When it comes to backyard wildlife, few animals are as clever and busy as the squirrel. Grey squirrels are common in North America, and the eastern grey squirrel is especially common in Madison. These rodents are always looking for a warm, safe place to eat, sleep and breed, and they may see your attic as the perfect environment. Our squirrel removal team is here to provide you with a few tips to make your home less inviting to these enterprising animals.
1. Trim Back Tree Branches
Squirrels are expert climbers and talented acrobats and can use long tree branches to gain access to your roof. Once there, they can pry up shingles and chew through wood to squeeze into your attic space, where they will make themselves a nest from whatever they can find. You can discourage squirrels from damaging your roof by trimming back long tree branches that hang over it and by planting new trees in locations where they will not allow animals access to your roof as part of their travel route or become interested in burrowing into your attic.
2. Eliminate Food Sources
Squirrels are natural foragers and eat a variety of nuts, seeds, fruit, small insects and even bird eggs. The more food sources they can find on your property, the more likely they are to stick around and try to gain access to your attic to create a food cache.
If you’ve witnessed many squirrels on your property, ensure any outdoor garbage cans are secured with lids that they cannot pry open. If you keep your pet food in the garage or shed, store it in containers with screw-down lids so squirrels do not help themselves. If squirrels are raiding your bird feeders, consider taking them down or moving them away from the house. If you want to keep the bird feeders in an area where you can observe your feathered friends, invest in a feeder designed to deter squirrels from feeding there.
3. Check Your Home for Holes
Like most rodents, squirrels are voracious chewers that can gnaw through even the thickest wood to enter your home. They most commonly chew through roofing materials, but they can make holes almost anywhere around your home and have been known to chew through vinyl siding, drywall and even sheetrock with their powerful jaws.
Squirrels nest most commonly in the winter, where they store away food and sleep for extended periods. Although they do not hibernate, female squirrels will nest all winter after breeding to prepare a home for her babies in the coming spring.
Most grey squirrels give birth in the early spring and some have an additional litter in late summer. You may want to check for holes in your siding or roof in the late fall, before the cold weather hits, or call us for squirrel removal in Madison if you suspect any of these clever animals have already made their way into your home.
4. Use Scare Tactics
While your dog or cat could likely scare away the squirrels in your yard, this can expose them to the possible danger of being scratched or bitten. To protect your pet, use statues and silhouette cutouts of natural predators to scare squirrels away from your home. Fake owls, foxes and hawks may deter squirrels from venturing too close to your property.
You may also use motion sensor floor lights to deter squirrels from your property at night. Sudden lights and noises tend to cause wildlife to scurry away, and since most wild animals are nocturnal, this tactic may work as a temporary solution. Once a squirrel has entered and deemed your home worthy of their new den, however, no DIY tactics are going to permanently scare them off.
Despite your best efforts, squirrels will probably view your home’s attic as the perfect nesting ground. Call us today for more information about squirrel behavior and how our tactics can humanely remove these rodents from your property.