How to Remove Squirrels from the Attic
by Ruby Bayan
Squirrels are wild animals that nest in crevices and hollows of trees. Sometimes they gnaw their way into our homes and take residence in our cozy attics. When you hear those scratching noises up there, check the gutters and vents for openings that the squirrels have created to enter your home. The objective is to remove the squirrels and keep them out. Here's a safe and humane way to do it.
What you'll need:
Galvanized wire mesh or "hardware cloth" (1/2" mesh, 19 gauge)
Spring with long tails
Small metal rod
What to do:
Part 1: Build a one-way door.
1. Use a wire cutter to cut a piece of wire mesh about a foot longer and wider than the squirrel's entry hole. This will serve as the base mesh of the one-way door.
2. Mark a section in the middle of the base mesh to serve as the frame of the one-way door. The frame should be just a little bigger than the squirrel's entrance hole. Snip only three sides of the frame and fold out the cut portion along the fourth side. The folded out portion will serve as one of the walls around the one-way door.
3. Cut additional sections of wire mesh to form the other three walls around the door. Attach the walls to the base mesh by folding the protruding wires or tying them down with wire strands.
4. Cut another section of wire mesh to serve as the swinging door. It should be longer than the door frame to allow an overlap to the wall, so that a squirrel trying to get back in can't squeeze under it.
5. Attach the topside of the swinging door to the base mesh; make sure the door can swing freely.
6. Slide the spring into the metal rod and attach the rod to the junction point of the swinging door and base mesh. Set the spring to allow the door to open when the squirrel attempts to go out, but keep the door closed when the squirrel attempts to can't get back in.
Part 2: Keep the squirrels out.
1. Use a staple gun to install the one-way door over the squirrel's entrance hole.
2. Keep the one-way door over the hole for two to three days. This will ensure that all the squirrels have exited because they have to go out to eat.
3. Replace the one-way door with a permanent patch by stapling down an aluminum sheet that the squirrels can't gnaw through.
Do not leave the one-way door over the hole for more than three days because the squirrel will cling onto the wire mesh to chew out a new entry hole on the bare wall as it tries to get back in.
Paint the aluminum patch to coordinate with your house's exterior colors.
Squirrels can easily climb overhanging tree branches, trellises, screens and downspouts. Check the house regularly in case a squirrel has succeeded in entering your attic.
If there are more than one entry holes to the attic, close off all the holes with an aluminum sheet except the one where you will install the one-way door.
Always wear protective gear when handling tools and potentially hazardous materials.
Contributed to eHow.com by Ruby Bayan, Home & Garden Topic Expert 2007-2010
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