What Are the Best Tips for Attic Squirrel Removal?

A.M. Boyle
A.M. Boyle
A squirrel.
A squirrel.

There are several different methods of attic squirrel removal, some more effective than others. Some people advocate repellents, such as noise, odor, and lights. More often, though, people use different types of cages to trap and remove squirrels. Attic squirrel removal can be a tricky problem, and sometimes, it is best left to a professional.

Warm, cozy attics can be attractive places for squirrels to nest, especially for female squirrels looking for a place to have their babies. Unfortunately, squirrels not only leave an unsanitary mess but can cause extensive damage. If a person suspects that squirrels have moved in, there are certain tips he or she should consider for effective attic squirrel removal.

Many people advocate the use of various repellents to convince the squirrels to leave on their own. Squirrels want to nest in a safe environment and generally don't take well to noise, lights, or smells that suggest a predator may be afoot. A radio set to a talk station is a good source of unpleasant noise and can be an effective repellent. Similarly, placing a bright in light in the attic is another way to make the area less attractive.

To further disrupt a squirrel’s sense of security, people often leave rags soaked in ammonia throughout the attic. The ammonia mimics the smell of predator urine, and squirrels might leave rather than risk becoming another critter’s dinner. There are also various commercial items on the market designed to repel squirrels that use methods such as high-pitched sound or strobe lighting to convince the squirrels to leave. Some people find these products to be helpful, while others do not. For the most part, most people will try home remedies first before spending money on any commercial products.

If repellents don’t work, trapping the squirrels is often a great way to get rid of them. Some of the most effective traps include single-animal cages, multiple-animal traps, and one-way exclusion doors. With the single-animal cage, the squirrel is lured in with bait, and a trap door mechanism triggers once the animal steps inside. The downside of this method is that, if a person has more than one squirrel in the attic, he or she may need to use multiple cages to trap them all or the same cage multiple times.

When a person has more than one squirrel in the attic, multiple-animal cages might be a better choice. People generally set these traps at a spot where the squirrels enter and exit. All other possible entrances and exits must be sealed off so that the squirrels have no choice but to enter the cage, believing it to be the only way in or out. Once inside, the animals can't get out and can then be safely relocated to an area away from the house.

One of the best solutions for attic squirrel removal is the one-way exclusion door. As with the multiple-squirrel cage, a person must first block off all possible entrances and exits to the attic, leaving only one available route. The exclusion door allows the squirrels to exit the attic but will not permit them to get back in. Thus, the squirrel problem is solved without the need to relocate the animal.

If a person believes a squirrel has a nest of young in the attic, it is best to wait until the baby squirrels are old enough to fend for themselves before attempting removal. Once the young squirrels are mobile, they too will find their way into the traps or out the exclusion door. Otherwise, if the mother squirrel is removed, the babies will die in the nest, which is not only inhumane but will leave a terrible odor.

It should be noted that there are no squirrel poisons on the market, and poisoning squirrels is never a good option for attic squirrel removal. Again, not only is it inhumane, but the squirrels will likely crawl into inaccessible spaces to die, leaving incredibly nasty odors. Finally, if a person is concerned about using any of these methods, or if these methods fail to produce results, it is always best to call a professional. There are many individuals who specialize in attic squirrel removal and can undertake the job quickly and effectively.

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Discussion Comments


Squirrels are afraid of snakes. The squirrels are even more afraid of the snakes when the squirrels have young ones in the nest. I have a friend who put a snake skin in his attic to scare the squirrels away. He says it worked.


@Animandel -Squirrels really can be a nuisance in the attic. I love them when they are outside in the yard and playing in the trees, but I don't want them in my house. The best thing to do is to close off all of the places where they can get into the house. Okay, I guess it's too late for that.

Once they are in the house, I agree with the article that if you can make them think there is a predator in the house then they will probably leave for a safer place. If you have cats let them walk into the attic. If the squirrel is in the attic then he will exit as soon as possible when he sees a cat.

If the squirrel isn't in the attic when the cat is there, the cat's scent will still most likely be enough to convince the squirrel to find another home. However, you should be ready for the possibility that the cat will actually catch the squirrel. This is not a happy ending for the squirrel, but you will have your attic back.


I noticed that we have squirrels going in and out of our attic. The first time I went up there and saw something furry darting across the attic floor and into a corner, I just assumed it was a rat. I'm not sure which one is worse in an attic, but anyway we saw that we did have squirrels and not rats. They move across the power line and then onto the roof of the house.

We tried turning on the attic light and leaving it on all of the time, but this didn't seem to bother them enough to keep them out. I don't want to have to call and pay a professional to come out and get rid of the squirrels.

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    • A squirrel.
      A squirrel.