How Do Squirrels Get Into Attics?

By Chris Williams on November 7, 2014.

We think we have a squirrel in our attic. We hear something bumbling around up there and we see a squirrel running around on our roof and down the side of the house, but I don’t see an opening. We’re confused; we’ve looked all around the outside of the house and find nothing. T. A., Millville, MA

squirrel exiting attic onto roofWhatever you’re hearing in your attic had to enter at some point, and for squirrels that’s usually around the roofline. Squirrels don’t need much of an opening. They can squeeze through tiny spaces, and if they can’t fit through, they will gnaw the opening until they can.

Squirrels Target the Roofline

Squirrels prefer to chew on soft, rotting, or unpainted wood which is why their openings are often located in roof fascia boards or soffits. Squirrels will chew weak points like corner joints or knot holes to make an entry. All they need is an edge that they can get their teeth into which they will then chew into a suitable hole. The entry hole for a gray squirrel is about fist-sized, and for a flying squirrel much smaller.

It’s possible that the squirrels haven’t chewed an opening at all, but are using an existing opening such as a vent. Squirrels will enter attics through roof vents, attic louvers, ventilation fan openings, and through conduits where lines or cables enter.

Squirrel Exclusion Services Offer a Permanent Solution

The way to keep squirrels out of your attic is to thoroughly squirrel-proof your home by finding and sealing all openings or potential openings. At Colonial, squirrel exclusion has been one of our specialties for more than 30 years. We not only remove squirrels that are already nesting in attics, we also block squirrels from re-entering in the future.

Our exclusion team will check all exterior areas of your home looking for squirrel entry points or areas that could be attractive to squirrels trying to get inside. They will seal existing openings and will reinforce corners and other areas that squirrels target. Squirrel exclusion can also mean capping chimneys or replacing flashing, replacing rotting wood, and installing screening or sheet metal edging.

Be very careful if you try to do squirrel exclusion work on your own. You might block a mom squirrel from entering and accidentally seal her babies in the attic. We use a temporary one-way exclusion valve to let squirrels leave the attic space and we make sure that no one is left behind before we seal the space.

Our squirrel exclusion work is permanent and guaranteed. See our service page, Squirrel Removal Massachusetts & New Hampshire, and the blogs below for more on squirrels in attics.

Photo credit: Tammra McCauley / Foter / CC BY


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