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Easy Ways To Trap A Squirrel

Easy Ways To Trap A SquirrelIs a pesky squirrel wreaking havoc on your attic or home? Here are some options and cautions to consider while you plan to catch your sly intruder.


The first thing you should do is to study your squirrel’s habits. Watch for its typical path and the entrance point it is using to get into your home. The best time to do this may be dawn when it leaves its nest to find food. Also watch to see if you have one squirrel or multiples, which will affect the type or number of traps you use. Try to gauge the size of your squirrel since you want your trap to be just the right size (or else the squirrel might be too light to make your trap work or too big to fit into the trap). Finally, try to see if your squirrel might be a mother who has made a nest and given birth to several babies in your home. About 2 out of 3 squirrels caught in attics are mothers with young babies, and this will be important information for your trap plan.


Next, decide if you want to do the trapping yourself or hire a professional. Most states have laws against trapping and relocating squirrels on your own (typically out of concern about rabies), but if you want to do it on your own most likely no one will stop you.


If you decide to trap the squirrel on your own, your next decision is on what type of trap to use. You can buy live traps from most outdoor retailers. Think about the size of your squirrel and what would be the best fit. Use the instructions to set the trap with food as bait (your best choice is chunky peanut butter). If you want to make a homemade trap, one idea is to spread peanut butter on a toilet paper roll and hang it on a stick which you will lay over a bucket. You can fill the bucket with enough water that your squirrel won’t escape but NOT enough to drown it. Don’t think of using poison to catch the squirrel- it isn’t legal and will leave you with the stinky dead body.


You can also build a squirrel trap using mesh and plastic tubing. To create the trap, follow these steps:

  1. Purchase a plastic tube 3 – 6 feet long and 5 – 8 inches wide.
  2. Attach wire mesh to one side of the tub. Secure it in place with wire or with glue.
  3. Use cooking spray and coat the walls. This will cause the squirrel to slip so it cannot escape.
  4. Fill the trap with bait. An apple with peanut butter, sunflower seeds, or corn work well.
  5. Place the trap in an area where the squirrel goes, the wire mesh should be on the ground.
  6. Next, choose the right location for your trap. Choose somewhere directly in the squirrel’s typical path or entry point (but not inside your home or attic since the squirrel will not go to it). Put the trap on a flat surface. Set the bait and wait for your squirrel (stay close by so you can respond as quickly as possible upon capture).


If your squirrel is a mother with babies, your plan will be a little different. A good way to check besides listening for young (but when they are very young they won’t be moving around) is to see if your squirrel has visible nipples (which guarantees that she is nursing her young). If you learn that your squirrel is a mom, your best idea is to find the babies and use them to catch the mom so they can all be relocated together. Search your attic or space for a nest. Nests are often hidden well in tight spots, so you may have to be diligent in your search. If you can’t find it, try to find a spot radiating warmth, and check inside for the nest. You need to pick up the babies and put them in something safe to carry them. Place them in the back of your trap and the mom will surely come to save them. If you think you have a mother squirrel but can’t find babies, try waiting just a few weeks. Within a few weeks the babies should be able to move around on their own and you will be able to catch all of them.

When you catch your squirrel, quickly set off to relocate it (or the whole family). Always use heavy gloves and/or other protection so you don’t get bitten or scratched. Take your squirrel(s) far away to a new place for it/them to live. Your best bet is to go several miles away, especially if you can separate your home and the squirrel by a lake or other barrier. Release your squirrel and head home. If you have a mother squirrel and she runs away on release, leave her babies because she will come back for them.

Your final step is to do some clean up. Get a strong cleaner to take care of the scent, droppings and anything else that the squirrel left behind. Fix any damage and block any open entry points. Feel good about humanely removing your squirrel, and go back to enjoying your squirrel-free home. To learn more about trapping squirrels visit utahpestcontrol.com.



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