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Squirrels: Q & A

By Chris Williams on October 21, 2010.

Q. We keep hearing scrambling noises in our attic. We think we have a squirrel or two up there but we never see anything when we check. How can we know for sure, and how do we get rid of them?

A. Your noisy guests could be anything from mice to bats to a raccoon, but squirrels are a good bet. Both gray squirrels and flying squirrels commonly nest in attics. The squirrels may be outside foraging during the times when you are looking for them. Gray squirrels are active during the day while flying squirrels are active at night.

squirrelSquirrels get into homes by using overhanging tree branches, power lines, or by simply climbing up the siding. Then all they need to get into your attic is any kind of a small opening around the roof line that they will enlarge by gnawing. Look on the outside of your home for chewed holes round attic louvers, vents, chimney flashing, eaves, soffits, fascia, and utility line openings. Squirrels will even chew through screens to get inside. You may see claw marks on siding near travel and entry points and dark, greasy rub marks around openings.

Inside the attic you may be able to find squirrel feces. Squirrel droppings are brown, oval, and smooth, and about 1/2-inch long. The droppings of flying squirrels are found in piles. Droppings may contain hairs and bits of seed. You may find stockpiles of nuts, chewed twigs and bark, or strips of acorn shell stashed between attic joists or in voids.

You may see damage to wood or stored items from the squirrels’ gnawing, urine, or feces. Squirrels may tunnel into insulation or other soft materials. Squirrels in attics are also a safety issue. They often chew on hanging wires which could start an electrical fire. Nests are also fire hazards when they block vents.

Call Colonial. We can identify your attic intruders and remove them for you. We’re experts at squirrel removal and squirrel exclusion (keeping them out in the first place) so you can once again enjoy silence overhead.

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