Wildlife Education - How do I know if there are baby squirrels in the attic?

Baby squirrels in the attic



How do I know if there are baby squirrels in the attic? Mother squirrels will always build their nests in the attics especially if they are about to give birth. It is therefore one of the most secure places that they will opt for; they will build the nests near the openings like the unscreened vents. The first sign of squirrels in the attic is the sounds that they produce especially during the day. You will hear scampering and continuous scratching noises. This is the perfect opportunity to identify whether they are adult or baby squirrels.

If it is a mother squirrel, you will come across a nest built of cardboard, insulation and leaves. You have to be careful because there are very high chances that there are babies in the nests. If the babies are still young, they will not make any noises because they are still fragile and they have no clue of the surrounding. If they have matured a bit, you will hear those producing voices and jumping up and down in the attic because they are in their most active stage. Once you come across them, you can either get rid of them immediately or you can give them time to grow and leave their mother.

Get them out - Squirrels are a nuisance and you may be forced at some point to get rid of them before the babies have matured. It is a challenging procedure and you have to be extra careful in order to remove them without hurting them. The first thing is to find their entry point into the attic. If there are several of them, you have to ensure that you block them and leave out only one opening that will allow them to leave the attic on their own. When you are sure that the mother has left, you can carefully remove the baby squirrels without hurting them; they are harmless so you can pick them using your hands and place them in a bucket and then relocate them to a location where their mother can easily find them.

When there is only a mother squirrel in the squirrel and she has not yet given birth, you can try scaring her away; you can bang on the rafters and play loud music throughout the night. You can also soak balls of cotton in cider vinegar and throw them in the attic because squirrels usually detest their smell. It is therefore very important to identify the type of squirrels that have invaded your attic so that you can come up with the most relevant techniques that will help you get of rid of them. If you are not sure of what you are up to, you can contact the professionals who can help you out.

Read more about squirrel nest in the attic. Or about Will squirrels in the attic have a nest of babies?

Here's a letter from a reader who found a baby squirrel:

Hi David, I read your site a couple times over the past weeks, and wasn't sure if I had a squirrel or a mouse in my attic, because the timing you gave for a squirrel differed from my experience. This is my second winter that I am hearing nails in the attic. Nothing all summer. This winter more often than last! About 5 nights a week I am awoken by nails in the walls and ceiling, generally from 1:00am - 6:00am. This morning, my small have-a-heart trap (that I left up there for a couple months (with some dried up peanut butter) caught a baby squirrel. Now I am concerned to reunite it with the rest of its litter and mother. I gave it some water and shelled some peanuts (in the trap), and it went for the water and drank quite a bit. He is showing no interest in the peanuts, perhaps I need to try sunflower seeds, or a slice of an orange, as I see orange slices on your sites as bate. His tail is not fluffy yet, about 3" long and flat, still young, don't know if it is still nursing, because when it bites on the cage to try and get out, I can see its little teeth are almost invisible. Now after reading your site and the other site link you lead me to (Rockland County, NY), I think I should abandon my plan of getting more traps and catching the other siblings and mother and release them in the woods, far from here (before winter really sets in), now I think I should release the little guy, back in the attic (even though its family has probably left for the day, or are probably sleeping somewhere in the walls now, during the day, since they are obviously up all night. So perhaps this evening after dusk I will release it to be reunited, and then tomorrow morning, I seal entry points to the house, as I see some gaps around the front porch. (this weekend my husband will check the soffit. Is that the best approach? It seems weird to release something it took me so long to catch, but it might be my only option. -- I HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU. Thanks soooo much.

My response: That's odd. A squirrel of that size should still be nursing, and wouldn't usually enter a trap. Have you tried finding and sealing shut the openings that let the animals get into your house and attic?

Can't find an opening to the attic. Next spring I will cut down a tree that overhangs it. I brought the little guy to a vet's office that rehabilitates wildlife and sets them free somewhere else. Since I was hearing activity only between 1:00am and 6:00am, I was told it was probably a Flying Squirrel, because they are nocturnal. And the more he groomed himself the more his coat really began to look more golden. --don't know why he went in the trap, just old neglected with some dried up peanut butter. Probably just exploring. The next night i heard another set of nails and put three traps up there (to try and reunite the family). It has now been 3 days, no other trap caught anything, and i haven't heard them at night, so perhaps they sense danger and moved on, having lost a member. (I hope) Attached is a photo. You know what Dave. Since it is a nocturnal flying squirrel, do u have a clue when would be the best time to close the opening? The thing appears to go to bed at 6:00am. That means go out there and hammer at 5:00am:)

Read About Squirrels, or How do I know if there are baby squirrels in the attic? or Should I feed a baby squirrel I found?


Please be kind to squirrels! They are intelligent animals, and believe it or not, they definitely have emotions!
If you have any questions about squirrels in attics, just email me at david@squirrel-attic.com