There is a squirrel in my attic!
I received a question about how to get rid of a squirrel in the attic. This is a common and unwanted problem that homeowners have to deal with unfortunately. Let me set the stage for you. You're lying in bed and hear the scampering of little feet above your ceiling and scratching sounds and you can't fall asleep. What do you do?
You have a few options open to you. You can go to your local pest control shop or your local Home Depot store and buy a live trap or a humane trap. This will only work if you have an open attic without a floor where you will be able to put this trap out in the area of activity. Bait the trap with peanut butter or nuts and carefully, let me say that again, carefully place the trap in the area you hear activity or the closest to it. Be careful not to fall through the ceiling and be careful not to get attacked by the squirrel!
Your other option would be to look and see where the squirrel is coming into your house from. Is there a piece of flashing that has come away fro the house or is there is hole that he is getting into? Then you can go up there and put a sticky repellent that most pest control stores will sell you called "for the squirrels" or even "for the birds" around the hole entrance. This sticky repellent will agitate the squirrel as he goes in and out for food and he will not return. You may have to re-apply this a few times. You also must take care not to stain your siding. It can be messy. After the noise has stopped at night you must seal the hole to prevent him from returning.
I wouldn't recommend just sealing the hole without first knowing for sure that he is out because he may panic and find his way to an area of the house you don't want him. Also there is the chance he will die up there and you will eb dealing with an odor and a possible fly problem. Trapping and/or exclusion is your best bet.
Some other tips to avoid this problem would be to prune back any tree branches that fall on your roof and utility companies have squirrel guards that they put around wires that go into houses or near the roof to prevent squirrels from climbing the wire. Also don't feed the cute squirrels. They will never go away!