Nature can hardly ever cease to surprise you, having ways to get even into your own attic. If you hear scratching noises at night and the steps of tiny paws, don’t rush to blame it on demons – maybe you have flying squirrels in attic.
Are squirrels nocturnal? Sure they are! Flying squirrels sleep during the day in their nests and thrive at night, roaming around, “hunting” for food; and these little fellas hate to live alone, so they always bring their friends with them.
Just imagine it – your own squirrel party, right under your very nose. You may also hear them rolling the nuts around; they may be playing bowling with them, but most of the time, nuts are only for hiding for a rainy day.
Flying squirrels are fairly small, even smaller than their non-flying brothers, which gives them more leverage when it comes to breaking into your house. A tiny hole would be enough to make it a decent pathway in.
Let it not surprise you – flying squirrels are great climbers, at it would be a piece of cake for them to climb to the attic; they do prefer, however, entering through the roof, a gable vent, or eaves.
It can be tricky – having a flying squirrel in the house and removing it, which is why you may prefer to take preventive measures and not let them in at all. Not only they are smaller than the standard squirrels and can enter through smaller holes, but also they live in bigger groups, and these groups eventually become a party in your attic – a party you were not invited to.
There was no special removal procedure developed, however, for these little creatures; the steps are all the same, as for, for instance, Eastern Grey Squirrel. We will dive into the detail of each step a little later, but now let’s look through what is it that we have to do to get rid of the unwanted neighbors that occupied our attic.
First things first – we have to identify the ways that the occupants use to get in. This is the most important step of all we can take since if we leave the pathways open the problem would repeat, again and again, no matter what measures you take.
Only once you burn all the bridges and seal shut all the holes through which the squirrels get in, we can start the works on the inside: install the one-way doors next to the holes you cannot seal, put some traps around or call the exterminator.
Once the occupants are gone, clean the area and repair the damage caused after a thorough examination. If everything is done right, at this point you should be able to enjoy your reclaimed attic all by yourself.
4 Steps of Know-How to Get Rid of Flying Squirrels in Attic
Step 1: Check the area for the life signs
Prepare to meet your demons of the attic, because we are going on the hunt! At this step, we need to make sure what it is we are dealing with in order to implement the most efficient strategy later.
Examine the attic in terms of the animals themselves, or the damage they caused – damaged wires, bites, and scratches on the surfaces, etc – or at least their tracks and feces. With that, you will be able to tell if you are dealing with the flying squirrel or some other animals in the attic.
Your research can be fully conducted on the Internet or kids’ zoology books, exterminator websites, and elaborated encyclopedias. Or, if you do not feel like doing it, or any other part of the process, yourself, you can always call professionals to have the job done for you.
In fact, this strategy is even more beneficial if you have or may have any medical condition preventing you from interacting with animals, such as allergies or others.
Step 2: Look for their way in
Usually, the paths the intruders use are numerous, which is why it is way too early to rest after the discovery of one hole. Inspect the outsides of the attic are the premises next to it looking for possible entries the squirrels may be using. Make sure to find all of them, otherwise, all the work is in vain.
The usual point of penetration is the roof or other place high up, a tube, a hole in the wall, anything a tiny squirrel can fit through. Just like the regular squirrels, flying squirrels fit in very small holes. It is the reason you probably would want to start your inspection from the top down. And remember: it is never just one hole!
Step 3: Time to hunt!
Not in the classic sense of it, but it is a call for action. You know what you are dealing with, you know how it gets in, now you can develop a strategy and set it into action.
The best way we have heard about are the one-way doors next to the entrance holes, however, some people prefer putting the repeater or other types of traps to capture the squirrels. These instruments have proven them extremely useful; a full colony can be moved out at once!
If you feel more like applying the one-way doors, you choose an exclusion strategy. With this strategy, before installing the doors, we recommend sealing shut all the holes except a few, and in these few, you install the doors. These few holes should be the ones that the squirrels use most of the time, so they would be familiar and comfortable with them.
Once the one-way doors are installed, the squirrels will be able to walk out, but not go back inside, which will enable all of them to leave in the course of two-three days. Once all the rodents are out, you can take the doors down and seal the holes shut to prevent possible intrusion in the future.
If flying squirrel trapping is your weapon of choice, you are rolling with the “trap and relocate” strategy. With this strategy, you should check first what traps and what application of theirs is legal in your area.
Sometimes in some states buying a flying squirrel trap can require special licenses, as well as the process of trapping and relocating.
And it would be a shame to get a fine for the absence of the paper that you were not even aware of. Check the relative websites and forums, make the papers if you feel ready, and it is time to get the job done.
Repeating traps can be set both inside the attic or next to the exit hole (again, if you decide on an exit hole, make sure to seal shut the others before the installation to drive the rodents into the trap). The location of the exit hole proved to be more efficient than any other location in the attic, but the choice is yours.
When the trap (or traps) is set, you should check it regularly to not let squirrels stay in for too long: they get stressed out, become dehydrated, and even can get injured from exhaustion.
The squirrels are to be released in the area of your choice but make sure that it is a woodland area, far from the domestic properties – the area must be safe for squirrels so start their life from the scratch.
In some cases, you may be required to obligatory bring the squirrels to a certain area, which is also the information that you may want to look up in advance. Whatever is the case, make sure to pick the location at least five miles away from your home so that you don’t get the squirrels returning.
Putting the trap in other parts of the attic – make sure to put some bait in them too. The pre-bait technique can help you a lot in this process.
For this, you put a bait without the trap for several days, until the squirrels start to get used to it. Bait can be in the form of peanut butter, various grains, fruits, or sunflower seeds. Once the baiting reaction is established, put a bait with the trap and start the removing process.
If you find the information that you just read overwhelming and not like your thing, there is no shame in hiring a professional to get the job done for you. It may cost quite some money, but at the same time, it gives you your peace of mind, smoothness of the process, and frees you from the necessity to make the papers for the removal
Step 4: Seal the holes, burn the bridges behind
Once your attic is yours and only your again and the intruders are dealt with, it is time for the measures of preventing the repetition of the scenario. It means, that at this stage we need to repair and seal shut all the holes you found on step 2 and possibly all the other ones you discovered later during the process.
Step 5: Clean, repair and decorate
Your attic is now calm and quiet, absolutely free from any other life form other than yours, and it is time to make it feel like home again. First of all, the damages caused by your misfortunate neighbors have to be repaired and their life residue cleaned.
This part is the most important as it has the potential to become a health and life threat; life residue tends to rot with time, microorganisms, bacteria, and fungus tend to thrive on these materials, and it all can get quite ugly quite quickly. Make sure to use the proper protection while cleaning; bare minimum – mask, glasses, and gloves.
When the attic is sparkling clean and has no sign of rodents left, the choice is yours: to decorate it or not. Some people prefer having it empty and simple for their future storage needs, although there are endless variations on how one can make an attic a perfect personal paradise and own getaway from the outside world and disturbances of the real world.
Video: Flying Squirrels In Attic
Watch this video and you will know in details how to get rid of squirrels in your attic the right way.
Why Is It Important to Get Rid of the Flying Squirrels in Attic?
As cute as they are, squirrels, all the types, including flying squirrels in attic, are far from being pleasant neighbors. If you are the type of person who likes to store their stuff “for the rainy day” in their attic, you put your inventory in jeopardy by ignoring such a neighborhood.
If you have wires passing in the attic – and the majority of us do because it is a smart decision for the space organization – you risk having them damaged and your electricity can be cut (and life without the electricity is way harder than it seems).
If you are a lucky neighbor of a squirrel family or several of them, you are also likely to encounter the biological hazard of the residue that rodents leave in the place they occupy; the fur, the feces, the saliva.
It gets a little more complicated when the little squirrels are born in the nest in the attic: these little guys have an endless curiosity for the outside world and can wander in between the walls.
Since walls are not designed for crawling around, squirrel babies sometimes get stuck in between with no way out. That means that you may also need to encounter issues with rotting body tissue. As ugly as it sounds, you should be aware of the possibilities and take measures to prevent facing them.
Any other alternatives?
Of course, there are always other ways around, however, these methods are quite questionable from the nature protection point of view and therefore we would recommend not implementing them. Poisoning is the most popular of these options.
There are many varieties of rodent repellent sprays that can be used, however, in case of using them, you must make sure that the poisoned squirrels do not escape into the other rooms of your house.
You should also look out for squirrels trying to escape and getting stuck inside of the walls, since removing the decaying body will definitely be way more of a trouble. And googling late at night “how to get squirrels out of your walls” is no fun.
Rodent poisons are quite strong smelling and very potent, and although they are not likely to kill people, they can cause some serious health problems, especially with conditions of breathing problems, allergic reactions, skin reactions, etc.
Another far-from-pleasant way is forcing them out. Apply the smell of mothballs in the area occupied by the squirrels (you can hang them in old socks, for instance) or install some strobe lights. These factors make the area extremely displeasing to the flying squirrels and will force them to move.