Preventing and Controlling Squirrel Infestations
By Chris Williams on November 18, 2010.
Squirrels can be more of a nuisance than basic rodents like mice and rats because small traps, baits, and poisons do not usually work on them. Squirrels can chew through a hole that you sealed up with their extremely strong teeth and can then proceed to destroy whatever they get into. If you have a squirrel problem, you will need to first do some preventative work to hopefully hinder the squirrel from returning, then you will need to catch the squirrel alive and let it go many miles away, and finally you will have to repair and block any future entrances they could use.
Preventing Squirrels from Entering
- Remove any food source that would attract squirrels. Bird feed is a huge attraction for squirrels. Make sure food is wrapped up tightly in your home, and avoid leaving anything enticing outside your home.
- Install gutter guards and cover down spouts where squirrels can easily enter through the roof. These simple measures can make a huge difference. It can be difficult to know when squirrels are in your ceilings and attics, so installing these guards can prevent the issue.
- Trim tree branches that hang over the roof or even nearby where squirrels will usually jump from. While they can enter your home in a number of ways, you can hinder the process by removing the low-hanging branches. They essentially function as an easy pathway to the safe haven of your house.
- Remove any firewood that you may have stacked up against the building. This enables them to easily reach otherwise inaccessible entryways.
- Repair any major cracks in the foundation’s wall where a squirrel could potentially chew his way through. They have very powerful teeth and jaws and can chew through much tougher material than most other rodents.
Knowing Your Enemy
- Gray Squirrels will follow the very same path just about every time. Pest control companies will usually set the trap alongside their favorite path or points of entry. Be sure to note which areas have the most activity to help figure out where exterminators should place the traps. Usually this is alongside the roof, at the base of your house, or at the base of the tree they use to get over to your house. You can pay attention to ravaged areas of your yard, or excess droppings to locate this spot.
- Flying Squirrels are a little more complicated because they will usually glide around in your attic or near the ceiling of your garage. You can pick a good spot for the trap by looking for areas with a lot of droppings or the insulated areas where they make tunnels and nests. This is harder than it seems, so professional pest control agents generally locate this area for you.
Once you have established that you have a squirrel infestation, the best thing to do is cover all of the preventative methods above while waiting for pest control to arrive. Be sure to stay out of the infested area as there are many health and safety risks associated with rodent infestations. Keep your family safe by locking and securing all areas of the house you know they have infested. Try to keep your home clean to avoid further critters from joining their friends, and be sure to have a professional pest control service on the way!