There are many critters that will make themselves at home in your attic, but one of the most common is squirrels. These pests will often find their way into your house for one main reason: to have babies. Sounds cute, but they can be difficult to remove once they’ve claimed your attic as their nesting place!

If you find a squirrel in your attic between February and October it’s a safe bet that she’s in your home to build her den. It will be tempting to block their entry points and prevent them from entering your home, but this can be problematic for her babies. Don’t worry, there are a few ways to deal with squirrels in your attic that will also keep their nest safe!

Signs of squirrels and their babies in your attic

The first sign you’ll probably notice is the sounds squirrels make. You might hear scratching and scurrying noises on your ceiling pretty constantly, and once the babies are born you may hear the babies making noise as they call for food and start moving around the attic, especially at night and early in the morning.

The other obvious sign that you might have squirrels in your attic is the damage to shingles and siding around their entry point. This may be hard to spot as they generally need very small holes to get in, but if you are looking for damage it can become easy to see.

What to do if you find that a squirrel is living in your attic

Do nothing

This may seem counterintuitive, but squirrels typically don’t stick around for too long. They are most likely in your attic to build a den, so once the babies are around 4 months old, they will set out on their own. Once that happens you can close off the entrance and block the mother from re-entering.

Humane harassment

Squirrels find their way into your attic because it’s a dark, quiet and safe place to live and build a nest for babies. An easy way to encourage them to leave on their own is to make the space uncomfortable for them. Adding things like light, a radio or tv playing loudly or a rag soaked in ammonia or vinegar to the entrance or nesting area helps to make them view the area as less safe and secure.

Remove them

This is a task to be taken on very carefully. If a squirrel has had babies, you have to be careful to remove the nest along with the mother or the babies are likely to starve to death. At this stage it is much easier to just wait until the babies start moving around and leave your home on their own, but it is possible to find the nest and remove it.

Squirrels are pests, but treat them carefully!

Squirrels can be an unwanted house guest, but they need to be treated carefully if there’s a chance their babies are with them. Removing the mom without looking for a nest can leave you with a nest full of babies too young to care for themselves, so they end up facing starvation. If you are unsure about how to find a nest in your attic or about how to remove it safely, contact a professional to help you!