Remove branches. Squirrels are certainly capable of climbing up and down the side of your house, but they much prefer running along branches. If you trim all of the encroaching branches that are near your roof, you’ll go a long way toward preventing a squirrel problem. Trim your branches back so that they are at least ten feet from your house.
Locate possible entrance points. Squirrels and racoons can’t get into your house if you seal all of their access points. You need to look both high and low for possible entrances. Pay special attention to your ridges, soffit vents, fascia boards and shingles which are all classic squirrel and racoon favorites. Also be on the look out for holes that look seem to have been created by animal teeth.
Test the holes. If you see any openings, you might already have squirrels or racoons inside of your attic. Stuff these holes full of newspaper and leave them for two days. If the newspaper is still there, read step #4. If it isn’t, there are probably squirrels (or some type of animal) living in your attic. It’s best to remove them (read step #7) before moving forward, otherwise you’ll trap the animals inside your house.
Seal the gaps. After you’ve located all of the broken vents, holes or chewed out wood, it’s time to seal these areas. The best material to use is a quarter- or half-inch steel mesh screen or compressed steel wool, which squirrels or racoons will not be able to chew through. Cut your screen or mesh so that it’s about two inches larger than the hole you’re plugging (this prevents squirrels from gnawing around it) and affix it with a hammer and nails or staples.
Seal your chimney. Squirrels love chimneys almost as much as they love attics, so it’s worth getting a steel chimney cap. We do not recommend that you install this yourself! Hire a professional, Please!
Squirrel and racoon warning signs. Even if you’re all meshed-up and protected, a squirrel might still find its way into your attic. Squirrels are active during the day, so a lot times you’ll see them scurrying around your house. You may also hear them inside your attic or see teeth marks on the edges of things like your shutters and window sills. The best way to know for sure is to inspect your attic and look for nests, chewed wires and squirrel droppings.
Squirrel removal. If you find squirrels in your attic, or strongly suspect they’re up there, the best thing to do is contact a professional. Squirrel and racoon infestations are complicated and potentially dangerous to handle on your own.