One Way Door To Remove Squirrels

10.14.2004 - One of the most common ways that I solve a problem with squirrels in the attic is via the use of a one-way door.  The principle is simple: the squirrels are going in and out of the house, through one of more holes that they've chewed open or that already exist.  I find those holes and block up all but one of them, the most heavily used one, and install a one-way door that will allow the squirrels to get out of the attic, but not back in.  Sometimes, because squirrels are prone to chew on wood to get back in, I use a one-way door with a cage attached, such as shown in the above photo.  I just call this a repeater trap, and it catches up to six squirrels at a time.  It's great for getting them all at once as they come out!

In the case of this job, squirrels were entering an attic through a round gable vent with no steel screen.  I put up a large square steel screen with an opening for the repeater trap, and caught three squirrels (though only one is seen in this photograph).  I could have used just a one-way door if I wanted to, but I wanted to remove the persistent squirrels from this building.  Once I get them all out for sure, I will install a heavy steel screen from INSIDE the attic, so that it looks nice and no squirrels can get in again.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Squirrels page for tips and advice.
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Below are two emails I've received about squirrels using gable vents and the one-way door solution:

I have seen a squirrel entering our attic through the gable vent. We went up in the attic to make some noise to scare it off but didn't see it come out. One of the biggest problems is that this is not a full time residence. We put some hardware cloth up over the opening with enough room to get out but hard to get in. We don't want it to die and stink up the place. Also, don't want to use poison since there are dogs on the property and are afraid of them getting secondary poisoning. Can you help us? This house is located in Buffalo, TX 75831. Or do you know some one who could? Please give me a call on my cell. THANK YOU so much. We can't find any squirrel traps in our town or surrounding towns. We need help, please, Mindy

ANSWER: Mindy, It's never a good idea to use poison, so you have the right mindset there.  Some noise will not scare the squirrel out of the attic.  The installation of hardware cloth that's easy to get out but not back in is the right idea, but I don't know if you've set it up properly.  I use special one-way doors to get squirrels out in this manner.  I will give you the name of a local Texas trapper to help you with your situation. - David
Hi, My name is Jamie and I live in western Kentucky. I am wondering if you have anyone in my area that could rid my attic of what I believe to be squirrels - I believe the only way they are getting in is through the gable vents - and I cannot access my attic (old house, attic just has a very small opening). I had the trees trimmed last year, but I noticed during the last ice storm we had they were climbing on trees and jumping to my roof and the power lines... I see no obvious openings where they could get in, but I hear them and it is just driving me crazy because of the possible damage they are doing to my attic. It will need to be thoroughly cleaned and inspected after the squirrels are gone. Any suggestions or referral would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Jamie

ANSWER: A very good way to solve this problem is to install new heavy steel screens on the gable vents, but with a hole that allows the squirrels to get out via a one-way door.  I will give you the name of a good trapper in KY.  - David

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