Got noises in your homes attic? You may have squirrels…
Squirrels are just like any other rodent out there, they need a home to thrive and grow their family. Here in the Pacific Northwest, squirrels often seek refuge in attics of homes as they provide all the necessities that these critters are searching for: warmth, away from humans, and a place to nest to raise their young. Attics are warm, dry, and provide a place to for squirrels to store their food for the long winter months.
Scratching and Noises from the Attic
Many homeowners become aware that they have a potential squirrel infestation when they start hearing noises and sounds coming from the attic of their home. These noises most often are early in the morning, but often are reported late into the evening. The danger of having squirrels in the attic, aside from the constant noise, is the damage these rodents can cause to your home.
The Damage Squirrels Can Cause in Your Attic
The issue with squirrels when it comes to damage is that they love to chew. Here in the Portland and Vancouver areas, squirrels will often enter a home’s attic area by chewing through plastic roof vents, chimney flashing, gable vents and even wood. These entry points can cause leaks in your homes roof, causing further damage. Second, once inside, these rodents will chew on everything from wood beams, to drywall, and even electrical wiring, which can cause structural issues, and even fire dangers.
Identifying Squirrel Entry Points
The first question every homeowner facing a squirrel infestation should ask is how squirrels are accessing the roof of the home. In most cases, squirrels access a roof via overgrown trees that provide easy access or power lines. Squirrels can’t survive living in an attic without access to the property around them to forage for food and water.
Entry points into the attic need to be found to understand how these critters are accessing the interior of the home. Often these access points can be found in soffits, roof vents, holes in the roof, gaps in siding, chimney flashing dormers . These entry points don’t have to be big, as squirrels can squeeze through openings as small at 1 inch.
Removing the Squirrels from Your Homes Attic
Before fixing any holes and entry points, it’s important to take care of the existing squirrel population, ensuring the attic is free from these rodents. Sealing these critters in the attic will only encourage them to find other ways out usually by chewing new holes, or even worse, leaving them sealed in to die which will almost certainly cause an odor issue.
In almost every case, it’s advisable to “live trap” squirrels in cages, as this is the most humane and least intrusive means of removal. For this reason, most homeowners will contact an experienced squirrel trapping expert licensed with the state to take care of these types of infestations.
Keeping Squirrels Away in the Future
Although these little creatures are a delight for many homeowners to see in their yard, once you’ve dealt with an infestation, you may change your mind about wanting to attract these creatures to your property. If that is the case, below we’ve listed a few precautions homeowners can take to lessen the chances of another infestation:
- Trim tree branches back from the roof of your home. Tree branches should not overhang your homes roof as that gives squirrels each access to the roof.
- Seal all entry points of your homes attic, as this will help deter entry. Many homeowners will also invest in metal roof vents versus plastic roof vents to deter chewing at these vulnerable points. Squirrel removal experts will often provide “exclusion services” which will help you identify and fix areas of concern.
- Squirrels love bird feeders. If you decide that you must have a bird feeder, try to squirrel proof it, and keep it as far from your home as possible to deter these rodents from exploring your home.
- Keep stray garbage and litter picked up. Squirrels need food, so don’t give them reason to believe you’re serving up a feast. Keep garbage cans secure, pet food in closed containers, and pick up stray garbage.