Squirrels - Problems They Cause, Methods of Removal and Prevention: Squirrels are amazingly intelligent creatures, social and highly curious. It's no wonder that they sometimes collude with your household and can become quite a nuisance if let to their own devices. For the most part, however, it's not that hard to detect their presence and have them properly removed.
Problems squirrels can cause. The main issues that squirrels are likely to cause is damage to either wooden structures, insulation and, most importantly, wires. This is because in most cases, squirrels will be tempted to make your attics their home, as they usually will feel save in a secluded, protected space where no one comes in on a regular basis. Furthermore, the materials available to them there, like insulation material, are great for their nest building.
However, given that squirrels are rodents, they will inherently chew anything they can get their paws on. Sometimes for practical reasons, like creating a nest, other times because they're hungry or they simply need to grind their teeth – their teeth grow throughout their lives and need to be kept sharp at all times for feeding purposes. The main issue with this is that they can target stuff like electrical wiring, which is soft enough to chew through easily, and not hard enough to pose a real challenge to their teeth. They have no specific preference for wires, it's just that the texture suits their needs. This can pose a significant fire hazard, so if you detect squirrels living in your attic, then make sure you immediately take the necessary measures to remove the invaders, or call a professional wildlife removal service.
Same goes with wood – and that can, in time, lead to significant structural damage. These are also the kinds of repairs you'd probably want to avoid, considering they'll set you back by quite a lot of money. However, this only happens if a squirrel infestation has been ignored for long periods of time and they've had the run of the house with no interference on your part. Getting an authorized wildlife removal professional on your property as soon as possible is key in making sure you avert further, often costly damage to your home.
Last, but definitely not least, your insulation material can also be targeted by squirrels in your attic. They'll gather this up, along with wood chippings and whatever else they can either find or chew themselves, and create nests for their young. Not only can this lead to a huge mess you'll have to clean up afterwards, but it can also impact the energy efficiency of your home, and increase the fire risk when coupled with wires being chewed.
Aside from indoor problems, squirrels can also cause some exterior damage as well. Everything from shingles being moved or broken, to damage to your sidings and exterior cables and wires, to actual damage to scenery items and the trees on your property. As a matter of fact, squirrels usually use trees to get in and out of your attic in the first place, which brings us to the next section – how to minimize the risk of them moving in in the first place?
Methods of removal and prevention. As mentioned above, trees should be your main concern – especially those that touch your roof or home's sidings. These provide perfect access points for squirrels and many other kinds of wildlife, as well as insects. Keeping the branches away from your house should be the first step in making sure your home is kept safe from them. Next up, you'll need to make sure there aren't any freely available sources of food on your property which may entice the squirrels to move close by. You can definitely set up feeders, as you'll be the one controlling the amounts of food that goes into those, but beware of raccoons and other nuisance species that might be attracted to squirrel and bird feeders. Also, having oak trees and coniferous trees around should put you on guard for frequent visits from animals who feed on acorns, seeds and cones, squirrels included.
When you notice that squirrels have moved in, the first thing you want to do is locate where they've set up their nests. They'll usually hang around your attic, but any protected areas where they are safe from predators and sheltered from the elements will do just fine as far as they're concerned. Once you locate them, it's important to keep in mind that you should always contact a professional wildlife removal service. Don't call pest control – they use inhumane methods like poisons, traps or snares to remove the animals from your property. A wildlife removal professional will use humane, cost-effective methods instead through which they'll remove the animal without hurting it, or euthanize it without putting it thorough any suffering. Not only that, but they'll also help you deal with the damage the squirrels have done, and also guide you towards more preventive measures for the future.
If not, be sure to educate yourself on squirrel biology and behavior so that you can manage the problem efficiently. You can use the guides available on this website to prepare yourself for the task you're going to take on. It's important to also remember that if a squirrel has made a nest in your attic, it's almost certain that it has a litter up in there, and that means an additional problem you have to take into account and deal with properly. Using poisons or fatal traps and snares should never be taken into consideration – those methods not only cause a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering to the animal, but can also pose significant risks for other innocent wildlife and for your pets as well. Live trapping should be your go-to removal method when talking about squirrels in your attic. As I always recommend, contact a wildlife removal professional for guidance and help.
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