Squirrel infestations are one of the most common pest problems Bergen County homeowners face. Fortunately, though, there are a few relatively simple ways to rid your attic of squirrels. However, it’s not quite the squirrel trapping extravaganza most people envision. Rather, you need to follow a few strategic steps to outsmart the squirrels and get them outside of your home where you can then keep them from reentering your home. One factor that often complicates matters is that more often than not there are also babies in the attic along with the adult – female in most cases. So having a plan and calling in a professional in the event that you’ve "bitten off more than you can chew" is essential to successfully eliminate squirrels from your home.
1. Locate entry points.
Before you can do anything to get rid of the squirrels, you need to figure out how they’re getting in. In most cases, squirrels create a number of different entrances by chewing through weakened roofing material or boards. In some cases, the fuzzy creatures will locate preexisting entrances and take advantage of an easy way in. At any rate, your first step toward remedying the problem is locating any feasible entryways for you unwelcomed Bergen County house guests.
2. Seal all but one entrance.
Once you’ve located all of the entry points, you’ll want to securely seal all of them but one. This step will give you more control over trapping the squirrels and getting them out of your house. Keep in mind that these tiny animals are able to squeeze through nearly any opening, so you’ll want to seal off even the less obvious openings, like around doors and windows.
Take care in securing wire mesh over an open chimney and any vents on the outside of your home. Likewise, fill in any holes you find with caulk, steel wool, new bricks, or even dirt if appropriate. A professional can offer suggestions for how to seal your home effectively, but remember to leave one open access point.
The point you leave open should be the most obvious and most easily accessible entryway. After sealing all of the other entryways place a sheet of newspaper over the final entrance and monitor the activity. If you no longer hear the squirrels in your house and the paper remains intact for a few days, then it is safe to proceed in sealing off the final hole as well.
3. Lure the squirrels out of your home.
Getting the squirrels out of your New Jersey house will likely take a little ingenuity, especially if the squirrel has already given birth to a litter of young. If that is the case, the adult will leave at frequent intervals to gather food for the young. If you choose to, you can seal the final hole once the adult has left; however, you will have to have the baby squirrels removed by a Bergen County professional.
Should you instead choose to drive out the squirrels, you’ll want to attempt this as soon as you first hear signs of the pests. Disturbing their peaceful, cozy environment is one way to get squirrels to leave. Start by blasting loud music and leaving bright lights on in the attic to frighten the squirrels away. If that does not work, consult a New Jersey professional for more suggestions.
It is important in any case, though, to avoid the attic if the squirrels are present. Though they appear cute and fuzzy, squirrels can actually be quite dangerous, particularly if they are scared.
4. Catch the squirrels in traps.
Once you have eliminated all but the one entry point, you can actually stage a trap to capture the squirrels and remove them from your property. You also have a few different options when considering what type of traps to use.
Although live-capture traps allow you to capture the pest alive, you’d still be responsible for dealing with the animal once you’ve trapped it. This process generally involves euthanasia or setting the animal free a safe distance from your home – both of which require special permits in some states. Kill-traps are actually the more humane option in most cases, as they quickly and safely eliminate the rodent. At any rate, both of these traps are generally "box traps" that can be situated near the entryway and in the line of noted activity.
A final type of trap that is often used in New Jersey is a body-gripping trap. This contraption is actually placed immediately outside of the entry point you have reserved and is designed to capture the squirrel as it enters or exits your home.
5. Prevent squirrels from reentering your home.
Once you have successfully eliminated the squirrels from your home, it’s crucial to take effective measures to prevent any future infestations. If squirrels can get in your attic, then wildlife of almost any type can find a way in. Begin by first sealing any entry points as described above. Be sure to also check door seals and window casings. Likewise, keep trees and vegetation surrounding your Bergen County home at manageable proportions. If you currently have trees or bushes overhanging your home, trim them back away from the roof, windows, and attic. You may also want to place box traps strategically around the outside of your home to capture any pests before they have a chance to enter your home. However, if you have small children or pets, take care in how you place traps to prevent injuries.
While you may have success treating your squirrel issue on your own, consulting a pest management professional is really the safest, most effective route to take. Not only do these professionals know how to eliminate pests, but they also know how to keep them out for good. Just be sure to keep that in mind as your plan your strategy and don’t be afraid to call for a little backup in New Jersey if necessary.