As cute as they are, squirrels can pose a real problem if they manage to get inside your home. They gnaw through boards, electrical wiring, and even chew on household items. Thankfully, there are a variety of measures for squirrel removal. These include denying access, physical deterrents, and traps—all of which you can do yourself if you are hesitant to call pest control.

What are the best DIY ways to get rid of squirrels? Read on to find out.


If you can stop the squirrels from ever making it into your house, it will make getting rid of them more manageable.

Fear of predators

Pets can act as a deterrent, especially if it chases them. If you don’t have pets, you can still use the squirrel’s avoidance of predators to ward them off.

  • Place a few large plastic owls in highly visible spots.
  • Buy predator urine and spray it around the yard. Just remember that you’ll need to reapply after rain or watering the garden.

Remove food sources

Any food you have out in your yard is fair game for the squirrels. 

  • Remove bird feeders
  • Only feed your pet at mealtimes, rather than leaving them with a full food bowl
  • If you use food scraps in the garden, consider getting a compost bin that squirrels can’t access.

Make squirrel access difficult

  • Secure your yard with a quality fence, without gaps. For example, use brick, metal sheeting, or tightly placed palings.  
  • Place “squirrel baffles” (metal banding at least two feet wide that circles your trees and poles) about six to eight feet off the ground. This will prevent squirrels from climbing up.


If squirrels have made it past the outer defenses and control measures to nest in your home, the easiest way to deal with them is to hire professionals. However, if you want to try and get rid of them yourself, there are steps you can take.

Squirrel repellents

You can try to repel the squirrels using any of the following:

  • Cloths soaked in cider vinegar 
  • Commercial squirrel repellent
  • White pepper, black pepper, or cayenne 

One-way exclusion door

This allows the squirrels to move out, but prevents them from coming back in. Before installing it, check the nest for babies; they will die without their parents, who will continue to try and get back in if their young are still inside.

  1. Inspect the building for entry points
  2. Use mesh or polyurethane to seal all but the main entrance
  3. Install a one-way exclusion door over the main entrance

Trapping squirrels

If all else fails, traps are another option. Just check your state laws; some areas don’t allow the trapping of squirrels, particularly grey ones, without a permit.

  • Set the live traps in the attic, using apple slices, nuts, or peanut butter for bait. Once set, check the traps at least twice a day. 


Once you’ve caught the squirrels, you can either take them out and release them into a local park yourself (check state regulations first) or call for animal control to collect them. Just make sure that you have sealed up all the holes in your house so that they can’t bother you again.