Dealing with Squirrels in Your Attic
When we talk about pests in the house, it can be easy to forget that there are more potential problems than the usual mice in the basement. Wildlife can get inside your house at any level, and there are lots of possible rodent intruders you should be aware of. Specifically, what about squirrels taking up residence in the higher parts of your house? These agile critters can be tough opponents.
First, you want to make sure that it’s squirrels you’re dealing with in the first place. Attic damage could be household mice, so never assume until you look a little closer. The biggest sign will be the droppings. Squirrels are much larger than mice (or even rats), and their droppings are many times larger. They also tend to be more round rather than rice-shaped. Once you’ve decided you have squirrels in the attic, you have a few options to deal with them.
Block up the Holes
Just with like with any rodent problem, your first step is to seal up all the holes that they might be using to get in. It can be a tricky task to get around an unfinished attic space, so plan on putting in some time on this. Wear a mask if it’s really dusty up there. Use heavy duty screening or hardware cloth to cover vent holes, and wood or metal for holes. Squirrels aren’t as fond of cramped places like mice, so it’s unlikely they are going to go roaming around the rest of the house through the spaces in the walls.
Do You Have Nearby Trees?
Tall trees that are right beside the house, particularly if the branches actually touch the house, are perfect highways for squirrel immigrants. If possible cut them down, or at least trim away the branches so that outdoor squirrels don’t have such an easy path up to your attic.
Using Traps to Kill the Squirrels
You’ll need larger traps designed for squirrels, mousetraps just aren’t going to do the job.
There are live-release models, or the usual traps that kill. Peanut butter can work as a tempting bait. You’ll have to check on them regularly to release any animals or deal with the bodies. This can be an awkward task if your attic is hard to access, but it can work if you don’t have a huge population of squirrels up there.
Using All Natural Squirrel Repellent
Dealing with traps can be a nuisance and a lot of extra work. You can also use a chemical repellent to help keep them out of the attic without the added effort. Shake-Away rodent repellent is a 100% natural product that you can just sprinkle around the access areas in your attic to make sure the squirrels know to stay out. Once you block off the obvious holes, this should keep the pests out for good.