AAA Trapping Blog

3 Tips for Getting Rid of Squirrels in the Attic

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Squirrel Removal Atlanta

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With their bushy tails and frisky ways, squirrels can seem pretty cute scurrying across our lawns and up our trees. But cute turns into pesky when these medium-sized rodents take up residence in our homes. A favorite place is the attic, where a ¾ to 5-inch breather gap at the roofline in homes in the southeastern United States makes for easy access to a warmer winter home than being outside. Ask anybody who’s had squirrels in the attic and they’ll tell you it’s no fun. They can be loud and can cause major damage to your home when they start chewing on wood, wires, or plumbing that they find in your attic area.

With temperatures dropping across Georgia, plenty of squirrels are already creeping into unsuspecting homes. Having squirrels in the attic is not something you have to live with! Read these tips for permanent squirrel removal and try to take back your home.

Scare Squirrels Away

The first thought most homeowners have is “How can I scare these things away?” The reports of how effective these methods are vary widely from user to user.
There are all kinds of repellants designed to run off squirrels in the attic from strobe lights to fake owls. Some even recommend setting a timer on lights or a radio to wake the rodents and scare them back into the woods. Still others swear by fox urine or even ammonia-soaked rags. Seasoned professionals will tell you these measures will put any animal on “alert” temporarily, but squirrels quickly realize there is no consequence to these noises and smells. They are soon up to their old antics, ignoring whatever method you might have used to annoy them and to get rid of them. However, if you’re infested with squirrels but don’t have a lot of money to invest, these can be an affordable first option to see how far it takes you in getting rid of your squirrels.

Set Traps

In your research, you might have heard about trapping squirrels, but it’s not for everybody. If you’re willing to give it a try, you’ll have to invest in a live cage trap which will cost between $30 and $85 at a hardware store. You many need to get more than one because you need to set the traps in the areas actively inhabited by the squirrels. You’ll need to bait the trap with something like nuts or fruit that will tempt the squirrel to go in the trap after it and the bait must be placed at the back end of the trap, past the treadle so the squirrel will set the trap off if it does go inside. Get the ladder out of the garage to reach the push-panel access to your attic area or pull down the attic ladder, if you’re lucky enough to have one. Walk carefully over the ceiling joists toward the outside edge of your roofline, near where any access points for squirrels would be, so you can set the traps in the area of their most recent activity. Make sure you have read the instructions carefully so the trap will close quickly and properly if any animal does go inside. Otherwise they will not only eat your bait and escape, but they will also know better than to go near another trap. If that happens, all your investment of money, time and effort have gone up in smoke. If you are able to capture a squirrel, immediately remove it from your attic and relocate it away from your home. Be careful when carrying a trap so that the animal cannot reach you or wear heavy gloves to protect yourself from a scratch or a bite. Make sure that you have the door of the trap that opens facing away from you when you try to release a squirrel so the squirrel won’t try to go over, or through, you to get away.

repairSeal Your Attic

Squirrels are estimated to have a biting power of 22,000 pounds per square inch. That means they can easily chew through aluminum, shingles and even sturdy wood. If you find that you have squirrels in your attic, it usually means they’ve chewed through the fascia board above where your gutters hang on your house, or where wood and shingles meet on roof dormers. If you are in your attic and turn off the light, you should be able to detect where animals can get into your attic as that’s where you see signs of light. If you have ladders that reach your roofline and have the physical ability to climb them, you could check out areas that you spotted from inside your attic as potential access points. Squirrels can get in through an opening the size of a quarter so it’s critical you never underestimate the potential impact of a hole in your attic. If you are able to see any openings you need to use wire to cover the hole to still allow the airflow needed for your attic. The problem with patching holes is that this does not prevent the squirrel from just moving down the board and chewing another hole to get inside. Also, you need to trap at the same time so you do not close anything inside where it could chew another way out or die inside your attic. Patching holes is hard work and going around the entire roofline is more than most homeowners can manage.

What Works?

Do-it-yourself methods of getting rid of squirrels may be economical, but their long-term success varies. Squirrel repellants may require lots of trial and error and constant reapplications, with limited results. Trapping and releasing potentially angry squirrels is enough to scare off even the boldest homeowners, and unless they are released far from home, they will return. Sealing possible squirrel entry points is hard work and may not be enough to keep them from making other access points.

If you’ve tried any or all of the above methods, or if trying to do it yourself sounds downright frightening, it’s probably time to call a professional wildlife control expert. AAA Trapping specializes in permanently shutting squirrels out of the attic by covering your roofline breather gap with two thicknesses of a galvanized steel mesh wire. Over the years, we’ve found this method to be tried and true. Squirrels will NOT get back in your attic once we’ve barricaded them out.

Give these tips a try or call AAA Trapping today! Our squirrel removal experts will ensure long-term success at keeping the pests away.