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Posted 02/05/2020 in Homeowners & Tree Owners

Should I remove squirrel nest from tree?

Should I remove squirrel nest from tree?

Homeowners often ask, should I remove squirrel nest from a tree? Let’s first discuss the various types of tree squirrels that are common throughout the country. Eastern gray squirrels, western gray squirrels, red squirrels, and fox squirrels are all very skilled climbers and very much have adapted to life high up in the trees of most hardwood and coniferous trees. These rodents typically make their nests in hollow tree cavities or construct bowl-like structures out of clumps of leaves, twigs, and branches high up in the tree branches for shelter and safety. 

Squirrels are a member of the rodent family since they are common in many parts of the world, they have also adapted to humans which means they live in neighborhoods and communities. They spend much of their day roaming around looking for food, digging up the ground, planting acorns that produce those random trees that grown out of nowhere. Squirrels are arboreal, which means they make their homes in trees. Squirrels can cause problems and damage trees by chewing on its bark and often, squirrels use trees as a means to get into a house to nest, usually the attic. If you see damage to the corners of your siding that’s a sign a squirrel is chewing to get through. Whatever the reasons why you should remove squirrel nest from a tree.

Many people, even Arborists, in particular, have asked, "how do we keep squirrels away from trees?" Arborists seem concerned because many of the trees they remove or trim will have squirrel nests or squirrels that might be in the knothole of the tree. An example of such a concern for homeowners: "We see squirrels going into a knothole in our large tree. We assume there is a squirrel that lives in the tree. Is it dangerous for the tree, if a squirrel lives inside the tree? If so, how do we get the squirrels out and remove the nest? If a squirrel has a nest that is visible in the branches, will the squirrel keep coming back? Basically, people want to know should I remove squirrels nesting in trees, because they are worried that the squirrel might be hurting the tree in some way or they see squirrels causing damage to their siding or roof. 


Infestations of squirrels in trees will be readily apparent as the bushy-tailed rodents are often seen scampering about yards and climbing up tree trunks. Their clawed feet make them excellent climbers, but they tend to leave visible scratches on trunks, fences, and house exteriors. Tree squirrels can also be extremely vocal animals, chattering and squeaking as they chase each other about. Finally, homeowners should be able to determine which trees are housing populations of the pests by looking for squirrel nests in tree branches.


The damage tree squirrels can cause to your property can be quite severe. They are known to make messes of unsealed garbage bins, eat from your fruits and vegetable plants in gardens or trees, dig holes in pots and in the ground in search of seeds and nuts even bury acorns that end up growing ugly trees in random areas in your yard. I’m sure you have asked your self how did this random tree start to grow here, that was probably a squirrel that buried an acorn. Squirrels are also capable of spreading diseases such as salmonella, rabies, and plague. To make things worse, squirrels in trees are likely to make their way indoors when cold weather hits, destroying your attic vents, window screens, or siding to get into warm attics. To ensure squirrels do not become a nuisance on your property, it’s recommended to remove squirrel nests from trees as soon as possible, we do recommend individuals should contact a tree service company to remove the nest. Even if you don’t need your trees trimmed if you call a tree care company tell them you have a squirrel nest that needs to be removed they have the equipment to get high up in the tree to remove the nest for a small fee.  If you hear sounds from the nest or feel there might be babies in the squirrel nest, contact a professional animal control company they specialize in wildlife removal and can get rid of troublesome squirrels in trees to help secure homes and prevent squirrel infestations. The last thing you want is squirrel nesting in your attic, having babies, those squirrels and their babies will utilize those same areas year after year, so make it difficult for them. 


QUESTION: We have squirrels in our trees, they are becoming a problem by chewing in the corner of our siding by our roofline. How do I remove squirrel nests from trees, and how do I keep them from coming back? What are the typical costs to remove a squirrel nest from trees?

ANSWER: Of all the different questions we get when it comes to trees, squirrels in trees, birds that roost in trees overnight, beehives in trees, are all questions that don’t come up often but to give some context. For squirrels, we recommend identifying first that you have a squirrel nest in your tree, then to check around your home to see if they have gained access to the inside. When it comes to removing squirrel nests either a tree care company or an animal control company would be the best option to contact, pricing for just removing nests will depend on the type of tree, access to the nest, how many nests you have, etc. Most homeowners can expect to pay between $100-$500 for this type of service. Additional fees may apply for preventative services to prevent entrance into the home. 

QUESTION: We are getting overrun with squirrels in our trees and in our yard. Do you have tree service companies that remove squirrel nests from trees? If so, will they use methods that are humane? 

ANSWER: Squirrels in that build nests in trees can become very problematic for homeowners. Squirrels are known to damage property like patio furniture pillows and cushions (things they use to build out there nests). Squirrels can also leave feces and urine on the sides of homes if outside, it’s worse if they end up in the interior of the home.  Tree service companies can help remove squirrel nests in trees as long as there aren’t babies in the nest. Check your local laws before removing any animal nests. If squirrels are in the interior of your home, then its best to contact a local animal control company. Live trapping in the lawn or trees can provide some relief; however, complete control would require ongoing services and a preventative exterior service to keep a new population from taking over your property or entering the interior of your home.


When it comes to squirrel nests, tree service companies are more equipped to be able to easily observe the nests that are located in tree limbs, potentially even the trunk of the tree as well. Squirrels are also likely to build a nest inside of a structure like a shed or a house for their young but this is not always the case if they can’t gain access to the interior then they have to utilize trees to keep their young in concealed and well-built nests in the trees. There are a few different things to keep in mind if you are considering to hire a tree service to remove a squirrel nest from a tree.

If there are baby squirrels present in the nest, in most states in America it is illegal to attempt to remove the nest. You need to realize baby squirrels are blind for the first few weeks of their lives and are 100% helpless until they reach maturity. In addition to that, birds, cats, and even adult squirrels can attack the babies,  invade and destroy the nest, the last thing you want to do as a human is cause harm. It’s recommended to avoid getting lose to squirrel nests that contain baby squirrels. It’s not a sure thing that a nest has been left behind because they will reuse a nest. This is why contacting a tree service company to evaluate the tree, the location of the nest, and see if there are babies first is the best bet. If there are no babies present, then paying them to remove the nests in a humane way to prevent them from coming back and hanging around your property to cause damage at a later date. 

To be safe, you should never attempt to remove a nest from a tree on your own. Always consult with either a tree service company or an animal control specialist as these professionals are more prone to deal with these situations. They will be able to determine if a nest is abandoned, or if there are any babies inside of a nest. 


Squirrels are creatures of habit, animals that have habits might not be as selective as other warm-blooded mammals in the rodent family. Meaning some rodents won’t favor reusing previous nests or areas, squirrels are different they will have no problems at all to return to previous nests they’ve built and reuse it. This might be due to the squirrels mating seasons usually this is winter and summer. 

If homeowners are not irritated with an ongoing family of squirrels on your property and in your trees then you will need to get used to some common issues that will continue to arise throughout the year. If you want to avoid these rodents from mating and living in your trees, then removing nests and making sure they don’t gain access to the interior is imperative. 

If you do nothing, squirrels will reuse the same nest, this is why consulting with a tree service company to check out the tree, maybe they can even remove some of the limbs in the area that squirrel build nests in.  If you do nothing, squirrels give birth in early spring and late summer. If you act late, then you remove any chance of removing nests because live babies cannot be removed until they mature and leave the nest on their own which takes ten to twelve weeks.

It would be wise to monitor the process if babies are present. Once babies are gone then removal can occur. If you choose not to have the nest removed, you will find that the same mother squirrel might continue to use the same nest year after year which will cause an infestation down the road.  Squirrels believe in if it ain’t broke don’t fix it meaning they do not believe in messing up an already good thing.


There are so many things that can go wrong with DIY squirrel nest removal. In fact, we won’t even go into how to do this yourself. The dangers of getting high up in a tree, even if you have a ladder that is tall enough. We will instead give you some reasons why you shouldn’t do something like this. To begin with, you could and will come in contact with bacteria and infectious diseases that are carried by squirrels that can make you ill should you attempt to remove the nest yourself, so if you are married and have children this can be transferred into your home if not done properly, rather have someone else get sick than yourself. 

What you can do, however, is call in a professional. A professional animal control company or tree service company will have the knowledge and equipment needed to remove the nest without any risks on your end. 

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