Squirrels are one of the most common, and most irritating, household pests homeowners have to face. They are incredibly abundant in the wild but are increasingly turning to homes for shelter due to large scale urbanization and the resulting decline in their natural habitat. Winter months are especially a problem for some species of squirrels as not all of them hibernate, so they need a reliable and warm place to sleep at night as they are not nocturnal creatures.
Renowned for their climbing abilities, squirrels can quickly become a nuisance if not dealt with quickly. Like other rodents, squirrels have incredibly sharp incisor teeth that constantly grow during their lives, so they need to be maintained regularly to avoid growing too big. This is one of the main reasons why squirrels gnaw on wood and electrical cables, but they will also chew on something if it blocks them from getting to where they want to go, such as a source of food or shelter.
As a result, squirrels can cause a massive amount of damage to a home if left unchecked. This is especially the case if dealing with ground-based squirrels that tend to live in colonies rather than alone, with adult females often giving birth to a number of offspring. And like any other rodent, squirrels require food in order to survive.
They are primarily herbivorous, meaning they will target fruit or vegetables, which can be a big problem for your garden or yard.
Removing squirrels from your home follows a similar process generally used for all types of household pests:
When they’re not running around like crazy collecting nuts, what are squirrels up to? Some squirrels like to turn your home into their home, and this can be problematic. Having a squirrel live in your home may not sound like a huge problem, but squirrels can bring with them many unseen consequences whether you’re located in Fenwick or anywhere else in Sussex County, DE. Here are some solutions for keeping squirrels away from your home.
This first, very important step is one that can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle down the road. By sealing up your home, you are dramatically reducing the chances of any squirrels or other nuisance wildlife from being able to come into your home. To begin this process, the first step you will need to take is a deep, thorough inspection all around your home. Both inside and outside should be examined. Pay special attention to the soffit, fascia, attic, roofline, and roof of your home. Keep your eyes out for any problem areas, such as any holes, gaps, or cracks. If you can find any potential areas that could allow squirrels access, you will want to seal them off. Use aluminum sheeting, treated lumber, steel wool, and all-weather sealant to keep these problem areas closed off. This should be an excellent start for your squirrel prevention progress.
A very common reason that squirrels come onto properties in the first place is that they have located some easy sources of food that will allow them to eat without spending all of their energy. Oftentimes, this will be one of the only reasons they want to be on your property. In order to fix this, start looking at your yard and home for any easy sources of food. Keep all pet foods out of the reach of animals. Always make sure your garbage is sealed off so that animals cannot get to it. Be aware that many bird feeders often become squirrel feeders. Even “squirrel-proof” bird feeders can often still be accessed by squirrels. It is also important to be aware that squirrels love to eat a variety of plants, flowers, vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, and many other common occurrences in yards. Taking steps to cut down on these easy food sources might be an excellent idea.
When you are examining your yard for any easy sources of food for squirrels, it will also pay off to look at any messes in your yard. A messy yard provides a playground for smaller animals and their common prey. If you begin to get rid of some of the easy sources of shelter and safety for smaller animals, you may begin to cut down on the attraction level your yard holds for squirrels. Keep all grass and weeds trimmed and mowed so that they do not provide a virtual jungle for small animals. Clean up any large woodpiles or other piles of debris, as these can be breeding grounds for insects, snakes, and rodents. By simply keeping your yard nice and neat, you can avoid some of the squirrel problems you may otherwise face.
In some cases, there might not be much that you have done that has helped cut down on squirrel problems. If this is the case, it is wise to hire a professional wildlife removal service. This can be an excellent way to get experienced eyes on your problem and recommend, as well as perform a variety of services you may not have thought of.
At Mighty Men Pest Control, we have years of experience in dealing with the prevention of squirrels, as well as many other nuisance animals. We can figure out exactly what your yard and home need to prevent any squirrels from invading and causing problems. If you reside in Contra Costa County, Napa County, Sonoma County, or San Mateo County in California, give us a call here at Mighty Men Pest Control, as we would love to help you out!
Squirrels are extremely nimble rodents that are able to climb, chew, and claw through some pretty tough materials. They’re highly adapted for climbing and often use this ability to take shelter in attics, making them an age-old nuisance for many homeowners.
Squirrels are a lot more capable than you might think. They might be small, but they are strong for their size. They are able to climb up a five-story brick or stucco wall in just a few seconds. They are strong enough to tear apart slate and terra cotta with their claws. They can even move loose bricks to gain access to your home.
Squirrels also use their jaws to chew through anything in their path. The common tree squirrel has a bite force of around 7,500 pounds per square inch! With power like that, they can easily chew right through shingles, wood, and even aluminum.
With such an impressive array of abilities, it’s no wonder that squirrels can find their way into attics. At Mighty Men Pest Control, this is one of the most common calls we get. It’s usually seasonal and most calls come in late fall, winter, and early spring when temperatures are relatively low.
This is no coincidence. Squirrels like attics because they are warm and dry. An attic is also a safe place to hide from predators, which is crucial because the biggest reason the squirrels are in the attic is to have babies! If you hear a lot of commotion in the attic, like something is running around, it’s probably baby squirrels.
Before attempting to remove squirrels from your attic, we suggest you take a few preventive measures first. At Mighty Men Pest Control, we’ve found that this is a crucial first step because if you leave easy entry methods open, your removal steps might have no lasting effect.
Squirrel prevention is easy in most cases. If you have any bird feeders, take them down – they attract squirrels. Make sure you secure your garbage cans to prevent squirrels from getting inside them. Also make sure to cut away any tree limbs that might provide squirrels with easy access to your roof.
You should also make sure to seal up any holes in your attic walls or roof. At Mighty Men Pest Control, we first seal up all holes except one and install a one-way pest door on the remaining hole. By doing this before removal steps are taken we give the squirrels one way out and no ways back inside.
Once you’ve taken a few basic preventive steps, it’s time to get the squirrels out of your house.
The easiest DIY squirrel removal method is some type of squirrel repellent. You can try the old wive’s tale method and soak a rag in ammonia or other strong cleaners. Place it near the squirrel’s nesting spot in the attic – the smell might force them out. You can also try store-bought commercial squirrel repellents. They work on the same basic principle as the household methods.
One thing to note about repellents – don’t use moth balls! They are usually ineffective and can pose a danger to your own pets and children.
Another easy DIY squirrel removal method is turning on the lights in your attic. The idea here is to make the squirrels feel exposed so they don’t feel safe in the attic anymore. You can also try to place an old radio in the attic with the volume turned up load. Make sure it’s tuned to an AM station where there’s lots of talking – the sound of human voices will scare the squirrels away.
If all the above methods fail, there’s one other squirrel removal method you should try. That method is trapping, and it’s our preferred method because it’s highly effective. The only problem is, it’s risky for an untrained person to do. At Mighty Men Pest Control, we are squirrel trapping experts. We strongly recommend hiring a professional to carry out any animal trapping in your home.
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