Home » What is the Best Squirrel Trap? Top 5 Squirrel Trap Reviews 2022

What is the Best Squirrel Trap? Top 5 Squirrel Trap Reviews 2022

As Marvin Gaye once sang, we are all sensitive people. Was he talking about squirrel traps? Probably not. But there is something about the act of trapping squirrels that touches on the sensitive side of pest control.

Because while very few of us have any problem with killing, say, a mosquito or bed bug, it feels a little different once we start dealing with our fellow mammals. Especially when the mammals in question are as cute as squirrels are.

However adorable squirrels may appear at first, though, they can cause major damage and soon become massive pests when they encroach upon your property.

  • Destroy your garden. Squirrels love to eat green grasses and plants and can wreak havoc to lawns. And that’s not even mentioning the destruction a hungry squirrel can create in your vegetable garden.
  • Harm your trees. It’s not just tree fruit and nuts that squirrels like to eat. They also feed on tree roots, leaf buds, new leaves and even the inner bark of trees.
  • Damage your home. If they get inside your home, squirrels can cause significant damage to the insulation in your attic and potentially chew through electrical wires.
  • Bring unwanted pests. Squirrels in the home are no laughing matter – they can spread fleas and ticks, and may even be vectors of rabies.

So if you have squirrels in or around your home, you’re going to need to get rid of them.

BEST OVERALL

live squirrel trap

Kensizer Small Animal Squirrel Trap

BEST KILL TRAP

squirrel tube trap

Forestry Suppliers Tube Squirrel Trap

BEST MULTI-TRAP

best squirrel trap

Rugged Ranch Squirrelinator Multi-Trap

There are a few different ways you can do this. You can try squirrel deterrents and repellents that will make them want to stay far away from your property.

Or if the squirrels are nesting inside your home, you can block up the holes they’re using to get in and install a one-way door to try and persuade them to leave. But sometimes, no matter what you try, the squirrels refuse to play ball.

And in that case, you may need to trap them. Enter squirrel traps.

In this guide, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about squirrel traps:

Is It Legal to Trap Squirrels?

Before we look at the best squirrel traps on the market, it’s important to note that the way you deal with squirrels may change according to where you live. Different states and municipalities have different rules regarding these creatures.

Here’s a handy website that lets you know each state’s laws regarding trapping wildlife.

While some places consider them pests and will let you use lethal force if necessary, others insist on live trapping and relocation. Some areas won’t even allow that.

So before using any of the products below, make sure you are up to date on your area’s squirrel trapping rules.

What is A Squirrel Trap?

At its simplest, a squirrel trap is exactly what it says. A device to capture squirrels. But like most topics, once you look a little closer, you’ll find hidden complexities.

There are many different types of squirrel traps but they can be separated into live, kill, single animal, and multi-animal traps. The device you choose may have as much to do with the legal framework around these animals in your area as your personal preferences.

Let’s go into a bit of detail about each of the different types of squirrel traps and their pros and cons.

Types of Squirrel Traps: Pros and Cons

There are a lot of different types of squirrel traps but let’s start with the biggest differentiator: live and kill traps.

When it comes to squirrel traps, you have a big choice to make. You see, there are live traps, often called humane traps, and there are squirrel traps that kill.

Squirrel Killer Traps

Squirrel traps that kill do just that and the best ones do it instantly. Whether it’s a a spring-loaded trap or an electronic trap, the basic premise is the same: squirrels wander inside and are quickly killed.

So what are the best options when it comes to lethal squirrel traps?

Squirrel Tube Traps

Not everyone feels the need to keep the squirrels alive. If you live in an area where it’s legal to kill squirrels, and you don’t have a problem with doing so, tube traps are some of the most popular ways to do it.

squirrel traps that kill

As the name implies, these traps take the form of tubes that the squirrels will crawl into.

For best results, you could bait these traps with food that squirrels enjoy. However, it isn’t always necessary. Sometimes, the squirrels will crawl into the tube anyway, just because they’re curious about what might be inside.

Pros of squirrel tube traps

The biggest pro of using a squirrel tube trap is that they’re fast and effective. Once the squirrel steps on the trigger inside the tube, a spring-loaded arm will kill the squirrel.

This is designed to be as fast and humane as possible, and in the best-case scenario, the squirrel will never see it coming. It won’t even have time to get its affairs in order before the killing arm descends.

And one of the nice things about dead squirrels is that they can’t wake you up at four in the morning, scratching around your attic.

Cons of squirrel tube traps

The most obvious con of using a squirrel tube trap is the clean-up. So, of course, you should only use a trap like this if you’re willing to deal with a dead squirrel afterward.

Once the trap has been activated, the dead animal will need to be removed, and the trap reset. If you’re comfortable with that, then tube traps can be a good option. But if you’re not, you’re better off staying away.

Electric Squirrel Trap

Isn’t technology great? If you’re looking to kill squirrels with less mess, electronic traps could be just what you’re looking for. These traps are similar to tube traps in that the idea is to get the squirrel to climb inside.

high voltage squirrel zapper

However, once the animal is in there, the trap will deliver a powerful electric shock that will kill the squirrel instantly.

Pros of electric squirrel traps

Electric squirrel traps lead to a very quick, humane, and non-messy kill. All you need to do is remove the dead squirrel, and the trap is ready to go again.

Because of their ease-of-use, electronic traps are a popular way to deal with a squirrel problem.

Cons of electric squirrel traps

The biggest downside of using an electric squirrel trap is that because they need a power source or batteries, they aren’t suitable for outdoor use. Also, because of the electronics involved, they are usually more expensive than other types of squirrel traps.

Still, if you’re comfortable using a kill trap and want a no-muss, no-fuss trap – an electric squirrel trap is the way to go.

Live Squirrel Traps

If you live in an area where you’re not allowed to kill squirrels, or you simply don’t want to harm the fluffy-tailed creatures, you’ll need to use a humane trap.

These traps capture a squirrel without harming it so that you can move the animal to a new location and release it to let it go on with its squirrelly life.

So what are your options when it comes to live squirrel traps? You’ve got two main ones – single live traps and multiple animal traps.

Single Live Traps

Single live squirrel traps are basically small cages with the door on one end. The door can be propped open using a mechanism. When a squirrel goes inside, it will step on a plate on the floor of the cage that will cause the door to drop shut behind it.

trapping squirrels

These kinds of traps are very simple, and after a few practice runs, you shouldn’t have any problem operating them. To get squirrels to go inside deep enough to trigger the trap, it’s a good idea to use some sort of food bait to lure them.

Pros of single live traps

Generally, these cages are made of galvanized steel that won’t rust, so they can be used either indoors or outdoors.

These traps don’t harm the squirrel at all. So if you’d like to avoid killing squirrels, this might be the trap for you.

Cons of single live traps

Remember, however, that squirrels, like other rodents, are very susceptible to stress. Even a few hours of being confined in a trap can kill them.

So if you’re live trapping squirrels to release them somewhere else, you’ll need to check your traps multiple times per day – that’s a commitment that many people working full-time jobs may not be able to make.

You also need to place the traps where predators such as birds can’t get to them. Animals like crows can tell when something is trapped and will see a captured squirrel as an easy meal.

Also, these traps only hold one squirrel at a time. Once an animal goes in, the door closes, and that’s that. If you have lots of squirrels on your property, you’ll either need lots of traps, or you’ll need to keep using the same one and devote a lot of hours to catching the squirrels one by one.

Multiple Live Traps

These traps work on the same principle as the single live traps, only bigger. Thus, these traps can catch multiple squirrels at the same time.

ground squirrel traps

Which means they are perfect for areas with a high squirrel population.

Pros of multiple live traps

Because you don’t need to reset the trap after each catch, they can be placed in hard-to-reach areas such as attics or crawlspaces. If you have a lot of squirrels to catch, these multiple traps can save you a lot of time.

Cons of multiple live traps

Like the single traps, multiple catch traps need to be baited to be effective. If you’re not going to check them regularly, you should make sure there’s plenty of food and water to keep the squirrels alive until you can get to them.

The same issue of stress that can kill squirrels in single traps applies here, too. When trapping squirrels in any live trap, make sure that you check the traps regularly.

Are Live Traps More Humane?

Opinion is divided on just how humane these live squirrels traps really are. After all, squirrels are territorial animals. If you capture a squirrel in your home and drive it out to the woods somewhere then let it go, all you’re really doing is releasing a squirrel into the existing territory of another squirrel.

This can lead to a squirrel fight, which is not nearly as adorable as it sounds. Capturing and releasing live squirrels may not be as merciful as it seems.

On the other hand, not everyone is comfortable using a trap that kills squirrels. Plus, not everyone is allowed to.

But even if you are willing and able to execute these critters, common decency dictates that you do it in the quickest and most painless way possible. So even traps designed to kill squirrels are designed to make it as fast as possible.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you, what you’re most comfortable with, as well as the laws in your locality.

What is the Best Squirrel Trap?

Ready to start catching some squirrels? Here are the best squirrel traps on the market – read on for the pros and cons of each one!

Havahart Squirrel Trap

PROS

  • Humane squirrel trap
  • Easy to set
  • Use indoor and outdoor
  • Durable for all weather
  • Light and easy to carry

CONS

  • Small, only one squirrel at a time
  • Expensive

This trap, made by a trusted name in the animal trapping industry, is a classic single humane squirrel trap. Made of weatherproof steel mesh, this trap can be used indoors or out.

With no sharp edges, it’s perfectly safe to set up. Getting the trap set up correctly can take a little practice, but it’s very easy once you have the hang of it.

You’ll need to bait this trap to get squirrels to go inside it. A lump of peanut butter way in the back of the trap is the best way to do this. Make sure it’s not too close to the sides so that squirrels can’t get to it from outside the trap. And remember to check the trap regularly to see if any squirrels have been caught inside.

There’s nothing fancy about this trap. That’s for the best. Often, the simplest mechanisms are the most reliable, since there’s less to go wrong. That’s the reason why this is one of the best-selling squirrel traps on the market. It’s simple, and it works.

Kensizer Humane Squirrel Trap

PROS

  • Humane squirrel trap
  • Very affordable
  • Easy to set
  • Use indoor and outdoor
  • Durable for all weather

CONS

  • Small, only one squirrel at a time
  • Doesn’t have a handle

This weatherproof single trap is suitable for use indoors or outdoors. Like the Havahart product, this trap will need to be baited before use.

Unlike the Havahart, however, this squirrel trap doesn’t have a ready-made handle. That being said, it is a fraction of the price so making a DIY handle may be worth your while.

The mechanism is simple to operate and reliable under all weather conditions. If you’re looking to trap a pesky squirrel, this is also an excellent humane option to use.

Rugged Ranch Squirrelinator

PROS

  • Humane squirrel trap
  • Can catch 25 squirrels at a time
  • Easy to set and release
  • Use indoor and outdoor
  • Sturdy and durable

CONS

  • Can get heavy when full
  • Handle is short (wear gloves)

If you have a bigger squirrel problem – for instance, if a whole family of these bandits is living in your home – you may need to go with something bigger than a single trap. That’s where the Squirrelinator comes in.

This multiple catch trap is big enough to hold 25 squirrels at a time. That’s a lot of angry squirrels. Like the single traps, you’ll need to check this trap regularly to make sure that the squirrels aren’t getting stressed, running out of food, or fighting one another.

But if your squirrel population is too large to deal with by the use of single traps, this beast is a good option.

The trap has doors that only open one way so that squirrels can walk in but can’t get out. You’ll need to bait the trap, ideally with peanut butter or some nuts, right in the center of the cage.

The beauty of the mechanism here is that it doesn’t need to be reset to catch more squirrels. In areas with a high squirrel population, this can save a lot of time.

Like the single traps, this steel cage can be used indoors or outdoors. However, it is best to set it up somewhere that offers protection from the elements so that squirrels caught inside don’t die from exposure.

Forestry Suppliers Squirrel Tube Trap

PROS

  • Kills squirrels quickly
  • Very effective
  • Weather resistant
  • Use indoor and outdoor
  • Sturdy and durable

CONS

  • Can be difficulty to set
  • Only one squirrel at a time
  • Expensive

If squirrels have angered you to the point the gloves are off, this trap could be for you.

Unlike the traps above, this device is designed to kill squirrels. It does this using a spring-loaded strike bar. Once a squirrel goes inside the metal tube, it will press down on the trigger that releases the strike bar. The strike bar enters the tube through slots cut in the side and kills the squirrel instantly.

This rust-resistant model is designed for use outdoors, though it can be used indoors too. It’s a good idea to spend the extra on the rust-resistant model since the regular model rusts quite easily. Once the mechanism is rusty, the trap can be rendered useless.

Many rodents are drawn to small spaces, and the tube design of this trap takes advantage of that. However, for more effective results, it’s still a good idea to place bait in and around this trap. But be careful. Once the trap is set, you don’t want to go sticking your arm in there. A blow from the strike bar will hurt.

This trap can be a little tricky to set up until you get the hang of it. Read the instruction manual carefully before using this trap. Even better, watch the below video before you get started.

Note: This is a single-use trap in the sense that once it has caught a squirrel, you’ll need to remove the dead body and reset the trap. This means coming into contact with the dead squirrels, which not everyone is okay with.

While these traps are designed to kill quickly, there may be some blood involved. If you’re okay with that, this is a reliable and effective squirrel trap. But if the idea of dealing with a mangled dead squirrel doesn’t appeal to you, you might be better off using a different option.

Electric Squirrel Trap

PROS

  • Kills squirrels instantly
  • Easy to set
  • Easy clean up

CONS

  • Only one squirrel at a time
  • Only indoor use
  • Expensive

Traps don’t come much easier to use than this. This high-tech rat trap uses electricity to kill rodents instantly. It’s designed for rats but it’s one of the few high-voltage zappers that is large enough to accommodate a squirrel.

Once a squirrel steps on the metal plate inside this trap, the 7000-volt shock will kill it without any mess. Then all you need to do is empty the trap, turn it back on, and use it to catch the next squirrel.

As far as lethal force goes, this is very humane. It kills rodents almost instantly. To get them to go inside, you will need to use some bait such as peanut butter or birdseed. The trap runs on batteries, which makes it easier to place in areas such as attics where you may not have an easily accessible power supply.

The downside of this trap is that it can only be used indoors. Also, it’s more expensive than other options. But for ease of use and a quick kill, it’s hard to beat. If you just want the squirrels out of your life with as little fuss as possible, this may well be the trap you’ve been looking for.

Can You Use a Rat Trap to Catch Squirrels?

You may be wondering why you can’t simply use an old-fashioned rat trap to catch squirrels. After all, squirrels are basically just rats with more flamboyant tails, right?

Well, not quite. Squirrels tend to use their front paws much more than rats do. When encountering an old-fashioned rat trap, squirrels will often use their front paws to flip the trap over, setting it off.

Then they can turn the trap back the right way up and take their time eating the bait, knowing that the trap won’t go off again. That’s why the below traps are the best methods of dealing with these troublesome creatures.

Can You Use a Homemade Squirrel Trap?

The Internet loves a little DIY and squirrel traps are no exception. Simply Google “how to make a squirrel trap” and you’ll find a plastic bottle squirrel trap, a cardboard box squirrel trap, and even a very clever PVC squirrel trap. And of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

So yes, if you wanted to, you can definitely fashion your very own homemade squirrel trap. The perks of doing so is that you will save money, especially if you use materials you already have in your home.

But going with a homemade squirrel trap has downsides, too. The main one is that it may not be weather-proof and re-usable so you’ll end up making a new one again and again. There’s also the time spent making each squirrel trap. And last but not least, most of the DIY squirrel traps have not been tested or proven to work.

Overall, a homemade squirrel trap may not be worth your time, especially when you consider that one of the best squirrel traps is already extremely affordable.

Do Squirrel Traps Work?

Squirrel traps work – until they don’t. Ultimately, the effectiveness of a trap depends not only on how you use it but on what your definition of success is.

Traps tend to deal with an issue on a squirrel by squirrel basis. Whether you’re trapping them one at a time or twenty-five at a time, you’re still dealing with the squirrels as individuals. When your problem is having too many squirrels on your property, this may be your only choice.

But if your problem is that you have squirrels establishing a home in your attic, your approach needs to be different. There’s no point trapping individual squirrels without addressing how they got inside your home in the first place.

Even if you kill the squirrels that you catch, more squirrels can and will find the same points of entry into your home and use them to create homes of their own inside your attic. Long-term, the only way to keep squirrels out of your home is to make sure they can’t get in.

You can do this by blocking up holes around roof vents and chimneys with chicken wire. Make sure that there are no squirrels inside when you seal the holes up.

You can either use traps to catch them all, or you can install a one-way door to let squirrels leave your attic but not come back inside. Once all the squirrels are gone, you can replace the one-way door with a more permanent screen.

Where is the Best Place to Set Squirrel Traps?

No matter what kind of squirrel trap you decide to use, placement is everything. You need to place the trap where squirrels will find it and go inside.

Attics are an excellent place to trap squirrels since very few other animals will be inside, and the traps will be protected from the weather. Basements and crawl spaces can also be good places to trap squirrels if the animals are going there.

You can also trap squirrels outside, but you’ll need to make sure you’re using a trap that can stand up to the weather. Live catch traps and specially designed tube traps are best for this. You also need to place your traps in areas where they won’t be accessible to non-target animals.

Squirrel traps are dangerous to any animal that’s around the same size as a squirrel, so if you want to avoid harming animals you have no quarrel with, you need to place your traps in such a way that only squirrels will access them.

What is the Best Squirrel Bait to Use?

Squirrels have a wide range of dietary preferences. In many ways, this is the secret to their success. However, there are certain foods that they prefer over others.

Squirrels’ favorite foods are seeds and nuts. Often, they become a nuisance in our yards by feeding on seed we put out for birds. So you could use birdseed as an effective way to attract squirrels into a trap.

However, any bait you use needs to entice the squirrels to the exact right spot in the trap. In the case of a live trap or tube trap, you need the squirrel to stand in the exact right spot to trigger the mechanism of the device. Solid foods like nuts and seeds aren’t necessarily the best for this.

Tip: If you’re using seeds and nuts, place them in and around an envelope inside the squirrel trap to prevent the bait falling through the cracks and so that squirrels need to come in.

Sometimes, squirrels can just grab the nut and leave the trap again without triggering the mechanism. For this reason, peanut butter is a very effective bait for squirrels.

You can smear it behind the mechanism of the trap so that the rodent can’t simply pick it up and leave. It will be forced to eat the peanut butter inside the trap, making it much more likely that it will set the trap off.

Whenever you are baiting a trap for squirrels, remember to place the bait in such a way that the squirrel needs to cross the trigger mechanism to reach the food. Also, make sure the food can’t be reached from outside the trap. Otherwise, squirrels can just steal your bait and run off laughing at you.

How Far to Relocate a Squirrel?

You’ve set the trap, placed the bait and caught a squirrel. Good job.

But where should you let it go?

If you catch a squirrel in your attic and release it in your yard, it’s going to run back into your attic immediately. And why wouldn’t it? Your attic is warm, protected from the elements and the perfect place to raise squirrel babies.

While this will make a pretty amusing spectacle for your neighbors, it is going to annoy you very quickly. So when relocating the squirrel, you’ll need to take it a long way away from your home.

So how far do you have to relocate a squirrel?

To answer that we need to ask the question of how far do squirrels travel. In a test performed by the United Exterminating Company, they found that:

  • 1 to 2 miles: Squirrels easily returned
  • 5 to 7 miles: In a zig-zag pattern, squirrels rarely returned. Only 1 out of 15 to 20 squirrels came back.
  • 10 to 12 miles: An occasional return but rare.
  • 25 miles or more: Only one surprising return.

Overall, they concluded that when relocating squirrels, it’s best to perform the release at night and at a ten range in order to eliminate their return.

Anything less than that, and the squirrel could find its way back home. To your home, to be more precise.

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