Why Do Squirrels Break into Houses in Late Winter?
By Chris Williams on February 3, 2011.
Q. Why do squirrels break into homes in late winter?
A. It is very likely that its’ an Eastern gray squirrel that has invaded your home’s attic and she is about to have a family! The eastern gray squirrel produces two generations per year. The breeding season occurs from December to February followed by a second season from May to June. Pregnant female squirrels prefer to nest alone, (Lawmiczak, M. 2002) and self-preservation (avoiding extreme cold and predators) is why she’s sought out the relative comfort and safety of the attic to give birth and raise her young. Gestation takes a little over six weeks and litters may range in size from two to as many as eight pups. Newborns are hairless and cared for by the mother until they become independent. Juvenile squirrels are weaned between the ages of two to two and a half months and are full grown at about nine months.
If you have a squirrel nesting in your attic, take a quick walk around your home, (don’t forget your snowshoes!) and see if you can determine how it is getting inside. You may find that she has done some significant damage to either a gable or soffit vent to gain access to the attic. If it is fairly obvious how she is getting in, (like a gable vent) it is very important that you as a homeowner do not block her access to the attic. In doing so you may trap the mother inside (or keep her from getting back in). In either case she’ll go berserk and cause a lot more damage to your home trying to get back to care for her young. Our wildlife control technicians are experts in squirrel control and removal, and will safely remove them from your home and prevent them from returning.