If you’ve been hearing scampering and scratching sounds coming from your attic, you might have a squirrel problem. Squirrels can be a nuisance and they can cause serious damage to your home. But fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to get rid of them. Read on to learn more about getting rid of squirrels in your attic and taking back your home!
Signs of a Squirrel Infestation
There are many rodents that can take up residence in your home. Here are some ways to tell if the noises you hear are those of a squirrel.
If You Hear Noises During the Day
If you hear scurrying, scratching, or chewing sounds, especially in or around your attic, vents, ceiling, and crawl space, you may have a squirrel problem.
One way to identify the pest is to determine what time of day they are most active. Squirrels are active during the day, whereas other rodents, like mice and rats, are active at night. So depending on what time you hear noises from your attic can help you guess what kind of pest you’re dealing with.
It’s Mating & Birthing Season
Squirrels typically have two mating/birthing seasons: once between May – July and then again from late December through February. During birthing seasons, squirrels are more likely to seek shelter to protect their babies during these months. Sometimes squirrels will move out a few weeks after birth on their own.
You Notice a Foul Smell
Whether due to droppings or decay, a strong and foul order is another sign of a squirrel infestation.
You Notice Damage to Your Home
Squirrels are known to chew on a variety of materials when they invade a home. This can include chewing on electrical wiring, insulation, wood, and even plastic. They are also notorious for chewing through walls to gain access to attics and other areas of the home. Additionally, squirrels may chew through shingles and other roof materials in order to gain access to the attic.
You Spot a Nest
As we mentioned earlier, typically squirrels will invade your home to create a safe nesting place to birth their kits. Nests are commonly made of materials like cardboard, straw, insulation, or leaves.
If you notice the nest during the birthing season, that means you may have baby squirrels in your home. They typically rely on their mother for a few weeks before they leave the nest.
If you notice a nest, do not attempt to remove it yourself. Call a professional that knows how to safely return the mother squirrel and her babies to the wild.
How to Remove Squirrels From Your Home
Step 1: Locate Entry Points
The first step to addressing a squirrel infestation is to identify all potential entry points into the home, as well as any potential access points to the attic. This should include checking the roof, eaves, and soffits for any signs of damage or openings that may have been created by the squirrels.
Additionally, look for any openings around windows, doors, or vents that may be large enough for a squirrel to squeeze through. Once you’ve identified all potential entry points, you can begin to take steps to seal them off.
Squirrels can fit through surprisingly small openings, as small as two to four inches in diameter. So look for any entry points larger than this.
Step 2: Seal Off Entry Points
You can seal off entry points by using caulk or expanding foam to fill in any cracks or gaps, trimming overhanging tree branches, screening off roof vents, installing chimney caps, and repairing loose shingles or siding. Make sure all of the windows and doors are properly fitted and covered with a fitted screen. Additionally, you can install a one-way door to allow the squirrels to exit the house without being able to re-enter.
One benefit of calling a professional pest control company is that they know exactly where to look in and around your home to find entry points.
Step 3: Encourage Squirrels to Leave
Squirrels like to build nests in quiet, protected areas. So as soon as you notice signs of a squirrel invasion, encourage them to vacate with a lot of noise and activity before they have time to build their nest.
The safest option is to create noise without coming into contact with squirrels. Squirrels can become aggressive when they feel threatened, and they have sharp teeth and claws that can cause injury.
Start by banging on the ceiling with a broom, yelling loudly, or banging pots near the attic door. You can also turn on a radio or TV and leave it playing day and night.
If it’s safe to do so, you can put a radio in the attic, along with bright or strobing lights.
Another trick is to place cider vinegar-soaked rags around the attic – squirrels hate the smell and will avoid it. Another smell they hate? Mothballs.
Making a lot of noise may temporarily scare the squirrels out of your home, but it is not a guaranteed long-term solution. They may return when they realize that the noise has stopped. To permanently remove the squirrels, you should take the steps listed above to seal off entry points and install a one-way door.
If a squirrel has already given birth to its kits, it will be less likely to leave its babies behind. If this is the case, call a professional pest removal service that can safely handle and return the squirrel and its kits to the wild.
Step 4: Call a Professional
A professional wildlife removal expert like Carolina Pest Management will be able to identify and assess the extent of the infestation and provide humane methods of trapping and removing the squirrels from your attic. They will also be able to advise you on how to prevent the squirrels from entering your home in the future.
Why Remove Squirrels from Your Home Quickly
As cute as squirrels may appear, they can cause a lot of damage to your home if not removed quickly.
In addition to making loud and disruptive scratching sounds, squirrels can also:
- Damage insulation and ductwork
- Contaminate the area with droppings and urine
- Cause structural damage by chewing through wooden beams
We mentioned that squirrels like to chew on wires. This can cause an electrical fire in your home. Squirrels’ nesting materials make excellent kindling for a fire!
How to Prevent Future Squirrel Infestations
After putting in the work to remove squirrels from your attic, you should take a few extra precautions to avoid a future invasion.
- Trim trees near your roof – This can prevent squirrels from using branches to access your roof.
- Check your bird feeders – It’s recommended to remove all bird feeders but at the very least, remove bird feed that contains sunflower seeds, corn, or nuts. These are some of the squirrels’ favorite foods.
- Set up a plastic owl – a plastic owl can help scare away squirrels, but it must be moved around frequently to be effective.
- Use motion-sensor lights – As we mentioned earlier, squirrels like calm habitats, so bright lights will scare them away.
Squirrels in your attic can be a nuisance, or worse, cause serious damage. The best way to safely remove them is to call a professional wildlife removal company such as Carolina Pest Management. Our experienced team of professionals will be able to identify and assess the extent of the infestation, and provide humane methods of trapping and removing the squirrels from your home. Don’t wait—call Carolina Pest Management today and get your home squirrel-free!