Metro Washington DC Squirrel Trapping & Removal

Fairfax VA Squirrel Trapping & Control

Fairfax VA Squirrel Trapping & Removal

Animal Bat & Bird Extractors

Tim McDowell

The best form of squirrel control is prevention!


Proper sanitation and property maintenance will prevent most problems. Most urban squirrels owe their existence to humans. We supply both food, and shelter without thinking. A house is just another funny looking tree to the squirrel. Why should the squirrel spend days cutting and hauling twigs up a tree to build a nest, when there is a perfectly good attic to sleep in. Its warm, out of the weather, and they don’t have to worry about predators coming in. Just add a few leaves, a bit of fluff, and call it home. A dish of pet food left unattended, an open garbage can, or a full bird feeder is a free meal to a hungry squirrel. Their common sense says ” this sure beats foraging” and it’s a lot easier. Wow…these humans are really great!

 Fairfax Squirrel Trapping

If you read this far, then you probably have some of these problems already. So, remove the food supply. If it is a bird feeder, move it twenty or more feet from the house. Close or cover garbage cans, and if possible make them inaccessible. If you have a barbecue near the house, keep it clean and covered. Squirrels have been know to eat the drippings and sometimes build a nest if they can get inside. It doesn’t take very long, sometimes just hours. Maybe the squirrels are digging in your garden, or flower pots. While you can’t stop a squirrel from digging, you can discourage it. Use hardware cloth, a heavy metal screening with a half inch square grid, to place in the flower pot. Cut it to fit around the stem of the plant, and extend it to the edges of the pot. Place it just below the soil.  Put some small rocks near the edge to hold it in place. This same approach can be used in a small garden. If the squirrels are eating your fruit as it ripens, about the only way to stop them is to cage the entire plant. Most times this is not practical, and allowing them to have a little may be a small price to pay. I know they can be wasteful, try to accept it as food tasting.  Other devices, such as high frequency sound emitters and animal scents may be effective for a short period of time. Once the squirrel gets use to them, and they will. They become ineffective, and you’re out a lot of money. The use of ” Squirrel Away” or ” Hot Pepper Spray” are also ineffective as deterrents. They can actually do harm to both squirrels, and other animals, especially when these products get into their eyes. Then how do you deal with a blind squirrel? The use of ” moth balls” as a deterrent does work. But again, only temporarily. A determined squirrel will get used to the smell, or simply push the ” smelly stuff” out of its way. So if you do try this method, wrap them in a piece of metal screening to form a bag. Then tie the bag to a solid object, make it as difficult as possible for the squirrel to move.  You will have to replace the contents every few days for it to be truly effective. Another problem area can be exposed wires or rubber hose’s. Most common are those on gas grills, and stored motor vehicles. But, low voltage lighting can be a tempting target for squirrels. What the most squirrels are trying to do, is clean and sharpen their teeth. They do this by biting through some material, (normally wood) then they pull their head back so the fibers slide between the teeth. I guess you could call it the squirrel version of dental floss. Most squirrels stick with small tree branches, but some have found the plastic coated wire or rubber hose does a much better job. The only way to stop this problem is to trap and relocate the offending squirrel. Once the squirrel is removed,  the problem should end. Once a squirrel has chewed its way into an attic or crawl space, again the only practical way to remove it is by trapping (see section below).    Of course repairs should be made immediately to close the entrance hole. It is also important to cut off the access route to the attic or crawl space. This may require trimming tree branches that overhang the roof. Remove firewood that may be stacked against the building. Fill cracks in foundation walls. Even a one inch hole or crack can make a suitable entrance hole for a determined squirrel. When patching wood, use metal plates or flashing where ever possible. On foundations walls use concrete. Avoid plastic or PVC vents when ever possible.

If your only alternative is to trap, and remove an unwanted squirrel, you should first check with your local government agency. Your City, County, or State may require you to obtain a permit. There may be certain circumstances when a professional trapper is needed to capture and relocate the animal. A phone call can save you a lot of trouble. The other very important part of trapping concerns the time of year. The female squirrel will give birth to a litter of three or four, in the early spring and possibly again in the fall. If you trap and relocate the mother squirrel, you will surely kill her babies since they can not leave the nest on their own. While this alone would be heart breaking, consider what will become of those baby squirrels. They can cause quite a smell. Please give this some careful thought before you proceed. If you’re not sure, please ask for help. That’s what we’re here for. If you are allowed to trap, your next step will be to find a suitable trap. Be sure to find one that is the proper size for the squirrel you wish to trap. Too small of a trap may not completely enclose the squirrel and one too large may not be sensitive enough for a one pound squirrel. Traps should come with instructions to bait and set them, be sure you under- stand and follow the directions. Peanut butter (Skippy crunchy) is considered the best bait for a squirrel. Placing a spoonful on the trip lever usually does the trick. Your first step is to do a little detective work. Find the path that the squirrel is using to your attic, crawl space or where ever it should not be. To find this path, you must first observe your squirrel’s routine. Normally, a squirrel will leave the nest at dawn or shortly after in search of food. This would be the best time to watch and wait. Find a place where you can view your house and the entrance hole. Be very still, and watch how it gets to or from the house. E.g. climbing, jumping or both. Once you discover this path, you should place the trap accordingly. Always set the trap on a stable surface, such as the ground, on a porch or deck. Never hang the trap! If you have the time, leave the trap opened and without bait for several days, so the squirrel will accept it as part of the landscape. You should also consider what if any other animals might be in the area of the trap. Since a cat, dog, or even a bird may be tempted into your trap. You must be able to see or hear the trap operate, so it would be best to set it only when you have the time to watch or listen for it to operate. Once a squirrel is trapped it must be removed as quickly as possible to prevent stress to the animal. Be sure you are wearing heavy work gloves while handling the trap. Be prepared to listen to a lot of complaining. This squirrel is going to voice its displeasure non-stop! You must relocate the squirrel at least a three miles from your location, even further if you are in a heavily wooded area. An ideal location would have a natural barrier, such as a river or lake. If you’re moving the squirrel within an urban area, try to place it across several highways or other busy streets. You should give some thought to where you are going to relocate the squirrel before capture. A place where it can find food, water and shelter would be in your best interest. Don’t give this squirrel a reason to return! It may be necessary to repeat this process if more than one squirrel is involved. Please remember that if there are babies in the nest, they can ” not” be trapped and must be removed by hand. Then be sure to correct the problem that led to the squirrel moving in, as quickly as possible. Be sure to wash the entrance area, with a strong solution of ammonia and water, or a household cleaner to remove any scent the squirrel’s may have left. If you have problems, concerns, or questions about live trapping. Many local government agencies have people that are knowledgeable in this area and may be able to offer you additional advice. If you do not have the time or are not sure you can accomplish this task. There are professional animal or pest control companies that can remove squirrels for you. If you consider the time and effort involved, it may be best to contact a local company for an estimate.

Squirrels in the Attic

Squirrels and abundant in our area and can wreak havoc on our homes and business. They are notorious chewers and once they enter a structure there is a real and tangible danger of fire caused by them chewing on electrical wires. For this reason alone you should never allow too much time to pass before hiring a wildlife professional to remove them and repair damage and seal up the structure to keep them from returning in the future. We understand this can in some cases be an expensive endeavor but steps should be taken as soon as possible to minimize the damage caused by squirrels. This is baby season for squirrels along with most of the other creatures we share our community with and this can require some special handling of the situation. We cannot simply trap the squirrels in your attic. Once we have trapped the squirrels we have to check and see if we have captured a lactating female and if so must find and remove the babies as well. This is exactly why it is important to hire a nuisance wildlife professional and not a friend or handyman. Though their hearts may be in the right place, they may very well make a big problem even bigger. If an adult is trapped inside a home or business they will do great damage to the structure trying to get out. Or if a momma is trapped outside the structure and her young are trapped inside she will again do an extreme amount of damage to the home trying to get back in. And if she cannot get back in her young will die inside and stink up the entire home or business. All of these unfortunate circumstances can be avoided if you hire the right company to deal with this situation. Once we have trapped and removed all the squirrels from the home or business, we can seal up and wildlife proof the building so this problem does not happen again next breeding season. Give us a call and we will get it done right the first time, GUARANTEED!

It is critical that homeowners know their state and local laws, before they attempt any wildlife control, removal or trapping procedures on their property.

Squirrels in the attic

One of the most common complaints that we deal with as a nuisance wildlife control company; is squirrels in the attic and squirrels in the soffit and eaves of a home. Squirrels are notorious for chewing through roofs, vents, soffits, eaves and for making contractor voids bigger to gain access into a attic space. Once inside the chewing doesn’t stop. They will chew on rafters, electrical wires and anything else in their way. Chewing, scratching and scurrying sounds, in the early hours of the morning is normally signs that squirrel are present in your attic. On the roof, eaves or soffits you may see insulation hanging out. Inside of the attic you will see run marks, shredded insulation, nuts, twigs, leaves, squirrel feces and smell squirrel urine. Depending on the time of year you may be able to pinpoint nests in the attic, but nest with babies may be concealed in the attic eaves or wall spaces. Removing squirrels from the attic and keeping them out is not an easy process. It has taken us many years to prefect our squirrel removal techniques. We are often asked, how do I remove squirrels from the attic and the answer to that is to trap or exclude them. Below is a step by step guide to humanely trap squirrels that have taken up residence in your attic.

Guide to Humanely Trap and Remove Squirrels in the Attic

This guide is written by a wildlife control specialist with many years of knowledge and experience in humanely removing squirrel and other wildlife from attic spaces.

Tools you will need

  • Ladder that will get you to the roof of your home
  • Screw gun
  • Screws
  • Traps (roof mounted cage trap, repeater trap or one-way exclusion door trap, you can get any of these traps at Wildlife Control Supplies
  • Steel
  • Caulk
  • Respirator
  • Hazmat suit

Lets Get Started

  1. Thorough inspection of the structure from the foundation to the roof. I cannot stress enough, how important this 1st step is! You will be looking for the entrance holes. Common areas would be where a roof line meets another roof line, soffit and eave area, soffit vents, ridge caps are plugged, plumbing stacks are screened,  roof vents (check the screens), gable vents (check the screens) if siding is loose in areas check behind the loose siding for holes. Remember squirrels are small so the hole maybe smaller then you think!
  2. When the inspection is complete you should know where the squirrels are coming and going from.
  3. Thorough inspection of the attic space, look for damage done to the attic such as chewed wiring, shredded insulation, debris (twigs, nuts, leaves), chewed duct work and depending on the time of year, you may need to look for a nest full of babies (when searching for a nest full of babies, (look at the edges of the attic).
  4. Seal all holes with steal, but the main hole.
  5. We use repeater traps mounted at the entry hole or one-way exclusion door traps mounted on the hole. (make sure you read how each trap works before you decide what trap is best for your situation, if babies are involved we have two choices wait until they are big enough to move around or we are able to remove them by hand. We think it is best to wait until they are big enough to move around)
  6. When we are sure that we have trapped and removed all the squirrel from the attic, we remove the trap and seal the hole with steel. (best way to know if you have removed all the animals is to stick a wade of paper in the hole if that paper has not been disturbed then you know that all squirrels are out)
  7. Clean-up the attic, when squirrels or other animals live in the attic space they use that space as a latrine, they will poop and urinate everywhere, leaving the space a potential heath risk to you and your family and a lure to other animals. It is recommended to clean-up, decontaminate and deodorize the attic. This might include removal of insulation that is heavily soiled.


DIY Squirrels in the house (Main living area)

You may wake up to a squirrel on the table or counter helping itself to a loaf of bread, don’t panic! Squirrels often enter homes through a chimney that has no cap on it and they find their way in via a fireplace or basement duct work, others may enter the home through a open window or a open door and sometimes they chew through a screen and gain access into the home. Remember the squirrel is just as afraid of you as you are of it. You have three choices.

  1.  Close off the room and open a door or window (you need to stay out of the room) and the squirrel should leave.
  2. Trapping (use a live trap, if you don’t have a live trap you can purchase one at home depot, most hardware stores and on line) Bait the trap with peanut butter and peanuts. (if you are thinking of relocating the trapped squirrel make sure you check the local laws on transporting and relocating) You are allowed to release the squirrel on your property. Make sure to wear heavy duty leather gloves when dealing with squirrel or any wild animal.
  3. Call a professional wildlife control company

Once the squirrel has been removed from the house, look for the entry way. Do you have a chimney cap installed on your chimney? Is the damper open in the fireplace? Is duct work in the basement secure? Did the squirrel chew through a screen to gain access into the home? Do you have any holes on the outside of your home? (from the foundation to the roof top) Remember if the squirrel did not get in from a open window or door then you must figure out how it was able to get into your home or it will happen again!


 DIY Trapping Squirrel Outside

Because of state and local laws on trap and release of wildlife, trapping is best conducted by a licensed nuisance wildlife control professional. If you do choose to attempt trap and relocate yourself, always:

  • Consult your local DNR or city first, You do not want to violate any laws
  • Know what kind of trap and what size of trap to use (make sure the trap is bigger then the squirrel we use live traps that are 18”x5”x5”)
  • Know what bait to use for your target animal (squirrels love peanut butter and nuts)
  • Observe the animal see where it lives and what it likes to eat and use that for bait
  • Wear heavy leather gloves (when dealing with wildlife)
  • Place your live trap near it’s home or where it feeds
  • When the squirrel is caught call a wildlife control company for pick up and to relocate
  • Always remember; if it is a warm day to try and set the trap in the shade, place a bowl of water in the cage and a animal is not to be left in a live trap more then 24 hours


Why Should I Hire A Wildlife Expert

Nuisance wildlife control is a specialty service, we are trained to handle, trap, exclude, remove and control all wildlife situations from the removal of animals from attics, crawl spaces, walls, garages, under decks,sheds. We are always climbing on steep roofs or are crawling around in tight places solving wildlife conflicts. We are trained in wildlife biology, wildlife behavior and wildlife control. Our line of work requires special licenses and insurance.

  • Professionals have the tools, traps of many varieties, devices, knowledge and experience to deal with most wildlife.
  • Have you had a rabies vaccine? Are you aware of wildlife diseases? Very important to know and have when you are working or dealing with wildlife!
  • Is it legal for you to transport and relocate wildlife? Is it legal for you to trap without a permit?
  • A professional wildlife control company will posses several ladders varying in different sizes and are experienced in ladder safety.
  • Most wildlife issues are not solved by trapping alone. What has attracted wildlife to your home or business? Have they found their way into your home or business and how are they getting inside? Knowing the answers to these questions is crucial to resolving your wildlife problems. Do you know how to repair the damage done to your home or business? Do you have the necessary equipment to clean up the mess they leave behind? Do you know the health risk associated with wildlife and how to protect your self from these diseases?


Squirrel Control And Wildlife Pest Removal