- SQUIRREL SPECIES
- SQUIRREL PROBLEMS
- SQUIRREL CONTROL
- SQUIRREL LIVE TRAPPING
- BEST SQUIRREL LIVE TRAPS
- ECONOMY SQUIRREL TRAPS
- SQUIRREL CONTROL MULTIPLE CATCH TRAPS
- SQUIRREL CONTROL COMMERCIAL LIVE TRAPS
- SQUIRREL CONTROL EXCLUDING REPEATING TRAPS
- SQUIRREL CONTROL TRAPPING TIPS
- HOW TO EXCLUDE SQUIRRELS
- SQUIRREL KILL TRAPS
- SQUIRREL CONTROL REPELLENT
- GNAWING SQUIRREL REPELLENT
- LIQUID SQUIRREL REPELLENT
- URINE REPELLENT
- URINE GUARDS
- SQUIRREL REPELLENT GRANULES
- SQUIRREL REPELLENT GEL
- SQUIRREL REPELLENT NON DRYING GLUE
- SQUIRREL LIQUID REPELLENT FOR DIGGING SQUIRRELS
- SQUIRREL CONTROL USING SOUND REPELLER
- CONTACT US
Throughout the year, many rodents will find their way into your home. If you are hearing noises in the attic during the day or night, you may have one of these critters: either tree squirrels or flying squirrels.
There are three common tree species of tree squirrels found in the United States. The Fox, the Eastern Gray and the Red Squirrel. Though Flying squirrels are considered tree squirrels, they are quite different and should be viewed as a related but unique animal. This is true for many reasons which will be discussed later in this article.
Fox squirrels are found from Canada down to Florida though they do not live much west past the Mississippi or much east past Pennsylvania. They have remained in the heart land of the United States for some time and appear to have a stable region in which they reside. Eastern Gray squirrels were once just east of the Mississippi including all states from Florida up to Maine. They have been slowly making their way into new states most likely due to their adaptability and reproductive rates. The Red Squirrel is the only one which is not found much below Virginia on the east side of the country but they are found in most northern states. They are also found in the far western region of the states including California to Texas and back up again through the Dakotas.
The Flying squirrels are basically divided into two species – the Northern and the Southern. The line dividing the two is somewhere in the northern part of the country around Pennsylvania and across to the Great Lake States. Above this line is where the Northern species resides – all through Canada – and then back down again into California an several other northwestern states. Ever seen one? If not, view this short video that shows one clearly.
Although most squirrels are welcomed in parks and around the yard, they are a pest once inside your home. As wooded lots are cleared, tree squirrels are displaced from their natural habitat and forced to find new homes. If conditions are right, they will move into attics, eaves and soffits of any structure. Once inside the structure, they will cause damage to insulation, rafters and electric wires.
The same thing is happening with flying squirrels. Flying squirrels are much smaller than tree squirrels and most people have never seen one in the wild. They are nocturnal. They’re also agile and can enter a structure through the smallest crack or hole. Once inside a structure, they too can cause damage to insulation, wood and electric wires. In fact, this problem has caused most insurance companies to add disclaimers about fires caused by squirrels. In general, they will not pay on damage caused by squirrels. This includes damage to the home as well as fires which are started by the chewing animals. This disclaimer is written into every homeowner insurance policy the author has seen in recent years. If your policy does not cover damages due to rodents, don’t take an infestation lightly.
Prevention is the best policy to keep either animal out. Both are quite successful in the wild because natural predators such as fox, owls and hawks are not as bountiful. Without natural controls, these animals have populated to excessive numbers in metro counties across the United States. And as their natural habitat is cut down, they have learned to live in almost any building man constructs. There are conditions which are more likely to attract them. By minimizing these conditions, you may keep them in the woods instead of your home.
SQUIRRELS IN THE YARD
1.Be careful of bird feeders. People love to watch birds and a properly placed bird feeder adds so much to any landscape. But it also calls the local squirrels to your property. Over time tree squirrels will learn where the food is coming from and soon they will want to move inside your structure. Flying squirrels will behave in the same way. The only difference is they are active at night so you do not know anything is happening. If you must have a bird feeder, use the ELECTROCUTING FEEDER. This smart design uses mild electric shocks to keep squirrels away. Powered by two “D” cell batteries, this hanging feeder has an on/off switch and a top which comes off for easy seed fill up. The feeder will deliver a mild shock to any animal large enough to touch either the top or bottom base as well as one of the seed perches or exit holes.
When squirrels find the feeder, they’ll either walk onto the top or jump onto the bottom of it. As they do this they also attempt to grab one of the perches or seed exit holes which effectively grounds the current causing them to feel a mild shock. Most importantly, birds can safely land on any of the perches and get to the seed inside without any chance of shock. They simply are not large enough to touch one of the perches and either the top or bottom base at the same time. Therefore they cannot get shocked. This design will allow you to keep your feeders close by so you can enjoy your birds yet not attract squirrels. This is paramount if you wish to get any type of squirrel problem under control and feed birds at the same time.
2.Cut away all branches which are hanging over your buildings. Any tree, bush or shrub which is close to your building is a route of entry and needs to be cut back. Small shrubs and bushes are not bad but tree limbs which hang over or within twenty feet of your roof is a definite route of entry. Squirrels will use this route as a way to get onto your roof. Once on the roof these rodents will discover a way into your attic.
3.Install gutter guards and either cover all down spouts with screening or connect them to corrugated pipe which is buried. Tree squirrels will access your roof from climbing up through down spouts. Once they get to the roof they will crawl through your gutter and gain access to your attic by squeezing into a crack which is common between the facia board and the roofing. Flying squirrels are able to fit through the smallest of cracks since they have a soft and pliable body. This space between the facia board and rooftop is very accessible to them and they can reach it by “flying” from trees which are over 100 feet away from the structure. Even if this crack is tiny, any squirrel will easily chew through the wood to get in. They will do this chewing naturally; nature tells them to nest inside the hollows of trees and any empty space such as that which is behind facia boards or above soffits will attract squirrels naturally. If down spouts are covered and gutter guards are installed, you’ll dramatically reduce the amount of squirrels entering from these points.
SQUIRRELS IN THE ATTIC
Once inside your structure, squirrels will make a lot of noise and cause damage. The first sign of an unwanted guest is noise. These noises may be in the attic or walls. Try to inspect these areas. You must identify who the intruder is before you can address it. If the noise occurs at night, the animal is probably nocturnal. Flying squirrels make a lot of noise and you will hear them anytime between sunset and sunrise. Tree squirrels are active during the day and you would expect to hear them anytime between sunrise and sunset. Tree squirrels will confront you in the attic. To them, you are an intruder. If you go in the attic to inspect, tree squirrels will stand their ground. Flying squirrels will avoid you at all costs. They will burrow into insulation and generally do not want you to see them. Droppings are another clue. Tree squirrels will leave droppings anywhere; flying squirrels have a designated place where these droppings will accumulate. If you are finding droppings all over the attic but you only hear noise during the night, you have either mice or roof rats. Go back to our article archive section where you will find a great article about these pests and how to control them. We also have great information about raccoons, opossums and just about any other creature which might be able to find it’s way into your home.
Once the activity is properly identified, it needs to be removed. Don’t waste your time with glueboards or snap traps. You may get lucky and catch one or two with such a device, but once others see their friends and family trapped and killed, they won’t go near one. Forget about using some kind of poison to kill them. There is none labeled for squirrels. Rodenticides are for rats and mice only. Squirrels don’t like to eat the poison but if you mix it with some attractant you might get some hungry squirrels. In general, it will take a lot to kill a tree squirrel. Furthermore, these animals tend to hoard food and are likely to be taking your bait and not eating it. This is particularly true with any of the pellet, meal or bait block formulations.
The only baiting which seems to work for squirrels is the use of a LIQUID POISON with a paste attractant. Liquid Poison is generally used for rats where water is scarce and rats are likely to be seeking water. However, it will work for squirrels by mixing it with some of our TRAPPERS CHOICE PECAN PASTE. To prepare this bait, mix a jar of our Pecan Paste with a bag of the Liquid Poison in a sandwich bag. Place it in the attic where you know there is activity. Because the bait is a paste which is mushy and soft, squirrels are not able to hoard it. It is highly concentrated with nuts and other nutrients so they will consume all placements quickly. This will lead to a quick death; one placement is enough to kill 1-2 squirrels and they usually will die 2-3 days following consumption.
Pecan Paste: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/lure/pecan-paste
SQUIRREL CONTROL BAIT PROBLEMS
However, there are problems associated with the use of any poison and when using it for squirrels, the risks are just as prevalent. The biggest problem with using a poison is the risk of having the animal die some- where and smelling. Most rodenticides work on animals by blocking the bodies ability to make platelets. Platelets are vital to mammals in that they help blood to clot. When blood does not have platelets, any animal will bleed to death. This inability of their blood to clot will lead to their death. After they ingest enough of a rodenticide, they are not able to recover from a cut or internal hemorrhage. In effect, they will die of internal bleeding.
DEAD SQUIRREL ODOR
This type of death is messy and can occur in your attic, basement, crawl space, wall, yard, roof, or home. There are no rodenticides which cause animals to “seek water, dehydrate or embalm themselves.” All these claims are stories fabricated by the individuals applying the products because it is what people want to hear. Simply put, if you use rodenticide, you are at risk of having the animal die somewhere inaccessible and smelling for some time. If this happens, you will need to use an odor eater which “consumes” the odor as it is released into the air. NNZ or N7C is such a product. NNZ and N7C are enzymal in their behavior. They work by eating odor molecules.
These products will work best when placed closest to where the animal has died. This can be difficult to do if the animal is inaccessible so the next best thing is to spray some into the wall void or attic area where it is suspected to be laying. You can also make small placements in the room or rooms where the odor is strongest. The material will remove the odor as it is released. You will need to renew the placements every few days until the body of the squirrel has completely decomposed. This usually takes 2-6 weeks – depending on local temperatures and insect activity. If the death occurs in the winter, expect the odor to last several months or until certain insects are active which will feed on the carrion. Given the problems with snap traps, glueboards and poisons, it makes sense to deal with this problem the way a professional wildlife control specialist would; the use of live or kill traps.
SQUIRREL LIVE TRAPPING
Though the thought of trapping sounds like a lot of work, it is actually quite easy. Furthermore, most problems involve several animals. Long term control is further complicated because squirrels are territorial. Once you remove the squirrel which is active in your home another will quickly occupy the vacated territory. This is why trapping is generally the best method to employ. Both live trapping and kill trapping are effective. Kill trapping eliminates the need of having to relocate the animal which saves time; live trapping is more humane but means you will have to take the squirrel at least 10 miles away to insure it won’t return. See three released in this short video.
Live trapping is easier to do and easier on the conscience; kill trapping is preferred by people who have been fighting squirrels for a long time and have no problems destroying the animals which are causing damage to their home. Either method is effective and the following text will describe in great detail what tools you will need to do the job and how to go about getting the results you want.
SQUIRREL LIVE TRAP BAIT
Although it may sound difficult, live trapping is quite easy. The key is a properly placed trap with the proper bait and scent.If you are dealing with tree squirrels, I recommend locating the trap along their route of entry or where you know they are actively foraging during the day. Tree Squirrels may seem to be shy of a trap which is placed alongside their nest in the attic so this isn’t a good location. Try to place the trap on the roof, at the base of the building or at the foot of a tree they are climbing.
Use a professional attractant such as TRAPPERS CHOICE PECAN PASTE. This material has been formulated in such a way that squirrels cannot ignore it. A tablespoon placed on the trip pan in the trap is strong enough to attract any squirrel but adding a visual food source strongly suggested. Bird seed, acorns, walnuts or shelled peanuts all will work and should be scattered in the back of the trap by the trip pan. Be sure to place a few at the entrance so the foraging animal knows there is something worth getting inside. For more tips on how to best set a live trap, watch this short video that shows both good trap location and proper baiting methods.
Pecan Paste: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/lure/pecan-paste
Remember, nuts in general do not give off enough aroma to attract squirrels but with the paste are a combination that will attract them from far away. This allows for quicker catches. Check out our video to see that squirrels will readily enter any trap as long as there is a reward waiting for them inside. Watch this short video to see how they will readily enter a properly set live trap.
The approach is different for flying squirrels because they are most likely flying “into” your structure. To trap flying squirrels you must place the trap in the attic where they are active. This is where their droppings are or where you see their burrows throughout the insulation. The only bait which will work for them is our TRAPPERS CHOICE PECAN PASTE and some Sunflower Seeds scattered around. Use both a tablespoon of Trappers Choice Pecan placed on the trip pan of the trap and at least 8 ounces of sunflower seeds to insure a quick catch. Furthermore, if they are active in trey ceiling areas or other “tight” spots in your attic, getting your trap close enough for successful catches could prove hard to do. Flying squirrels don’t like foraging around in attics and it can sometimes be a challenge to get your trap set close enough to where they are nesting or most active.
Pecan Paste: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/lure/pecan-paste
SQUIRREL TRAPPING IN ATTICS
If this is the case in your attic, the use of some NITE FLYER could be a big help. This oil based attractant works as a “trailing” scent and is used by placing 1 drop every 1-2 feet leading from where the squirrels are most active to where the trap is being set. Nite Flyer was designed for Flying Squirrels to help get them to find live trap sets that much faster but it will work on gray squirrels as well. There is no need to over apply it so limit amounts to one drop at a time. However, the further back into hidden and inaccessible areas you can get some applied, the better “trail” you will create. Ultimately, this will allow you to trap unwanted animals that much faster and is particularly helpful for any nocturnal animal like flying squirrels.
Nite Flyer Attractant: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/lure/night-flyer-trail-scent-1-oz
Now that you have a good idea of where you need to place your trap and you know what type of lure to use in it, let’s discuss trap options. There are plenty of live traps available on the market today but many are not good quality or designed to “keep what they catch”. Flying squirrels can fit through the tiniest of spaces and will easily escape from a 1″ by 1″ hole. For this reason, you must employ a trap with wire spacing that does not exceed 1/2″ x 1″ if flying squirrels are your main target. And though most gray squirrels will readily enter traps this small, there are certain advantages to larger sized traps. In other words, try to determine if you have flying squirrels or gray squirrels before you start. If you are unsure, get the traps that you know will work on flying squirrels; these same traps will definitely work on gray squirrels as well. Since trap design has been very progressive these past few years, there are traps now being made for use in different scenarios. Try to get a trap that will best fit your application need. Live trap selection can be broken down into three main categories. The following is a summary of these categories along with links to all the traps available.
BEST SQUIRREL LIVE TRAPS
Generally not the kind of trap a professional would use, low cost traps are effective for small jobs where the amount of trapping that will be done is minimal and limited. Don’t expect these traps to last long. Though they look like costly alternatives, they will generally be made of lesser quality components including the wire, the binding components and their trip mechanisms. The end result is a product that looks fine but one that won’t withstand the test of time. Use them only if you feel you have a small problem and expect to be trapping 10 or less animals per trap over it’s life time. And remember this trap will only work on squirrels since it uses 1″ x1″ wire mesh. This means flying squirrels can readily escape this trap as can young gray squirrels. But it will work OK for most adults and ground species.
ECONOMY SQUIRREL TRAPS
The 5x5x16 GREEN LIVE TRAP will work on either flying squirrels or gray squirrels since it’s made with 1/2″ by 1″ wire. The larger version should only be used for grays. The 7x7x24 GREEN LIVE TRAP uses 1″ by 1″ wire and flying squirrels can easily escape from it. These traps can be placed in the yard, around a tree or small shrub and aren’t easy to see. Their green color helps to blend them into the environment making them more readily entered by target animals as well as harder for curious eyes to see. Either can be used inside too.
Green Live Trap: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/cage/live-trap-green-5-x-5-x-16
Larger Green Live Trap: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/cage/live-trap-green-7-x-7-x-24
SQUIRREL CONTROL MULTIPLE CATCH TRAPS
When dealing with big populations, the use of a multy catch trap help can save some time. Known as “repeaters”, these traps can hold several animals at one time. They feature one way doors with two holding areas. Animals enter the first door and cannot escape. Typically they’ll forage around in this holding area until they find the second door which opens to the second holding area. They will then go through this door and end up in the back of the trap with no way to escape. These traps can be used outside or inside and both are made with 1/2″ by 1″ wire. This means you can use them for either flying squirrels or gray squirrels. The 3.5×3.5×24 REPEATER is the preferred size when targeting flying squirrels; the larger sized 5x5x30 REPEATER RD is better suited for gray squirrels. It features a rear sliding door that makes animal release easy once caught. This is a true professional trap made of high quality components and will last a long time.
Small Repeater: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/cage/repeater3-5-x-3-5-x-24
Large Repeater: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/cage/repeater-5-x-5-x-30-rd
SQUIRREL CONTROL COMMERCIAL LIVE TRAPS
The best traps available today are the spring loaded professional models. The LT5518 or LT5518RD will work well for either flying or gray squirrels. They utilize 1/2″ by 1″ wire and will last many years. The LT7824 is larger and uses 1″ by 1″ wire so only use it for grays. These traps are true profesional grade yet they are easy to maintain and use. They are best suited for anyone that has 10 or more squirrels to trap or wants a trap that could last indefinitely. The author has had one for almost 10 years and though he’s had to clean it a few times, the mechanism functions as well as it did when new. And this trap is kept outside all year long so it’s subjected to extreme weather conditions yet it hasn’t rusted out or broken down. Get one of these if you expect to be keeping it for a long time.
SQUIRREL CONTROL EXCLUDING REPEATING TRAPS
As the name implies, these unique traps are for special applications where you need to both exclude and catch nuisance animals. Designed to be set directly over the entry holes target squirrels are using, these traps will funnel exiting animals into a three sectioned compartment. You can only employ this trap if you know the location of entry holes and then only if this location will allow you to get the trap properly mounted. Made of 1/2″ by 1″ wire, they will hold either flying or gray squirrels. The 3.5×3.5×31 RE-EX is adequate for either squirrel; use the 5x5x39 RE-EX if you know you are dealing with gray squirrels only. What’s great about these traps is that target animals are both excluded and caught by the same device. This means you’ll know for sure when all the animals inside have been caught. Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about any coming back inside – the trap serves as a “cap” over the hole when in place. Remember, this design is only designed to be used over entry holes and it’s important to get one installed over each hole being used.
Small Repeating Excluder: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/cage/live-re-ex-3-5×3-5×31
Large Repeating Excluder: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/cage/live-re-ex-5x5x39rd
SQUIRREL CONTROL TRAPPING TIPS
Here are a few tips for successful trapping.
1) Do not inspect the traps more than once a day unless you know something has been caught. Squirrels are great observers and if you are seen in a given area repeatedly, you will spook them into being very wary of this new device which is suddenly available in their territory and attracting attention from humans.
2) Tree squirrels are easy to catch outside so expect to get one every couple of days when you first start trapping. Catch success will drop over time.
3) Although you may be catching more squirrels than the ones inside your home, this is good. By catching local squirrels and reducing their populations, you are eliminating further problems. This is because squirrels are territorial and once you remove the ones in the attic, new ones will try to occupy the vacated areas. To prevent this from happening, reduce local populations by live trapping and relocating before they get inside.
4) Trap placements are effective by bird feeders, nut trees, fence lines or any tree you know local squirrels are using.
5) Be sure to use a tablespoon of our special lure called TRAPPERS CHOICE PECAN PASTE. This blend of nuts and oils has an aroma which will last for days. Place a tablespoon on the trip pan of your trap and smear it over the pan evenly. Next, add birdseed or sunflower seeds behind the trip pan as a visual aid. When squirrels make their way to the trap they expect to see a lot of seed due to the strong smell. Remember, the seed amount is the payoff. 5 or 10 seeds behind the trip pan may not be enough to get them inside; their must be a pot of gold waiting for them in order to make trap entry worth the risk. Don’t be afraid of adding 1/2 to 1 lb of loose seed. It’s OK if some is leaking out the sides. This will let them get a taste of what awaits them inside.
Pecan Paste: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/lure/pecan-paste
6) Place most of the bait behind the trip pan, but be sure to place some seeds in front of the trap and leading in the door. This will allow them to follow the “trail” and find the entrance which can sometimes be missed.
7) When using these traps where you suspect there is more than one animal active, use two bait placements. Do this by placing the recommended amount of seed behind the trip pan but then add 1/4 of that amount in front of the trip pan. This bait placement will enable you to lure more than one animal in at a time since the first one that enters will stop to feed on the front placement and subsequent animals entering while the first animal is feeding will move to the back of the trap causing it to trip. This will work for either type of squirrel and in any of the traps listed above. In fact, we have had many people catch two big tree squirrels in the LT5518 using this exact baiting method. It will work better in the middle and large size since there is so much more room for more than one to enter and therefore the level of being comfortable is increased.
8) If relocating trapped animals, make sure to take them at least 10 miles away. The author has had squirrels return up to 7 miles and expects they can find their way back further if given the chance. To prevent this from happening, do not let them go closer than 10 miles away. Be sure you measure in a straight line over air – not how far you drive.
9) Flying squirrels need to be trapped in the attic. Look for areas in the insulation where you can see a lot of activity. Such areas will have tunnels and nests which look like piles. They prefer to leave their droppings in one main area and this is a great place to trap them. Chimney areas are a common place for such activity as are voids behind trey ceilings. These areas can be hard to reach but is critical for successful catches.
10) Wait at least a two week period before you try to close any holes you suspect are allowing the animals to get inside. If you close the holes too soon, the trapped animal may react violently and at least will certainly chew another hole. Keep reading for repellent information which can be used when doing closure to help keep new animals out and remember, never try to close any animal out without relocating or destroying it. Established squirrels consider your home their home and if you close any holes you will only force them to chew it back open or create new holes. Routes of entry allow you to know where to make successful trap sets so use them to your advantage. If you’ve successfully trapped several and are unsure if you still have any living inside the home, consider installing some Excluders. These devices can be mounted over entry holes and allow animals to exit the hole but not enter. Excluders can be used as a sort of “monitor”. Once in place, you can watch it to see if there are still animals trying to get back inside. The 3.5×3.5×10 EXCLUDER will be plenty big enough for flying squirrels; the 5x5x12 EXCLUDER is better suited if you know you are dealing with gray squirrels. Once installed, you’ll know you still have a problem if you note a lot of animals hanging around within a day of it being installed.
Large Excluder: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/cage/live-excluder-5-x-5-x-12
HOW TO EXCLUDE SQUIRRELS
If that happens, remove it and get back to trapping. Once you are sure the nesting animals have been removed, you can either reinstall the Excluders as a temporary fix to insure new ones don’t come around or you can go about doing the real fix and seal the hole once and for all. Though the use of wood and other building supplies may be needed to do the closure, COPPER WOOL is very easy to use and works great at keeping both squirrels and rats from chewing back inside. It is easy to work with and can simply be stuffed into the openings without a lot of effort. It won’t rust or break down for a long time and is extremely effective when you need to seal a lot of small openings which surround the average attic.
Copper Stuff It: http://www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/netting/copper-stuff-it-50-ft
These professional tools will let you apply the PUR BLACK CANNISTER to all cracks and crevices which will do a great job of keeping out small rodents and insects. If you have a lot of spaces and hollow voids that will be filled, use the PUR FOAM W/REPELLENT refill. It will expand more and includes a strong repellent so you get extra protection – especially from chewing and gnawing animals. If you decide to tackle the sealing job yourself, do it right with the right products and you will find that you can keep squirrels out. Use the GUN CLEANER refill to keep any of these applicators clean and ready for their next job.
Foam Repellent: http://www.bugspraycart.com/repellents/aerosol/pur-ipf-foam
Pur Gun Cleaner: http://www.bugspraycart.com/sanitizer/aerosol/pur-cleaner
Watch this video to see how we install both the Copper Wool and some expanding Foam.
SQUIRREL KILL TRAPS
Though the use of kill traps seem inhumane and mean, many professionals use these devices for gaining control. In fact, certain counties in some states will not allow commercial trappers to relocate wild animals. They must destroy them either on the property or at their place of business. Other regions allow the trapped animal to be disposed of at local animal control offices. Though live trapping is very effective and easy to do, kill trapping is an option and will work well when a quick remedy is needed and when entrance holes or pathways are known. The use of such devices will help reduce the amount of time needed to control large populations since there is no need to worry about animal relocation.
BODY GRIP TRAPS
When kill trapping, there are three primary devices which are used. The most traditional is the BODYGRIP 55 or BODYGRIP 110 crush/type trap. These traps have been around for many years and are readily used by animal wildlife control officers as well as fur trappers. Most commonly used for muskrat, these traps work by crushing the target animal on it’s head or body leading to a quick kill. Trap placement is critical and limited to ones imagination.
The most common set is just outside the entrance/exit hole leading into the structure. If you know where the animals are entering, simply place the trap outside the hole by mounting the spring with some deck screws or long nails. The best set will have the dog(part of the trap) and trigger on the top of the trap and have enough play so as to not restrict the trap when collapsing. This can be a tricky trap to use first because it is hard to set when standing on a tall ladder and second because you need to create a mount on surfaces which are hard to penetrate. The good point about using this trap is that it is very effective since squirrels will readily move through it as if it wasn’t even there leading to a quick kill. A quick reset of the trap means you now are ready for any more which currently are residing in your home or any which are looking to move in. This type of set can be used by vents, around chimneys, on fence tops and dryer vents. Be careful where you place the trap, however, since the springs are strong enough to break the hand of children and put a hurting on anyone who gets caught. This type of kill trap is best left to professionals but if you are adventuresome and have some prior experience using this design, they can prove to be quite good at removing current populations.
SQUIRREL PIPE TRAP
A similar type of trap – but one which is much easier to use – is the PIPE TRAP. This is a design which uses a similar type of kill trap but builds the trap into a heavy guage steel pipe which is 4 inches wide. Squirrels love to enter pipes, tubes, hoses, down spouts and just about anything which is hollow and round. This design takes advantage of the squirrels natural curiosity but once inside this pipe, they don’t leave. Basically the trap acts like a pair of pliers which are being closed on the target animal.
When set, the trap appears to be a hollow pipe with some bait inside. There is a trip pad in the middle and when the squirrel moves over the pad, the jaws of the trap move up and pin the animal to the roof of the pipe and essentially crushes the animal to death instantly. The trap works like a rat trap but is much stronger and faster. You don’t have to bait it but we do suggest a teaspoon of our Pecan Paste be spread out over the trip pan to help get squirrels into it that much faster. All you need to do is place this trap anywhere you have seen activity. This could be on the roof, alongside the home, along side a tree or just out in the yard. The best place to use it is alongside a tree you know they are using and you will start to get your nuisance animals under control immediately.
SQUIRREL CONTROL ELECTRIC TRAP
The third type of kill trap has only been around for a few years but is both easy to use and effective. It uses electricity to deliver a lethal shock which kills the squirrel in less than a minute. Originally designed for mice and rats, these devices are now built with enough power to kill flying and/or tree squirrels. These new ELECTROCUTION DEVICES are powered by batteries, can be set in attics or outside and will work quite well at killing any small rodent which enters and grounds itself out. They work by using electricity conducted along two metal plates on the bottom of the trap. Rodents entering will be touching one of these plates.
Rat Zapper Classic: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/electric/rat-zap-classic
Placing some of our PECAN PASTE in the back of the trap along with some type of seed will lure the squirrel back far enough until it steps on the second metal plate. This allows the circuit to be complete using the squirrel as the conductor. For the next 30-60 seconds an electric current will flow through the animal causing a quick kill. The device delivers the shock this long to insure the squirrel is dead. Electrocution is both humane and quick. Dead squirrels are easy to remove and resetting the trap is as easy as flick of the switch. Proper location of these devices seems to be the most critical variable which affects performance. If trapping flying squirrels, you will need to locate the device in the attic.
Pecan Paste: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/lure/pecan-paste
ELECTRIC TRAP MAINTENANCE
If you are trapping tree squirrels, you will need to place them along pathways you know they are using to access your home. The guidelines we have listed above for the proper placement of live traps applies to these devices as well. However, these devices need to be protected from direct rain and other moisture so if you decide to use them outside you will need to fit some type of cover over them. This insures they won’t ground out, short circuit or get damaged quickly. Placing a garbage can cover over it, an umbrella or some other protective covering is definitely needed. Remember to keep it away from where children or pets will have access to it since it is electrical. Though it can’t deliver a lethal shock, it will hurt and contact with children or pets should be avoided. Many commercial applicators as well as people who have large populations to control are using this device in conjunction with our LT5518RD live trap.
The trap quickly catches squirrels since you are able to locate in several places you can’t place these Electric Devices. Once trapped, the rear door allows for a perfect fit into the chamber of the Electric Device so if thought you would be destroying trapped squirrels instead of relocating them this combination is both time saving and easy. Furthermore, you are able to use both at the same time thus increasing your rate of success which usually happens anytime you are able to employ more than one “tool”.
SQUIRREL CONTROL REPELLENT
Once the squirrels have been removed from your attic, you have a couple of choices on what to do to stop new ones from entering. The direct approach is to close off all entrances to your attic. This may be easier said than done. Squirrels are creatures of habit with a strong sense of smell. Where one squirrel enters, a scent trail is left which others may find and use. This scent will last for six to twelve months and sometimes longer. It will enable a squirrel to find ways into your attic that you never knew existed. Females that have been in your home will leave a strong scent which attract males for acres around and for as long as a year or two after she has been removed. Furthermore, territorial scents are always being tested so foraging squirrels will look to encounter their neighbors.
If the squirrel living in your home is suddenly missing from the neighborhood activity, other squirrels will start to investigate the vacated territory either looking for a place to live or to find the lost squirrel. Either way, this type of activity will show you just how many routes of entry there are into your home and give you some idea as to how much work it will entail to do exclusion. This is why certain professional trappers command a premium for sealing entrance holes. Most companies don’t really do a complete job; they tend to deal with the immediate problem or route of entry which they seal properly. However, the problem is generally much more complex requiring extensive work and repairs. Don’t expect to get much done for $100.00 to $200.00. One company the author deals with charges an average of $800.00 to $1,100.00 to seal a house but includes a lifetime warranty.
GNAWING SQUIRREL REPELLENT
Needless to say, it is well worth every penny. It has been proven over and over again that once a house gets squirrel activity it is many times more likely to get similar activity again in the future. This is such a common theme that as the homeowner you must make a decision as to how you plan on dealing with this ongoing problem. Keeping several live traps around ready to trap them out as they enter is an option. However, paying someone to properly seal the holes may prove to be a better choice in the long run. Pay to do it right or donít waste your money. If you attempt to close the holes yourself, be thorough. Don’t limit your work to just the holes you know they are using. Inspect the entire home and address potential entry points. Be sure to use quality products like the Copper Wool we discuss above. Most importantly, you must look the entire structure over from top to bottom. New squirrels will undoubtedly take advantage of similar entry points, so sealing or enforcing these areas before animals have entered is advised. There are several products which can be used on and around the home to help discourage new invasions. ROPEL LIQUID is a terrible tasting material and squirrels can’t stand it. Spray areas where you expect squirrels to chew. The taste of the Ropel will discourage them. This product is really helpful for three main types of squirrel behaviors which can be a problem.
First, if you have had nesting squirrels and feel sure you have trapped out all that were accessing the home, you can perform closure by properly sealing all entry points. The rule to follow here is that you should not perform any closure until you have trapped them out and you DO NOT HEARD NOISE INSIDE FOR AT LEAST 2 WEEKS.
If you can go two weeks without having any enter the home, you can safely seal up all entrances. Once sealed, it is still possible that the scent trails around the home will still lure new ones and they might try to chew through your newly installed barricade.
LIQUID SQUIRREL REPELLENT
To insure they don’t get through, spray the Ropel Liquid over all such areas. This will add the needed repellency to keep them out. However, Ropel will not keep out any which are nesting so don’t seal holes and spray expecting nesting squirrels to leave. It won’t happen. They will not give up their home that easily and will try and try to get back inside so only after you have removed the current population that calls you home their home should you seal it up and treat with Ropel.
The second behavior that Ropel can stop quickly is when squirrels have found something on your home they like to chew on just to sharpen or wear their teeth. This is commonly done on substrates like brick or stucco or plastic. Sometimes it’s wires or hoses of a car engine. Squirrels seem to like chewing anything round, metal or rubber. And their gnawing can cause substantial damage.
So if you are finding small areas around the home where they are randomly chewing, spray it with ROPEL. This should stop the behavior immediately. The third place where Ropel can help is under the car. Yes, cars can become a target. Squirrels will chew on hoses, cables, tubing, electrical wire and just about anything which they find under the hood of the car. These parts of the average automobile are ideal for squirrels which need to gnaw and once found will attract several on a daily basis. If you don’t trap them out you will be faced with a lot of costly damage to your car so to prevent this from happening, spray all these areas with Ropel once a week till they stop. It won’t hurt any of the car but because this area gets pretty hot, applications won’t last as long as normal so expect to have to retreat weekly.
If the squirrels have been in the home awhile, their smell will linger. This leads to new animals wanting to get inside. Using any of these repellents separately or in conjunction with one another can help keep new ones away. The first is COYOTE URINE. Though no real scientific data exists showing that this predators urine can scare squirrels away, it has been used over the years by farmers, homeowners and gardeners attempting to do just that. We have had reports of it keeping treated areas free of squirrel as well as other small rodent activity and clearly we have many customers who purchase it who are satisfied with their results.
The urine can be applied to trees, fence posts, or along property border lines where squirrels are active. It is thought that when the squirrels find the urine they will stay away knowing coyotes are predatory and dangerous. We recommend applying the first treatments where activity is highest; though rain will wash the scent away it will linger for some time in amounts great enough for local squirrels to avoid. The use of REPELLENT GUARDS will enable your applications to last even longer. They can be placed on the ground close to where you have applied some in the open. They will keep the urine smelling strong for a long time maximizing coverage.
SQUIRREL REPELLENT GRANULES
Another repellent which can be used in the home as well as the yard actually has a label and is registered for the use of squirrel repelling. Known as PEST RID, This product is a granule and can be sprinkled in the area where the animals are active. Use it in attics, wall voids and soffits too. It can also be used on the ground below a bird feeder to keep the squirrels away. Since birds can’t smell, they won’t know it’s there. It evaporates slowly and releases an odor squirrels do not like but is safe for the local environment since it uses nothing but food grade actives.
Pest Rid Granules: http://www.bugspraycart.com/exempt/granule/pest-rid-exempt-granules-2-pound
One application will last about 4-6 weeks outside and up to three months when used inside. Again, don’t use this product to chase away existing populations; use it to keep new ones from establishing themselves in areas where squirrels were once very active. By properly sealing holes and installing Bat/Squirrel Away in nest areas, you will be disguising the old scents and hopefully keeping new squirrels away.
SQUIRREL REPELLENT GEL
Still, there will be squirrels stubborn enough to try and get through these treatments. In extreme situations, you should do the closure, install Bat/Squirrel Away and then use 4-The-Birds repellent. This product is a clear, non-drying glue like material which is applied to surfaces the squirrels like to walk on. One experience with this material shows it will keep the animals away for good. It is messy, uncomfortable and irritates their skin. Although it won’t harm them, squirrels will avoid treated areas. Use 4-THE-BIRDS-GEL for small spot treatments like a fence post, electric wire they are using, in a hole, or on a pole they are climbing. Put some on areas where they are chewing. The gel lasts a long time – up to a year or more. (Expect to renew it more frequently if you have a lot of squirrel activity walking on treated surfaces.)
SQUIRREL REPELLENT NON DRYING GLUE
Bird watchers will like this product if they have pesky squirrels which insist on climbing the poles their bird feeders are mounted on. Treat the pole with 4-the-Birds and you won’t have a squirrel try to climb it again. Since the birds don’t use the pole, it won’t affect them. For larger jobs, use LIQUID 4-THE-BIRDS. You can apply it with a PUMP SPRAYER or a paint brush. The liquid form is more cost effective when treating large areas in an attic or soffit area. If you have several entry points which are impossible to seal, use the liquid form and spray directly into the holes. One experience with this material will keep even the most persistent animal away.
4-The-Birds Liquid: http://www.bugspraycart.com/repellents/liquid/4-the-birds
Eliminator Pump Sprayer: http://www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/sprayers/eliminator-gallon-sprayer
Be sure to treat all around the home applying some to every crack or crevice the squirrels might find attractive. Treat down spouts, fence lines or trees they are climbing. When treating trees, it is important to know squirrels will jump up as they first start to climb. There is no need to treat the first three feet of trunk. It is recommended that you treat from 3 feet high up to 9 feet which will provide a 6 foot barrier over which they won’t like to walk. Since trees are porous, depending on the species of tree, you may need to reapply it after a few months. Simply monitor activity and as soon as you see squirrels walking over where you treated apply some more. Squirrels learn quickly and one bad experience with this material will force them to find sanctuary elsewhere.
SQUIRREL LIQUID REPELLENT FOR DIGGING SQUIRRELS
If your yard has a lot of nuts or for some other reason local squirrels have been digging holes randomly, treat with WHOLE CONTROL. This material can be sprayed out over the turf and though generally used to keep moles, armadillos and other digging animals off your yard, it’s bad taste will impact squirrels as well. It really works when you have a lot of nuts or other items in the turf which are attracting the squirrels. Once treated, the squirrel will “taste” the Whole Control as he digs or tries to open any nuts or seeds found in your yard and since they don’t like the taste, they will forage elsewhere. Renew applications twice a month as needed.
Whole Control: http://www.bugspraycart.com/repellents/liquid/whole-control
SQUIRREL CONTROL USING SOUND REPELLER
Another option you have is to install a sonic sound device to repel new squirrels from moving in. Squirrels currently living in the home are not likely to give it up easily. They are very likely to hang around looking for gaps in the sound where they can live without being irritated. However, ultra sound will do a great job of keeping new ones from making your home their home. Upon hearing the sound when they get into your attic they will want no part of this environment. Most will simply leave never to return.
Secondly, don’t think one unit will always be able to cover an attic completely. Though the more powerful units may have the power to project sound over the given area involved, most attics have so many obstructions its very hard for the sound to reach every space. Remember the type of sound being transmitted is directional and will only impact the area where it projects. Unlike normal sound waves, ultra sound doesn’t deflect, rebound or echo. Squirrels will learn to avoid it by finding pockets where it misses and in doing so, learn to effectively bypass the sound waves.
Thirdly, the ultra sound range being used by these cannot penetrate or work through walls, ceilings, etc. This means units must be placed in the space you want to protect AND they must have a direct path without obstructions. This makes using ultra sound difficult for small spaces, areas that are filled with insulation or otherwise inaccessible.
So for outside the structure, install some YARD GARDS. These come with a power supply AC adaptor so you can set them to run continuously. Squirrels hate this sound and will avoid anywhere they’re deployed. This unit is best used outside and is weatherproof so it’s ideal for roof tops, trees, patios – basically anywhere on or around the home where you can get power. It can be run by battery too but for squirrels, you’ll get much better and faster results if you keep it running all the time.
For inside the home, go with the TRANSONIC REPELLER or the ATTACK WAVE. We’ve had great results using these units in attics because unlike rats or mice, squirrels prefer to travel on the surface of the insulation. Although they may burrow for nesting, when they romp around and jump from rafter to rafter they are out in the open.
Attack Wave Repeller: http://www.bugspraycart.com/repellents/sound/usd-attack-wave
In summary, the best way to handle squirrels in the attic is to live trap the ones living there now. Once no activity is noted for a period of two weeks, seal any entry holes you located and set up some Ultra Sound devices.
Give us a call if you need further help. Our toll free is 1-800-877-7290 and we’re open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. On Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM and on Saturday, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time).
Email questions here: http://www.bugspray.com/about-us/contact-us
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