Squirrels build nests similarly to the way that birds do and for some of the same reasons. Squirrels typically build nests in trees where they are easily accessible and close to food sources. However, given the opportunity, a squirrel may also build a nest in your attic because of the warmth and shelter it provides. Squirrels in a home can be very destructive and require prompt squirrel removal in Durham to prevent any property damage. You should know how to recognize a squirrel nest and how to prevent them from building them in your home.
Why Squirrels Build Nests
Squirrels build nests partly to create a safe space in which to raise their young. If a squirrel is building a nest in which to raise a family, it is likely to be in an inaccessible area that provides shelter and cover to protect the young from predators and the elements.
However, raising a family isn’t the only reason why squirrels build nests. Unlike most species of birds, squirrels spend the winter hibernating and need a safe place that will keep them warm throughout the winter. The squirrels weave together a base of twigs to form the structure and support for the nest and then line it with soft, insulating materials to keep it warm and comfortable, such as moss or leaves.
What Squirrel Nests Look Like
A squirrel’s nest looks like a round clump of leaves. It is relatively small, about six to eight inches in diameter. Squirrels may build multiple nests throughout their territory. For example, they may have one nest near a source of food and another near the spot where they are storing food for the colder months. Therefore, if you find a squirrel’s nest on the outside of your property, you might want to check for another nest inside.
While nests are usually made of natural materials, such as grass, moss, leaves, and strips of bark, squirrels are opportunistic builders and will make nests out of whatever is available. Therefore, you may see nests made out of garbage.
Where Squirrels Build Nests
Occasionally, you may find a squirrel’s nest near the base of a tree trunk, but you are more likely to find them among tree branches at least 20 feet up. However, squirrels do not typically build nests out on a limb. Rather, they build nests close to the trunk between two strong limbs. If they can find a gap or cavity within the trunk of the tree, they may build their nest inside of it.
When squirrels do get into a home, it is usually via the roof. Therefore, if they build a nest in the home, they are most likely to do so in the attic or the chimney.
How To Prevent Squirrels From Building a Nest in Your Attic
While it is certainly possible to have squirrels removed after they have built a nest in your home, it is preferable to prevent them from getting up there in the first place. Trees provide cover and a means for squirrels to get around, so squirrels often like to build nests in shady areas. Keep trees on your property trimmed back from the roofs. This makes it harder for squirrels to get from the roof into the attic or chimney.
Squirrels build nests where there are sources of food nearby. While their main foods are seeds and nuts, they can feed on a wide range of plant material, including flowers, roots, shrubs, and grasses, as well as fungi. You should try to avoid feeding the squirrels, either directly or indirectly. Indirect feeding methods may include growing a garden or hanging a bird feeder.