Are ground squirrels driving you nuts by invading your property? These squirrels can easily cause damage to your yard by taking over bird feeders, chewing on yard equipment and eating your plants. In addition, squirrels can carry pathogens that may cause disease as well as fleas that can be transferred to humans. There are many reasons why trapping squirrels may be on your “to do” list, but there are many more reasons why using ground squirrel traps may only make matters worse. Learn about various methods for catching squirrels including live traps, conibear traps and tunnel traps. Plus, check out their effectiveness, risks and alternatives to better help you get rid of squirrels.

common methods for trapping ground squirrels

Types of Squirrel Traps

  • Live Squirrel Traps: Live or box traps are typically used when there are a small number of squirrels that need to be removed from in or around your home. Traps are placed by burrow openings or along trails, and bait such as nuts, berries, pieces of fruit or peanut butter is used to attract the squirrel. Once a squirrel is captured, it should be released at a distance based on the state-regulated in an area where it will not become a nuisance to anyone else. Be sure to consult with any property owner before releasing the pest. Before attempting to use live traps, it is important to understand state laws for capturing and releasing a wild animal. Since ground squirrels can carry pathogens that can cause diseases and are considered agricultural pests, there may be laws prohibiting their trapping and relocation without an appropriate permit.
  • Conibear traps: These are lethal traps commonly used in combination with the box trap. The conibear trap is placed inside a box so it can be positioned in the squirrel’s burrow opening or on any trail the squirrel may frequent. Bait is also used, though may be unnecessary if the trap is placed in the burrow entrance where the squirrel has no exit option. It’s vital not to place this trap anywhere that pets or kids can access. Because of the risk, it’s recommended that these types of removal techniques are only used by wildlife professionals.
  • Tunnel Traps: Tunnel Traps, or kill traps, can be used to dispose of one squirrel at a time. These traps can be set on tree branches or any ledges a squirrel uses to access a home. If a house or yard is being invaded by more than one squirrel, this method may be ineffective. In addition, because this trap kills the pest, it is important that it is set out of the reach of pets. As a best practice, this trap should only be used by professionals.

Leave Trapping to Trained Professionals

Trapping squirrels is not an easy task and can quickly become more work than originally anticipated. The process requires a lot of time, patience and commitment on the part of a homeowner. Plus, anyone attempting to use any sort of trap for catching squirrels needs to be well-versed on their region’s laws regarding wildlife removal and control. If squirrels are taking over your yard, it’s recommended to contact a professional and avoid the risks. Contact Terminix® today to find out about removal and exclusion services.