Did you know Sunday is National Squirrel Appreciation Day? Neither did I! As someone who has dealt with these often-pesky rodents getting in my attic, I can safely say it’s frequently hard to appreciate them this time of year. As the temperatures drop, squirrels that couldn’t find a proper den or drey make their way to susceptible homes. Much like a burglar, these little trouble makers can cause a lot of damage to our home and our wallets. Keep reading to find out ways to remove squirrels from your attic or prevent it from happening all together so that you can enjoy your Squirrel Appreciation Day squirrel-free.
Ways to Prevent Squirrels entering Your Attic: The best offense is a good defense. Here are five things you can do to proactively eliminate the threat of a squirrel break-in.
- Inspect the home for existing entry points. Let’s start with an obvious one. Complete a thorough inspection of the exterior of your home, looking for any cracks, holes or gaps. These frequently occur where there is rotting wood. Be sure to seal these completely, preferably with steel or another material that a squirrel couldn’t chew through.
- Cap your chimney. One of the easiest ways for a squirrel to make his way into your home is through the chimney, however this is also one of the easiest ones to solve. Placing a steel chimney cap over your chimney is a safe solution that won’t hit your bank account back too hard (they usually sell for under $100).
- Trim branches near your house. If the critter can’t get close to your attic, they will struggle to get in. By trimming the trees immediately surrounding your house, you can easily prevent access for the squirrel to cause any damage in the first place.
- Be mindful of vents. From Roof vents to dryer vents, these access points are a sneaky way for a squirrel to get in. As you do your external inspection of your home, make sure to account for all vents and insure they are properly secured.
- Don’t be afraid to call a professional. If you aren’t fully confident in your abilities to assess your home’s fortitude against squirrels, no need to worry. There are plenty of professionals either in the Pest Control or Home Inspection industries that would be happy to help.
What to do and What NOT to do If a Squirrel Gets In: So a squirrel got into your attic, no need to panic. There is still plenty you can do before they cause any significant damage, but there are also some things common remedies to avoid that would simply waste your money.
- DO NOT simply set a trap in the attic itself. While it may seem like the most logical solution, a free standing trap in the middle of an attic is easily avoidable by the squirrels, who will almost never enter it.
- DO set a trap on the hole where they originally entered your home. Once a squirrel gets in your home, they may still come and go, frequently using their initial entry point as an exit. A mounted trap outside of this hole is a high-probability way to capture your culprit. Once captured, it is recommended that you release them several miles away from your home.
- DO NOT use rat or other rodent poisons. While squirrels are technically rodents, they don’t fall for these tricks. The squirrel will simply ignore these poisons and you’ll be out the money spent on them.
- DO consult a professional. Just like the inspection of your home, do not feel any shame in bringing in a pro. Because you are dealing with live, potentially disease carrying animals in high spaces, a professional pest controller is often times the best answer. A pest control professional can usually remove the animal safely and humanely for only a few hundred dollars which is a bargain when you consider the potential thousands of dollars that squirrel could do to your home.
Now that your home is officially pest free, kickback, relax and enjoy your National Squirrel Appreciation Day, everyone!