How to Humanely Remove Squirrels Nesting in Your Attic

Your attic can be an attractive place for certain types of wildlife. A number of different types of animals are apt to nest in attics if the opportunity arises for them to do so. In Southern California, and in many other places in the United States, animals that can end up infesting an attic include:

If you’ve found yourself with squirrels calling your attic home, you likely understand the need to get them out of your home. What you are likely going to be relieved to know is that there are humane methods available to you to remove squirrels from your attic.

Trap and Release Squirrels in Your Attic

A humane way to eliminate squirrels from your attic is to catch or trap and release them back into the wild. The first step in this process is to obtain a no-kill trap specifically designed to catch squirrels. You can find such a trap at many home centers like Home Depot.

You need to place the traps at locations in your attic that squirrels frequently walk. You are likely to find entrances through which squirrels enter the attic. You may also see spaces in which they clearly are nesting or otherwise going about their business.

Ideally, humane squirrel traps should be placed against or near walls and not out in the open. Squirrels are less likely to go near a trap that is in an unexposed area in your attic.

You can bait a no-kill trap with peanuts or peanut butter. You can also use soda crackers, bread crusts, apple slices, or walnuts as bait in a no-kill trap.

Once a squirrel has been trapped, put on thick work gloves before you pick up the trap. You need to check what regulations exist in your community regarding the trapping and release of squirrels. Some communities prohibit people from transporting squirrels off the property or beyond the immediate neighborhood. In such instances, a trapped squirrel needs to be released at or around your property.

If such a regulation exists, you need to make sure that you squirrel proof your attic so that the squirrels you trap don’t just boomerang back into your attic.  

Use Repellants to Get Squirrels Out of the Attic

There are a trio of repellants that can effectively eliminate squirrels from your attic:

  • Scent
  • Sound
  • Light

Ammonia is an effective squirrel repellant that can drive these visitors from your attic. This can be accomplished by soaking rags in ammonia and placing them in different locations in the attic. The process may need to be repeated several times before it is fully successful. If you don’t have ammonia, another strong home cleaning product is likely to work.

You can illuminate the attic with bright light around the clock. Bright light is a relatively reliable means of eliminating squirrels from the attic.

Finally, you can play a radio continuously in the attic as a means of driving out squirrels. Select a talk station because the sound of humans speaking will give squirrels more initiative to vacate the attic.

In many cases, a comprehensive approach works best. You can use all three of the repellant methods set forth here simultaneously as a means to humanely get rodents to vacate your attic.

Hire a Squirrel Removal Professional

If you have more than a truly small number of squirrels inhabiting your attic, attempting to wrangle and remove them on your own may prove to be an overwhelming experience. Thus, you may want to give serious consideration to retaining the services of a qualified, experienced professional to humanely eliminate these visitors from your home. A professional has the equipment, skills, and background necessarily needed to safely, thoroughly, and humanely wrangle and remove squirrels that had been calling your attic home.

Word of Advice When Babies Are Present

If after examining your attic, or hiring a professional, nesting baby squirrels are found to be present in the space, you should wait until the offspring have matured and are able to live on their own. Baby squirrels are able to live on their own and can be trapped and removed when they are about 10 weeks old.

Squirrel Droppings Cleanup and Removal of Other Waste

Your work is not done once squirrels have been humanely removed from the attic. You still have the matter of cleaning up squirrel droppings and other waste from the attic. You may want to consider seriously hiring a professional squirrel droppings cleanup specialist. Such a pro can ensure that squirrel droppings and other waste associated with their nesting in the attic is thoroughly and safely cleaned up.