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Coming across a wild squirrel in your back yard might seem like a novelty, but finding that squirrel in the actual building is likely to be a very different story. We recommend acting when you first see the squirrel, regardless of where you see it, but part of that action does not include getting so close to the animal that you can handle it with your hands.
To start with, squirrels and other wild animals must be handled whilst wearing thick, protective gloves — the thicker you can get, the more protective they will be. Thin, latex gloves are not going to do the job. Thick gardening gloves might. Squirrels have both sharp teeth and swiping claws, both of which have the potential to spread the rabies virus.
There are so many squirrel removal methods that you could fall back on without resorting to physical contact with the animal; we just don't recommend trying to touch it. As soon as you get close enough it will bolt, and once you lose it (especially in your home), there's a slim chance that you'll track it down again anytime soon. The only thing worse than finding a squirrel in your home, is losing that squirrel in your home.
If the squirrel is in your property — kitchens, bedroom, living room, etc., — you should try to find the animal a pathway right out of your home that doesn't cause it to come in contact with other animals or people. Shut doors so that it can't bolt into another room, and make sure hat your household pets are kept well away to avoid conflict. You should make sure that your kids are locked somewhere safe too — they'll probably be quite excited over the new intruder and the added tension in the room will just freak the poor squirrel out more.
If the squirrel is in your attic — a place that you can't easily remove it — you should be aware that there is a good chance the animal isn't alone. In fact, regardless of where you see the squirrel, there's a chance that it has a small, furry family hiding in the wings somewhere. This makes your life more difficult, but it also means that you will need much more than just rubber gloves to get the job done.
In order to handle squirrels safely, you should avoid handling them at all. Live cage traps can be used when you MUST make contact, and you can wear thick gloves, as well as taking other protection action, to ensure the safety of you and your family. Exclusion devices avoid the need to get too close at all, but none of these methods can keep you safe when you need to clean up any contaminated material, including feces, urine, materials that were used to create the nest or den, and even your private and personal belongings.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does squirrel removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of squirrels - my main squirrel removal info guide.
Example squirrel trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Squirrel job blog - learn from great examples of squirrel jobs I've done.
Squirrels in the attic - what to do to solve the problem.