While squirrels are rodents just like mice and rats, they are cute and people tend to appreciate them being around. Squirrels are fun to feed peanuts and watch zooming around the neighborhood's trees and phone lines.
As adorable and novel as they are, squirrels that get into a home's attic can cause some serious and expensive damage.
There are two main problems homeowners have when it comes to squirrel pest control:
- their municipality prevents trapping or killing them
- the squirrels prove nearly impossible to get rid of
Here is more information on each of these two problems and how they are resolved:
Problem #1: Your City or Town Won't Let You Kill or Trap Problem Squirrels
In many cities and towns, squirrels are protected against being trapped or killed. They are seen as a novelty and many people enjoy watching them run around the phone lines and up in the trees. However, if they get into your attic, then you have a serious pest control problem on your hands.
If your municipality won't let you kill the squirrels or trap them, then the only thing you can do is prevent them from accessing your home.
- put hardware cloth or chicken wire over all attic vents
- remove all trees and vegetation within a few feet of your home or spanning utility lines
- don't put a bird feeder, birdbath, or any water features in your yard
Also, if you have pets, feed and water them indoors.
Problem #2: Squirrels are Problematic to Eradicate
If you can legally kill or trap problem squirrels, then there are really only two effective ways to do so:
- shoot them with a pellet gun
- live trap and remove them
The first option is effective and humane, but only reasonable if you live in a rural area away from others.
For people living in a city or town, live trapping is the preferable way to get rid of the problem squirrels.
Once trapped, the squirrels can be relocated to a local park or outdoor space where they can live like squirrels without causing problems for humans.
As you can imagine, a trapped squirrel isn't going to be pleased to be inside of a trap and will bite or scratch you. So, this is always a job for a pest control professional.
If you are tempted to do some DIY squirrel residential pest control, then opt to purchase a trap and learn how to safely use it rather than wasting money on squirrel baits, repellent potions, and chirping boxes that just don't work.