Squirrels belong to the family Sciuridae, made up of small or medium-sized rodents. These rodents, whose natural habitat is in the wild, can sometimes find their way into your house. When this happens, the need to figure out how to get squirrels out of your house arises.
Squirrels are generally considered cute woodland creatures that can be found in most parts of our world. They are indigenous to America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Humans introduced them to Australia.
They are a wonderful sight when they are out in their natural habitat. Squirrels may look innocent and cute, but they can become a significant nuisance when one of them finds its way into your home.
Not only will squirrels knock over your belongings in a panic, but they may also chew on exposed foods and your electrical wires and insulation.
Apart from the damage and discomfort their presence can give, squirrels can also harbor pathogens (such as salmonella) that may be harmful to people (although transmission has rarely, if ever, been documented).
Besides, just like other mammals, rabies can occur in squirrels, too (again, there is no documented case of any person getting rabies from a squirrel). But then, we can never be too careful. Hence, the need to eject them from home once detected.
Sometimes these creatures find their way into the home by accident while foraging for food through an open window or door, and in such instances, they get desperate to get out.
Other times, these creatures may intentionally invade your home in their search for a nesting spot, sustenance, and a warm and dry atmosphere for protection from the threatening outdoor element. When this happens, they may not want to leave anymore.
Now whether these rodents gained entry into your home accidentally or deliberately through the door, window, attic, or chimney, you will need to catch the squirrel and safely escort it back outside.
So, how do you go about that? Keep reading as we examine how to get squirrels out of your house.
How to Get Squirrels Out of Your House?
1. Locate the Squirrel and Give It an Escape Route
Once you’ve noticed the presence of a squirrel, the next step is to find its location. Locating the intruder (in this case, the squirrel) goes a long way in evicting it from home.
You can use your ears here to figure out their hideout. This is a great method on how to get squirrels out of your house.
Listen attentively to the sound of their little paws running across a beam or floor. Also, listen for scratching, chittering, and squeaks. All these may alert you to the squirrel’s location.
You can also check for the squirrel droppings (they look like black pellets like those of mice, although it’s slightly larger than that of mice).
Some of the spots you can discover a squirrel in your house are; beneath eaves/overhangs, the attic, the chimney, and the basement. Once you’ve located the squirrel in the room, quickly provide an escape for it.
You can close all other routes and leave a single exit, like opening a door or window to the outside. Then, leave the room and let the squirrel figure its way out.
Squirrels can be wary of human presence. So, leaving the room after providing an exit will give the squirrel its best chance to get out.
Most times, squirrels don’t want to be in your house. They often time prefer their natural environment. These rodents will quickly grab the escape opportunity you’ve provided.
They can be a little delayed when you are dealing with a female squirrel nesting its young right in your home. In instances like this, you can buy the baby squirrel a little more time before forcefully ejecting them from home.
Nevertheless, locating and providing an escape is one surefire way to get squirrels out of your house. Remember to seal off their entry point once they leave the house.
If you don’t locate and close the opening, the squirrel will feel free to move back in, especially if it’s cold outside.
2. Use Ultrasound and Light
The use of loud noise and light is another method on how to get squirrels out of your house. Making a loud noise often provokes the squirrel’s flight response, forcing it to escape through the path provided.
You can rap on the ceiling, walls, or rafters and talk or yell loudly. Noise can be created by banging pans too.
You can also recreate a noise with sound from radio or television or other music/sound medium and leave it playing. This is because squirrels are susceptible to noise, especially high-pitched frequencies.
When the loud noise fails, set up a bright light in the area where you detect their activities and leave it on through the day and night. All these may help scare them towards the exit.
You can use ultrasonic squirrel repellents to ward off squirrels from your yard. Humans may not hear these sounds from the sonic squirrel repellents but be aware that your pests may be able to listen to the noise, which could affect them. With that, they seek an opening and scamper off.
If you are trying to evict these squirrels from the chimney after employing these noise and light tactics at the fireplace, you can also carefully attach a long, thick three-quarter-inch rope down the chimney.
Tie one end of the string to the top of the chimney before lowering it towards the other end. The rope will provide the squirrel an avenue to climb out and escape.
Nevertheless, the squirrel will always seek its escape route, but the rope here helps speed the process along in instances where the squirrel can’t just figure out a quick escape.
Remove the rope when the squirrel leaves and cap the chimney with a commercially-made cap.
3. Use a Humane Trap to Bait the Squirrel
Another effective method on how to get squirrels out of your house is to use humane traps. They are various kinds of traps available that are designed to help with squirrel removal. Just follow the directions on how to use the traps correctly for optimum results.
You can lure this squirrel into the trap by coating the trap with peanut butter. You can also place treats the squirrel love eating inside the trap to attract them, such as peanuts, sugary sweets, walnut, acorns, etc.
Set the trap carefully in the area where you suspect the squirrel of infestation. Quietly close the doors and leave the room to wait for the squirrel to be lured into the trap.
Patience is advised here if it seems like it’s taking a while to bait the squirrel. The key is always to check the trap daily and re-bait if necessary.
You can then take the trap outside and release the trapped squirrel by carefully opening the trap door while standing behind the trap. The squirrel here will usually bolt immediately out of the trap and into its new outdoor location.
4. Use Repellent
Another handy tool on how to get squirrels out of your house is the use of repellents. There are certain smells that the squirrel does not like, and these smells can chase them away from your home, but then it’s only fair to state here that it does not always work. Depends on how stubborn and bulkheaded the invader is, though.
One such repellent is vinegar. Squirrels do not relish the smell of vinegar. You can soak some rags with cider vinegar and place them in the room where your squirrel resides. Once the squirrel smells the vinegar, it will head for the nearest exit.
Another repellent you can use here is predator urine. This can be obtained from farm supply stores, sporting goods centers, and online retailers. Just soak the rags in predator urine (e.g., fox urine), and this will chase your squirrel out fast.
Certain repellents can also be used around your plants and surrounding to deter the squirrel from coming in the first place.
You can use peppermint essential oil, which will help chase squirrels away. Squirrels are also repelled by cayenne pepper.
Here, you can make a DIY solution of half water and half cayenne pepper and spray this outside of your home to repel squirrels from your flower beds and property and stop them from entering the house.
Another repellent you could try out here is spray repellent. Gardeners use certain spray mixes to protect plants and bulbs from being consumed by rabbits, squirrels, and woodchucks.
These spray mixes may also work to chase squirrels out of your house. But then, these concoctions often have a powerful odor you may not want in your home. Well, it all boils down to you. The odor dies down after some time, though.
In addition to the repellent, you could also try out the use of motion-detector water spray. Squirrels do not like to be shocked by water. So, you can use a motion-detector water spray to evict squirrels.
The motion sensor sprinkler system will detect motion from squirrels or other wildlife pests and give them a surprise dousing, leaving the squirrel scampering for the nearest exit. But then, you have to be careful when using this indoors. Nevertheless, you could try this out.
5. Catch the Squirrel Manually
Another method to employ on how to get squirrels out of your house is to catch them manually. Here it all boils down to your ability to outsmart the squirrel.
To do this, you have to know your squirrels’ location. Once you do this and the squirrel is cornered, don a pair of gloves and get a blanket.
Then, hold the blanket up in front, so they don’t see a human form, slowly get near the squirrel, and then toss the blanket over it.
Once that is done, quickly roll up the squirrel in the blanket. Be careful here so you don’t hurt the squirrel by rolling too tight or putting too much pressure.
Take the blanket-wrapped squirrel outside, gently open it on the ground, and set it loose. Once the squirrel is gone, remember to look for and seal any potential entry points.
6. Shoot Them
Yes! You heard that right. Ok, this may sound disturbing and even squeamish to some people. But this is also another handy technique on how to get squirrels out of your house.
Before you do this, always check if it’s legal to shoot wildlife in your area. If it’s legal, then you can use this method. However, this method comes with the downside of carcass cleanup, which can be time-consuming.
7. Eliminate Food Sources
So, let us take the other part of the famous saying, “all’s fair in…War.” The squirrel infestation is beginning to feel like war. It’s time to go back to the root cause- food.
Food sometimes is one of the most apparent reasons why a squirrel may end up in your home, and in such instances, you can as well raid its food source.
Cut off their food source, and clean up the fruits and nuts likely to attract them. If you are keeping a bird as a pet that necessitates having birdseed, then secure the birdseed in a squirrel-proof bird feeder to deter them. When they don’t find sustenance, they will leave your home searching for a new hunting ground.
8. Seek Professional Assistance
Last but not least method on how to get squirrels out of your house is to seek professional assistance. A good warrior knows when to send for help.
You’ve done what you can, but it seems like the squirrel is getting smarter by the day. It would help if you had a quick intervention.
Your best course of action now is to seek a professional who can instantly get the squirrel(s) out of your house for your safety and that of the squirrel.
So far, we have examined various ways on how to get squirrels out of your house. You can get squirrels out of your home by providing an escape route, using ultrasound and light to hasten their exit.
Using a trap to bait the squirrel, shooting it, or catching it manually. The use of repellents also goes a long way.
We also established that eliminating their food source is also a great tactic. Calling a professional to deal with rodents is another method examined in this article.
Nevertheless, prevention, they say, is better than cure. In this case, preventing the squirrel from getting entrance is far better than dealing with an infestation later.
So, for prevention, block all squirrel entrances by sealing off all entry points using a caulking product. To do this effectively, look around your property for cracks, crevices, and torn window screens.
Also, inspect the attic for squirrel nests and check the foundation and exterior for holes. In addition, cover the chimneys with chimney caps and keep all exterior doors closed when not in use.
Replace window screens and fill in cracks or gaps with a caulking product to prevent squirrels or other wild animals from getting in.
You can use metal flashing as a sealant here. This is because the animals cannot chew through the metal to get back in. With all these in place, you won’t have to deal with squirrel menace in your home.