Squirrels can be annoying neighbors: they steal bird seed, dig up your yard and destroy fruit and vegetable gardens. And that’s if the squirrels are living in a nearby tree. When a squirrel moves into your attic, you may expect more significant damage, such as eaten-through shingles, chewed-up wires and shredded insulation. Some homeowners get understandably upset when they find out about all this destruction. However, as Maryland squirrel removal experts, we urge you to keep calm and opt for humane squirrel removal.
Can’t I Just Shoot the Squirrels?
Eastern Grey Squirrel, the most common nuisance squirrel in the mid-Atlantic region, is considered small game animal in Maryland and many other states. This means you are allowed to shoot and kill squirrels during the official small game hunting season (typically in fall and winter) if you have a hunting license. Other than that, you are not allowed to shoot squirrels or discharge a firearm in a residential area. Even if it’s a BB gun or an air gun, you may get in trouble with law enforcement for animal cruelty. Besides, simply killing squirrels won’t solve your problem. New animals will come to replace the dead ones, and you will be facing the same issues soon enough.
What About Poisons and Traps?
If you search online for “squirrel removal in Maryland,” or any other state for that matter, you’ll probably find a few sites that advocate for poisons and lethal traps as the best methods to get rid of squirrels. While they may be effective in some cases, traps and poisons are some of the most cruel ways to kill an animal. Death from both is rather painful and not always immediate, leaving the animal to suffer. Problems with traps and poisons:
- Other animals (and even your pets if you are careless) may consume the poisoned bait or get into a trap.
- A poisoned animal may crawl into a hard-to-reach place to die, leaving you with a stinky mess to clean up.
- In most cases, a squirrel in your attic is a mother with her young. Killing the mother won’t get rid of the young and will make it more difficult to locate and remove them.
Why Use Humane Squirrel Removal
Humane squirrel removal consists of live-trapping the squirrels and relocating them far away from your home. If there are baby squirrels involved, they are moved to a wildlife rehabilitator, where they are nurtured and released into the wild when they are old enough. No animal suffers during humane wildlife removal, but it has to be done right. There’s nothing humane about having a poor animal sit in a trap for days, starved and exposed to the elements. It’s crucial that your Maryland squirrel removal professional checks traps frequently.
If it’s so easy, can I do it myself?
Trapping squirrels might sound easy, but there is a lot of planning involved in the type and location of the traps. There are some areas, such as inside the attic, where squirrel is very unlikely to enter a trap. Besides, Maryland requires anyone involved in wildlife trapping to obtain a permit from the Department of Natural Resources. In addition to that, you are supposed to obtain permission from the owner of the land where you are planning to release the captured squirrel. While police might not arrest you for taking a caged squirrel to a nearby park, know that you are violating the law.
Will Squirrels Come Back?
As long as you don’t separate the mother from her babies, your nuisance squirrel is unlikely to return. At Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control, we release squirrels far from your location to make sure they have a new, equally suitable territory they can call their home. However, if you don’t take appropriate measures, there is no guarantee new squirrels will come to take the other one’s place. If your property has fruit and nut trees, and your fascia boards are rotten and easy to chew through, your home will remain a squirrel magnet. That’s why we always take the time to explain to our customers what else they can do to discourage nuisance wildlife from nesting on their property. Call us today or contact online for humane squirrel removal in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania or Washington, DC.