- TREE SQUIRRELS AROUND THE HOME
- FLYING SQUIRRELS
- FLYING SQUIRREL PROBLEMS
- HOW TO REDUCE SQUIRRELS IN THE YARD
- REMOVE PATHWAYS TO YOUR ROOF
- GUTTER GUARDS WILL HELP KEEP SQUIRRELS OUT
- SQUIRRELS IN THE ATTIC
- DON’T USE RAT BAIT TO KILL SQUIRRELS!
- DEAD SQUIRREL ODOR
- LIVE TRAPPING SQUIRRELS
- HOW TO LIVE TRAP FLYING SQUIRRELS
- WHATS THE BEST SQUIRREL TRAP?
- ECONOMY SQUIRREL TRAPS
- WANT TO CATCH MORE THAN ONE SQUIRREL AT A TIME?
- COMMERCIAL GRADE SQUIRREL TRAPS
- EXCLUDING SQUIRREL TRAPS
- TRAPPING TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL SQUIRREL CONTROL
- WHEN TO SEAL UP ENTRY AND EXIT HOLES
- BEST KILL TRAPS FOR SQUIRRELS
- BEST SQUIRREL REPELLENTS
- HOW TO STOP GNAWING SQUIRRELS
- ANIMAL URINE SQUIRREL REPELLENT FOR THE YARD
- HOW TO STOP DIGGING SQUIRRELS IN THE YARD
- BEST SOUND REPELLER FOR SQUIRRELS
- CONTACT US
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TREE SQUIRRELS AROUND THE HOME ^
There are three common species of tree squirrels found in the United States. The Fox, the Eastern Gray and the Red Squirrel. A “sub species” of the gray and fox is the Black Squirrel which can be found in many states like Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, Texas, Indiana, Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Virginia. And though Flying squirrels are considered tree squirrels, they are quite different and should be viewed as a related but unique animal. In fact we have a completely different article for them so if you suspect you have flying squirrel invasion, you will be better served reading our FLYING SQUIRREL ARTICLE.
Fox squirrels are found from Canada to Florida though for some reason do not populate much west past the Mississippi or much east past Pennsylvania. They’ve remained in the heart land of the United States for some time and appear to have a stable region where they reside.
Eastern Gray squirrels were once just east of the Mississippi including all states from Florida 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 are found in most northern states. They’re also found in the far western region of the states including California to Texas and back up again through the Dakotas.
FLYING SQUIRRELS ^
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.
Although most squirrels are welcomed in parks and around the yard, they are a pest once inside the home. As wooded lots are cleared, tree squirrels are displaced from their natural habitat and forced to find new shelter. If conditions are right, they’ll move into attics, eaves and soffits of any structure. Once inside a building, they will cause damage to insulation, rafters and electric wires.
FLYING SQUIRREL PROBLEMS ^
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’re nocturnal, quite 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 these animals. This includes the damage resulting from a fire which can be traced to a chewing animals. This disclaimer is written into most every homeowner insurance policy and if your policy doesn’t cover damages due to rodents, do not take an infestation lightly.
For both squirrels and flying squirrels, 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.
HOW TO REDUCE SQUIRRELS IN THE YARD ^
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 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’re active at night so you do not know anything is happenin.
REMOVE PATHWAYS TO YOUR ROOF ^
Be sure to cut away all branches which are hanging over your building. Any tree, bush or shrub which is close to your building is a route of entry for squirrels and they should 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 into your attic.
GUTTER GUARDS WILL HELP KEEP SQUIRRELS OUT ^
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. The 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 widen the gap and gain access. They will do this chewing naturally; nature tells them to nest inside the hollows of trees and empty spaces so the area 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. Many times they will bring nuts into these spaces and you’ll hear them rolling around as they move about.
Tree squirrels are active during the day and you would expect to hear them anytime between sunrise and sunset as they come and go during the day. 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.
DON’T USE RAT BAIT TO KILL SQUIRRELS! ^
One of the most common mistakes we have customer do is to use a rodenticide to kill a squirrel. This is never a good idea. The biggest problem with using a poison is the risk of having the animal die somewhere and in turn, creating an odor problem. If you have a nesting squirrel in the home and it feeds on a rodenticide, there is a good chance it will die somewhere hard to reach. This happens because they naturally like to lay down where they nest when sick.
DEAD SQUIRREL ODOR ^
When squirrels die due to rodenticide, they will stink. 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 its 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. We have found the odor will linger 2-4 months on average.
HOW TO REMOVE DEAD SQUIRREL ODOR ^
Now if you’ve already killed a squirrel and have an existing odor in a wall void or attic, you’ll need to use an odor eliminating agent to “consume” the odor as it is released into the air. NNZ or N7C is such a product. NNZ and N7C are enzymic in their behavior and will neutralize any order within hours. Basically they disorient the odors molecular structure so it falls apart. And when the odor can’t keep itself structured, it cannot be detected.
NNz is completely odorless. Mix 12 oz per gallon of water and use this mixed solution to treat up to 800 sq/ft of surface area. Retreat in 2 days if the odor is still detectable. In most cases, if you can deliver the solution where its needed, the odor will be gone after 1-2 treatments.
N7c works just like NNz but has a slight aroma to it. This way you know its working, where its been applied etc. Since both will eventually get used up as they work on a live odor, the aroma of the N7c disappearing will let you know its all gone. And if the dead odor returns, you’ll know you need to apply more. Other than that, it works exactly like NNz.
These products will work best when placed closest to where the animal has died. And you will need to renew the placements every few days until the body of the squirrel has completely decomposed. This will usually takes 6-8 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 again which feed on the carrion.
Either product can be applied using a good PUMP SPRAYER.
You many also find a MINI FOGGER to be helpful when treating large open attics and cannot walk around them safely.
LIVE TRAPPING SQUIRRELS ^
Given the list of ways to control an active squirrel problem, live trapping is by far the most effective, cost efficient and easiest method to employ. With squirrels, long term control is complicated because squirrels are territorial. Once you remove the squirrel which is active in your home or yard, 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 because you’ll be removing the animal which occupies the given area. Kill trapping eliminates the need of having to relocate the animal which in the end, can save a lot of time. Live trapping enables the trapper to keep a clear conscience but means you will have to take the squirrel at least 10 miles away to insure it won’t return.
So if you decide to live trap, take trapped animals at least 10 miles away to a location where you think they can survive. Next, place the trap on the ground pointed in the direction you believe they’ll run. Next, open the front door and they’ll be gone in a flash.
WHATS THE BEST SQUIRREL BAIT? ^
One of the reasons squirrels are so easy to trap is because of a bait we’ve developed known as TRAPPERS CHOICE PECAN PASTE. When dealing with tree squirrels, we 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 in general, you don’t want to use the trap inside this space. Instead, try to place the trap on the roof, at the base of the building or at the foot of a tree they are climbing.
Our Pecan Paste will no doubt get their attention. Its been formulated in a way that squirrels cannot ignore it. A tablespoon placed on the trip pan in the trap is strong enough to attract any squirrel inside but adding a visual food source strongly suggested. MIXED BIRD SEED should be placed behind the trip pan so when the target animals arrive to the trap, they both smell and see the bounty. Be sure to place some seeds at the entrance of the trap so the foraging animal sees the path 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.
Remember, nuts in general do not give off enough aroma to attract squirrels close to any one trap. But add some Pecan Paste and you’ll 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.
HOW TO LIVE TRAP FLYING SQUIRRELS ^
The approach is slightly different for flying squirrels because they are most likely flying “into” your structure. For this reason its not possible to trap them in the yard.
So to trap flying squirrels, you must place the trap in the attic where they’re active. This is where you find droppings or where you see their burrows throughout the insulation.
The best bait for getting them into a live trap is again our TRAPPERS CHOICE PECAN PASTE. And though mixed bird seed can work, Sunflower Seeds are even better. So for a quick catch, use some pecan paste and at least 8 ounces of sunflower seeds in the trap.
And if you’re unsure where they’re nesting, add some NITE FLYER around the entrance and “leading to” the trap. 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. It also works for tree squirrels as well.
There is no need to over apply it so limit amounts to one drop per placement. However, the further back in hidden or inaccessible areas you can get some applied, the better “trail” you can in turn create. Ultimately, this will allow you to trap unwanted animals that much faster and is particularly helpful for any nocturnal animal like flying squirrels.
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 any trap using the standard 1″ by 1″ mesh. 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 when targeting tree squirrels. 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 both; these same traps will definitely catch tree squirrels.
Since trap design has been progressive the 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.
WHATS THE BEST SQUIRREL TRAP? ^
With so many types of live traps on the market, it can be confusing when deciding which model, type or brand to buy. In general, thee are what we call “economy” traps, professional grade and then speciality traps. Specialty traps will be commercial grade and will have unique components designed for unique circumstances. Match up such a trap to your need and the results can be fantastic!
As for economy traps; don’t expect these designs to last long. Though they may “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.
ECONOMY SQUIRREL TRAPS ^
The 5 x 5 x 16 GREEN LIVE TRAP will actually 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. This larger model, the 7 x 7 x 24 GREEN LIVE TRAP, uses 1″ by 1″ wire and flying squirrels can easily escape from it.
Since these traps are painted green, they’re clearly designed for use in the yard, around a tree or small shrub and where you want something stealthy in the landscape. Their green color helps to blend them to the environment making them harder for curious eyes to see. Either can be used inside the home too.
If you’re sure you have nothing but tree squirrels to catch, the larger 7×7 trap can be used.
WANT TO CATCH MORE THAN ONE SQUIRREL AT A TIME? ^
When dealing with large populations, the use of a multi-catch trap help can save 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. From there they will go through this second 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 x 3.5 x 24 REPEATER is the preferred size when targeting flying squirrels; the larger sized 5 x 5 x 30 REPEATER RD is better suited for gray squirrels. It features a rear sliding door that makes animal release easy once caught. These are true professional trap made of high quality components and will last a long time.
Slightly wider and taller compared to the 3.5, the 5 x5 is better suited for nothing but tree squirrels.
COMMERCIAL GRADE SQUIRREL TRAPS ^
The best traps available today are the spring loaded professional models. The LT5518 or LT5518RD will work well for both flying and tree squirrels. They utilize 1/2″ by 1″ wire and will last many years. The LT5518RD has a sliding rear door making it easy to set, clean and for releasing trapped animals.
These traps are true professional grade yet they are easy to maintain and use. They’re 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 20 years now and though he’s had to clean it a few times, the mechanism functions as well as it did when new. It has captured hundreds of animals including roof rats, chipmunks, flying squirrels and tree squirrels. And this trap is kept outside most of the time so its been subjected to extreme weather conditions yet it hasn’t rusted or broken down. Get one of these if you expect or want a trap that will last a long time.
EXCLUDING SQUIRREL 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 both flying and tree squirrels. The 3.5 x 3.5 x 31 RE-EX is adequate for either squirrel; use the 5 x 5 x 39 RE-EX if you know you are dealing with tree 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. This is true because 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 every hole you can find.
Get the 5×5 if you know you have tree squirrels only.
TRAPPING TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL SQUIRREL CONTROL ^
1) Do not inspect your 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 and in turn, cause them to be extra wary of this new device.
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 as local populations are reduced but don’t fret; they’ll still enter. Just understand this will naturally happen over time following success.
3) Although you may be catching more squirrels outside other than the ones inside your home, this is good. By catching local squirrels using your yard and reducing their populations, you are eliminating potential attic problems for your house. 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 great to make 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 lure called TRAPPERS CHOICE PECAN PASTE. This blend of nuts and oils has an aroma which will last for weeks. 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 to them so don’t skimp. Using just 5 or 10 seeds behind the trip pan will not be a big enough bounty so pile them on inside behind the pan. And 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 inside.
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 as well. This will enable them to follow the “trail” and find the entrance easier 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.
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 release them closer than 10 miles from your home. Be sure you measure in a straight line over air too – 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 their activity. Such areas will have tunnels and nests which look like piles of leaves, pine straw and other “outside” tree litter. They prefer to leave their droppings in one main area just a few feet from their nest and this is a great place to trap them too. Chimney areas are a common place for such activity as are the voids behind and around any trey ceiling. These areas can be hard to reach but smart to use leading to successful catches.
10) Wait at least two weeks before you try to close any holes you suspect are allowing animals to get inside. If you close 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 first relocating or destroying it.
Established squirrels consider your home their home and if you close entry/exit holes you will only force them to chew it back open or create a new hole. 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 excluder traps. These devices can be mounted over entry holes and allow animals to exit your attic 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 x 3.5 x 10 EXCLUDER will be plenty big enough for flying squirrels; the 5 x 5 x 12 EXCLUDER is better suited if you know you are dealing with tree squirrels. Once installed, you’ll know you still have a problem if you note a lot of animals hanging around in the days following the installation.
Be sure to choose the excluder which is large enough to fit over the exit hole. If the hole is bigger than the excluder, nail on some boards to frame it and make it smaller so the excluder will be the only way “out”.
WHEN TO SEAL UP ENTRY AND EXIT HOLES ^
Once you’re sure the nesting animals have been removed, you can either reinstall the Excluders as a temporary fix but at some point, you’ll need to close the gateway once and for all. In general, you shouldn’t close any hole until you’ve gone at least 2 weeks without seeing or trapping a squirrel. Only then can you know for sure the population has been significantly reduced.
And though the use of wood and other building supplies may be needed to do the closure, using some COPPER WOOL can be a big help. Its easy to use and works great at keeping both squirrels and rats from chewing back in the same area. The great thing about the copper is that it won’t rust or break down for a long time. And its so much easier to use when dealing with a lot of small openings which typically surround the average attic.
The use of professional sealing FOAM is also recommended. For single holes, the small can with its own injecting tube will do fine. It can handle up to 1025 feet. If you have a lot of sealing to do, get either the PUR STANDARD GUN.
The larger 25 oz can can seal over 1500 linear feet and is better suited for large jobs, commercial applicators, etc.
You’ll need an applicator gun to apply the larger can but its well worth the investment.
When sealing homes which have had problems for many years, get the PUR FOAM W/REPELLENT refill. It expands more and includes a strong repellent as part of the foam so you get extra protection from chewing, gnawing animals reluctant to move away.
Lastly, if you get an applicator, you’ll need GUN CLEANER to keep it clean when storing it.
Watch the following video to see how we install Copper Wool and seal it with expanding foam.
BEST KILL TRAPS FOR SQUIRRELS ^
Though the use of a kill traps seem inhumane and mean, many professionals use these devices for quick control. In fact, certain counties and even some states here in the U.S. will not allow commercial trappers to relocate wild animals. They must destroy them either on the customers 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 a viable option and will work well when a quick remedy is needed.
BODY GRIP KILL TRAP ^
When using a kill trap, there are three primary devices which work for squirrels. The most traditional is the BODYGRIP 55 or BODYGRIP 110 “conibear” type trap. These traps have been around for many years and commonly used by animal wildlife control officers as well as fur trappers. They come in a wide range of sizes and may be used for many animal species. Trap placement is critical but in the end, limited to ones imagination.
For small holes and most applications, the #55 will work fine.
If you have a large hole or large tree squirrels active, go with the #110.
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 dawg (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 its hard to set when standing on a tall ladder and second, you’ll need to create a mount on surfaces which are hard to penetrate.
The advantage of this trap is that its very effective since squirrels will readily move through it as if it wasn’t even there. This will lead to a quick kill. And after that, just a quick reset of the trap means you’re ready for any more residing in your home or looking to move in.
This type of set can be used alongside soffit vents, chimneys, on fence tops or even 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.
SQUIRREL PIPE TRAP ^
A similar type of trap – but one which is much easier to use – is the PIPE TRAP. This design uses a similar type of killing mechanism inside the 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, 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 will help get squirrels inside 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.
The following video shows how to set it up:
ELECTRIC SQUIRREL 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 both flying and tree squirrels. These new ELECTROCUTION DEVICES are powered by batteries, can be set in attics or outside and will work quite well on small animals like rats, mice, chipmunks and more.
Placing some of our PECAN PASTE in the back of the trap along with some type of seed and foraging squirrels will readily enter. Upon stepping on the second metal plate they’ll complete the circuit and over the next 30-60 seconds, get electrocuted. 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.
For tree squirrels, outside sets are best. Since this trap is subject to degradation due to moisture, use a TRAP TUBE to protect it when making ground sets. We offer them in both green and brown so you can choose a color based on where you want to make the placement. These heavy guage PVC tubes come with railroad spikes so they can be secured to the ground.
If you’re trapping tree squirrels, you’ll 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.
BEST SQUIRREL REPELLENTS ^
Once you have removed all squirrels using 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 so don’t expect it to go away naturally.
And since females that have been in your home will leave a strong scent, males from acres around seeking a partner will typically come around indefinitely. Furthermore, territorial scents are always being tested so foraging squirrels on neighboring properties will look to encounter the population that was using your home.
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.
It usually turns out to be a lot and 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’ll seal when the active animals are removed. However, the problem is generally much more complex and will usually require 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 it includes a lifetime warranty and is well worth the investment.
HOW TO STOP GNAWING SQUIRRELS ^
Now if you’ve sealed entry and exit holes after removing active squirrels, its a smart idea to also spray these areas with PEST RID. This bad tasting agent will help discourage new invasions. Spray all surfaces, vents, etc. where you expect squirrels to chew. The taste and odor of Pest Rid will stop this behavior immediately.
ANIMAL URINE SQUIRREL REPELLENT FOR THE YARD ^
Since squirrels need to traverse through the yard before reaching your home, installing some COYOTE URINE. along property borders can keep them out. Natural predators will keep them cautious and many times, on the move away from your land.
Urine can be applied to trees, fence posts, and along property border lines where squirrels are thought to be active. We recommend applying the first treatment to where activity is highest.
Be aware that urine will not be effective when there is a food source they’re targeting like a bird feeder or vegetable garden. The lure and need for food is so strong, scented repellents are not enough of a deterrent to keep them away. So if you have food attracting them, you’ll need to use one of our sound repellers listed below or trap them out as detailed above.
Now since rain will wash the scent away over time, you will need to refresh it every 30-45 days. But to get 60-90 day long residual, install REPELLENT GUARDS. Place them on the ground close to where you have applied some out in the open. These holding tank will slowly release the odor over time helping to keep the strong smelling urine in place for 2-3 times as long.
For more discreet placement, use CAPSULE GUARDS. They’re small and can be placed in the ground or hung from shrubs.
HOW TO STOP DIGGING SQUIRRELS IN THE YARD ^
If your yard has a lot of nuts or for some other reason local squirrels have been digging holes randomly, they can make a mess. To stop them from digging, treat the active areas with PEST RID GRANULES. Like the spray, these granules use food grade actives that taste bad and have an odor squirrels don’t like. Treatments will chase away squirrels and keep them away for a month or more. One 2 lb jug will cover up to 500 sq/ft and should be applied once every 30 days when they’re active.
For added protection, spray over the top with PEST RID SPRAY. The Quart size (pictured below) will cover up to 125 sq/ft; gallons will protect 500 sq/ft.
Retreat with Pest Rid once a month when squirrels are active.
BEST SOUND REPELLER FOR SQUIRRELS ^
Another repellent well suited at keeping squirrels out of the attic or yard is our ULTRA SOUND REPELLER. Our model is weather resistant so it can be used out in the yard. We also include an AC power supply so you can power it with electricity or 4 “c” cell batteries.
Also included is a wireless key remote control so you can turn the unit off/on as needed. This is especially handy when using it in the yard.
By default, our unit will send out ultra sound which squirrels do not like. The range of these sounds is up to 70 feet so in the attic, 1-2 machines will keep all squirrels out when set to run continuously. In the yard, the same range will be possible but remember, it must be always on to have the best impact. If you rely on the battery power option, you won’t be able to keep it always on and the motion detector will only detect motion for up to 30-40 feet away. This means you must have the device close to where the animals are active so it will get activated when they get near.
Our unit can also use audible sound to repel squirrels. There is a volume control for this and when used outside and configured to motion sensor activation, be sure to turn this volume up high. But if you are running them at constantly on, the ultra sound alone will be enough to repel target animals.
There is a also a light bar LED which will flash when the unit is activated which is very helpful when deploying units in the attic. Since squirrels are mostly active during the day, this won’t have a big impact out in the yard.
So for grey squirrels in the attic, the recommended settings for the Operating Time is “24 Hr”, the Ultrasonic setting to “constant” and when set this way, the Motion Sensor Sensitivity is “N/A” since it will be always on. If possible, set the Sonic Sound volume at “0-20” if this is not a problem for people in living areas. If it is, dial it to zero. The frequency (yellow knob) should be in the middle. Plan on powering the unit using the included AC converter as the LED light going off and the constant ultra sound pumped out is a strong deterrent to these animals.
For grey squirrels in the yard, set the Operating Time to “day” and the Ultrasonic setting to “constant”. The Sonic Volume should be set at “0” if its always on. The frequency (yellow knob) should be in the middle for best results. Plan on powering the unit using the included AC converter as the ultra sound and LED going off all the time is a strong deterrent to these animals or you can use them set to “Motion Sensor” and power them with batteries. When used this way, understand the unit will only go off for 20 second intervals when activated and will only get activated when squirrels get within 30 feet. This means you will need more units to cover the area since they won’t be on all the time.
When installing units in the yard, place them 1-2 feet above ground and pointed in the direction where animals are active in the turf you want to protect.
For easy installation outside, MOUNTING BLOCKS are handy. They can accept 1 or 2 repellers (picture to the right) and have a 1/2″ hole on their bottom so they will easily fit over a 1/2″ piece of rebar or any other wood or plastic stake. Ultra Sound Repellers will work fine by themselves as long as you have a good place to set them up. But we highly recommend getting the Units with Mounting Blocks in the kits we offer. Mounting Blocks allow you to place units anywhere and they will save time too.
We also feature several accessories for our sound repeller including POWER CORD EXTENDERS (33 FEET AND 66 FEET), CIGARETTE LIGHTER POWER ADAPTER, ALLIGATOR CLIP POWER CORD and AC POWER SUPPLY REPLACEMENTS.
CONTACT US ^
Give us a call if you need further help. Our toll free is 1-800-877-7290 and we’re open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. On Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and on Saturday, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time).
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I would like to know which type of sonic would work best inside a log home. The home I bought last year has a nest inside the roof line between the layers. The home has no attic but a layer of styrofoam 2-4 inches thick that they have nested in.
Can the sonic repeller work through the wood of the house like a speaker? If I placed one on the wood of the home (upstair closet shelves) since the house has solid wood walls.
Tech Support says
@Phillip: If you review the section above on Ultra Sound devices, you’ll see they must be placed in the space you want to protect and they must have a clear, unobstructed air space so the sound can reach out. If this space is filled with styrofoam, it’s not likely you can protect it with any unit. And since these units cannot penetrate or work through wood, keeping it inside the living space pointed at the attic space is not an option. More reading on this is above:
In cases like you’ve described, we have had customers set up multiple units around the outside perimeter of their home with the goal being to set up a kind of sound defense that covers all routes of entry so animals cannot enter. So if you have 4-6 units strategically positioned, you can in theory have the ultra sound projected into the area just outside the home so the squirrels cannot approach. This in turn will keep them out of the roof space.
In most cases, there will have to be 1-2 units on the roof and then at least 1 unit per side of the home if you need to protect every side of the structure. The units can then be set on a timer, on a simple “off-on” switch or just left to run continuously. If you don’t have power close to the roof line but you do have spot lights installed, there are plenty of plug in “splitters” you can get that will essentially add an electric outlet to the spot light fixture. There will still be room for the spot lamp but with the plug outlet you’ll then be able to plug in an extension cord and power the AC adapter out outside units require for running all the time. And the best unit for this application would be the Yard Gard:
Yard Gard: https://bugspray.com/repellents/sound/usd-acbatt-yard-gard-49
Squirrels are destroying my window boxes… Every year I spend extra money replacing plants that they dig up. I have tried pepper spray and a Yard Guard ultrasonic device to no avail. Any suggestions?
Tech Support says
As our article above explains, squirrels will many times become so “attached” to a certain area that Ultra Sound repellers and sprays won’t work. When this happens, you have no choice but to live trap them out and relocate them elsewhere. Sounds like too much work? Believe it or not, live trapping squirrels is actually quite easy.
With the use of our LT5518 and some Pecan Paste, you’ll start having success right away. I personally have to relocate several squirrels every year from my lot as they just keep coming. But I know if I don’t, they’ll start doing damage to my house so I’m forced to manage this never ending population. But it’s easy and effective and from what you’re saying, something you need to start doing if you want to get control of the problem.
Live Trap: https://bugspray.com/traps/cage/live-trap-5-x-5-x-18
Pecan Paste: https://bugspray.com/traps/lure/pecan-paste
Would something like the yard guard be effective for a small balcony (in an apartment) and should I be concerned about how it would affect my cat?
Tech Support says
The Yard Gard would be a great option for such a small area. I’d configure it to be powered “on” all the time using the included AC adapter.
Now if I was inclined to use the area for myself or my pet, I’d wire the unit with a way to turn it off and on as needed. This can easily be done by simply pulling the plug out of the socket and putting it back in when you want it on. You can also wire it to an outlet “timer” or many an outlet that is connected to a switch for remote power control. Any of these configurations would work fine.
Now since these units don’t actually “hurt” animals, there is on danger to you or your pet once it’s in place and turned on. But is it possible your pet won’t like the sound? Absolutely.
In most cases we’ve seen where cats will learn to avoid the area where they hear it so if keeping your cat off the deck is not an inconvenience, the impact should be negligible. But if your cat likes going out into this area, making it so you can turn the unit off and on would enable him (her) to enter without being annoyed. And since the sound can’t penetrate walls, if the cat is kept inside with the unit being outside, they won’t be able to hear it anyway.
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Yard Guard: https://bugspray.com/repellents/sound/usd-acbatt-yard-gard-49
Flying squirrels are ruining my life. My bat insulation is ruined (walk in attic). I’ve sealed most of the entrances I have found. I’ve put wire mesh over the gable vents and repaired fascia and soffit. They are still here. Yesterday I caught one in a fishing net. Today I got one in a Victor snap rat trap nailed to a 2×4. How much success have you truly had with the electrocution trap with flying squirrels?
Tech Support says
No doubt the best two devices for getting rid of flying squirrels is the Electrocuting Devices and the Live Traps. They key with both is making sure the placement is done close to their nest. As explained above, this is vital. So if you’re able to get either device to within 5 feet where you’re seeing their droppings or any nests, you’ll get positive results. Oh, and don’t forget to bait with Pecan Surprise.
Rat Zapper: https://bugspray.com/traps/electric/rat-zap-ultra
LT 5x5x18: https://bugspray.com/traps/cage/live-trap-5-x-5-x-18
Pecan Paste: https://bugspray.com/traps/lure/pecan-paste
Next, once you go at least 2 weeks with no noise, sounds or evidence of any being in the attic, set out some Ultra Sound devices. One or two will usually do the job. Keep them running 24-7 (they only cost pennies to run a month) and you won’t get any new squirrels in the attic.
I live in a rural area in Central Texas. I have black ground squirrels digging tunnels under my house and garage. I have acorns and pecans in abundance. I live on a narrow river on about 40 acres. This problem is getting worse and when we close up one opening several others appear suggesting the squirrels are digging more tunnels. I would like traps that kill that I can manage, and food to bait them. Please give me some ideas on ways to rid my property of these pests.
Tech Support says
If you look through our article above, you’ll see mention of several options. Having dealt with grey and ground squirrels as well as chipmunks and other tunneling animals, for my money and time the live traps are the best way to go. I say this because live traps can last forever. I personally own 2 that I’ve used to trap over 100 small animals over the past 10 years old. They both are still working fine, they don’t require much maintenance, they’re easy to use, they’re very safe and most important, they don’t “scare” target animals. With that being said, I’m 100% sure the use of several live traps throughout your property can eventually reduce the local numbers to manageable levels. But it will require a little work and some time.
Now to successfully trap, all you’ll need to do is set out 4-5 pecans in the back of each trap, along with a 1/2 teaspoonful of our Pecan Paste, and you’ll quickly get your target animal to enter. I would expect you’ll be trapping 1 animal every day or two for each trap you set. And if you go more than 3 days without catching one at any location, it would be wise to move the trap to a new tunnel and repeat this process throughout the property. Basically you’ll want to trap out as many as possible.
Now how many traps should you get? As many as you can handle using. At least 3-4 for your property but 6-8 would be better yielding more animals caught over less time.
And once trapped, you can either relocate or destroy the animals. Personally I believe destroying them is the best approach – especially when the local property has too many.
Now if you prefer, you can use a “kill” trap to accomplish this result. The best would be our electrocuting Zapper. These devices will work on mice, rats, chipmunks and squirrels. And they work fast, are easy to deploy and considered humane. But they do require more maintenance as it’s important to keep their inside clean. They also don’t perform well in wet environments so you’ll have to either build a shelter over them to keep them dry when you make sets or you’ll have to take them inside when rain is expected. In my humble opinion, I find this to be too much work which leads me back to the live traps.
Regardless of which method you choose, you’ll want to get some of our Pecan Paste as lure. Squirrels, chipmunks and rats can’t ignore this paste and it will prove very helpful at getting the animals into the traps.
Here are links to these items in our cart. Please show your support for our business by purchasing the items we recommend from the links provided. Remember, this is the only way we can stay around and be here to answer your questions and keep this valuable web site up and running. Thanks for your business!
I have one of each model. I use the green one around certain ground cover for camouflage. No doubt the LT5518RD is the best trap and has performed flawlessly for me over the years but the green one isn’t bad for the money.
Green Live Trap: https://bugspray.com/traps/cage/live-trap-green-5-x-5-x-16
Live Trap: https://bugspray.com/traps/cage/live-trap-5-x-5-x-18
Pecan Paste: https://bugspray.com/traps/lure/pecan-paste
Give us a call if you need more help. Our toll free is 1-800-877-7290 and we’re open 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Mon-Thur; 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Friday and 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday, Eastern Standard Time.