Squirrel Control in Attics

Type in the words “squirrels in attic” in your favorite search engine, and you’re sure to be dumbfounded with the lack of good information out there. You’re probably at your wits’ end trying to figure out what’s actually worth your time and money when it comes to getting rid of squirrels.  Here is a short analysis of my findings:

Popular Solutions for Squirrel Control

The most popular method is trapping—DIY or hiring a professinal to do it for you.  If you’re looking for the most bang for the buck (without firing a gun), finding a great Pest Management Professional or Wildlife Control Operator is difficult.  Some companies do offer a free estimate and inspection, but many will charge you simply to say they can’t help.  If you were to attempt trapping on your own, traps generally cost at least $20.  Consider that you might not have just one squirrel, there could be a whole family living in your attic.  This adventure would require a couple of traps, or multiple attempts using one trap.  This is assuming it is even to legal for you to trap them in your state or that trapping will even work.

If you catch a squirrel, the final step in using a trap requires you to release the squirrel(s) back into the wilderness. Before you take that basket in through the woods and far away, you have to make sure that your state does not consider it illegal to release a trapped animal back to the wild.  Where do you live?  How far are you willing to drive?  Squirrels can often find their way back home after being released more than 20 miles away!  Most places require that you dispose of the animal on your property.  The dilemma of where to release the animal ignores the basic fact that trapping itself is ineffective.  If you do succeed in trapping a squirrel living in your attic, there’s always another squirrel waiting to take over the terrritory and your home! Trapping a few squirrels is more or less trapping your money.

Putting Food in Your Attic as Bait is Nuts

Sorry, but I’ve been doing this too long, and know that when you place bait like peanut butter in your attic you’re actually drawing in more squirrels.  The smell of peanut butter and nuts is delicious, and after you have used a baited trap and caught a squirrel, the aroma will linger in  your attic attracting more squirrels.  They might also be smart and not to take the bait and just go about their business of running accross your attic and chewing apart your house.

Fox Scent

Fox Scent should only be used on minor problems and at the entrance hole.  You want to make sure that the squirrels already have their second hole chewed or dug they use for escape.  If you use the fox scent when there is only one hole the squirrels will become frantic.  They may quickly chew a second hole next to the first or somewhere else because they will want to get their babies out as fast as possible.  The Fox Scent option is not successful in the most serious problems where squirrels have lived in your attic for years.  This option may work for gardens but indoors squirrels are more persistant because they might have a family to protect.


Mothballs contain dangerous chemicals like naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene (it really is as bad as it sounds!)  Napthalene gives off a volatile vapor, and both are considered carcinogenic (that’s cancer causing).  Obviously an attic that spans your whole house would require a lot of mothballs, which is very dangerous.  Squirrels seem to sense that danger too, I have seen them diligently throwing moth balls  out the attic.

Chili Peppers

Real life isn’t a cartoon.  Chilli peppers are an inhumane way of treating a squirrel problem. A squirrel will get the pepper covered all over their face and it really burns!  They also won’t know know that this means they should move to a new attic.  The squirrel will learn to avoid the chili powder in the future.

Squirrels are smart animals and once they have been in your house for a few months they think they are part of your family.  Why would a squirrel think that you don’t want them there?  You are leaving a warm, unoccupied, spacious apartment open for the taking.  You’ll need quite an eviction notice to push them out.

Running Away At First Sight

Our strobe lights needed are not the ones you find flashing at your favorite dance spot or the ones your neighbor used to spook tricker-treaters this year.  If they were, I think they would’ve proven inadequate in the beginning.  The required strobe lights are high-intensity.  The noise really is minimal (like the ticking of a clock) but the constant blast of light is nauseating. Imagine you had eyes like a squirrel, sitting high on either side of your head.  You wouldn’t have to turn your head to see all around you! Once hung in an attic or crawlspace the the strobe lights are multi-directional and create an umbrella effect that covers the whole attic.

You will love this solution because it works.  I struggled with squirrel problems in my own attic for 25 years.  Once I installed the Evictor Strobe Light in my own attic I knew I had a winner because the squirrels left the first night!