Humanely remove squirrels from attic with excluder funnel


By guest contributor: Elizabeth Gatto

If a squirrel has found its way into your attic, then you know this is a very serious issue. Your home is your castle, and a squirrel (or a family of them) indoors can turn your house into a complete catastrophe. They are capable of making a lot of noise and mess in a short time. Understandably, you want them out as quickly as possible. 

There are professionals who do humane wildlife removal, but if you’ve decided to do this job yourself, follow the steps below. Your goal will be to drive the squirrel outside and unharmed. They are intelligent animals, and, believe it or not, they definitely have emotions. This method is quick and humane. If the squirrel is a mother raising babies, you should try to delay removal if at all possible. In that event, please wait until the babies are weaned so they can survive on their own following removal.

  1. Begin with a thorough inspection of the outside of your house. You want to find an opening where the squirrel comes and goes. Look for cracks, loose boards, holes, or other gaps. Once you have found one hole, don’t assume that is the only entrance. Check to see if there are other ones, as well.
  2. Seal up all entrances but one. This will force the squirrel to exit where you want it to. You will need caulking, steel wool, and sealant for this job. Embed steel wool into the caulking you use to fill the holes; this will prevent the squirrel from chewing through it, as steel wool irritates their teeth. Buy a one-way exclusion funnel. This is a special kind of device that is shaped like a funnel. It is humane—please ensure you do not purchase a lethal trap. The funnel works by excluding the squirrel once it has exited to go foraging for food. Place the larger end around the opening the squirrel is using. When the squirrel exits, a door in the funnel will fall into place behind it, effectively preventing it from re-entering.
  3. Install the funnel, following the instructions provided on the package. Make sure the bigger end is securely affixed to your home so that it will not come loose. 
  4. Now it is time to put your plan into action to scare the squirrel out and keep it from wanting to return. Place some large spotlights in the attic, along with a set of loudspeakers. Dawn is a good time because the squirrel is likely still resting. When it is first starting to get light outside, turn on the lights and the music simultaneously. You want it to be bright, loud, and sudden! Think ACDC blasting you awake at 5 a.m.—now that’s scary! The squirrel will bolt for the exit. It is also crucial that you remember to close the entrance into your living quarters, so the squirrel can’t go the wrong way in its frantic need to escape. The last thing you want is for it to enter the main part of your house like the one pictured above.
  5. Ensure that all squirrels have left the attic before removing the funnel, then apply caulking as you did in step 2.
  6. After that is done, use the sealant to liberally cover all areas you caulked. Another idea is to take some hot sauce and cover these areas as well. The spicy hot sauce will burn their mouths and deter them if they decide they want to come back inside. 
Product photo of a Tomahawk squirrel excluder funnel made of heavy wire mesh and formed into a rectangular shape.

Tomahawk excluder funnel.

Now comes one of the hardest tasks—the cleanup. Depending on how long and how many squirrels have been using your attic, you may have a serious cleanup ahead of you. If so, you may want to involve a professional nuisance-wildlife operator, who will be equipped to clean up proficiently. There will be droppings and any contaminated insulation to be removed, as well as disinfection and odor elimination. 

Whatever option you choose, please do not hire an exterminator who will kill the squirrel. Humane wildlife removal experts will release the squirrel, alive and well, into a suitable habitat. If you decide to do it on your own, do some research on how to clean and disinfect—your health may seriously depend on it. Visit Wildlife Removal USA to find a professional humane wildlife remover for your area.

More reading:

How to humanely remove wildlife from people spaces   
Why you should create a backyard wildlife habitat   
In your yard: fireflies   

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