Although squirrels are generally outdoor animals, they will frequently nest in warm attics if given the opportunity. Squirrels are destructive in attics, causing damage as they chew an entrance hole and rip through insulation batts. Squirrels can also die in your attic, causing smell and attracting other animals. Getting rid of squirrels in your attic can take time and diligence but will save you money in the end.
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Things you need
- Live trap
- Other roof repair materials
Find out if it's really a squirrel in the attic. Most homeowners are fist alerted to animal intrusion in the attic by hearing rustling or scampering sounds above the ceiling. It may be one of many animals, like raccoons, tree rats or mice that all love to nest in warm attics. The removal procedures are different for each so determining which it is important. Take a flashlight into the attic after dusk try to locate a nest. Look for tears in insulation batts or ripped up newspapers. If you can see one of the animals, it will most likely try to exit the attic. Watch where it goes to locate the entrance hole.
Locate the entrance hole or holes once you have determined that the animal really is a squirrel. There may be one or two holes where the squirrels can slip in and out. Look for chew marks around the fascia where the roof meets the wall. In a dark attic, you can also look for daylight coming in through the hole. These holes may be located where the fascia or roof is already weakened from rot or damage. These holes (and the surrounding damaged wood) must be closed up. Screw squares of plywood over the hole from the outside or replace the fascia board completely. If any damage is left visible, it is just an invitation to new squirrels.
To be certain that you have not trapped squirrels inside the attic with no way to get out, set a live trap baited with peanut butter for a week and check it daily. If you have not yet located the nest, do so now in case there are baby squirrels in the nest. If there are baby squirrels, call your local wildlife management service to pick them up. Do not take them outside and leave them. They will not be able to defend themselves.
Once you are certain that the squirrels are gone from the attic, clean up all of the damage they have caused inside the attic so that it will not attract further invasion. Carefully sweep up droppings and shredded nesting material and dispose of them in sealed garbage bags. Spray the area of the nest with a solution of one ounce of bleach per pint of water in a spray bottle to disinfect the area. Wash your hands thoroughly after the cleanup and change clothes.
To prevent squirrels from getting into your attic in the first place, perform a regular inspection check around the exterior of your home at least monthly to look for damage and rot near the roofline. Fix any damage immediately.