Squirrel Infestation

02.21.2004 - I made this squirrel trap myself, and I was pleased with the results.  This customer had a squirrel infestation in his ceiling.  There was no attic space to access inside this flat-roof home, but he was hearing all sorts of running noises throughout his ceiling space.  I inspected the home yesterday and found that a large chimney flu pipe runs up the side of the house and through a hole cut into the soffit of the house.  The problem is that the pipe had a diameter of 16 inches and the hole had a diameter of 22 inches.  This left a big open ring leading right into the ceiling!  Ridiculous!  Squirrels just jumped right in and set up a nest.

Because it's late February, the young squirrels are almost fully grown up.  They are born in January, and they grow quickly.  They are probably about six weeks old.  It's very common with squirrel problems for the homeowner to ignore the single mother squirrel - she doesn't make much noise, and is secretive about her squirrel nest.  But then the young grow up, and now instead of one squirrel, you've got a full-blown squirrel infestation of five crazy squirrels in the ceiling, running all over the place, making a ton of noise.  That's when I get called to the home to take care of things.

Because I knew I had multiple squirrels to deal with, I decided to set up a repeater cage trap.  First, I used steel mesh and I sealed all around the open ring around the chimney flu.  Then I set a one-way door on the only area I left open.  The one-way door has a tension door that squirrels can push open and walk through, but not go back through.  This one-way door led into a large metal cage that I made myself, and I bolted it all to the soffit.

Sure enough, I came back this morning and I had all four juvenile squirrels caught at once.  I also set two traps outside, and I caught the mother squirrel, who had been outside at the time I set up this trap system.  The homeowner heard no more noise of squirrels scampering about in his ceiling, so I removed all the traps, sealed the last spot, and the job was done.  I relocated the five squirrels together at a wildlife preserve far from this man's house.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Squirrels page for tips and advice.
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Squirrel Prevention Home Methods - Although there are several products that promise to help you repel squirrels, the best squirrel prevention home method does not involve repellents. Repellents are most of the time ineffective and unreliable, so using them may just end up being a big waste of time. Squirrels are attracted to your home because it provides things that are otherwise harder to get in the wild; mainly a squirrel will come looking for food and shelter. That means that the absolute best way to keep them out of your home is to take away the incentives to come in.

The big 'no no,' when you are using a squirrel prevention home method is to never feed a squirrel. There is no doubt, that squirrels are great to look at and that they are beautiful animals, but unless you want a few of them destroying your insulation and sometimes even important documents you should never feed them. The most important thing to remember about squirrels getting into your home is that if you take the time to make sure that it is structurally sound, they won’t have a way to get in. Finally, you’ll need to consider removing them with traps and releasing them to more country areas.

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