5 Best Baits for Squirrel Trap

What can be considered the best bait for a squirrel trap? Squirrels who are pestering you and your property are a complicated matter because the presence of these animals indicates various disturbances and issues.

Many people immediately think of traps when they want to get rid of squirrels. In this regard, it is important to remember that traps are only as effective as their bait.

You cannot expect squirrels to enter your traps without attractants in them, such as good bait. It is therefore important to focus on selecting the right bait in order not to waste your trapping efforts.

A trapping operation against squirrels in an effort to remove them from your property can easily be a frustrating endeavor.

These creatures are clever, nimble, and can get into almost any nook and cranny to exasperate you.

Whether it is the attic, the bird feeder, the crawlspace, or your garden, squirrels can really be a pain to live with, especially considering the damages they cause.

Even relocated squirrels sometimes find their way back to your yard.

Let us explore how you can enhance your eradication efforts with the best types of bait.

Here are 5 Best Baits For Squirrel Traps

You will be able to become more successful in trapping squirrels and eliminating them from your property if you use only the best and effective squirrel baits.

Squirrels are omnivorous animals, which means they eat both vegetable or plant matter as well as animal-based food items or meat.

The food items that attract them the most include nuts, seeds, grains, tender fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

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Below are some of the most excellent bait food items you may use that have been recommended by experts.


image of squirrel eating nuts

The ultimate squirrel bait that is unanimously agreed upon by trappers and experts to be the best are nuts, as well as the combination of whole, shelled peanut plus peanut butter.

Squirrels may eat anything and everything, but they are particularly fond of nuts as well as seeds. Always remember to use nuts that are shelled and unsalted.

Majority of people know how squirrels naturally collect nuts and gather and hide them in caches under the soil and elsewhere around the area of their territory.

It is easy to see how much they love them. The nuts that they consume range from those that are usually eaten by and available to people to those wild nuts that can be gathered at woodlands.

Peanut butter

You may use peanut butter with peanut as bait for hungry squirrels.

Simply smear your bait pan with the peanut butter and then embed some unsalted, shelled peanuts into the peanut butter smear to stick them to the pan.

Any type of unsalted nut is enough to attract a squirrel, and the particular kind of nut is not as important as keeping it fixed on your bait pan.

In the absence of peanut and peanut butter, which is highly unlikely, or if you have an allergy to them, you can use alternatives like acorns and walnuts.

Using peanut butter leads to amazing results; when used as bait, it is possible to trap squirrels within minutes.

Oranges and other sweet citrus fruits

Oranges are considered the second best squirrel bait around.

You may use orange slices to entice squirrel pests because they are attracted to just about everything concerning oranges.

This fruit has a strong and pleasant smell, as well as a juicy  constitution that nourishes and hydrates the critters well. Oranges will especially attract thirsty squirrels.


Marshmallows are well-known squirrel favorites.

You can use gooey marshmallow pieces to serve as an edible adhesive in your bait pan with which to attach nuts and other bait items. It serves as an alternative to peanut butter.


Soft bread also works in the same way as marshmallows, which you can use as a food glue to let your main bait items stick to your pan.

image of squirrel eating bread

Other excellent baits you can use in trapping squirrels include the following:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Popcorn
  • Cereal and other grains
  • Apples
  • Almond extract drops on bread
  • Anise oil drops on bread

Aspects Of Successful Trapping

It is very important to be successful in your squirrel trapping operation.

These squirrel pests can easily enter your home in so many ways and cause significant damage and problems in your garden and yard.

In addition, they are clever and can avoid your traps if you are not careful. You should outsmart these intelligent creatures.

If you fail to deal with them through trapping, removing, or destroying them, they will cause havoc in your home and destroy so many essential parts of your home and property.

One aspect of a successful squirrel trapping effort is the selection of the right bait. The correct bait will surely attract them to your trap, so choose one that is very irresistible to them.

There are many aspects to consider in trapping squirrels, and among the most crucial parts is the use of proper bait.

Other important aspects include the type of trap used and trap location. Certain traps either do not need bait or are hard to bait effectively.

The repeater trap is an example of the former, while lethal traps are an example of the latter. Baits are basically used in cage traps.

If you have tried everything in your arsenal and you are still unsuccessful in catching the pests, you can consider contracting the services of a pest control professional company.

Baiting Your Trap

Your bait’s purpose is to lure the squirrel into your trap. It should be placed in a way that the animal is encouraged to activate your trap’s trigger mechanism inside the trap.

The successful functioning of the cage trap hinges on the proper position of the bait.

It should be positioned in a place where your target squirrel will need to enter the trap with its entire body to be able to reach it.

You should also make sure that the animal will have to trigger your trap if it is to obtain the food item.

The design of the trap and bait placement should also coax the target squirrel to put its body weight onto the trap’s metal trigger plate.

In addition, the bait should also be inaccessible and be at the farthest point from your trap’s walls in order to prevent squirrels from stealing them out of the cage.

The bait can be placed directly on the trigger plate, or it may be hung from the top directly over the plate. Alternately, it can also be placed in a hole at the ground that is directly under the plate.

Regarding the trigger plate, squirrels should apply enough pressure on it as it exerts effort in getting the bait.

Smearing peanut butter, molasses, or similar material directly on the metal trigger plate and sticking irresistible dry bait onto it will compel the squirrel to dig out the bait from the sticky material, generating enough pressure and closing the trap door by activating the trigger.

Alternately, if you are having problems with squirrels stealing your bird seeds, this means they like the seeds, and you can use the exact same seed as your trap’s bait.

The bait is just a part, albeit a crucial one, of the trapping process. It is also important, and sometimes more important, to focus on the proper location and placement of the trap.

It is also crucial to handle your trap and bait properly. In placing the bait and setting your trap, remember to wear gloves at every stage of the work.

This is due to the fact that without a glove, you will inadvertently transfer your scent to your trap and bait. Squirrels possess a highly acute olfactory sense and are easily deterred by any sign of human presence, quickly becoming bait shy.

Types Of Squirrel Traps

You can use various types of traps to round up squirrel pests. Some traps are live traps, which are more humane because they do not harm the animals.

image of squirrel on trap

These traps let you relocate healthy animals. Other traps kill their victims. Still, others can catch multiple individuals at any given time.

Lethal traps

These are the traps kill their victims. One such trap is the body grip trap, which leaves the animal in a bloody mess. This is not recommended for obvious humane reasons, and because it can also kill and harm other non-target animals, including your pets.

Repeater traps

As for cage traps, there is a type of cage that is known as a repeater trap, which is essentially a long cage capable of catching several individuals at once.

Repeater traps are often mounted over exit points. It is the most common trap.

To use it, you will need to seal all other holes in your home and isolate the main access hole and leave it open.

This is where you will mount your trap. If the hole is very wide, you can mount two traps over it with funnels.

The repeater trap catches all squirrels that are exiting the hole. Repeater traps can catch many squirrels at one time.

You can modify or add screens to it depending on the need to seal all possible escape points over the hole. There is no bait required.

Common cage traps

There is also the more traditional trap cage which can be positioned near areas that squirrels use to move around your property.

It may be necessary to use this trap if there are no ways to set and bolt a repeater trap.

This option is best conducted with the use of several cage traps, about five or six in number. They are ideally set access points and in paths that squirrels often use.

It might be necessary to bolt them to the surface, especially if they are installed on the roof.

Tips On Trapping Squirrels

To determine where your pesky squirrels are getting holed up, inspect your house and yard and look for access holes and other signs of squirrel presence and activity.

image of squirrel in trap

Inspect the roof, determine squirrel paths, eaves, and examine fascia boards near access holes. Search for dislodged and opened soffit screens, as well as loose flashing around your chimneys. Look for holes as well in louvered panels at the end of gables.

A combination of the best type of bait along with intelligent placement of the traps will reward you with squirrel catches as quickly as a few minutes after setting the trap.

Once you have confirmed where squirrels like to stay and hang around, you may want to trap them right away. You may also consider exclusion as well, using a one-way door. This is a special device that lets them exit the hole but not come back in.

To successfully exclude squirrels from your home without the use of traps, you first need to thoroughly search your house for cavities and seal every one of the holes that they made, except for one.

This final access point is where you will install the exclusion funnel or door.

This is not a permanent solution, however, because squirrels can chew their way back into your house by making new holes. You might then want them trapped and relocated instead, which will require traps.

It might be inadvisable to set your trap inside your attic. Squirrels rarely enter traps in attics and are only usually caught when the trap is set outside.

If you ever catch a mother squirrel – a single female that has nipples with no other accompanying squirrels – then it is almost definitely a mother with young. In this case, you need to let her go so that the babies will not die and rot in your attic.

Her offspring will quickly grow to adult size after around six weeks. This will be the time to catch her again together with the four or five new adult and mobile squirrels.

When using cage traps, make sure they are placed under a shade. The heat of the sun, especially on the roof, will easily kill a squirrel within two hours or even less.

Repeater traps need no bait. However, if squirrels are reluctant to get into it and there are no other exit holes for them to use, they will soon become thirsty and hydrating will become their top priority.

You can take advantage of this thirst by baiting your repeater trap with orange slices. Its juicy moisture will entice the squirrels to enter.

Oranges are good for thirsty animals, and they will particularly be attracted to the fruit since they know they can get water from it.

Oranges are also excellent squirrel bait in one-way traps mounted beneath a soffit. You can use the same strategy for squirrels stuck inside buildings.

When choosing a place to set cage traps, select a location where you can easily check the traps at least two times per day.

Aside from the fact that squirrels rarely get caught by traps inside the attic, it is also unlikely for you to be willing to climb and enter your attic as frequently as two to three times daily.

When relocating them, put them at a location a minimum of 10 miles from your home to significantly decrease the possibility of the animals finding their way back and pestering you again. Relocate them at night so that they will be further disoriented.

When choosing a relocation site, select a wooded and large area so that there is a higher likelihood for the squirrels to find adequate shelter, food, and water.

The large area will also accommodate them more easily, especially for the original territorial residents.

Never relocate during winter, as it will cause them to starve and die.

Once you have caught squirrels, relocate them as quickly as possible if that is your disposal option.

They are already very stressed inside, and they easily get injured as they panic and run back and forth inside the cage.

They ram their heads on the cage walls in their frantic and desperate attempts to escape from you and the trap.

Leaving a squirrel inside a cage in the heat of the attic, especially in the summertime, is cruel and will endanger you and your family’s health. Staying too long inside the cage makes them especially susceptible to stress and eventual death through heat stress and exhaustion.

Good to Know Facts

Is it illegal to kill squirrels?

Most states consider grey and red squirrels as game animals, which means they can be hunted and killed as food. However, to hunt them, you will need a hunting license, which you should obtain prior to killing any squirrels.

In California, you need to get a permit before you can trap squirrels.

Are there diseases you can contract if you eat squirrels?

You can eat squirrels, although you cannot count on them to be your major food source due to their low-calorie return. One squirrel has approximately 540 calories.

A medical case in 2015 found that a man may have been exposed to a fatal and very rare brain disorder due to his habit of eating too much squirrel meat. It is the first documented disorder of this kind in the US.


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