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Squirrels In Attic

Summary: Squirrels are difficult to catch in the confined spaces of an attic unless you can specifically identify their path of entry and exit. Otherwise, setting up trapping cages is a lot easier to do in the open space of a rooftop.

Angie J; Wyoming, OH asks: I think I have a squirrel in my attic.  I'm worried that if I put out poison it will die and cause a terrible smell. What can I do to get rid of it?

Dear Angie: It is most difficult catching squirrels in attic spaces unless you can place the trap in front of the point of entry. Plus, unless you are a professional and properly equipped, you may come face to face with a squirrel and find yourself in an unwanted fight for the space.

It's much easier and cleaner to catch a squirrel in a cage that has been placed outside the entry hole. So, the first step is to determine the exact location where the squirrel is gaining entry. Look for damage to siding or eaves caused by the gnawing they do to keep their teeth in good condition.

Then, set up a live trap or two on the roof directly outside the hole where the squirrel is getting into the attic. A professional might actually secure the trap directly over the hole, forcing the squirrel into the trap as it exits the attic space. If the trap is not attached to cover the hole you will need to bait it with sunflower seeds, apples or peanut butter, all favorite of squirrels.

Once you catch the critter it is best if it is euthanized, otherwise it will attempt to return to its home in your attic. Check with your State Department of Natural Resources for trapping rules. Most states do not permit the release of trapped animals.

There is one extra step to take and that is closing up the entrance hole. This may require extensive repair work, so you may want to consult with an expert such as a roofer or siding company.

If you call in a professional pest control company expect them to charge you for the initial set up of the roof trap(s) plus charges for follow up visits to remove the captured animal(s). Expect to pay between $150 and $300 for the service.

Watch this short video on trapping squirrels.

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