How to Catch a Squirrel that’s lurking in your attic

Up close, squirrels are kind of cute. They scurry around picking up nuts that have fallen from trees and generally don’t bother anyone; that is until they get into your attic! The biggest problems that people have with squirrels are the fact they can be noisy when crawling through the inside of a roof and that they can chew through electrical wires, insulation, and more. Luckily, there are several different methods to catch and get rid of squirrels:

Squirrel bait

The most popular bait used to catch squirrels is peanut butter. The smell and sweetness are highly attractive to squirrels and almost always gets the job done. If it’s not working in your particular case or stops working overtime, there are some other options. Try a mixture of nuts/seeds that are still in their shells – sunflower seeds and peanuts are a great combination to try out.

Havahart squirrel trap

The highly popular Havahart trap gets its name from the phrase “have a heart.” It’s a humane way to trap animals because it doesn’t kill them. Instead, you get to capture the squirrel and then let it loose in a location away from your home. The ideal placement for this type of trap would be either inside your attic, or somewhere along the perimeter of your house. Here’s a link to the official Havahart website if you’re interested in learning more:

Homemade squirrel traps

When you’re making your own trap, you have the decision to make it lethal or non-lethal. Here are a couple of options:

Stovepipe Trap

Get a 2-3 ft. Piece of stovepipe and cap off one end with mesh screening. Secure the screen so that an angry squirrel can’t easily remove it. Secure the pipe to a tree and place some bait inside so that it sits on top of the mesh screen at the bottom of the pipe. The squirrel will go into the pipe to get the bait, but be unable to climb out of it because of the slickness of the inner lining of the stovepipe. You can also turn this into a lethal trap by mixing in some poison with the bait.

Get Rid Of Squirrel Lurking In Your Home
A squirrel

Automatic Box Trap

The box trap is one of the most classic animal traps out there. You can use it not only to catch squirrels but birds, rats, and other pests alike. Get a box, bowl, or mesh cage that only has a top open. Prop it up with a small stick or dowel, so there’s enough space for a squirrel to get in underneath it. Put the bait in the middle of the ground underneath the box and tie one of the nuts to the stick. When the squirrel starts fidgeting with the bait, the stick that is propping up the box will fall, and the trap will come down on them. It’s a good idea to add some weights to your box so that the squirrel can’t lift it up; you don’t need much weight though since squirrels aren’t that strong.

Squirrel repellent

Squirrels tend to be repelled by hot & spicy flavors/smells. A homemade repellent that has worked well for many homeowners consists of a mixture of cayenne peppers, jalapeno peppers onions, and water. Grab one of each pepper and half of a medium-sized onion and dice them up. Mix them in with boiling water and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain the mixture and put it into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture around the perimeter of your house, making sure you get plants and trees that border your home.

Getting rid of captured squirrels

Squirrels can be territorial animals. It means that if you catch one in your attic or your yard and let it loose down the street, it will most likely find its way back into your home or yard. It’s good practice to take the live captured squirrels at least 2 miles away and release them into a local park or wooded area. If you need to get rid of a dead squirrel, turn a plastic bag inside out and use it as a glove to pick up and wrap the squirrel’s body. Double bag and seal it, then put it outside in the garbage pail right away.

Want to read about gardening? Here’s an article to make the best out of your garden.