Nuisance Squirrels in the Attic: How to Identify, Remove and Prevent Them
If you've ever heard scratching or chewing noises in your attic, it's possible that you have a squirrel infestation. Squirrels are agile and persistent creatures that can easily gain access to your home through small gaps and holes in the roof. While they might seem cute and harmless, the truth is that having squirrels in your attic can cause serious damage to your home and pose risks to your health and safety.
Signs of Squirrel Infestation
One of the most common signs of a squirrel infestation is hearing scratching or chewing noises coming from the attic. Squirrels are active during the day and are usually most active in the early morning and late afternoon, so you might hear these noises during those times. The sounds are often described as rapid and persistent, and can sometimes sound like tapping or running. You may also notice droppings around your attic, which can be a sign of a large squirrel population. Squirrel droppings are typically small and oblong-shaped, and are often found near the areas where they eat or nest. Squirrels are known for their chewing behavior and can cause damage to insulation or wiring, which can lead to costly repairs if left untreated. They may also chew on wood or other materials in the attic. In addition to chewing, squirrels also shred materials to create nesting materials. You may find nests made from leaves, twigs, and shredded paper in your attic. If you suspect that you have a squirrel infestation, it's important to take action promptly to minimize the damage they can cause.
Why Squirrels are Attracted to Attics
Squirrels are attracted to attics because they offer a warm and protected environment that is ideal for nesting and raising their young. Attics are often left unoccupied, providing squirrels with a space where they can build their nests without interference. The attic also provides shelter from the elements, which is especially important during colder months. Squirrels also like to gnaw on things, and attics often have a variety of materials that are attractive to them, such as wood, wires, and insulation. Squirrels are opportunistic and will take advantage of any openings in the roof or walls to gain access to your attic. Additionally, once they are inside, they can easily find food and water sources, such as bird feeders or dripping pipes. In short, squirrels are attracted to attics because they provide a safe, warm, and comfortable place to live, with easy access to food and water.
Risks and Dangers of Squirrels in the Attic
There are several risks and dangers associated with having squirrels in your attic. First, squirrels are known for their gnawing behavior and can cause significant damage to insulation, wiring, and other materials in the attic, which can lead to costly repairs. Additionally, squirrels can create a fire hazard if they chew on electrical wiring. Squirrel droppings can also carry diseases such as salmonella, which can be transmitted to humans through contact or inhalation. This is especially dangerous for individuals with weakened immune systems or respiratory problems. Furthermore, the odor from squirrel urine and droppings can create an unpleasant living environment, and the presence of nesting materials can attract other pests, such as insects or rodents. Lastly, if left unchecked, a squirrel infestation can cause significant structural damage to your home, as squirrels can chew through walls, insulation, and roofing materials, creating entry points for other pests or water damage.
How to Get Rid of Squirrels in the Attic
If you have a squirrel infestation, it's important to address it promptly. Getting rid of squirrels in your attic should always be done with humane trapping and relocation, exclusion techniques to prevent re-entry, and professional measures to deter them from your home. It's important to handle squirrels carefully and humanely, as they are living creatures that deserve to be treated with respect.
Preventing Future Squirrel Infestations
The best way to prevent a squirrel infestation, is by sealing up gaps and holes in the roof, keeping trees and branches trimmed away from the roof, and storing food and garbage securely. Regularly inspecting your home for signs of squirrel activity can also help you identify and address any potential problems before they become a major issue. Squirrels can get through almost any building material other than masonry or steel. Wood, sheet metal, screen, siding and roofing shingles are no match for a determined squirrel.
Squirrels may be cute, but they can cause serious damage and pose risks to your home, health and safety if they take up residence in your attic. By identifying the signs of squirrel infestation, taking steps to remove them safely and effectively, and preventing future infestations, you can keep your home and family safe from these pesky rodents.
If you are looking for squirrel removal services, give us a call today for professional consultation.