Wildlife Education - Information, Advice, and Techniques for the Safe Trapping of Squirrels

Steps to make your own one-way door

Many people ask me how to build a one-way funnel to get the squirrels out. It's not easy on a first try, and there might be some failures - if you do it wrong, or at the wrong time of year, you might end up with the disaster of squirrels that are stuck inside, that frantically chew wood, wire, or the drywall right into your house, and if they don't get out, they die and rot and stink. So if you're going to do it, do it right!

NOTE: I have received so many requests for professional help with squirrel trapping, that I have made this complete listing of hundreds of professional squirrel removal experts who I trust, serving every city in the USA.



How to make one way funnel doors to get squirrels out of a house - To make a one way funnel door for exclusion or traps you will need to access the size of the hole that is going to hook into the funnel. The basic idea behind a one way door is that an animal can exit the building but cannot turn around and go back inside. This is accomplished by using a wire funnel or a spring-loaded door. The funnel method allows a critter to push their way through a tube constructed of wire mesh or a similar substance.

Buy half inch, or better yet, quarter inch hardware cloth. Roll it into a tube, maybe 8 inches long. The end of the tube is angles inward and has pointed edges, usually the ends of the wire. Leave flanges on the attachment end, so you can bolt it to the building. Architecture can be tricky. Sometimes you can screw it in, sometimes you have to seal it in with sealant.

When a squirrel or rat pushes their way through, the wire ends come back together behind them. Holes that have a spring-loaded door act in similar fashion to a pet door (only the nuisance animal can’t go back inside). The door is larger than the hole. Any animal exiting can push through to the outside only to have the door spring shut, completely sealing the opening off. Your springs will need to be strong enough to resist the efforts of a determined pest animal. One way door traps are not to be used without caution. Sometimes there is no other way to get an animal out of the home, but keep in mind that a lot of these animals have infants while they live inside of the building. One way door trapping is best done when babies are old enough to venture out with the mother.

I believe that nuisance wildlife should always be dealt with humanely. But the methods are not always so cut-and-dry. Read more on my about David Seeveld page.

Here is a customer email about one-way doors for squirrel removal:

David, hello, Thank you for your auto-reply to the e-mail that I sent to you. It must be difficult, if not impossible, to answer everyone’s questions about squirrel removal. But, I would still like to ask you a question about the method of removing them from behind an attic wall. Since three weeks ago, multiple squirrels have invaded the walls of the finished attic in my home. I have called a professional animal removal company to fix problem. They have been out to my property 5 times to set and remove traps since I hired them two weeks ago, and will be back again today.

The problem is: I cannot understand how their strategy will work...

1) There are multiple animals in the attic.
2) They set one trap on the roof, on the opposite side of the hole where the animals are entering. (I understand the positioning - it is near the tree which is providing access to my roof.
3) The access hole is covered with a piece of cardboard, which is intended to monitor the in-and-out movement of the animals.
4) During the day, and night, squirrels have entered the trap on 5 occasions (with others still in the house).
5) The trap and cardboard monitoring device are re-set.
6) I am told by the "technician" that they must wait for 5 to 7 days of "non-activity" (i.e.: the cardboard monitor not being breached) before a "temporary" patch can be installed to cover the entry point. (BTW: there are at least three vulnerable points).

This process makes no sense to me. Why are we not covering the access hole somehow with a "one way trap" or one-way (out) door? Or, if that's not possible, make the hole impassable for the time being, and install a one-way trap inside the home (attached to an interior wall)? To me, that would make common sense. It seems to me that squirrels will continue to invade as long as there is an "open "door" for them to run through - right? We could play this "catch-one-squirrel-a-day" game indefinitely... There are a lot of squirrels in this neighborhood.... Does the above procedure make any sense to you? To me, this situation will not end until the squirrels’ environment is sealed, with a single one-way (out) exit door.

I see that you've recommended vendors on your website (I am in Oak Park, IL (suburban Chicago). I don't want to just whimsically hire-and-fire vendors. But, my confidence in the vendor I hired is shaken, and I need some advice. Can you help guide me to a decision?

As for today, it looks like I'm making another call to repeat the above process (at $75 per pop). I have an animal in the trap, and I'm obliged to remove it....

I appreciate your reply and help...

Regards,
Tom

MY ANSWER: That's a very straightforward situation you have. Seal the secondary holes, and mount a one-way door or repeater trap on the main entry/exit hole. Two-trip job, done. Your current guy doesn't know what he's doing. If you hire someone else, ask on the phone if they use one-way doors or repeater traps.

David, hi,

Thank you so much for your rapid reply. I don't know anything about trapping animals. But, I can't make any common sense out of what they are doing. I don't mind naming the vendor: ____, Schaumburg, IL. Nice enough people on the phone and in person. But, they don't know what they're doing. (Or worse yet, they do know what they're doing.....). There is a squirrel in their trap right now, and I'm afraid that animal is going to have to stay there overnight. I'm firing ____ tomorrow morning. I will have them pick up their equipment, and the squirrel, and leave. $375.00 for nothing. I have called a vendor named "____", Elmhurst, IL. I will ask him about one-way doors. There are several YouTube videos showing how this is done. I would think a professional could do this easily.

I see that you recommended a vendor on your website: ____. The other Illinois vendor is a little too far from my home. If things don;t work out with ____, I will call ____.

If that animal in the trap suffers overnight, I blame ____ for that. If they had set up the proper equipment, that squirrel would have been gone first thing this morning...

Thank you so much for your time.

Regards,
Tom
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