Bitten electrical wires and wood
Bitten cables are an electrical risk, and wooden pieces can deteriorate, not only on the outside, but also structurally, although they are small animals, the damage can be considerable if the infestation is maintained for a long time, or there are many animals.
Damage to the isolation
If the insulation foam is damaged by squirrels, the long-term damage to your home and your finances can be considerable.
Leaves, seeds, branches, and other materials were brought into the attic.
Squirrels are foraging animals, so they look for their food and store it. Inside what they have collected they can bring with them residues, which together with the leaves, seeds, and branches can rot.
Droppings and urine smell
Organic waste from any animal is a problem, especially if it’s in your attic. They generate odor and dirt; they are also sources of infection. Often the waste can be confused with that of other rodents, but if these are present, whether or not they are from squirrels, you have a problem!
The appearance of parasites and diseases carried by them can infest your pets
Squirrels can carry parasites such as ticks, fleas, and mites, which can infest your pet, putting them at risk.
They can also be infected with rabies, Salmonellosis, and Lyme disease among other diseases that put your health at risk.
Holes on the walls and roof
The squirrels take advantage of all the small cracks that allow them to enter the attic. If they find an entry route, they may adapt it and create other access routes.
Mildew and mold
With the holes mentioned above, you can have water problems, which will create moisture, mold, and fungal growth, detrimental to your health and the structure of your home.
Signs of squirrels in your attic
Squirrels will search for a place in your attic because it is a shelter, a safe place for them where they can store food, and nest. In the spring and the fall, they are more active, and it will be easier for you to notice them, as they will be gathering food.
If you start to notice many squirrels around your house and near to the roof, scratching noises coming from the attic mostly at night, smell of droppings and urine, holes on the walls and roof, footprints that don’t belong to your pets, it is time to check closely what is going on.
How to Get Rid of Squirrels in Attic
If you have identified some of these warning signs, you must apply methods to remove this pest from your attic efficiently and quickly before the problems mentioned above become more serious.
Solution 1. Check for entry points
Find out their attic entry points. Do a thorough inspection of the walls near the attic, the ceiling, and the roof edge, looking for any unusual holes, uncovered vents, larger-than-normal cracks, or loose pieces that allow these small animals to enter.
Solution 2. Disturbs their sense of smell
There are natural and commercial repellents, and although effective, their smell does not last for long.
Squirrels repel and fear strong pungent odors, so applying pepper-based repellant and ammonia in the attic and around the house helps get rid of squirrels, as they won’t want to go near that space, and probably if they leave because of this unfriendly odor they will not come back in a long period of time.
Mothballs are also useful, and you should spread them around the attic to repel them, and you keep in mind to replace them regularly when their smell diminishes.
Old Fashioned Moth Balls
Solution 3. Watch their movements
Use smart and high-quality security cameras to track squirrels in the attic.
Although squirrels are active during the day, this will help you pinpoint their entry points, their nests, and track their activities. Likewise, it will be possible to see in the act when they are chewing electrical cables and pieces of wood, creating a lot of damage to the house, and putting your safety at risk.
Cameras with cables are not the best solution, as the squirrels can chew the wires, so a great solution would be a wireless camera, with rechargeable batteries or with solar power.
Security Camera Wireless Outdoor
Solution 4. Block access
Difficult the access to your attic to make it less accessible to squirrels.
Squirrels can sneak into your attic through chimneys, vents, windows, and cracks.
These easy ideas will help you quickly block possible entrances:
- Put caps to cover chimneys.
- Install resistant mesh fences in the gaps you see, windows, and ventilation grids.
- Repair cracks preventing them from getting bigger.
- If you have a tree that the squirrels have access to, trim the branches from time to time to prevent them from jumping from there.
Mesh Tarp in Multiple Sizes
Solution 5. Sticky feeling
To encourage squirrels to leave your attic naturally, you can try coating the holes they use to get in with sticky gel. Once they pass through them, the gel will stick to them, and the nests as well, which they don’t like so they won’t want to come back.
This is not harmful, but definitely uncomfortable to the squirrels and will limit their entrance to your attic.
Solution 6. No more access to food
Try to eliminate all food sources around your house.
Squirrels usually feed on acorns, nuts, fruits, and seeds. Likewise, thanks to their contact with humans, they have become accustomed to some of our foods, such as pieces of bread and waste. It is important that if you have a squirrel infestation, you clean up around your house, remove any seeds you have to feed birds and keep your garbage cans closed, and logically it is essential to stop feeding them with pieces of bread.
Solution 7. Annoying sounds
Like so many other small rodents, squirrels are skittish, tending to run and avoid sounds and movements, so use noise deterrents to repel squirrels in the attic.
These devices are safe for humans and pets since they emit specific sounds that only disturb the hearing system of rodents and insects, making them feel uncomfortable and want to leave the attic.
It is not an immediate solution, but it is effective, easy to use since you will only have to connect the device to electricity and program one of the different settings.
Ultrasonic Squirrel Repeller Indoor
Solution 8. Non-Lethal Traps
You can make use of traps that are not harmful to them.
Close all the entrances to the attic except one, in which you will place a trap as a funnel. By attracting the squirrels with some of their favorite foods, you can get them into the funnel and get into the trap from which they will not be able to get out.
Another possibility is to place multiple traps and attract them. It’s important to choose the right traps, with enough space for the squirrel, where they can get to the bait.
Once they are inside the traps, look for the nests and put them in other traps. If you leave them, obviously they will grow up and you will still have the same problem, or the parents will come to the rescue by destroying your attic again.
Take the traps to a forest or park at least 10 miles away, where they can live without interfering with humans, or close to neighborhoods. This is a gentle and effective way to fix the infestation.
Large Humane Rat Traps
Solution 9. Seek professional help
If despite all these solutions you find it difficult to get rid of the squirrels by yourself, the ideal choice is to look for help. The infestation control professionals will evaluate your case and give you the best solutions to solve the problem effectively.
They will also recommend to you how to prevent it from happening again.
This solution is more expensive than the others mentioned, but it can also be ideal if you do not want to solve it on your own.
To prevent a future squirrel infestation, it is important that you periodically check the walls and ceiling of your home for holes, cracks, and entryways for squirrels. Likewise, cleaning around your house the seeds and food sources will be of great help so that they do not want to come to your house to protect themselves, store their provisions and reproduce.