Some squirrels make noise at night under my roof.

How can I make them leave, without resorting to using poison or hurting them?


4 Answers 4


We had the same problem some years ago, except it were fat dormice instead of squirrels.

Sooo cute...

Cute tots. And annoying tots.

At first, we tried to find the place where they came into the house, and after some time we found that they used to climb a telephone pole across the street, clamber across the telephone cable and enter through a small gap right under the roof.

The gap was wide and hard to block completely, so we built a special blockade out of steel sheet and put it directly onto the cable - and it worked great!

The last step was to catch the dormice left inside the house, what we did by using a big live trap (constructed for rats) in the attic and apples as bait. This worked so well that we sometimes even caught two fat dormice at the same time.

We kept them in a big cage and fed them with apples and vegetables until the last was caught, and then drove them far into the wild where we released them all together. Hopefully, they were able to start a new life far away from human buildings.

Poison: Apart from animal welfare, I think poison is still a bad idea, because what if a squirrel dies from it somewhere under your roof? It would start to rot and stink terribly, and likely you won't be able to get it out.

  • 3
    Anectodal evidence: when my mum was hunting down a rat, she tried poison (left alone), rat traps (shut, eaten out but with no rat trapped) and some other tricks too, then resorted to putting poisoned food as a bait into the traps - which resulted in an empty trap and a poisoned rat somewhere in the house. Somewhere. In the house. Rotting, stinking, dead rat. It took six to eight weeks to find it. Finally it was discovered inside our stove, burnt to a crisp, stuck to the gas pipe and almost impossible to remove. Mar 13, 2015 at 7:18
  • 1
    There are some poisons that dry up the pest. I've used it once, found a rodent mummy, no stinky scents
    – Just Do It
    Dec 10, 2015 at 19:35
  • As long as the corpse of the poisoned animal is not exposed to moisture, it will just dry out and not smell. May 30, 2018 at 16:53

When I had problems with squirrels in my garden, I was told that using coyote urine worked as a squirrel repellent; litter critters are scared of big things like that, and leaving a scent is a good way to make them think that there's something scary that recently came to the neighborhood, and they'll leave.

It may need to be refreshed from time to time, I think it's a week or two....try it, and see how long it takes for them squirrels to come back.

You can find it on Amazon, for much cheaper than I was honestly expecting.

Good luck! :)

  • 1
    You can buy coyote urine on Amazon? I keep telling people you can get anything you want from Amazon. But... wow
    – RedSonja
    Mar 13, 2015 at 7:44

I have a similar problem. Squirrels scamper across my roof. I don't mind the noise, but I don't want them to put holes in my roof with their antics. So let's run through our options together:

  • Plug any holes in your eaves or roof! Squirrels probably love the warmth coming from your house, it's cold out there in the winter for us & them! If you eliminate areas where they can get in or get warm, you'll de-incentivize them.
  • Cut back branches that lead to your roof. Generally, this is how squirrels like to get on your home. It won't prevent them 100%, but they're also probably using your roof as a nice, flat (for them) roadway, so if there isn't something to get to at each end of the road, they're going to be less likely to use it.
  • Trap them (have-a-heart or otherwise). The squirrels are probably especially hungry in the winter, so put out some standard squirrel fare squirrel caviar, like peanut butter.
  • Shoot those squirrels: Squirrel sandwich Apparently they have a little meat on them, how exotic! Personally, I am leery of eating small rodents, though.

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  • I'm downvoting because, even though your first three points are very helpful, you're fourth goes directly against the question, which specifically says "without resorting to using poison or hurting them." I also think a link to what I assume is a video of people killing squirrels, blatantly violates the intent of the question. May 20, 2015 at 20:54

Humane live capture traps work. I've seen the Havahart type capture squirrels over and over, placed outside on the ground near the base of a tree that leads to the roof. Plug the roof holes too, during the day after making noise in the attic, so you shouldn't imprison one in the attic (in which case it will probably burrow its way out and give you a new hole - squirrels can dig through wood surprisingly quickly).

However it may take many such relocations, and you may need to take them a long distance, preferably across a body of water, or just to someplace even better for squirrels, such as a large wooded area (because they can find their way back - like many animals, squirrels can home in on old haunts). I have seen this work though if done enough to an attractive and distant enough destination. Not only does this not hurt them, but you may even bring them to someplace better to live.

If your house design allows, you can also give access to the roof or roof-entry areas to cats and/or dogs.

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