Squirrels in your attic can bite into electrical wiring, insulation, and boards, causing significant damage. In this article, the This Old House Reviews Team explains how to get rid of squirrels in the attic and covers how to prevent them from infesting your home. In particular, we recommend two of the top-rated pest control companies for wildlife removal.
Signs of a Squirrel Infestation
Before enacting treatment, confirm that the animal you’re hearing in your attic is a squirrel. Here are a few signs that these fluffy-tailed animals are present in your home:
- You hear scurrying, scratching, or chewing sounds coming from your attic, crawl spaces, or ceiling.
- You notice teeth marks in wires or wood, air vent damage, or chewed electrical wires.
- You notice squirrel footprints (the front paws have four toes, while the back paws have five).
- There’s water damage on your walls and ceilings.
- You smell a foul odor coming from your vents (this could be from decaying squirrels that failed to escape your home).
Steps to Take When There Are Squirrels in the Attic
Once you determine there are squirrels in your attic, take the steps below to remove them from your home:
- Locate the squirrel nest—If you have a family of squirrels in your attic, look for a nest made of materials like cardboard, leaves, and insulation. If it’s February through May or August through October, it’s likely that there are baby squirrels present. In this case, it’s best to wait a few weeks until the babies grow old enough to leave their mother.
- Seal openings in your attic—Squirrels are able to fit through small entry points in your attic. When you find these entry points, seal them off using wire or caulking. Leave one opening so that the squirrels that are currently in your attic can leave.
- Trap squirrels using a one-way cage door—Install a one-way cage door outside the entry point you left so that you can catch the squirrels in a cage when they exit your attic. Once the squirrels are trapped, relocate them to a different location at least five miles away. Check your local laws before doing this, because it’s illegal in states like to trap and relocate wildlife.
- Hire a professional pest control company—The easiest way to deal with squirrels in the attic is to hire a professional pest control company. Pest management experts are trained to get rid of squirrels and other wildlife by using live traps and other methods to prevent these small animals from coming back.
How to Prevent Squirrels from Returning
Once squirrels have been removed from your attic, there are a number of ways to prevent them from returning, which include:
- Trim trees near your roofline—Trimming trees near your roofline can help prevent squirrels from getting on your roof and into your attic.
- Change food in your bird feeder—If your bird food contains sunflower seeds, corn, or nuts, consider changing the type of food, as these ingredients attract squirrels. You may also want to invest in a squirrel-proof bird feeder that prevents these critters from gaining easy access to the bird food.
- Scare squirrels using a plastic owl—Placing a plastic owl on your fence post or the roof may help scare squirrels away from your yard.
- Use a taste repellent—Spraying a squirrel repellent composed of garlic, water, and vinegar around the perimeter of your home can discourage squirrels from entering.
- Use a motion-activated sprinkler system—A motion-activated sprinkler system will spray animals any time they come close to your yard, keeping squirrels away.
Comparing Top Pest Control Companies
The This Old House Reviews Team analyzed every major pest control company in the United States based on plans, customer service, pricing, and other factors. Our analysis found that Terminix and Orkin are the best pest control companies in the industry. We recommend contacting these companies using the table below to help assist you with squirrel removal.
Pest Control Provider Comparison Chart
|Get a free quote||Visit Site||Visit Site|
|Our overall score out of 100||98.5||94|
|Best for||Best Overall||Best for Urgent Service|
|Annual cost for general pest control||$550–$700||$575|
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.