How to Get Squirrels Out of a Shed

Updated February 21, 2017

Many people enjoy watching squirrels as they nimbly climb from tree to tree or nibble a fallen acorn. The squirrel's appeal quickly wears off, however, if it enters a shed or other structure and causes damage. Fortunately, removing a squirrel, or even multiple squirrels, from a building is a relatively simple task that requires some basic supplies.

Purchase at least one box trap that is a suitable size for capturing squirrels. A trap that is approximately 5 inches by 5 inches by 18 inches should suffice. Large box traps may not be sensitive enough to capture a lightweight squirrel. To catch a large number of squirrels, purchase multiple traps.

Observe the shed for a few days to see exactly how the squirrel is entering and exiting the structure. This determines where to set the trap. Sunrise and the hours just after sunrise offer the best opportunities to see the squirrel.

Place the trap in the shed in the area where the squirrel is routinely moving. Position the trap on stable, flat ground. Never try to suspend a trap from the ceiling or tree limbs.

Do not set the trap yet. Tie the trap open with a bit of wire or string. Add a small amount of bait, such as crunchy peanut butter, a slice of apple or shelled pecans or walnuts. This lets the squirrel become accustomed to the trap and entices it to enter. Leave the trap baited but unset for roughly 3 days.

Remove the wire or string holding the trap open. Set the trap with fresh bait.

Check the trap at least twice a day. If you capture a squirrel, put on a pair of heavy gloves to handle the trap. Because many states and municipalities have laws against the relocation of animals, you may be required to release the squirrel on your property, outside the shed (after sealing the shed as described in step 7). Contact your state's Department of Wildlife, Department of Natural Resources or Fish and Game Commission to understand the laws pertaining to your area. If you are permitted to relocate the squirrel, transport it approximately 3 miles away to an area that has adequate food and water.

Continue setting the trap or traps until no squirrels remain in the shed. After all the squirrels have been evicted, close off the entrance points with ½-inch wire mesh or any other method of your choice.


Box traps can be purchased at most sporting goods or outdoor supply stores. When trapping squirrels during the springtime, check to ensure that the squirrel does not have a nest of young in the shed. If babies are present, transport them with the mother. The contact numbers for your state's Department of Wildlife, Department of Natural Resources or Fish and Game Commission can be found online or in the blue pages of your local phone book.

Things You'll Need

  • Box traps
  • Bait (apple, crunchy peanut butter, shelled walnuts or pecans)
  • Heavy gloves
  • 1/2 inch wire mesh
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About the Author

Arthur Barnhouse has written numerous short stories, contributed content to various websites and was an invited speaker at a university symposium on creative writing. He began writing in 2002 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Barnhouse has driven across the United States numerous times and draws upon his travel experiences in his writing.