How to Get Rid of Squirrels

Squirrels are cute in the wild, but if one or more gets into your house, their cuteness factor tends to decrease exponentially. If squirrels set up home in your house – generally in places such as attics – just the noise that they make while running around making their nests is enough to drive people to insanity, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of their nuisance factor.

Squirrels also have a tendency to chew through electrical cables, often resulting in their own electrocution, which can cause a potential fire risk, or at the very least then leaves you with the cost of hiring an electrician to fix the damage they have caused, as well as clearing up fried squirrel. Squirrels can also carry fleas and ticks which, if you have pets, can be easily transferred to them also.

Worst of all, squirrels are prone to urinating and defecating everywhere and anywhere they please, resulting in unpleasant smells in the home and even potential health risks to you and your family. In other words, once squirrels get into your home, the first thing you want to do is get rid of them. Quickly.


Several Ways to Get Rid of Squirrels

Fortunately, there are various ways to safely and quickly get rid of squirrel problems.

The best ways to get rid of these unwanted visitors are generally considered to be:

  • Trapping
  • Repellants
  • Exclusion
  • Prevention


Trapping squirrels is one of your best options.  There are small steel cages specifically designed for the purposes of trapping squirrels within.  You set them out with some bait, and you are sure to attract the critters.

When you trap them they are still safe and healthy and then you can let them go elsewhere. This is certainly one of the more humane ways to deal with a squirrel problem.


Repellants are commonly used to chase squirrels away and put them off returning to your property.  They tend to be simple to implement and are effective.

There are several custom squirrel repellants on the market. Many use hot peppers – ground white, black and red – as ingredients, while others rely on predator urine to scare the squirrels away. Spray, sprinkle or hang these repellants around your home, in flower beds, etc. You can usually find a decent selection at gardening and hardware shops. Take a trip around your local area and see what you can find.

These days, with all the talk surrounding green and organic products, you can even find squirrel repellant products that are completely natural. Check the label and make sure all the ingredients listed are natural. Basically if there are words you can’t pronounce, you can pretty much guarantee they are not natural.


The goal of exclusion is to find and close all possible entry points to your home.  This can include the chimney, window wells, attic access pointes, etc.  Anywhere or anything that would give them access to your home.   Pay particular attention to attic vents and roof based access points you may not usually consider.  For a squirrel, it’s not problem to get up there.


If you start to find squirrels poking around your yard, you need to take a second to look around and see what they are after.  Squirrels are going to be attracted by easy access to food.  Bird feeders, outside pet food, etc. Easy access to food around your house (and sometimes even inside your house) are going to attract them and keep them coming back for more.  Take the time to remove any tempting treats you may have inadvertently left out.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that squirrels are most active during the day. In other words, it is best to set up any traps or repellants you plan to use during the nighttime.

And if all else fails and you find you are in over your head, you may need to call in a professional company. They have the heavy duty equipment and proper supplies to take care of the problem.  This is especially true if you’ve had a large infestation, and they’ve left a huge mess.  A professional company will have the cleanup equipment and proper chemicals to deodorize and sanitize the excrement left behind from squirrels.

Humane Trapping Using Squirrel Traps

Squirrels are cute when they are out in nature, but less so when they are damaging your attic or garden. With suburbs pushing farther and farther out into the country, animal habitats are getting smaller and smaller. Squirrels have come up with a solution to this problem, they are moving into homes. These animals can cause damage to your home and their noise in an attic can be a bother.

SquirrelInside attics, squirrels can eat though electrical wire, which may in extreme cases case a fire. They also soil and tear insolation. Squirrels can also be pests in gardens and lawns by tearing up flower bulbs and plants and pillaging bird feeders. The best way to deal with squirrels in and around your home is to use traps to catch them.

Squirrel Traps

Squirrels often make homes in attics in the fall and winter for the warmth that it provides. If possible, wait until the summer, when it is too hot for squirrels to live there, to block off entrances to your attic. If you need a more immediate solution, squirrel traps are your best bet. Squirrel traps work by using bait, such as crackers, peanut butter, pecans, or sunflower seeds to attract the squirrel to the trap. The trap should be 18 to 24 inches long with an entrance that is about five by five inches. The trap should be placed outside, as near to the entrance to the attic as possible.

Once the squirrel gets inside a mechanism is activated and the opening snaps shut, trapping the squirrel. You should check the trap twice a day for any captured prey. Havaheart makes traps specifically designed for squirrels, and Human Way makes a repeating squirrel trap that can catch multiple squirrels at one time.

Squirrel Trap

Relocating Trapped Squirrels

When dealing with trapped squirrels always wear gloves, as squirrels may be defensive when caught and can host a variety of parasites. Although rabies is extremely rare in squirrels, if the squirrel acts extremely aggressive or convulsive you should contact the authorities. The best way to deal with relocating squirrels is to go at least 4-5 miles away from your home, in a remote wooded area before setting them loose so they are less likely to make their way back to your home or move into somebody else’s home. After you have relocated the squirrels make sure that you block off entrances to your attic before it becomes home for another squirrel.

Keeping Squirrels Out

In order to prevent squirrels access to your roof tree limbs should be cut back at least eight feet from you home, and wood piles should be moved away from the walls of your home. To avoid attracting squirrels to your yard, get rid of bird feeders which squirrels enjoy eating from. If you don’t want to get rid of your bird feeder you can lube up the bird feeding poll with Vaseline so they can’t eat all the bird seed. Spraying Ropel or Hot Pepper Wax on seeds, bulbs, and flowers can be used as a squirrel repellant.

Using Rat Traps

Lethal Rat Traps

Some lethal rat traps include snap traps, glue boards, and zapper traps.

Snap traps are both effective and cheap, although they have the possibility of harming unintended victims if they are accidentally set off by fingers, toes, or paws.

Glue traps work by trapping the rats to the board with non-toxic glue. These types of traps are cheap but they are considered inhuman because it leaves the rats to die a slow death of starvation or stress. One downside of these two previously mentioned types of traps is that they may not kill right away and you will have to finish the unfortunate task yourself.

Zapper traps are much more expensive but they are considered humane in that they lure rats into a small structure then deal a lethal electric shock. These types of traps are great for the squeamish who don’t want to see the body. The downside is that they eat through batteries very quickly.

Non-lethal Catch Traps

Nonlethal rat traps are generally more expensive. These traps are known as catch traps and they work by luring the rats into a trap that then triggers a mechanism that snaps shut the opening behind them. Make sure that you are using the correct size of trap for your mouse problem, if the trap is too big they may easily escape. If you are using live catch traps and intend to release the rats, check with local authorities before releasing them because rats are considered a health hazard and freeing them may be considered illegal in your area. When releasing the rats make sure you do it miles from your home so they can’t return to their nest later.

Tips for Traps

Rat traps should be placed in paths where rats frequently travel. In order for these traps to be most effective, they should be pre-baited without setting the traps so that the rats become accustomed to the traps. Once the rats become used to the traps you can set them. If you face a large infestation, use many traps so you can catch a lot of rats at one time before they become trap-shy and avoid the traps. Always make sure that you are using the correct type of traps for your pests, as smaller mice traps will only annoy rats. If you have pets and children in your home be cautious about which types of traps you use so as not to injure any inadvertent targets.

Rat Poison

It is not recommended that you use rat poison in your home because rat poison is slow acting and rats have the opportunity to go hide in any numerous hard to get to areas in your home, leaving you to find the rotting rat carcasses using only your nose. The rotting bodies may also attract many other pests into your home. If you do use rat poison, make sure it is in areas where children and house pets cannot reach.

Keeping Your Home Pest Free

Using traps to kill rats will only work if you are also protecting your home from these invaders. Make sure that you are getting rid of their food and water supplies. You will also need to block any entry ways into your home that the rats may be using, or else you may be killing the rats as fast as they are entering your home. Using expanding foam caulk and steel wool in cracks and gaps in the outside of your home are a few steps that you can take to help protect your home from these pests.

How to Get Rid of Mice

Signs of a Mouse Infestation

How to Get Rid of Mice

The first step to getting rid of an infestation of mice is to confirm that you have an infestation of mice. Some of the signs that you have an infestation include unexplained holes in walls, boxes, and food containers, round droppings up 1’4” long, rustling sounds in the walls or ceilings, and urine trails along the base of walls. Getting rid of mice is important because mice carry parasites which can transmit to humans.

Preparing Your Home

The first step to getting rid of mice is to get rid of their food source. Get rid of any unprotected food; if you suspect it has even been touched by mice, throw it away for your safety. Metal and glass containers work best to keep mice from getting to the food. Keep human and pet food elevated, or store pet food in metal trashcans. Make sure all your trashcans have tight fitting lids to keep mice from getting in. Check outside your home for food sources as well.

The second step is to clean up any clutter in which mice might live, this incudes kitchens, closets, garages, and basements. Clean the yard. High grass, weeds, and wood piles all provide cover for mice on the hunt for a new house.

The third step to block off all possible entry points to your house. Mice can squeeze through incredibly small spaces, so make sure you seal up any cracks with cement or another type of material that is gnaw-proof. Some spaces in your home are there for a reason and should not be sealed up. In cases like that, steel wool can be shoved into larger cracks and holes to keep mice out. Once you have gotten rid of all outside entry points, go inside your home and check for access points inside your basement or bottom floor and seal them up.

Lethal Traps

After have done all these things, the mice inside your home should not be able to get out and no new mice will be able to get in, allowing you to focus on eradicating the mouse population currently in your home. There are numerous types of lethal mouse traps including snap traps, glue boards, and zapper traps. Snap traps have been used for a long time because they are effective and cheap. The down side to snap trap are that they are messy and might not kill the mouse right away, leaving the unfortunate task to you. Glue traps are good because they are cheap can kill numerous pests at one time. Glue traps are not particularly humane and it may take a long time for the mouse to die or starvation or stress. These two traps should not be used around children and pets as they may cause harm to unintended victims.

Mouse Trap

Zapper traps are enclosed structures that deliver a lethal electric shock to the mouse. Zapper traps are more expensive and requires lots of batteries. There is also a homemade bucket trap which lures the mouse onto a small plank over a bucket filled with water, the plank then tips because of their weight, causing them to fall in the water and drown. The use of poison to kill mice is generally not a good idea because they may die in cracks and crevices you may not be able to find, meaning you will have rotting mouse corpses, creating bad smells and attracting other pests.

Non-Lethal Traps

Lethal traps are not for everyone, if you want to get rid of mice but don’t want to kill them, there are other options, including bowl traps and catch traps. Bowl traps are similar to the bucket trap; grease the side of a large metal bowl and place a treat in the bottom of the bowl. Make a ramp to let the mice in the bowl. Once in, the grease will trap them. Catch traps lure the mice into a container then snap shut behind them. Unfortunately, mice quickly learn to get the bait without triggering the trap. Always make sure that you release the mice a mile or more from your home so they cannot return to their nest, and never touch the mice to avoid the parasites they carry.

Types of Bait

There are many different types of bait that can be used if for traps including peanut butter, bread, and uncooked bacon. Be prepared to try a few different types of bait as some types of baits attract different mice. Use sticky bait or tie the bait to the trap with string or dental floss so the mice can’t wander off with the bait and stand a better chance of being caught.

Problems Catching Mice?

If your trap has been sprung and there is no mouse there, you can lightly dust the trap with flour to catch the footprints so you can see what type of animal you are dealing with. The mouse bait may be being carried off by cockroaches. It is also necessary to use the correct traps, using rat traps to catch mice rarely works.

Court of Last Resort

If these traps do not work, consider getting professional help from an exterminator.