How Much Does It Cost to Remove Squirrels?
They may look cute in your backyard, but don’t let those bushy-tailed critters fool you – a squirrel infestation in your attic or walls can wreak havoc on wiring, insulation, and even your health! Squirrels belong outside for good reason: they harbor fleas, ticks, and disease. Plus, they love to chew on everything. Getting rid of them at the first sign that they’ve moved in is the only way to ensure that your home and family remain safe.
All About Squirrels
Squirrels look innocuous, but when they find their way inside of a house, they can cause all kinds of trouble. Able to give birth to 2-3 litters of 4-6 babies each year (and living for about 12 years), even a single squirrel can turn into dozens in no time. To make matters worse, squirrels tend to be family-oriented social beings that often live in groups, so the odds of harboring just one or two of these pesky mammals are not high. Once a squirrel sets up house inside of your abode, they can quickly overtake it. While squirrels tend to take up residence in attics due to the easy access and comfy setting, these critters also commonly settle down inside walls, chimneys, closets, and other quiet, warm, and safe areas.
While other rodents may be more active at night, squirrels tend to follow a more human-like schedule, scuttering about during normal daylight hours. Also, they tend to be more active in the fall, as they look for a place to settle in for the winter
There are many types of squirrels, and telling your pest management specialist what kind of animals he will be dealing with may be really useful. One of the most common and most destructive squirrels found in North American neighborhoods is the gray squirrel, which is between 14 and 21 inches long, features gray coloring with white undertones, and is commonly found in suburban neighborhoods. The pine squirrel is the smallest squirrel species. It is on the smaller side (about 7-9 inches long) and features a reddish color.
Signs of Having a Squirrel Infestation
Your dog is whining or clawing at the walls and every once in a while you think you hear something in the attic, roof, or walls. This may leave you wondering if squirrels have infiltrated your home. Here are some telltale signs that you could be harboring these unwanted guests:
Noises. If there is one thing universal about squirrels it is that they are not quiet creatures. These active mammals tend to make a lot of noise as they scamper, scurry, and thump about behind your walls, on your roof, and in your attic.
Holes. If you have noticed small holes underneath your soffits 1, in your insulation, or even in your yard, this could indicate a squirrel problem. If they can’t find an entryway, these critters are not opposed to making ones themselves in order to find a warm, dry place to build a nest.
Broken gutters. If your gutters suddenly show signs of damage or loosening, squirrels could be the culprit. Gutters offer a good route onto the roof for squirrels looking for entry into a home, and all of that climbing and jumping often damages them.
Damage to bird feeders and garden plants. Squirrels don’t discriminate when it comes to finding food. They will go after anything they can: your garden plants, pet food, bird seed, and even garbage. Repeated damage to these areas may be a sign of squirrel trouble.
Fighting squirrels in your yard. While squirrels like to live in larger groups, when an area is overpopulated they do begin to fight over territory,and your home is considered part of their territory. When too many squirrels live in one area, good nesting places become scarce, forcing the critters to look inside for a place to live.
Caches of nuts and acorns. Finding piles of these items in and around your home is a common sign of squirrel activity.
Foul smells coming from your attic. The fact is, squirrels need to pee and poop just like people, and when they take up habitation in your attic they are going to do it right there. Over time (and when your squirrel population rises), that urine and feces is going to begin to smell.
It is easy to identify ground squirrels since they forage above ground near their burrows. Their body measures 14 to 20 inches, which includes their tail. Adult squirrels weigh between 21 and 30 ounces. The males are somewhat larger than the females.
Ground squirrel fur is mottled brown, with some white and gray markings on the back. Their belly and underside have a combination of lighter browns, grays, and white. ground squirrels have a white ring around each eye. Their tails are somewhat bushy (but less so than those of tree squirrels) and their ears are erect and conspicuous.
BIOLOGY AND BEHAVIOR
ground squirrels live in colonial burrow systems where they sleep, rest, rear young, store food, and avoid danger. Their burrows are about 4 inches in diameter, although older burrow entrances can occasionally be quite a bit larger. The length of burrow systems usually ranges between 5 and 30 feet. Most burrow systems are within 2 to 3 feet of the surface of the ground, but they may occasionally be up to 6 feet or more in depth. Burrows can be single tunnels or complex branching systems. They may be occupied by a single squirrel or occupied by many.
ground squirrels are active during the day, mainly from midmorning through late afternoon, especially on warm, sunny days. They have two periods of dormancy during the year. During winter months, most ground squirrels hibernate, but some young can be active at this time, particularly in areas where winters aren’t severe.
During the hottest times of the year, most adults go into a period of inactivity, called estivation, that can last a few days to a week or more. During these periods, the burrow appears open at the entrance, but the squirrel plugs it with soil near the nest.
A GUIDE TO SQUIRRELS IN THE ATTIC
Are you a homeowner who has an issue with squirrels? If yes, this blog is for you! Squirrels are very demiurgic creatures and have exceptionally powerful jaws. They can gnaw through any dwelling roof or soffit line in a single bound!
Squirrels usually create more than one entry point including going through the roof vents. And if you try to close the holes without remediating the problem, they will chew their way out. Plus, it is considered to be cruelty to trap the wildlife in your attic. Especially if there are baby squirrels involved.
This particular customer had her home overrun by squirrels. In the guest room, they had actually gnawed their way through the walls and ceiling and we cohabitating within the living space. The walls of the home were drenched in urine and showed staining on every single wall of the home. The attic had multiple squirrel families burrowed within the insulation and had also developed a rodent problem as well. The insulation was so soiled that it could not be determined whether it was pink or yellow.
This was a result of waiting entirely too long to remove these animals. Not only did the exclusion take a long time, it was very expensive and did extensive damage that the homeowner’s insurance did not pay for. Keep this case study in mind when you begin to hear noises in the attic or see the suspicious activity as it will prevent an infestation and additional damages caused by a long stay in the attic.
As long as the squirrels have food and water, they will flourish. Squirrel problems are common in homes that have had a previous wildlife issue as they can smell the pheromones from the previous houseguests you had in the attic. Wildlife removal of this type must be performed by a licensed wildlife removal expert who is licensed. To live-trap animals, you have to have a trapping license.
How To Get Rid of Squirrels
The complaints of homeowners in reference to squirrels usually have to something to do with causing damage to wires, siding, insulation, and household items when they establish their nests in attics or other buildings. Squirrels also damage bird feeders, flowers and vegetable gardens in the process of foraging for food. There is no magic spray or repellent when it comes to getting rid of nuisance squirrels. The only proven way to get rid of a squirrel is through preventing access, limiting food sources, and trapping.
Squirrels gain access to homes, and especially attics, through small openings and other structural weaknesses. While it is not always possible to locate and seal off every point of entry, you will do a great deal to discourage entry by practicing the following methods:
Trim trees and other shrubbery away from the house and roof
Secure a cap of sheet metal over the chimney outlet
Repair openings and holes on exterior walls with heavy wire cloth or wood secured into solid substrate with screws
Repair cracks in foundation walls with a heavy duty caulk
Move stacked firewood away from the side of the structure
Use guards over your gutters and cover all down spouts
Limit Food Sources
Squirrels are not going to stick around long or make your home their home unless there are enough food sources to sustain them.
Keep all trash in metal cans or bins with tight fitting lids
When throwing away meat or other foods with a strong odor, double-bag them to reduce smells
Elminate as many sources of water as possible in your hard and near your home
Regularly clean up fallen fruit such as berries in your garden
If possible, cover garden crops with a cage of wire netting.
Don’t leave pet food out at night
Keep bird feeders up to 20 feet away from the home or structure
Bait and Trap
Two traps that we recommend for safe and effective squirrel capture are the Havahart Cage Trap Model 0745, and Havahart Cage Trap Model 1078. Havahart recommends contacting the Humane Society, or the local or state game commission before setting a trap to determine the lawful method of releasing a captured wild or nuisance animal. Many species are protected by law in various states.
Be aware of weather conditions. Trapped animals should not be left out in the elements as they can die from prolonged exposure to heat and cold.
Check traps FREQUENTLY. Wild animals stress easily and may seriously injure themselves as they attempt to escape.
Other animals besides the target animal may get caught in the trap. If this happens, advice on releasing it safely can be obtained from a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in your state.
Depending on the time of year, you may trap a nursing mother and if you relocate only her, her babies will not survive. To see if you’ve trapped a nursing female, stand the trap on one end to observe the belly.
Traps should be washed, disinfected with a bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts of water and let it remain on for 20 minutes), and thoroughly rinsed after each capture to stop the spread of any potential disease. Animals frequently defecate and urinate when captured and it is unhealthy to put bait down unless trap is cleaned thoroughly.
How to Get Rid of Squirrels in the Attic & Garden
Find strange holes outside of the attics? That can be a sign that some squirrels are nesting in the attic! If you don’t know how to get rid of squirrels in the attic and garden and act in time, these small animals will bring great trouble to you.
Damages & Signs of Squirrels in the Attic
Why shall you take certain measures to get rid of squirrels in the attic, wall and gardens?
The answer is: These cute little animals will cause more damages to your houses than you can imagine if they are active in your attics or gardens.
Damages Caused by Squirrels in the Attic & Garden
• Chewed cracks and holes in the attic, wood sidings or the interior decoration of your houses;
• Bitten electrical wires, insulation and even your wooden furniture;
• Piles of leaves and other debris brought into the attic by squirrels;
• Squirrels’ droppings in your attic;
• Harmful parasites and diseases carried by squirrels;
• Mold and mildew in the attic;
• More entry points, i.e., holes, after baby squirrels grow up in your attic;
• Plants and fruits in the garden eaten by squirrels.
Signs of Squirrels in the Attic & Walls
So how to know if there are any squirrels nesting in the attic and garden? Here are some clues that may give away their traces:
#1. Holes outside of the attic or in wood siding;
#2. Stolen birdseed or messed up birdfeeder;
#3. Squirrel droppings around your houses;
#4. Small footprints that don’t belong to your pets;
#5. Chewed or damaged insulation and wires;
#6. Strange noise from the attic at night.
How to Get Rid of Squirrels in the Attic: Feasible Solutions
“Squirrels in my small attic are crawling around! How to get rid of squirrels in an attic? Any suggestion?” “The squirrels eat my all nuts green. Every year I see these giant pecans forming, and then like overnight there’s a neat pile of husks and shells. What is the best way to repel squirrels? Help me!” If you also find squirrels nesting in your attic, you can follow the effective solutions below and learn how to get rid of squirrels in the attic in a breeze.