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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Stoddard

9 Humane Squirrel Removal Tips For 2020

Squirrel removal can be a frightening experience. Nobody enjoys the sights of rodents in their home, but the sight of a squirrel can be even more anxiety-provoking. Rats in the attic are part of folklore, so the shock value is often lesser than seeing a squirrel or raccoon roaming around your living room. Keep in mind one very important thing: the squirrel is even more frightened than you are. Their fear response provokes erratic behavior such as running around frantically and even jumping on different furniture. In most cases, they are looking for an escape, but the possibility of rabies is always one to consider. Most homeowners would prefer to remove the squirrel without harming it. Looking into different resources like the United States Humane Society sparks lots of ideas about how to safely remove them. Most experts recommend several tactics for removal. Let's take a look at some of them:

1) The Loud Noise Technique (Attic)

The loud noise technique should only be applied in cases when the squirrel is in your home's attic or crawl space. The goal is to discourage the animal from taking refuge in your attic. Since they don't see human activity, they might identify it as a place to stay for a long time.

Use loud noises to scare them away. Yell if you have to. Bang on kitchen pans, play loud music and even jump up and down (easy if you have kids). You might even consider dribbling a basketball on your hardwood. The noise must happen at various times of the day to drive the rodent out.

2) The Bright Light Technique (Attic)

Similar to the loud noise technique, the bright light technique is intended to drive squirrels out of the attic. Once they feel comfortable in that space, they are less likely to leave. You can make them feel unfavorable by shining bright light on the exact area they are staying in. Light is not conducive to a long-term habitat.

You can use various kinds of lights, as long as they shine fully on the area in question. You can even combine both methods (loud noises and lights), which are almost certain to discourage the squirrel from creating a nest and setting up shop permanently. Feel free to incorporate the other techniques below for full-fledged prevention.

3) The Vinegar Technique (Attic)

Loud noises? Bright lights? If those techniques don't drive squirrels out of your attic, you may have to take it up a notch with vinegar and or cider. That's right, squirrels despise the smell of vinegar, and it is a great bet to drive them out of your home. It is known to be effective as a deterrent.

The best way to disseminate the smell is by soaking several dish rags in vinegar. Once complete, set the drenched but drained rags all around the attics' perimeter. No squirrel is going to feel welcome around that stench.

4) The Predator Urine Technique (Attic)

Similarly to vinegar, predator urine will discourage squirrels from nesting in your attic. The smell sends danger signals to the rodents who will believe instinctually that a predator looms. It is likely to compel them to leave the attic and find another place to nest. Be careful if baby squirrels are already living in your attic, in which case it is far better to have a professional handle the removal.

You can purchase predator urine at various outdoor and hardware stores. You can find them stocked on shelves, or order them online and have it shipped to your doorstep. Make sure you read the ingredients and don't put your pets like dogs or cats in harm's way.

5) Call a Professional

Many homeowners don't know who to call for squirrel removal. Calling traditional animal control may seem excessive, but there are squirrel removal professionals that will humanely remove them from your home. Always ensure the service is credible and backed up by legitimate reviews. You don't want some kind of poser putting the animal at risk, or worse, putting your home at risk. Use Google search to find professionals in your area.

If they are a qualified professional, they will reassure you over the phone. They'll say exactly how they plan to handle the situation and do so humanely. Calling a professional is critical, especially if there is a baby squirrel involved. The last thing you want is to harm the young animals within your own home.

Squirrel on a roof

6) Clear The Exits

If they aren't in your attic, most squirrels are looking to escape from your home. Since they perceive that it is occupied by humans, it is the last place they would choose to nest or form a home base.

To clear the exit paths, make sure your dog or cat is temporarily sanctioned in a bedroom, crate, or basement. From there, open doors, windows, and any place in which the rodent can break free from the confines of your walls. There's one exception to this recommendation. If the rodent is on a higher level of the home, do NOT open a window that would lead down a steep roof slope or anything that would probably harm the animal.

Once you open everything that is safe, join your pet in the locked room or area, away from the squirrel. With no sign of human activity or the threat of a household pet, the squirrel can rationally escape the home through an open door or lower-level window.

7) Wrap it in a Blanket

If you can corner the squirrel to the point where it freezes, the blanket technique becomes a viable option. Since the rodent could be sick, make sure your arms, legs, and especially hands are fully covered. That means grabbing thick gloves that are impenetrable by claws. From there, you want to get a big and soft blanket, and suddenly drop it over the stationary squirrel. Roll it up swiftly but do NOT make it too tight or push on it forcefully.

Once you've wrapped it up, quickly bring the blanket outside. Drop it gently on the lawn (either backyard or front yard) and unroll it. Immediately make your way back inside, whether you see the squirrel escape or not. Watch from the door or window to see if you can verify its escape. Once it has escaped, grab your blanket and put it in the washing machine.

8) Use a Live & Humane Trap

Traps are discouraged by some as inhumane, but certain live traps enclose the rodent within a trap and are not intended to injure or kill them. Once trapped, they can be released outdoors. Many believe cheese is the best bait for such a trap, but peanut butter is actually far superior.

If you do go the trap route, ensure that your home is not susceptible to a re-entry. Trapping and releasing the rodent, only to have it re-enter the next day is a complete waste of time and energy. At this point, you are better off calling a professional to handle it for you. The time you save will be worth the money you spend.

9) Wire Mesh in Pot Soil

This strategy is more so to remove squirrels from your garden. Most of them like to dig through your pot soil, which can destroy potted plants and ruin your outdoor space. They are typically looking for a place to store food for later consumption. Placing wire mesh within the potting soil will prevent them from digging, and hopefully, they are smart enough to leave it alone without injuring themselves.

Keeping Squirrels Out of Your Home, Permanently

Now that you've removed squirrels from your home, it's time to ensure they stay out for good. Identify squirrel tracks near your home's exterior. Look out for holes in or around the foundation. Pay close attention to your fireplace, as well. Check your attic for any nests to prevent baby squirrels from living in your attic. If a baby squirrel is identified, make sure you contact a professional immediately, as the aforementioned methods won't work.

Once you identify openings, make sure you seal them shut. One of the best sealants is metal flashing, which cannot be chewed through by rodents. Keep in mind that you are not only preventing another squirrel entry but also preventing other kinds of rodents from intruding on your living space. Keep an eye on your roof and chimney as well, as they can also serve as entry points. Use caps on your chimney, and repair any roofing problems.

Another smart preventative measure is the removal of food sources from your home's perimeter. Make sure to close garbage cans that are accessible. Never encourage rodents by feeding them or even leaving food on the premises. This includes birdseed that, while intended for birds, could become an additional source for squirrels or other rodents.

For homeowners who are very serious about prevention, there are additional measures to take. Try installing a large fence around your garden. Fences should keep squirrels away from your yard and away from any potential entry points outback. Also, make sure your back tree branches are regularly trimmed. Squirrels often use extended branches as launching pads onto your roof, and potentially into your attic



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