Squirrels in the Attic

Nest of Baby Squirrels in the Attic

Yes, pretty much every time you have squirrels in your attic, it's actually a single female with a nest of baby squirrels. The young MUST be dealt with as part of the removal process.

Squirrel Nest in Attic - Nest of Baby Squirrels

Is there a nest of baby squirrels? Yes. Pretty much every time squirrels are in the attic, it's a single female who has a litter of young. She finds her way into the attic twice per year, when she has the litter of young. This is usually around February and August. The young are born, and they grow quickly. They reach adult size in only six weeks, at which time they start to run around the attic. This is often when homeowners first notice a problem, because they've suddenly gone from one squirrel to five! You must be aware of the young. If you remove just the female squirrel while the litter of young is less than six weeks old, you will have a problem. The young may scratch or claw, maybe through the ceiling, or they may starve to death and rot and stink. It is very inhumane to remove a nursing female squirrel and leave the young behind. To find the nest, search all around the attic. Look for the areas with heavy droppings, and trails or tunnels in the insulation. You may have to dig around a bit. The nest is usually at the edge of the attic, near the eaves, or down in the eave itself. Remove the nest by hand, and then relocate the baby squirrels with the mother, or bring them to a wildlife rehabber. Or just wait until the young are up and about, running around, and able to go out exclusion doors or into repeater traps.

Squirrel Nest in Attic - Nest of Baby Squirrels

Nest of Baby Squirrels in Attic

A nest of very young squirrels, maybe a week old, in the insulation of an attic. If you trap and remove just the mom, these animals will starve to death in your home.

A Mother Squirrel and Young

Here's a photo of a female squirrel checking in with her nest of young in an attic. The nest is often near the edge of the attic, by the eaves.

Nesting Material In the Attic

Here is a giant pile of leaves and plant matter inside the attic, which served as a great squirrel nest. In addition to removing the animals, you should remove the nest.

Here's the Momma Squirrel

In this photo, I set the repeater traps by the entry hole while the mother squirrel was outside, and now she's anxiously hovering around her trapped young.

Information About Nest of Baby Squirrels in the Attic

What is a squirrel’s mating habits, when do they give birth, and how does it raise its young? As the season turns to spring you can be sure that squirrels will be beginning the mating process once again. Most squirrels have one mating time each year, but one, the gray squirrel, actually has two. The mating time usually occurs in January-February, with the second time occurring in July-August.

The mating habits of the squirrel are not any kind of romantic courtship at all. The female is ready for a male for a short time, usually lasting less than a day. She will give off a scent that can be detected by a male for nearly half of a mile away. The most dominant males will get the chance to mate with the female first. Understand that virtually all males that reach her will get a chance to mate with her, just the most dominant gets to do it first. This ensures that the female will most likely become pregnant if the first male is unable to provide her with the semen she needs to make that happen.

Squirrels gestation period is usually around 45 days. The smallest forms of the species can last no more than 35.

Most female squirrels try to find an enclosed area, like a knot in a tree or an attic, to have their young. And don't forget, they love to live in chimneys too: it's like a big hollow tree. Read about How To Get Squirrels Out Of A Chimney. There are usually two to four babies in a litter, but some have been known to have as many as eight. The young are born without any fur, but do have whiskers on them. They are quite helpless when born, having neither the ability to hear or see.

The mother will care for the babies by feeding them until they are able to act independently. This can take from between seven to ten weeks before they are able to care for themselves. Even once they have become independent it is not uncommon for the babies to remain in the nest for weeks after they are ready to go off on their own. The tie to the mother is quite strong and usually requires the mother to take an almost hostile attitude toward them for them to finally move on. During the time they remain they continue to hone their skills preparing for full independence.

The entire process of mating to the time that the adult squirrels finally leave the nest can take as long as 24 weeks. This is why many scientists believe that the gray squirrel is able to mate again in July-August.

The Bottom Line

How to remove a squirrel nest in the attic - it's hard work. You have to either search for it and remove the nest by hand, and then relocate the baby squirrels with the mother, or bring them to a wildlife rehabber. Or you have to wait 6 weeks after birth for them to be big enough to go outside and into your repeater trap or exclusion door. Don't leave the nest of helpless young behind in your attic! They can scratch and claw, and if they don't get out, they will starve and die and decompose and cause an odor problem.