Wildlife Education - Information, Advice, and Techniques for the Safe Removal of Flying Squirrels

Flying Squirrel Removal



If you want to get rid of flying squirrels, the methods are fairly similar to the removal of Eastern Gray Squirrels. Except that Flying Squirrels can occur in much greater numbers, so a repeating trap is usually better than a single-animal cage trap. But the principles of mounting the trap(s) or exclusion doors on the entry/exit hole, plus sealing shut all other points of entry still apply. Flying squirrel removal can be tricky, because these animals are small and can go into very tiny holes and gaps.

Step 1) Inspect the attic and be sure that you are in fact dealing with flying squirrels - they are identifyable by their droppings, tracks, scent, or by visual confirmation.

Step 2) Inspect the outside of the house and find out how they are getting inside. It'll be high up, at roof level, and it could be a small entry, or several small entry points.

Step 3) Set traps - the best is a repeater trap mounted on the exit hole. Or, you can set a one-way exclusion door on the exit hole. Lethal snap traps will work, but there's no reason to use them.

Step 4) One they are all out, seal up the entry hole so it doesn't happen again. Use steel, so they can't chew through.

Step 5) Clean up the attic - decontaminate urine and feces.

Although flying squirrels can glide for long distances, 100 feet or more depending on the starting height, Eastern Gray Squirrels can also jump a fair distance. How far can a squirrel jump?

What To Know About Flying Squirrels - If you think you can hear all kinds of things scratching and scrabbling in the middle of the night you may well have an infestation of flying squirrels. Flying squirrels, unlike their earthbound cousins, are nocturnal, they are also extremely sociable and love to live in a colony – which means if you have one flying squirrel you most likely have a lot more. As with regular squirrels, the flying variety can also cause a lot of damage with the amount of chewing and gnawing they have to do in order to keep their ever-growing teeth to a manageable level.

The only way to successfully remove flying squirrels is by trapping them and then removing them far away from your property. Trapping one or two is not enough; you MUST make sure you have evicted every single flying squirrel from your attic. Since a colony can contain around 20 of these critters, you can see that the eviction process will be quite lengthy. In order to set traps effectively you will need to do some detective work to establish the flying squirrels entry and exit routes, you must then block all of them except one – forcing the critters to use the same route all the time. This is where you will then set your trap.

What To Do To Remove Flying Squirrels In Ceiling - If you think you have a flying squirrel in your ceiling you are probably wrong – you are more likely to have a whole colony of them!! Flying squirrels live in colonies and love to spread the news if they find a great place to live. The first thing you need to do when trying to remove your unwelcome visitors is a bit of detective work – get up early and observe the comings and goings of the squirrels. Once you have identified their runways and entryways you can begin the removal process. Install a trap along a runway – leave the bait just outside and don’t set it.

Over the following days, seal up all the cracks, holes, and crevices in your home but one so the squirrel can leave. This means the squirrels will only have one way in and out. After a couple of days put some bait inside the trap but still don’t set it, leave it there for another couple of days and then set the trap. You should now be able to start catching the squirrels – you should choose a multi-trap that can catch up to six rodents at a time. It will take some time for y0u to remove all your flying squirrels and you must ensure you have them all and then seal the remaining holes. Relocate your visitors far away from your home unless you want them to chew their way back in.

Are Squirrels Getting In My Attic Via Flying? - Squirrels are determined, intelligent and curious creatures; they will use any means to find their way into warm, safe accommodation. Since flying squirrels have many of the same characteristics as their earth bound cousins it is quite possible that you have squirrels getting in your loft via flying. The approach to dealing with an infestation of flying squirrels is the same as for regular squirrels but will involve slightly different detective work. Flying squirrels are nocturnal – this means in order to discover their routes in and out of your home you will need to do some night-time observations.

If squirrels are getting in your loft via flying you must take steps to squirrel proof your home by sealing all of their entry and exit ways, except for the most popular route; this will force all the rodents to use that one entry way – making it a perfect location to set your trap. Whilst you are sealing all the other nooks, crannies and gaps it is a good idea to place your trap near to the location you intend to use, with some bait placed just outside of it – this will give the squirrels time to get used to the trap before you set it to catch them.


Reader Email: Hello David - We ran across your very informative site, when we realized we have a flying squirrel ((hopefully, just one) in our attic. We live in Woodstock, NY (Ulster county). Last week, while cleaning out our gutters, I evidently disturbed a flying squirrel who came out from under the edge of a ridge vent and flew into a woodpile on the side of the house. I didn't think too much of it. Last night, we heard a lot of running around....and attributed to our cat mouse hunting. However, when I got up to check...we saw that the cat was sleeping peacefully in our son's room and had been there all night. We put two and two together and figured that the squirrel had taken up residence in the attic. So....after reading your site and the link to the wildlife rehabber, we've put a radio in the attic, turned the light on and placed a plastic bag of used cat litter up there as a first line of attic...(the cat litter wasn't mentioned by anyone, but since we had it we thought we'd give it a try). Now the question, the ridge vent scenario is a bit different from the examples on placing traps illustrated on your site. We would prefer not to use a lethal trap...but can't seem to figure out how to use a capture trap in our case. Regards, Ed - Woodstock, NY

My Response: Ed - First of all, flying squirrels are colonizing animals. There are likely many in your attic or walls, probably 10-30 of them. They are usually fairly quiet. The best way to remove them all is not with trapping, but by installing a one-way exclusion door on the exit point. In order to do it right, the edges of the trap, at the exit area, should be sealed shut with steel screen, which is pliable, and can fit any shape. The whole colony of squirrels is able to push its way out the door, but not get back in - so long as every possibly entry point into your house is blocked shut at the time of the exclusion. - David

Reader Email: We have flying squirrels in our attic (in Georgia). They seem to be a common ‘situation’ from what I am hearing. We set live 2 door traps using peanut butter as bait. So far we have caught and relocated 3 of them. We are still hearing them up there though, so I assume we are not done. We have been taking them a couple miles (maybe 2) from our home to a nearby lake/forest area (we release them right at the woods edge, and watch them hop off into the woods). Should we be concerned that they are returning to our attic? Or is it likely that there was a large group to start with up there? I have read that they only give birth in June/July and January/February, so I have not been concerned about babies yet…might you know if this is indeed the case? How much of what I read on your website holds true for the flying variety? Do you have a site or any posted info about flying squirrels? They are adorable, I am quite glad that I did not allow the kill traps in my attic! I just want to make sure that we are dealing with this in the proper manner. Thanks, Shawna

Reader Email: I live in crivitz wi. we have suffered with a flying squirl problem for the past 2 years. we have caught them in our basement, our attic, and outside the house. unfortunately we have one in our kitchen cabinent area that we discovered last night. i duct taped the cabinents shut so it couldn't come out last night while we were sleeping and it is still in there. we have children and we can no longer live/ sleep in a house where they are climbing all over us. we desperately need your help. please call me as soon as possible with anything we can do to try to get them out of the house. thank you so much

Please be kind to squirrels! They are intelligent animals, and believe it or not, they definitely have emotions!
If you have any questions about squirrels in attics, just email me at david@squirrel-attic.com