Squirrels come across as cute and friendly and are often portrayed in cartoons as the likeable animal.
Anyone that has real-life experience of the creature will know that this is a flattering misrepresentation.
They are also rodents that can infest your home, with less than desirable consequences.
Nobody wants squirrel droppings around their attic or insulation torn up by any animal, no matter how bushy their tail is. Squirrels are not as common as mice or rats, but when they do enter the home they can be difficult to get rid of and may cause far more damage. They are inquisitive animals and when they're not squeezing their way into your attic, they're raiding your bird feeder or gnawing at newly planted gardens.
Squirrels damage fascia boards and flashing as they search for an entry to your attic. They can create a fire hazard in your attic by chewing through wiring. They will also destroy furniture and anything else that you might have stored in the attic.
They have the potential to carry diseases which are harmful to humans, including rabies, though this is very rare. Squirrels don't tend to be aggressive and don't attack humans. They enter homes simply for warmth, food, shelter and to find a suitable place to raise their young.
A squirrel may fall down your chimney by accident and decide to stay. Mostly, though, they come because a house offers better shelter from the elements, a readier supply of food and a more comfortable environment to rear their young than a tree does.
Once they get in, they are difficult to get rid of, so the best thing to do is to cut off access to the building and make it less appealing to the squirrels. Attics which are within two to three metres of tree branches are more at risk. Trimming tree branches, or preventing squirrels from climbing trees by wrapping sheet metal around their base, may help prevent squirrel damage.
Inspect the attic for possible entry points. Summer, before squirrels nest, is a good time to do this. Squirrel repellents may be effective in preventing squirrels from entering your attic in the first place.
Too often homeowners wait for what they think is a lone squirrel to leave and then block the hole or gap through which the animal enters the house. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when attempting to exclude the squirrel from your attic, wall or chimney.
When the adult squirrel returns to find her entry point closed, she becomes desperate to gain entry. The irritated animal, determined to get to her trapped young, can do a considerable about of damage to the structure of your home.
Likewise, the trapped animals will do everything in their power to get out and this is likely to result in considerable damage to pipes, insulation, plasterboard, wiring and woodwork in your attic. If the trapped animals can't escape, they will die and will leave a rotten smell of decaying animals in your attic for some time. Worse still, decaying animals may attract other unwanted pests, including ants and bluebottles.
If you have a squirrel problem then our professional pest controllers will be able to help you.
The best way to eradicate squirrels is to hire a professional.
Once the squirrels have been retrieved, any dead animals are removed, the area is sanitised and deodorised, squirrel droppings are cleaned up and any fleas, mites or other bugs that the squirrels may have transported into your home are treated for.
We then seal off the entry point and search the entire building, from the foundation up, for other possible entry points.
There are a number of ways of trapping squirrels, depending on the environment, the age and size of the animals and the type of squirrel.
Live traps are normally used and animals are generally relocated to a safe new home, far from human habitats.
They occasionally have to be put down (e.g. if they are ill or diseased), but animals are always removed in a legal and humane way.
Rodent poisons are advised against in vast majority of cases. A poisoned squirrel may be anywhere in your home when it dies and the smells and potential attraction of other bugs mean that it is a very ineffective method of exterminating the rodent.
Squirrels can do a lot more damage than you think. They can do considerable damage to the exterior and interior of your home or building as they search for food and a suitably warm nesting area.
Prevention is definitely better than cure when it comes to squirrels and particular care should be taken to ensure that squirrels don't become trapped in your attic.
If you suspect that you have a squirrel in your attic, don't delay. Call in our professional pest controllers on: 0800 158 3885 or fill in our Quick Contact Form.