Squirrels in a Nutshell
There are so many things to love about squirrels! They’re adorable, friendly and highly intelligent. They help the environment by planting trees with their forgotten nuts, and they even keep pests away by eating insects in yards and gardens. And while today is Squirrel Appreciation Day—no kidding, it’s a thing—there is not much to appreciate about the damage they can do to your house.
During the winter months, squirrels are often preparing to have their first litter of the year, usually from late February to early April. Once it begins to warm up, squirrels may choose your attic as the best place to nest and raise their young. The idea of mommy squirrel and her babies nesting all cozy upstairs may give you the warm-fuzzies, but they can present a real problem for homeowners. In the southeast, the two most common types of squirrels are gray squirrels and flying squirrels. Gray squirrels are usually heard throughout the day, while flying squirrels are nocturnal and most active at night.
Squirrels can create holes for entry points and typically start in the attic. One of the first tell-tale signs of a squirrel infestation is the sound of scratching in the attic or wall voids, and you may hear bumping and items rolling overhead. Beyond the inconvenience, squirrels can cause real damage to your home. They build nests with items they bring inside, such as leaves and twigs, often tearing and even destroying insulation in the process. Their holes can lead to water leaks, and their gnawing can cause extensive damage to electrical wires.
Follow these squirrel prevention tips to protect your home from wildlife invaders:
- Keep tree limbs trimmed back away from your house. Notorious for their leaping abilities, don’t give squirrels any extra help.
- Make sure bird feeders are placed away from the house. While they may provide entertainment for birdwatchers, they also provide easy lunch squirrels.
- Perform regular maintenance on your home to prevent entry points from developing, specifically focusing on siding, soffits, fascia boards and attic vents.
- If you do discover a squirrel in the attic, contact the best pest control company in your area before making repairs. Unintentionally trapped animals can cause even more damage as they look for an escape route. Professional wildlife trapping is the safest, most efficient way to solve a squirrel problem. Wildlife management professionals are educated in live trapping and squirrel exclusion in accordance with the state’s regulations.