Squirrels Are Unwelcome Winter Guests in Attics
By Chris Williams on October 19, 2016.
We know we have gray squirrels in our yard because we’ve seen them and their nests in trees. But suddenly we seem to have one (or more!) occupying our attic. My son saw a squirrel enter around the attic vent. Why are they moving inside and how do we keep them out? T. W., Brighton, MA
If you were a squirrel where would you rather spend a Northeast winter, outside in a tree or inside in an attic? Your attic may not be heated but it’s still a lot more hospitable than the snowy outdoors. Squirrels don’t hibernate during the winter, they still forage for food, weather permitting, but they like a warm, dry nest at the end of the day (see Where Do Squirrels Spend the Winter?). The squirrel in your attic is probably the same female who has a tree nest nearby. In spring, she will likely move back outside but not without leaving a bit of a mess in your attic to remember her by.
Squirrels Will Chew Their Way into Your Home
Squirrels 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 small opening or softened area around the roofline. If the opening isn’t big enough, a squirrel can easily chew it to a suitable size. They will often work a gap around attic vents, or dormer corners, edges of fascia boards, or even knotholes. Weak wood from moisture or insect damage is especially attractive to squirrels looking for an opening.
Having squirrels nesting in your attic is not a good thing. They can do significant damage by chewing on materials, including wiring. They pee, poop, tear up insulation, and hoard food and nest material in the attic. Squirrels have parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites that sometimes move into living spaces. And, female squirrels can have babies right in your attic.
Colonial’s Wildlife Experts Know What to Do
Give Colonial Pest a call. We have certified nuisance wildlife technicians on staff that can remove that squirrel (or squirrels) from your attic.
To keep this from happening again, you (or a contractor) need to do some “squirrel-proofing” to seal or reinforce areas that squirrels can use to get inside. Fortunately, we have a team of technicians that are experts at dissuading squirrels (see What’s the Best Way to Seal Squirrels Out?).
For more on squirrels in attics, check out these Colonial blogs:
- How Do Squirrels Get into Attics?
- Squirrels Can Make a Mess of Your Attic
- How to “Squirrel-Proof” Your Attic