How to get Squirrels out of a Wall
Walls make ideal nesting places for squirrels. They’re dark, warm and secure from dangers posed by wild predators and domestic pets. They’re easy to access via holes in siding and foundations or through openings at roof lines, simplifying the animals’ typical excursions. For an expectant mother squirrel, there’s nothing not to like.
Not so if you’re a property owners who’s grown tired of the noise and other nuisances. If you’ve decided it’s time for the squirrels to go, there are a number of options. Lethal measures are often forbidden, with the alternatives including humane trapping and various types of chemical and physical repellents.
Cage traps with one-way doors are best but before using a trap of any kind you must assure that it is allowed where you live. Cage traps allow you either to capture the animal and hold it for release or to exclude it after it leaves. In placing the trap, first identify the entry/exit hole and close off any other options. Place the trap at the entrance, bait it with a tempting food such as peanut butter, set it and leave it.
Once you trap the squirrel – most likely it will be a female – see if it has a litter by observing its belly for evidence of suckling. If you determine that there are babies, either to get them out or be prepared to release the animal to continue raising them. Alternatively, do whatever is necessary to recover them and provide for their safety. This can include breaking through the wall to access the nest.
Other measures include repellents, some of them easily available in the kitchen cupboard, such as garlic, peppermint, ammonia and mothballs. All of these offend the squirrel’s senses and encourage it to leave on its own. Commercial alternatives include eviction fluid, which suggests the presence of predators; coyote urine and various granular products that annoy or cause distress.
In fact, most of these are only temporary solutions. Squirrels become accustomed to them and develop a tolerance. Physical solutions are also available, such as ultrasound devices, but squirrels learn to ignore these as well.
Once you’re satisfied that you’ve expelled your squirrel, make sure she doesn’t come back, for if she’s been comfortable there she will surely try. First, you must relocate her and family several miles away. Then close off any opening that might allow her or others back in.
Remember, squirrels need only about a two-inch hole to gain entry. If it’s snug, once they’re in they’ll chew it to whatever size they need.
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