This guide teaches proper method, strategy, and technique for squirrel trapping. Note - this is live trapping, in steel cage traps. This guide does not cover lethal trapping means. Using
live traps is safer, easier, and if done right, more effective and efficient than lethal traps (you can catch many squirrels quickly with cage or repeater traps, for example). With cage
traps, the usual intent is to relocate squirrels out of the area in which they are causing a problem.
Please be aware that mere trapping won't necessarily solve your squirrel problem - new squirrels will quickly move in to replace the old ones. If there's squirrels in the attic, there
is probably a nest of baby squirrels up there. If squirrels are chewing, trapping won't stop new ones from doing the same. The situation is often more complex than simply setting out
a cage trap and removing the animals. And to be honest, trapping unto itself is an art, and it's not necessarily easy. As with everything, experience matters a great deal.
Click here for my nationwide list of 100's of professional squirrel trappers serving all 50 states.
What type of trap should I use?
Either a squirrel-size cage trap, or a repeater trap or a one-way exclusion door, if you just want to get the squirrels out of a building, and don't
want to actually trap and relocate them. These three types of traps are shown in the below photo:
You can set a cage trap in a variety of places, from on a roof, in a tree, or on the ground. You can even set one in
an attic, although it won't catch anything there. It's important to use the right size trap - too small, and the animal won't be able to enter, or the trap won't be able to close. Too large, and
it may not trip shut, and the squirrel will have a lot of room to run around and smack its face into the steel bars, which is actually a problem. I use traps 14-18" long and 6" high and wide.
Pictured below, are mounted directly on a building, right over a hole squirrels are using to enter and exit a house. The trap should have flanges, or wings on one end, to
mount the trap to the building, and a torsion-spring repeating one-way door leading into the cage. This type of setup is the best way to catch the target squirrels, and
not all the squirrels in the area. Although, squirrels do tend to be territorial, so cage traps set outside the house will not "catch every squirrel in the neighborhood" as some people worry.
A one-way exclusion door works like the repeater trap, except it's open on the end, instead of an enclosed cage. The one-way door is a great option for simply getting all of
the squirrels out of a house, and not letting them back in. Don't use this trap if there are areas that squirrels can use to chew their way back in - only use it on secure homes with well-defined
What kind of bait should I use?
Cage traps should be baited with peanut butter and whole peanuts in the shell. Sure, you can use other nuts and seeds if you want. Repeater traps and one-way
doors do not require any bait. Read more on my squirrel bait
Be sure to set the trap on a secure surface. If it wobbles too much, the squirrel may not fully enter. The trip pan tension must be set right. Don't set the trap in the sun if you can help it -
squirrels can die very quickly from heat exhaustion. If you do trap, be sure to check the traps frequently, so that the animal is not suffering in a trap for too long. Squirrels tend to get very
hyper and antsy once trapped.
If you need to know how to trap squirrels in an attic, setting the traps in the attic itself will accomplish nothing. They won't enter traps inside the attic. Click here for my full guide on
how to get squirrels out of the attic
How To Trap Squirrels Inside House Living Quarters -
As fast as a squirrel can be, it may seem like an impossible task to learn how to trap a squirrel. That would be true if you were trying to trap it with your bare hands; that would certainly not be the best way to do it. There are a few ways to trap a squirrel in most situations that will make it a lot easier on you. The safest and easiest way to trap a squirrel is using a trap, but traps are not always available. It is not like people keeps squirrel traps in their home. That would involve going to the store, getting one and setting it up, but what if you need to trap the squirrel right now?
If you want to know how to trap a squirrel inside a house, then all you really will need is a blanket. This method is used if the squirrel has just darted into your home and you are in a room where you can get the squirrel in a corner. First you will need to corner the squirrel, this may be a bit difficult if you do not have any help, but eventually you will do it. Bear in mind offering an
escape route is best. Though it is not recommended because of the high risk, all attempts at hand capture should involve thick gloves and a blanket. Drop the blanket on the squirrel as if you were fishing with a net. Wrap the squirrel in the blanket and release it outside quickly.