Squirrels are unwanted visitors that could prove difficult to handle. They tend to chew through boards, insulation, and electrical wiring in your attic as they go about causing damage. You might be thinking that the squirrel is a harmless and cute creature, but keep in mind that once they settle in your home, they can be territorial and pose danger.
Identifying Squirrel Poop
You might have come across some droppings in your attic and you might be wondering what animal is making the mess. Knowing how to identify squirrel poop allows you to know whether squirrels are in your attic or not.
Squirrel poop has a close resemblance with that of rats. They are both smooth and dark brown with the difference being that squirrel droppings are bigger and have a barrel shape. Squirrel poop mostly appears around bird feeders, under trees, and inside crawl spaces in houses, like the attic.
Why a Squirrel Infestation is a Problem
Squirrels are so determined that when they get into your house and set up their nest, it might prove extremely difficult to get them out.
The incisor teeth of squirrels are always growing and they need to stop that growth by gnawing on something; what better place than the roof timbers in your home?
Also, squirrels tend to chew on electric cables and water pipes, which could lead to a significant problem that is costly to repair. There are cases where squirrels gnawing on roof joists left the floors in the attic so weak that people fell through the ceiling or their chewing through wires led to fire outbreaks.
A case where a squirrel chews through the water pipes in your loft could lead to a flood, which sees that your home is inhabitable for months.
You should also keep in mind that squirrels can get very aggressive and agitated when they have found a safe nest and you try to disturb it. So, they pose danger to anybody who approaches their territory.
How Squirrels Invade Your Home
Squirrels mostly look for gaps in your house such as developing holes or unscreened vents and take advantage of them. Most of the time, they utilize their teeth to chew through fascia boards and soffits to make their way into your home. They can also gnaw through window frames to enter the house.
Squirrels can infest a home at ground level, but they mostly opt for houses at higher levels, as they want to climb and be up high. They could utilize nearby wires or trees to access the roof of your building and get in through the roof tiles or chimney.
Signs of a Squirrel Infestation
Even after identifying the squirrel poop, there are other signs you should look out for to be certain that your home is infested with squirrels. These are the most common signs of squirrels in the attic:
- In dusty areas, you start seeing scratch marks and footprints.
- Look out for gnaw marks on pipes, cables, or wood in your attic.
- They tend to damage the properties you store in your house such as cardboard boxes that they utilize to make their nests.
- There are cases where you can see the nests; this is mostly a heap of insulation at the edge or in the corner of your attic. When you notice this, stay clear of it so as not to agitate the adult squirrels.
- If you notice that significant areas of insulation are missing, then it’s likely that the squirrels have taken it to utilize as nesting material.
- One of the most common signs of a squirrel infestation is the loud noises they make in the attic. These noises are mostly followed by loud thumping and banging, which can be heard at any point in the day.
Dealing with a Squirrel Infestation
Once you notice that you have a squirrel infestation problem, ensure you take the following steps to handle the situation safely.
Find the Squirrel Nest
If your attic is home to a family of squirrels, you need to find their nest, which is typically made of insulation, leaves, and cardboard. If you notice that the adult squirrels have given birth, you should wait for some weeks so that the babies are old enough to leave the mother.
Seal the Openings in Your Attic
Squirrels can make their way into your home through gaps. When you locate these gaps, ensure you seal them with caulking or wire.
Make sure that one opening is left to allow the squirrels in your attic to take their leave.
Hire an Exterminator
The safest and quickest way to deal with your squirrel infestation problem is to hire a qualified exterminator. They are well-equipped to do the job as they utilize live traps with other means to make sure that these pests don’t bother you and your family again.
Preventing Squirrels from Returning
- Utilize a Motion-activated Sprinkler System: This helps to keep squirrels away by spraying them anytime they come close to your house.
- Use a Taste Repellent: You can stop squirrels from coming close to your house by spraying a repellent made up of vinegar, water, and garlic.
- Use a Plastic Owl to Scare Squirrels: Squirrels are scared of owls, so placing a plastic owl on your roof or fence post may help to scare them away.
- Cut off Branches of Trees Linking to Your House: Since squirrels utilize nearby trees to get onto the roof of a house, trimming the trees around your house cuts off their access to your roof.
Squirrels can be very frustrating pests to deal with especially when they have marked their territory in your home. If you check your attic and notice that there are squirrel droppings, do not hesitate to look for a solution.
The best way to handle this problem and make your house safe again is to call an exterminator to safely and completely clear out the pest. Also, ensure that you take preventive measures to stop the squirrels from re-entering your home.
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