How to Get Rid of Squirrels in the Attic

Written by Josie

Squirrels are everywhere in cities, suburbs, and forests around the world. They are adaptable creatures that have no trouble living alongside us. Squirrels pose no threat at a distance, but they are a serious problem once they have breached the interior of our homes. Squirrels will cause a tremendous amount of damage, and they carry dangerous illnesses with them. It is important that you have them removed as soon as possible.

The following lists how you can get rid of squirrels safely and humanely. For guaranteed results, contact a professional for squirrel removal in Toronto or near you.

Call a Wildlife Removal Company

Getting rid of squirrels is difficult work, so you should call a professional pest control company right away. Trapping and relocating animals is inhumane and illegal in most places. You also risk separating a mother squirrel from her babies, who will tear a new hole in the roof to reunite with her offspring. Failing to pest-proof your home may result in repeat invasions, and you risk getting injured when climbing the roof or getting too close to an angry squirrel.

Professionals have what it takes to get rid of squirrels properly. They understand the risks involved and have the equipment to do a safe job. A licensed technician will find the nest on your property, then evict the animals humanely. He or she will likely install a one-way door to the entrance of the nest, which will let the animals leave on their own. Once out, the technician will replace the door with an impenetrable material.

Hiring a professional is great for preventing future wildlife invasions, too. A technician can fix holes in your roof, cover roof vents with mesh, and seal other openings to keep pests out for good. Many companies provide warranties with these services, so if an animal breaks through, the company will return and fix the problem for free.

Squirrel-Proof the Roof

When getting rid of squirrels – or any pest – it is important that you get rid of every other potential entry point. If you don’t, the squirrel may come right back into your attic. Take a look at your roof, if you can, and look for damages or openings that a squirrel could chew through. Examine the edges of your roof and lift the shingles very gently to look for gaps. Seal these shut with caulking, mesh, or flashing. If you have plastic roof vents, cover these with a 16-gauge, steel mesh.

If it’s too much work, ask the technician to do this for you. Most wildlife removal companies offer pest-proofing in addition to squirrel removal. The technician will access your roof safely and cover every potential entry point. Many companies offer warranties with this service, so they will remove any animals that breach their work for free. 

Get Rid of the Bird Feeder

Squirrels are attracted to yards where they can find food and shelter. The easiest thing you can do to help keep squirrels away is to get rid of the bird feeder. As omnivores, squirrels are more than happy to feast on bird seeds. These are agile, determined animals that will jump and climb their way to bird feeders every single day. Put the bird feeder away or switch to a suet feeder that hangs from a thread, high up above the ground, far away from any branches.

Tidy up the Yard

Rake the leaves in the fall and get rid of grass clippings so that squirrels have trouble building nests on your property. Tidy up the yard and pick up fallen fruit. If you like to grow fruits or vegetables, consider covering them with an ultrafine mesh. You can also protect your bulbs by covering them in chicken wire before burying them in the soil. Use lidded garbage cans and secure their lids with bungee cords or locks to reduce their smell and make their contents inaccessible. The tidier the yard, the better.

Empty the Gutters

Like the yard, the gutters may be full of nesting materials. Clean these out every spring and fall. Put on a pair of gardening gloves and use a ladder to reach the gutters, then scoop everything out with your hands or a gutter scoop. When you’re done, use a garden hose for a final clean. Check the flow of the water and make sure that it is flowing out the bottom of the downspout. If there is blockage, use a plumbing snake and shake everything out.

Trim Tree Branches

Squirrels have an easier time getting in the attic when there are tree branches and wires that connect to the roof. Trim branches back so they are 4 feet away from the roof, at minimum. You’ll be keeping squirrels away while lessening the number of leaves that get in the gutters. Branches that hang over the roof also risk breaking in the wintertime and falling onto the roof. Contact an arborist if the branches are large or difficult to reach.

Clean up the Attic

Finally, you should clean up the attic when you are done getting rid of squirrels. This will remove lingering odours, making the attic less attractive to wildlife. Wear a mask and gloves before approaching the nest. Spray the nest and all nearby feces with a disinfecting solution, then wait 10 minutes. Put everything in a sealed, plastic bag, and throw it out immediately. If attic insulation is contaminated, ask a professional for removal.

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