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Squirrels Can Make A Mess of Your Attic

By Chris Williams on March 20, 2013.

Eastern gray squirrelQuestion

I think we have squirrels in our attic. We keep hearing noises up there lately and we do have lots of squirrels in our yard. If we just ignore them will they leave on their own eventually?

Answer

Squirrels are common attic invaders so you may be right about the identity of your guest. You could have a new occupant. Worse, you may have a squirrel that has spent the winter in your attic and what you are hearing now are squirrel babies ready to make their spring appearance to the world. They make lots of practice runs in and out over the course of a few days before they finally leave the nest for good. That doesn’t necessarily mean that mom is going to abandon her cushy attic nest though.

You don’t want to ignore squirrels in your attic because they can do a great deal of damage. Squirrels chew on lots of things and can damage wallboard, ceilings, and most importantly, electrical wiring. They can tear up insulation or any other soft items they find for nest material. Squirrels will urinate and defecate in your attic. They will also hoard food in the attic, leaving piles of nuts, seeds, chewed twigs and bark, pinecones, and acorns. This hoarded food can also attract insect pests. Sometimes squirrels will even chew their way or find their way out of the attic and end up in living spaces in your home.

That’s just the inside damage. If you have squirrels nesting in your attic, you should be able to find damage around your roofline where they have chewed one or more openings. Squirrels will enlarge an existing opening if they find one. More often they will gnaw their own entrance hole if they can find an edge to start. This opening is often around attic vents, or dormer corners, edges of fascia boards, or even knot holes. They’ll enlarge the opening to 3 to 4 inches in diameter.

Once squirrels have established a nest site in an attic it’s very difficult to convince them to leave, especially if there are young. What you don’t want to do is seal up the opening that they are using to get into the attic unless you know for sure that no squirrels remain in the space. You risk sealing baby squirrels into the attic without mom which will eventually result in a terrible odor problem, at the very least. You need the services of a pest control company that specializes in nuisance wildlife removal. At Colonial, we have many years of experience in removing squirrels and their nest material, and sealing up openings that they can use to get inside. Our exclusion work is permanent and guaranteed to keep squirrels out of your home in the future.

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