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How To Catch Squirrels

09.25.2006 - The best way to catch squirrels is with a cage trap.  There are lethal traps available, but there's no need to kill squirrels, and lethal traps are dangerous to use, and in my opinion, less effective than cage traps.  In the above photo, I'm holding three types of cage traps.

The two traps on top are Havahard 1045 traps.  They work well, but they are limited to flat areas with enough room.  The door slides up vertically, and it needs enough space.  It comes down due to gravity when a squirrel steps on the trip pan and a bar triggers the door to slide down and shut.

The next two traps are a better design.  They have an internal door with a spring, and the door slams shut when the squirrel walks on the trip pan.  These traps can be set at any angle, since they don't rely on gravity, and in tight spots, since the door is internal.

The bottom trap is one that I commonly use to catch multiple squirrels at the same time out of an attic.  It's a repeater trap, and you can see that there's three squirrels in this one trap.  It has a one-way door with a torsion spring.  I just mount it right on the hole that the squirrels use to exit the building.  They go out several times each day for food and water.  They have no other way to go but through the one-way door, and then they are trapped.  This design can trap up to six squirrels at once (that's the most I've caught, anyway), or perhaps even more.

To have success at catching squirrels, you should set the traps at the holes the squirrels are using to enter and exit the attic.  Or, if you are trapping squirrels in a different scenario, in which they aren't in the attic, set the traps where the squirrels most commonly frequent.  I often bolt traps to roofs, in trees, on fences, etc.  Location is very important.

Bait is easy.  I just use peanut butter and peanuts.  Squirrels go nuts for these baits.  They're cheap and easy and delicious, and there's no need to use anything else.

Sometimes you have to be patient to catch squirrels, but not usually.  They are very easy to catch with the right tools.  Once you've caught them, be sure to relocate them as soon as possible, and don't leave them in a trap for too long, or they might injure themselves or become dehydrated.  That's it, that's how you catch squirrels.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Squirrels page for tips and advice.
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