Should I Remove A Squirrel’s Nest? [What You Should Know]

should I remove a squirrel's nest

Squirrel nests can be an eyesore to homeowners, as they aren’t pretty. 

They can also house squirrels that will then cause damage to your home and garden as they follow their daily routines. You might want these nests gone for multiple reasons, but should you remove a squirrel’s nest from your tree?

Removing a squirrel’s nest from your tree will not harm the squirrel that built it. However, you do need to be cautious as the nest could have babies in it. For this reason, remove the nests in the summer or winter, as these are outside the squirrel’s breeding seasons. 

Keep reading to learn how to identify a squirrel’s nest, removal considerations, and more!

Is It Illegal to Remove A Squirrel Nest?

In most states, it is legal to remove a squirrel nest, as long as it doesn’t cause harm to the animal. That said, endangered species such as the Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel is protected under the Endangered Species Act, so it is illegal to remove their nests.

Before removing a squirrel nest, make sure you check your local wildlife laws and get permission if necessary.

Should You Remove Squirrel Nests From Your Trees?

Squirrels are cute creatures that many find entertaining to watch as they go about their daily routines. However, for those that live close to squirrels, they can become quite a nuisance, and they can begin to cause damage to your property. 

For this reason, many homeowners do not want squirrel nests in their trees, but should you remove them when you see them, or will this cause more of a problem?

Before we look at removing a squirrel, you must first understand why they build nests. 

Why Squirrels Build Nests?

Squirrels will build nests for two reasons. The first reason is to have a safe place to give birth and raise their young, and the other is to live. 

Squirrels will often have more than one nest in your area. This gives them different locations where they can sleep safely through the night. 

These nests are often called the squirrel’s “holiday homes.” Generally, if it’s not breeding season, you can remove these squirrel homes from your trees without incident, which will only cause some inconvenience to the squirrel. 

Never remove squirrel nests during the breeding season, as there could be baby squirrels in the nests that you can injure. 

So, you can remove squirrel nests from your trees if you remove them at the right time of year. 

Identifying Squirrel Nests In Trees 

Before you begin removing squirrel nests from your trees, you must ensure they are, in fact, squirrel nests. 

There are bird nests that look almost identical to squirrel nests, and you don’t want to disturb these bird nests by confusing them for squirrel nests. 

You need to know how to correctly identify squirrel nests to avoid this confusion. 

First, you must look out for the squirrels themselves. If you notice squirrels running around your garden more than usual, you might want to start looking in your trees for nests. 

When you look for squirrel nests, look at the trunk of your trees first. 

Squirrels have sharp claws that will leave scratches in the tree trunks as they climb up the tree. Prioritize your nest search in the trees with these markings.

You should see a hollow sphere made from twigs, leaves, and other organic materials in the branches. 

These nests should be bigger than birds’ nests when they are complete. 

You’ll see the nests in the large branches or any large hollows in the tree. They will not be on small or thin branches like bird’s nests. 

Why You Might Want To Remove Squirrel Nests 

You might want to remove squirrel nests from your trees for multiple reasons. Some of these reasons include damage being done to your property, damage to your plants, and noise. Squirrels can cause damage to your property if they nest in your trees. 

They will go and forage for food, including going through your garbage and creating a huge mess in your yard. They will try to climb outside your home, leaving scratches on your walls, or seek refuge inside.

They will forage for food in your garden and might begin to eat some of your plants. 

Squirrels are also highly vocal animals, and they can create a large amount of noise if a lot of them nest in your trees. This noise can disturb you while you go about your routine at home. 

Considerations When Removing Squirrel Nests 

Before you remove any squirrel nests that you see in your trees, there are considerations that you need to keep in mind. These considerations are for the safety of the squirrel populations and your safety.

 Let’s review these considerations to ensure you and the squirrels are safe. 

There Might Be Baby Squirrels In The Nests

Before you remove any squirrel nest, you need to ensure there are no baby squirrels in the nest. If you remove the nest with the baby squirrels inside, you can injure the babies or even kill them by accident. 

If you don’t kill or injure them, and you realize your mistake and try to give the babies back to their mom, their mom might reject them, leaving you to care for them. 

This can negatively impact the squirrel population in your area, which could cause other problems for the local environment. 

You Might Get Injured Trying To Remove The Nests

If you try to remove nests in your trees during the squirrel breeding season, you might get attacked by the squirrels as they try to defend their nests. 

They will do this if they already have babies in the nests or if they are about to give birth any day and need that nest. 

Squirrels have piercing claws and teeth that can cause serious injury if they attack you. 

Squirrels are rodents and can carry diseases that are transmittable to humans. These diseases include Salmonellosis, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis, and Tularemia. 

The chances of acquiring a disease from a squirrel are low. However, it is possible if you have an infestation.

When removing a squirrel nest, do it outside of the breeding season to prevent one from attacking you.

The Best Time To Remove Squirrel Nests From Trees

Most squirrels will give birth twice a year. They will have babies in the spring and in the fall. During these times, they will protect their nests and attack you if you get too close. 

These babies generally stay in the nest for about 12 weeks to ensure they grow well. After this time, you can safely remove the empty squirrel nests from your trees. 

How to Remove A Squirrel Nest From A tree?

Squirrels build their nests high up in the trees, so you’ll need to construct something such as a PVC pole that will allow you to knock the tree out of the limbs. This video walks you through the process of constructing a PVC pole with duct tape to remove the nests from the trees.

Final Word

According to the Humane Society it is legal to remove a squirrel nest from trees, as long as it doesn’t cause harm to the rodents.

If you want to stop squirrels from living in your garden, you can remove their nests from your trees. There are two types of squirrel nests, one you can remove immediately, and the other you will have to wait, as they will hold babies. 

Make sure you correctly identify the nest, as they can look like birds’ nests.  

The best time to remove a squirrel nest from your trees is during the summer or winter when you can be sure there are no babies in the nests. This will also protect you from any squirrel attack. 

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