4-Step Guide: How To Remove Flying Squirrels From Your Attic

Posted October 16, 2021 by in Lifestyle

Flying squirrels are amazing animals. Their long, flat tails and skin flaps between their front and rear legs allow them to glide up to 100 feet through the air, explaining the unique name. The problem is, while they may be fun to watch out in the wild, these critters can quickly turn into a serious nuisance when they find their way into area homes.

Because of their small size, many homeowners assume flying squirrels are relatively innocuous house guests. In fact, they can damage interior walls, insulation, cables, and electrical wiring, creating not just a nuisance but also a serious safety hazard. The question is, then, how can homeowners protect themselves?

The best solution is always to keep flying squirrels and other rodents out of the home. Homeowners who already have these rodents living in their attics should not despair, though. They can take action to keep the critters under control and prevent further damage by following the four steps below:

Step One: Consider Calling a Pest Control Service

By far the most effective method for removing flying squirrels from an attic is to leave the entire ordeal to the trained professionals. Pest control experts know everything there is to know about these nuisance critters. They can easily identify signs of an infestation and, if there are squirrels living in the home, the entry points they’ve used to get there.

Once an animal control specialist has identified a flying squirrel infestation, he or she can then take steps to remove them and prevent new populations from forming. The problem squirrels can be trapped and removed, and entry points can be sealed once all the squirrels are gone, preventing additional problems from occurring in the future.

Step Two: Apply a Squirrel Repellent

While calling an animal control specialist is by far the most effective way to get rid of flying squirrels and other nuisance critters, some homeowners prefer to try DIY solutions first. Homeowners who want to take this approach should first prioritize removing existing squirrels from their attic before moving on to preventing new infestations.

One way to get rid of any flying squirrels that are currently taking up residence in the attic and deter new ones from joining the population is to apply a dry repellent or a wet repellent spray. These squirrel repellents can be store-bought or made at home. The best option for most homeowners is to either buy or make pepper spray.

Whether homeowners want to apply a dry powder or liquid pepper spray, they should include ingredients that are great at repelling squirrels and other pests. Good options include:

  • Cayenne pepper
  • Paprika
  • Crushed red peppers
  • White or black pepper
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Jalapeno pepper

Keep in mind that applying dry or wet repellents is not meant to be an exclusive control strategy. It must be combined with exclusion methods and trapping of the remaining animals to be effective. Otherwise, the repellents will eventually break down and the squirrels will return to the comfort of their former homes.

Step Three: Identify and Seal Entry Points

Like most rodents, flying squirrels can fit through very small spaces. Even adult flying squirrels can fit through a one-inch square hole, which can make it difficult to identify how they’re getting in. Homeowners will need to go over every inch of their attics to find any potential entry point.

Once every entry point has been identified, homeowners should seal them. Good options for sealing entry points include:

  • Stainless steel or copper mesh
  • Sheet metal
  • Aluminum flashing

It’s fine to use caulk or foam sealant, as well, but keep in mind that these softer materials can eventually be chewed through. Homeowners who want to patch their attics and keep them looking good, as well as squirrel-free, can use caulk or foam over steel or copper mesh, then paint over it to improve its appearance.

If there are sections of rotted wood surrounding the holes, it’s best to cut them out and replace them. Flying squirrels and other nuisance rodents can also chew through rotted wood, and since they tend to follow the same paths as other squirrels, they’ll be more likely to find rotted areas near former or existing entry points.

Step Four: Trap Remaining Squirrels

Once homeowners have used a dry or wet repellent to get rid of as many squirrels as possible and patched up any holes to prevent them from coming back, it’s time to focus on the more stubborn rodents. They will need to be trapped and either killed or removed to remove them from the attic.

Homeowners have a few options when it comes to trapping squirrels. The problem is, not all of them are equally effective or equally humane. Live traps may seem like the most humane option, but they’re generally not

Flying squirrels are territorial, so trapping and removing the animals from the area won’t save them from death. It will only prolong their suffering since they won’t have food cached and a nest built for winter. 

Homeowners who are truly committed to preventing suffering will need to hire a wildlife control expert that specializes in live trapping and humane relocation. Otherwise, they’re better off purchasing snap traps that are lethal but do not cause the animals unnecessary suffering.

Get Started Now

The best time to deal with a flying squirrel infestation is as soon as residents notice that anything is amiss. If homeowners and their families have been hearing unusual noises at night, noticing unusual odors in the attic, or seeing signs of squirrel destruction, they should act immediately. If homeowners don’t take action quickly, the infestation will only get worse from there as female squirrels give birth and more critters move in.

While most homeowners think that taking a DIY approach to flying squirrel removal will save them money, that’s rarely the best solution. Inexperienced homeowners often wind up wasting time and money attempting to implement fixes that just won’t work unless they’re applied by a professional. It’s usually more cost effective in the long run to hire an animal control specialist who can quickly and efficiently remove the critters and seal up entry points to ensure that they won’t come back.