Squirrel sitting on the roof

How To Get Rid of Squirrels in the Attic

By Laura Davis

Do you have unwanted squirrels in your attic? Squirrels can be a significant problem between their ability to damage your home quickly, chew through electrical wiring, and leave behind feces. Unfortunately, these habits present a serious health hazard to humans and can damage our homes extensively. If you have squirrels, a pest control professional is likely your best course of action because they can quickly get rid of squirrels in the attic while keeping you and your family safe. Some pest control companies even repair insulation and damage done by squirrels.

If you’re interested in getting rid of squirrels in your attic, keep reading for information on squirrel treatment, prevention, infestation, and frequently asked questions about squirrel treatment. 

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Signs You May Have Squirrels in Your House 

Before you begin treating for squirrels, you must confirm that you have squirrels in your attic, as several types of pests could be mistaken for squirrels. 

Here are a couple of signs that you likely have squirrels in your house: 

  • Scurrying, scratching, chewing noises coming from the ceiling, attic, or crawl spaces
  • Teeth marks on wood or wire
  • Chewed electrical wires 
  • Water damage present on walls and ceiling
  • Air vent damage
  • Unpleasant odor coming from your vents or ceiling (from decaying squirrels)
Terminix inspector checking attic

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Getting Squirrels Out of Your Attic: A How-to Guide

So, if you have squirrels in your attic, how can you get them out? Keep reading to learn about the different steps you can take to get squirrels out of your attic right away. 

Locate the Nest 

If you believe you have a family of squirrels in your attic, start by looking for the nest. Squirrel nests are usually made of leaves, insulation, cardboard, or paper. Typically, squirrels mate sometime between February and May or August and October. If you believe you have squirrels and it’s one of those times of the year, there is a good chance that you have baby squirrels present. If this is the case, give the babies a couple of weeks to grow old enough to leave their family, then clean out the nests and take preventative measures, like sealing off access points. 

Seal Attic Openings

Like all rodents, squirrels can fit through tight, small entry points. So, you must seal off all small entry holes to your home and attic to keep more squirrels from coming in. Closely examine your home for entry points, then seal them with a caulking material or close them off with wire. Leave one opening until squirrels have left your attic, then fill it in as well. 

Use a One-way Cage Trap

Try installing a one-way cage trap to get rid of squirrels in your attic. Leave the one-way cage door outside the entry point you left open so that the squirrels are caught in the cage when they exit your attic. Then, you can relocate them far away from your home, at least five miles away. Please remember that squirrels and wildlife can’t be relocated and trapped in some states, so check your local laws first. 

Hire a Professional Pest Control Company

A professional pest control company can quickly and efficiently take care of your squirrel problem. Squirrels can be dangerous to human health and safety, especially when they chew through electrical wiring, which can cause a fire hazard. Squirrels can also cause extensive damage to your home, so calling a professional is a good option for quickly getting rid of these wildlife critters. Pest control professionals are specially trained to get rid of squirrels and wildlife using live traps. In addition, they can check your home for potential entry points and help with preventative methods to keep these squirrels from returning to your home. 

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How to Prevent Squirrels From Getting In Your Home

Once the squirrels are removed from your home, there are a handful of ways you can prevent them from returning. Take the following preventative measures to prevent squirrels from coming back:

  • Trim your trees: Squirrels use trees to travel, so keep your tree branches trimmed, especially near your roofline, to prevent squirrels from using the trees to get onto your roof.
  • Change bird feeder food: Bird food, such as corn, nuts, and sunflower seeds, are attractive food sources to squirrels. If you use these types of bird food, switch your bird food out to different food. You can also invest in a squirrel-proof bird feeder to make it much more difficult for a squirrel to eat out of your bird feeder. 
  • Put up a plastic owl: Owls are natural predators of squirrels. To keep squirrels off your property, place a plastic owl up to help scare squirrels away from your property. 
  • Use a taste repellent: Squirrels are repelled by a mixture of vinegar, garlic, and water, so try DIYing this squirrel repellent and spraying it around the perimeter of your house to scare off squirrels.
  • Get a motion-activated sprinkler system: Sudden movement scares off many pests, including squirrels. A motion-activated sprinkler will suddenly spray squirrels with water, which is an effective way to prevent squirrels from lingering. 

Best Professional Pest Control Companies For Squirrel Removal

The House Methods Team has reviewed all of the top pest control companies in the United States based on various factors, such as pricing, customer services, and plans offered. Terminix and Orkin are repeatedly our top-ranked pest control companies. Read on to learn more about both companies’ squirrel removal services. 

Terminix 

Best Overall

  • Offers a Terminix Promise™† (visit site for additional details) and an extended work guarantee for those experiencing a commercial pest problem
  • Provides online chat services
  • Available in 47 states

our rating9.8

Terminix Review

Terminix’s pest control team comprises certified graduate and PhD-level entomologists. Many Terminix team members have developed new, innovative pest control products for the government and published scientific reports on pest control. Terminix offers both quarterly and bi-monthly pest control services. For squirrels, Terminix will trap and relocate the squirrels, then use preventative measures, like sealing off entry points to prevent squirrels from returning to your home. 

Get a free quote from Terminix by filling out this form or calling 877-544-4104.

Read our Terminix Review to learn more.

Orkin

Best Emergency Service

  • Several decades of pest control experience
  • Specializes in residential extermination
  • Top tier termite exterminator services

our rating9.6

Orkin Review

Orkin uses Integrated Pest Management to control pests, which works to create less pest-friendly environments so that pests are more likely to leave your home and yard alone. For squirrel removal, Orkin starts by identifying whether you have squirrels or another type of rodent, like roof rats, because the two are often mistaken for each other. Once the pest is identified, Orkin technicians will live trap squirrels and relocate them. After your attic is free of squirrels, Orkin technicians will look for entry points and make recommendations for your next steps. Some states do require licenses for squirrel removal. However, Orkin has a Wildlife Control licensed specialist, so this isn’t a problem.

Get a free Orkin quote by filling out this form or calling 877-544-4104.

Read our full Okrin Review to learn more.

Compare the Top Pest Control Providers

Provider Terminix Orkin
Free quote Visit Site Visit Site
Our take 9.8/10 9.6/10
BBB rating B+ A+
Annual cost $550 – $700 $575
State availability 47 47

 

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Final Thoughts

Squirrels are tricky pests that can be difficult to get out of your attic because they need to be live-trapped. We recommend contacting a pest control company, like Terminix, to handle squirrel removal. If they’re not dealt with quickly, squirrels can spread disease and destroy your home, potentially causing a fire hazard if they chew through electrical wiring. Whatever treatment path you choose, we recommend that you act quickly before the squirrels begin nesting and having baby squirrels.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How did squirrels get in my house?

Squirrels are notorious for their ability to squeeze through tight spaces and gaps in your home’s exterior. If you have missing roof shingles, a screenless window, or have gaps in your home’s exterior, the squirrels likely squeeze through that to get inside. We recommend immediately sealing these entry points once the squirrels are removed from your home. 

How do I know if there are squirrels in the attic?

Common signs of squirrels in your attic are torn up insulation, chewed through wood or wiring, squirrel nests, squirrel droppings, air vent damage, and water damage on your wall and ceiling. You may also hear scratching and scurrying noise from the ceiling and your attic. Squirrels are messy creatures that use torn-up insulation, paper, and more to create nests, so watch out for sudden messes in your attic.

How did squirrels get in my walls?

Squirrels only need a hole around the size of a baseball to squeeze through to enter your home. To enter your home, they may also use gaps around vents and doors, holes in your home’s exterior, and damaged shingles or roofing. If you have squirrels in your wall, start by looking for entry points on your roof and home’s exterior to see where they may have entered.

How do I get squirrels out of my walls?

Start by sealing all entry points, except for one, so that squirrels are forced to use that one entry point to exit your home. Then, set a one-way door trap immediately outside that exit so that squirrels who leave your home enter your live trap. Once trapped, you can relocate the squirrels away from your home. Keep in mind that some states have laws against this, so double check your local laws before setting traps for wildlife. 

Can a squirrel chew through a wall?

Yes. Squirrels can chew through almost anything. All rodents have constantly growing teeth, so they gnaw on things to grind down their teeth and keep them shorter. Squirrels are no exception, so they will chew anything in sight to keep their teeth shorter once inside your home. 

Do squirrels leave the attic during the day?

Most squirrels will leave your attic space during the day to find food. The only exception is baby squirrels, who will typically stay inside your attic until they are grown and ready to leave their mom. 

House Method Rating & Methodology

Our research process involves a multi-step process to get real insights into the customer experience for each company. We contacted each pest control company directly and spoke to representatives via phone and online chat to better understand the company’s treatment offerings and customer service. We also consider BBB accreditation and what customer reviews say about each company. We fact-check and update company data regularly to ensure accurate and up-to-date information. 

We developed a 10-point rating system to compare the companies numerically. 

  • Plan options (3.5 points): Companies with more plans and flexibility on services to address specific issues were given a higher score. 
  • State Availability (5.0 points): Those that offer coverage in fewer than 45 states were deducted points for availability. 
  • Trustworthiness (1.0 points): This is based on whether companies have money-back guarantees, service guarantees, and additional satisfaction assurance measures.
  • Customer Service (3.0 points): We considered accessibility (including on weekends and holidays) of technicians and customer support. 
  • Additional Benefits (2.0 points): Companies that offer further conveniences such as an app, comprehensive resources, and other benefits were rated higher. 

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