How to get squirrels out of my house or other building in Pennsylvania | Tree squirrel

How to get squirrels out of my house or other building

Step 1

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Best times to evict and exclude squirrels, and times to avoid

Squirrels are excitable and can cause damage if trapped inside a building. When frightened, they tend to run around a room knocking over anything in their way. To get a squirrel out of your house:

  • If the squirrel is visible and running around a room, quickly and quietly open a door or window to the outside and leave the room. This will give the squirrel its best chance to get out.
  • Frighten squirrels from buildings with noise and bright lights.
  • In most situations involving squirrels in buildings, repellents provide little or no effectiveness and are not generally recommended.


Step 2

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One-way door excluders can also be used to remove squirrels from homes and are very effective in removing flying squirrels. Commercial excluders sized for small flying squirrels, (3-inches x 3-inches x 10- to 20-inches with ½-inch x 1-inch mesh), medium sized gray squirrels (5-inches x 5-inches x 12- to 20-inches with ½-inch x 1-inch mesh), and larger sizes for fox squirrels and other animals are available. They are designed to be installed over an entry hole. Their internal spring-loaded door only opens outward allowing the squirrel to exit but not re-enter.

You can make your own squirrel excluder by mounting an 18-inch section of 4-inch plastic pipe over an opening. The pipe should point down at a 45-degree angle.

A one-way door can also be used over an opening to let squirrels out and prevent them from returning.

Once the squirrels are out, close openings, cracks, and other entrances to structures being used by squirrels with heavy-gauge ½-inch wire mesh or aluminum flashing.

Before closing openings to attics and other parts of buildings, make sure there are no squirrels inside. Confirm absence by placing a soft plug of wadded up newspaper in the hole or tape plastic over the opening and check if breached in 24-48 hours. After the openings are closed, place live traps in the house as a precaution. Wire cage traps and box traps at least 9” x 9” x 24” will allow you to live trap squirrels for release outside. Bait traps with apple slices, cracked nuts, or peanut butter. Check traps twice daily.

During breeding seasons, give suspected breeding females time to remove pups and relocate them away from the house. Evicted squirrels may cause further damage chewing holes to re-enter, especially if a female whose pups were left behind.

Laws and regulations to be aware of

While we attempt to provide guidance about state and federal regulations pertaining to specific species and control techniques, we do not provide information about local jurisdictions (city, town, county, etc.) where regulations may be more restrictive, especially as it applies to discharge of firearms, transport of animals or use of trapping equipment. Contact your local city or county government to inquire further. No guarantee is made that information (or lack of information) associated with a species or control technique is completely accurate or current. You should become familiar with federal, state and local laws before beginning any wildlife control activities.

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