How To Get an Animal Out of the Wall

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Wild animals often live in homes. They most commonly like to live in the attic, but sometimes they will crawl down the walls. Other times, they fall down the walls, and then get stuck. The most common types of animals in walls are rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons and opossums.

First I'll discuss living animals. If the animals are able to crawl up and down the walls, then the solution is no different than if they're in the attic - find the entry/exit holes at the exterior of your home, and install one-way exclusion devices on these holes. Or set cage traps near the holes. One all the animals are out, seal the holes. If the animal fell down the wall and is stuck and scratching, that's another matter. In order to get animals out of your walls in this case, you'll have to cut a hole in the wall, such as seen below in the photo. In this case, a raccoon fell down the wall, and I cut a square hole to get it out. I just grabbed it with a gloved hand, but you can also use a snare pole. If the animal is small and fast, like a rat or squirrel, you need to mount a trap on the hole right after you cut it. Don't let the animal jump out and into your bedroom!

If the animal in your wall is dead, then you just have to follow the smell and cut a hole in the wall and remove it. This is not always easy. It takes a lot of experience, and a lot of sniffing. If you fail to remove a dead animal in the wall, you will have a big odor problem in your house for a long time.

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Have you heard scratching in the walls and you don't know exactly where it is coming from? The offender is not a ghost but more likely an animal that has either gotten stuck in your wall or has made a home inside the walls of your house. Needless to say as a home owner such uninvited guests are not something you want. Now the question is, how best to get rid of them? When they’re in this proximity you should call a professional. Someone who can trap and remove these animals fairly quickly and with as little damage to your walls as possible, often without any damage at all is ideal.

The methods employed by professionals vary depending on the type of animal that is stuck in your wall. The first suspect is always a mouse or even a rat, but you would be surprised at the type of animals you can have inside your walls. They range from squirrels, raccoons and possums to snakes. So as you can imagine getting them out of their comfortable and warm new home in your wall can involve methods that a regular homeowner may not be familiar with. There are also precautions that a trained animal control expert takes daily, that are important to getting this job done. The first thing you have to consider is that you do not know the health status of these animals, so safety should be your number one priority.

Safety First - One of the main reasons you want to get rid of wildlife and pests in your walls is that they can carry several diseases, among them Salmonellosis, Murine Typhus and Rabies; not to mention the parasites that they can leave behind in their droppings. So when removing a mouse, rat, squirrel or any other animal trapped in your wall you have to think safety first. You are going to need to have cages that will make it easy to trap and even keep the animal safe as well as heavy gloves that can withstand the bite of the critter in the wall. It is also recommended that you have your shots up to date before attempting to remove an animal yourself. If you can also get a view of inside the wall to locate the squirrel, mice or any other animal that may be in there, you will have an advantage of knowing species, size and location.

Other Tools That You May Need - Besides the essential cages, gloves and electric saw to get in the wall, there are other things that can make your job a lot easier. Traps come in many shapes and sizes and they have different ways of catching an animal that may not be as easy to trap with your hands. The way they catch the rodents or invading pest depends on your budget and how easy to clean they may be. There are snap traps and glue boards for the smaller ones; for the bigger ones there are zapper traps and you can even fashion a bucket trap yourself. Beware though that those are lethal traps and there are other non-lethal type of traps, such as catch traps.

Once You Have Gotten The Pests Out - Once your wall is free of the wildlife, the important thing is keeping them out. There are things that can be done to accomplish that. The first thing you should try to figure out is where they came from. Look for any holes on the walls or the roof of your house and if you find them you must plug them right away. You can also set traps in the house in case other animals are inside that you may have not found on your first catch. You should also remove things that may entice to get the animals into your house in the first place, so that you do not encounter the same problem in the future.

You can also read about a squirrel in the wall. is written by me, David. I am a professional nuisance wildlife control operator. It is my goal to provide education about safe, responsible & effective solutions to human-wildlife conflicts. I provide a lot of "how-to" info, but in many cases, wildlife removal is complex, dangerous, and subject to local laws. Sometimes I recommend hiring a professional. I have spent over 10 years now training and investigating companies all over the United States, serving over 650 USA cities and towns. I believe my hand-picked list is far better than what you'll find on a standard web search by yourself. For my recommendation of a local critter trapper in your area, click here for my nationwide list of 100's of professional wildlife control experts.

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