Squirrel Removal Considerations

 


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The issue of squirrel control can be frustrating and time-consuming. Many homeowners' preference for humane pest control adds yet another level of complexity. Rodent removal is never as straightforward as it might seem. Here are a few considerations when planning for from a home.

Do It Yourself, or Hire Professionals?

Homeowners often start by trying to get rid of the squirrels themselves in order to save a few dollars. Some are successful. On the other hand, a professional rodent control service can help to alleviate the stress and uncertainty of trying to figure things out for yourself, plus they have the experience and the right equipment to do the job safely and effectively.

The downside? It'll cost more... Although there's the argument that if a do-it-yourself job doesn't work out, the problem may have gotten even worse in the meantime and it will end up costing more than if professionals were hired from the start.

Live Trap or Relocate?

Should you live trap and relocate, or allow the squirrels to leave on their own and find alternate nesting sites? A humane, non-lethal squirrel trap can be a typical live cage trap, or it can be a one-way exclusion door.

With a live cage trap, the captured squirrels must be relocated and released elsewhere. Some municipalities may not allow the relocation of squirrel. If this is the case, what would happen to them? Make sure the live trap is meant for squirrels - traps meant for other types of rodents (such as mice) may not work for squirrels, or may not work as intended. Also keep in mind that live traps need to be checked frequently, ideally several times a day, so that the squirrel do not succumb to hunger, thirst, shock or stress. Always wear heavy-duty gloves when dealing with rodents - they can bite!

A one-way exclusion door allows squirrels to leave the house, but they cannot get back in. The squirrels aren't actually trapped in a cage for release later on; they simply leave on their own, with the hope that when they can't easily get back into the house, they will move on to find a different place to nest.

Baby Squirrels

Spring and fall are typically when baby squirrels are born and raised. How can you be sure that there are no babies present? It's important that mother squirrels not be separated from their babies - those that are will sometimes try frantically go re-enter the home through another entry point (or they will create another entry point). Babies who are separated from the mother will die. This presents another problem for the homeowner: how to remove the dead babies (which the mother squirrel may have stashed in a safe, inaccessible location)

If the squirrel infestation is not too serious, consider the option of waiting until the babies are old enough to move around on their own (typically around 12-14 weeks of age). At that time the removal process can be started and can include both adults and babies.

Accessibility Issues

Squirrel are superb climbers and jumpers and prefer high-up spaces like the attic of a home. Their entry points into the home are often along the roof line. Many homeowners would find it difficult to safely and effectively place traps, mount exclusion doors, or seal entry points in areas like these.

Follow-Up

Re-inspecting the premises for signs of squirrel is important after it appears that the removal is complete. Check to make sure that there are no fresh signs of squirrels in the home. Once it's determined that all the squirrels are gone (no fresh signs for several days to a week), all entry points need to be sealed up tight.

Permits and Licenses

Some municipalities require that permits and licenses be issued in order to trap and/or handle squirrel. A professional pest control company should already have these in place. If you are attempting to do the removal by yourself, get all the information before you start - it could be that the requirements necessary to get the permit or license are such that it would be easier to call in the professionals.

Repair or remediation work, cleaning and disinfecting may all be required after the squirrel removal is complete. There are also many preventive pest control measures that homeowners can do on their own to minimize the risk of an infestation happening again. Ultimately, preventing the problem can save a ton of headaches and also serves as the most humane way of controlling squirrels in and around the home and yard.