Squirrels in the Attic?

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Dear Edda,

I have squirrels in my attic.  What should I do?


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Dear Puzzled,

Sometimes I amuse myself so much making up smart-ass answers to questions just like yours.  They say that the most important person to amuse is oneself.  So thank you for that question.

But seriously. Squirrels are so cute and also can be so destructive inside the walls of your house.  You have to get them out, but you also have to make sure they can’t get back in.


Live traps work, but then you have to figure out where to put the little varmints.  Not in your yard, or your neighbor’s. You have to drive very far away.  With a bunch of squirrels in the back of your car. Or you could set up a stand in the front yard and make little costumes for them and sell them to passersby.  Maybe you didn’t see that movie? 

After you get rid of the squirrels, make sure you seal up every possible place they can get in. Air vents, little cracks in doors, basement access, nooks and crannies.  Remember, they are really good diggers. 

This is going to be a very long and frustrating process.  And there’s a good chance that you will get a little obsessed with the whole subject of squirrels. Try not to talk about it too much or you will lose friends.  Trust me on this. It happened to a friend of mine. Also, I hear they hate the smell of peppermint.


Edda is not a medical professional but a local lady who loves to give out advice, even when it's not asked of her. Submit your question to ed@edhat.com for Edda to answer.

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mtndriver Sep 28, 2020 11:39 AM
Squirrels in the Attic?

So, Edda, what about ground squirrels? Digging long burrows, destroying veggies--actually taking ripe tomatoes off the vine--eating avocados, undermining trees, etc.

EastBeach Sep 28, 2020 10:56 AM
Squirrels in the Attic?

Tree squirrels are diurnal (except for some flying squirrels which are nocturnal). Our neighborhood had a large influx of Eastern Fox squirrels after the Thomas Fire (they have tinges of orange/red). They are non-native and the most common in our urban areas. When your attic gets hot in the afternoon and they've gone outside to forage, block off any outside access. If they have reached pest levels, I found the Havahart traps work OK but a neighbors has used those electronic rat zappers successfully (the large fox squirrels barely fit inside). There are "taking" rules which vary by locale.

EastBeach Sep 28, 2020 11:05 AM
Squirrels in the Attic?

And if you see an all-gray tree squirrel with some white and no orange/red, that's a native Western Gray squirrel (aka California Gray squirrel). They don't like to hang out with humans so unlikely to see in urban areas. I've mostly seen them up north in forested areas.

PitMix Sep 28, 2020 08:19 AM
Squirrels in the Attic?

They must leave at night to search for food, right? Then you can block their access. They can run across wires so you have to block them as well. In my neighborhood the cars slowly take care of the problem because they get squashed trying to cross the street.

paglinsb Sep 27, 2020 11:35 AM
Squirrels in the Attic?

Or call a professional pest control company such as Lenz.

a-1601230908 Sep 27, 2020 11:21 AM
Squirrels in the Attic?

10:44 - do the lights have to stay permanently? or, I guess if the squirrels come back, you put the lights back again? BTW - I have tried putting a radio up to the roof vents, but it didn't work.

a-1601232209 Sep 27, 2020 11:43 AM
Squirrels in the Attic?

You have to find where they were getting in and block it.

a-1601228681 Sep 27, 2020 10:44 AM
Squirrels in the Attic?

My neighbor set up strobe lights in the attic and they left.

Lucky 777 Sep 27, 2020 09:29 AM
Squirrels in the Attic?

Since the Thomas fire my Valerio Canyon neighborhood has been populated with red squirrels. The ones who visit my yard are welcome to seed that falls from the bird feeders, and water from the fountain. They are so much more attractive than rats!

ParvoPup Sep 26, 2020 08:37 PM
Squirrels in the Attic?

Lots and lots of bats - squirrels hate bats.
Or snakes - one good five foot gopher snake will have those acorn eating rodents out of there lickety split.
Bad music - stick your Sonos speaker in the attic and play any pop song made in the last ten years and not only will the squirrels leave, but two of you neighbors will as well.

Minibeast Sep 26, 2020 08:08 PM
Squirrels in the Attic?

Contact Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network: (805) 681-1080. The organization knows animals and animal behavior. They can help. If you need a live trap: https://santabarbara.craigslist.org/for/d/santa-barbara-havahart-live-trap-3500/7177618576.html-------------That's the link for a live trap for sale on Craigslist right now. $35.00 isn't a bad price. After you've got rid of the Squirrels, you can donate the trap to SBWCN.

doulie Sep 27, 2020 12:20 PM
Squirrels in the Attic?

I can assure you after you have tried to eliminate your squirrels the "humane way" for a couple months, you will evolve into a "serial squirrel murderer." Squirrel's are very intelligent. If you catch one you should go buy a lottery ticket on the same day. I'm almost certain they have a network across the country that relays all the different ways someone has tried to eliminate them. This is what makes it very difficult to catch/trap them. Leaving lights on in the affected area simply makes it easier for them to find what they need for food or their nest. Also, using strobe lights, peanut butter, moth balls spread in the attic, etc., etc., is generally useless. If you listen closely, day/night, with no noise in your home, you can probably hear them talking and laughing as they stand around the "new trap" you placed to catch them. This is when you "go negative" on the cute little creatures and look for any way you can to eliminate the problem. This might trigger violence in your soul you and yours never dreamed possible.

Good luck, no matter how you decide to solve your problem.

Z Sep 26, 2020 06:59 PM
Squirrels in the Attic?

Edda, I think your correspondent was asking about dementia, not rodents.

Eggs Ackley Sep 27, 2020 10:27 AM
Squirrels in the Attic?

That would be bats in the belfry if I’m not mistaken.

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