squirrel on roof

Unwanted Attic Guests: Dealing with Squirrel Infestation in Your Home

Squirrels are fascinating creatures to watch from a distance, but they can quickly become a nuisance when they take up residence in your attic. Not only are they noisy and disruptive, but they can also cause serious damage to your home and property. In this blog post, we will discuss how squirrels get into your attic, the damage they can do, and how to prevent and remove them. We will also provide tips on how to squirrel-proof your home and prevent future infestations.

How squirrels get into your attic

Squirrels are agile creatures that can easily find their way into your attic, causing a variety of problems. These furry intruders can enter through any small opening, such as a hole in the roof or a loose roof vent. Their sharp claws and teeth allow them to scale walls and trees with ease, making it simple for them to reach your roof.  Interestingly, squirrels have teeth that grow continuously throughout their lives. To keep their teeth from becoming too long, they engage in constant gnawing on various objects. This habit not only helps them maintain proper tooth length but also serves the purpose of wearing down their teeth, which can grow up to six inches a year! 

Even if your roof doesn’t have obvious entry points, squirrels can easily create a hole of their own if they find any compromises or vulnerabilities in the exterior material of your home. Once they’re on your roof, they can chew through shingles or other materials to create an entrance. Squirrels may also enter your attic through your chimney. They can build nests in your chimney and block the flow of air, which can be dangerous. It’s important to be aware of how squirrels can get into your attic so you can take steps to prevent them from doing so. If you find that squirrels have already made their way into your attic, it’s important to remove them as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

The damage squirrels can do

Squirrels can cause significant damage to your home and property. They can chew on electrical wires, which can create fire hazards. They can also damage insulation, which can reduce the energy efficiency of your home and increase your utility bills. Squirrels may contaminate food and water supplies with their urine and feces, which can pose health risks to you and your family.

In addition to the physical damage they can cause, squirrels can also be a nuisance. They can make noise by running around in your attic and scratching on the walls. They can also leave unpleasant odors behind.

If you have squirrels in your attic, it is important to remove them as soon as possible to prevent further damage. There are a number of ways to remove squirrels from your attic, including trapping, exclusion, and repellents. A wildlife removal expert can help you determine the best way to remove squirrels from your attic and prevent them from returning.

Squirrels can cause significant damage to your home and property, extending beyond the issues mentioned earlier. Their constant chewing poses a threat to wood structures and beams, potentially compromising the structural integrity of your residence. The gnawing behavior not only damages these essential components but also creates openings that serve as convenient entry points for other unwanted guests.

The destructive chewing habits of squirrels may lead to extensive harm, allowing rodents, mice, and rats easy access into your home. These smaller intruders can further exacerbate the damage by chewing on wires, insulation, and other materials. In some cases, the openings created by squirrels may even invite larger animals, such as raccoons, to find shelter within your property.

Beyond the physical damage they can cause, squirrels can also be a nuisance. They can make noise by running around in your attic and scratching on the walls. They can also leave unpleasant odors behind. It’s crucial to address squirrel infestations promptly to mitigate the potential risks associated with their destructive behaviors and prevent a cascade of problems within your home

How to Get Squirrels Out of the Attic

When squirrels decide your attic is prime real estate, swift and effective measures are essential. At First Class Wildlife Removals, our unwavering recommendation revolves around the use of exclusion methods, specifically employing one-way doors. Positioned strategically at known entry points, these doors provide a humane exit for squirrels while blocking any attempts at return. To ensure their effectiveness, a meticulous installation process involving screwing and screening seals these doors tightly, leaving no room for unwelcome reentries.

  • Stir up activity in and around the attic to unsettle squirrels.
  • Generate noise through methods like banging on the ceiling, talking loudly, using pots and pans, or playing loud music for auditory disruption.
  • Illuminate the attic with bright lights, such as spotlights or strobe lights, both day and night, to encourage squirrels to seek quieter spots.
  • Try a scent-based approach using pungent sprays or by soaking rags in cider vinegar, or placing mothballs around the attic for a deterrent. (Note: Avoid using mothballs around young children or pets due to potential harm.)
  • Introduce natural predators like cats, dogs, or use decoys such as fake owls, foxes, or hawks.
  • Reinforce defenses by lining the soffit under the eaves with chicken wire or wire mesh.
  • Securely cover attic vents and install inhospitable spikes for an added layer of protection.
  • Deter squirrels from climbing nearby trees by wrapping their trunks with wire or plastic mesh.
  • Deploy devices emitting ultrasonic, high-frequency sounds, or bright flashing lights for a comprehensive deterrent.

Can I trap and relocate squirrels?

Live Trapping and Relocation = A Temporary Fix

Live trapping might seem like a quick solution to a wildlife problem, but it’s only a short-term fix. Instead of just removing the current intruder, homeowners should address the root cause—what attracted the animal in the first place. Failure to do so may lead to a frustrating recurring cycle of new animals taking up residence. The key lies in wildlife-proofing your home for a lasting, humane solution.

Challenges in a New Environment

Relocated animals face numerous challenges in unfamiliar territories. From finding food, water, and shelter to navigating territorial disputes with resident animals, the odds are stacked against them. Disease transmission is another concern, potentially affecting resident wildlife populations.

Unforeseen Consequences: Stress, Harassment, and Separation

Trapped animals may face harassment from domestic pets and other wildlife, compounding their stress and potential for injury or death. If relocated, animals could be separated from their young, leaving dependent offspring to face an inhumane demise.

Legal Implications and the Futility of Trapping

Ontario regulations prohibit the relocation of trapped squirrels to a distance greater than one kilometer. Relocating animals beyond this range is illegal under the Ministry of Natural Resources’ Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. Improper use of live traps, causing animal suffering, may lead to animal cruelty charges under the Ontario PAWS Act

Trapping, despite initial intentions, doesn’t eliminate the problem. As long as an inviting habitat exists, wild animals will persist.

Preventing future infestations

After successfully evicting squirrels from your attic, it’s crucial to take preventive measures to keep them from returning. To check for any lingering squirrel activity, conduct a simple test using a piece of newspaper or cloth. Stuff the openings with the material and wait a few days; if the paper or cloth has moved or shifted, you still have a squirrel issue to address.

Preventing their comeback involves making your home less inviting and eliminating potential entry points. Begin by trimming any tree branches hanging over your roof, as squirrels can use these as access routes to your attic. Once you’ve confirmed your attic is wildlife-free, the next step is protecting it against potential intruders. Seal any cracks or holes in your roof, walls, and foundation, paying special attention to areas around chimneys, vents, and eaves. Utilize caulk, sealant, or metal flashing to secure these openings.

In addition to sealing up any potential entry points, you should also keep your attic clean and free of food sources. Squirrels are attracted to food, so it is important to remove any food that may be stored in your attic. This includes pet food, bird seed, and garbage. Make sure to keep your garbage cans tightly sealed and store pet food indoors.

Finally, you can also use deterrent devices to keep squirrels away from your home. These devices emit high-pitched sounds or ultrasonic waves that are unpleasant to squirrels. You can also use predator urine or other repellents to deter squirrels.

By following these tips, you can help to prevent future squirrel infestations and keep your home safe.

Important Note: Ensure that all holes or gaps are sealed only after successfully removing all squirrels from your attic. Sealing entry points while squirrels are still inside may lead to dire consequences, trapping these creatures within your home. The potential outcomes include the animals being unable to escape, resulting in their unfortunate demise, or causing additional damage as they desperately attempt to free themselves. Therefore, exercise caution and diligently confirm that your attic is completely squirrel-free before sealing your home against these unwelcome guests.

When to Call a Professional:

While DIY methods can be effective in certain situations, there are instances where it’s easier, more reliable, and involves less guesswork to enlist the expertise of professionals. Consider calling First Class Wildlife Removal when:

  • Persistent Infestations: If your squirrel problem persists despite your best efforts, it’s time to bring in the professionals. Our team has over 10 years experience to assess the situation and implement effective removal strategies.
  • Extensive Damage: If squirrels have caused significant damage to your attic, roof, insulation, or property, it’s essential to address the issue comprehensively. Our experts can not only remove the squirrels but also repair and seal your property against future intrusions.
  • Safety Concerns: Dealing with wildlife involves inherent risks, especially when using deterrents or exclusion methods. If safety is a concern or if you’re uncomfortable handling the situation, our trained professionals can ensure a safe and efficient resolution.
  • Uncertain Infestation Extent: It’s challenging to determine the full extent of a squirrel infestation on your own. Our team can conduct a thorough inspection, identify all entry points, and implement a comprehensive removal and prevention plan

For peace of mind and a swift resolution to your squirrel infestation, contact First Class Wildlife Removal. Our professionals are equipped to handle all aspects of wildlife removal, ensuring a safe and humane resolution to your wildlife concerns.

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