Our comprehensive 50 point home inspection is designed to determine squirrel entry points and home damage. The attic is a common den site for squirrels where they gain accessing by chewing holes or slipping in between building materials. We then use hands-on removal techniques to humanely evict the squirrels.
Squirrels are notorious for creating large, messy nests within their den site and causing damage through chewing. Skedaddle will thoroughly clear away any nesting material and debris from the den and clean up the mess left behind. We can also replace soiled insulation and damaged ductwork if required.
Our final step is making sure your home is protected, not only against the current intruders, but all the other squirrels in your neighbourhood. To keep them out we will secure the entry points we identified, as well any other potential vulnerabilities.
Watching squirrels scurry around on a walk through Duke Forest or hiking the Cole Mill Trail can be a lot of fun. They are fast-moving, inquisitive and surprisingly clever. However, once they start getting too close to home, they can become a nuisance. Squirrels in Durham have adapted to continuous developments of commercial and residential builds, pushing them closer to communities that provide them with ample food sources and places to shelter. Skedaddle has been working closely with Durham squirrels for many years, and our team of knowledgeable technicians understand how to assess the damage created by squirrels and create a removal plan that works best for you.
Squirrels love suburban spaces that provide dense tree canopies for travel routes and reliable sources of food. This means that wherever strong tree populations can be found, strong squirrel populations thrive. Ajax, Whitby and the township of Uxbridge provide some of Durham’s most urban areas with old and densely growing tree populations. Mature tree branches and criss-crossing electrical lines act as easy routes to the tallest points of a home, leaving no trace of the entry to the naked eye.
In contrast, commercially developed areas such as Oshawa and Pickering, where there are much less mature trees, are less attractive to Squirrels in Durham. However, suburban communities in these areas still provide squirrels with plenty of opportunity to feed off of bird feeders or find food inside homes and businesses. As opportunistic creatures, squirrels are able to chew or pry their way into any building once they have identified a reliable food source. Residents throughout Durham’s cities and residential areas are no stranger to squirrel problems, and should always rely on humane removal services to complete permanent solutions. For example, in 2022, Peterborough police discovered several squirrels had been shot with bow arrows by a member within the community. Not only are inhumane methods cruel, there will always be more squirrels to take up their place on a property. The best way to protect your Durham property from squirrels is to complete routine home maintenance and limit the food source on a property.
Durham is home to a diverse squirrel population. Although the common eastern grey squirrel is most likely to be spotted by Durham homeowners, the fox squirrel, red and black squirrel and even the flying squirrel can be seen scurrying along a backyard fence. Aside from their differing sizes and colours, these squirrel species also have distinct habits and routines. The fox squirrel is likely to nest close to walnut and oaks trees, while red squirrels prefer tall and thick conifer trees. The oldest communities such as Old West Durham is where the oldest and most diverse population of trees can be found, allowing for a variety of squirrel species to thrive there. Older build areas like Scugog and Brock are also seen as attractive areas for a variety of squirrels. In 2012, an Oshawa resident had the rare pleasure of spotting a flying squirrel feeding off a peanut feeder in their backyard. Although this was an uncommon sight, the abundance of natural resources and the food sources provided by homeowners can attract even the most unlikely of visitors. Each species of squirrels has the desire to chew constantly in order to file down their growing teeth, meaning that any species of squirrel can damage electrical wires, insulation, and structural materials inside and outside of the home. Although they are the smallest of the tree squirrels, red squirrels are known to create some of the most significant damage in order to gain access to a home. Knowing where to look in order to assess damage can be extremely difficult without professional help. After removing a potentially aggressive squirrel, Skedaddle technicians can safely assess the damage left in the attic space with thorough attention to detail.
Housing and construction styles throughout Durham are an indicator of where squirrels are most likely to get into attics. Older homes made of susceptible materials like wood that squirrels easily chew their way through in areas such can still be found throughout Durham in older communities such as; Rexdale and Newcastle. The Cherrywood homes found in Pickering village are a great example of an older style that relies on wood materials and can be more susceptible to damage from squirrels. Wood fascias and plastic roof vents are some of the most common areas on a home squirrels get inside. These entry points are, in many cases, impossible to spot without getting access to the roof to inspect.
However, despite advancing construction styles, homes are not built with wildlife in mind. Each year our technicians find squirrels making their way inside newly constructed homes throughout the Durham region, easily scaling siding, downspouts and brickwalls to reach the top of a home. Even more densely populated areas such as Bowmanville can experience squirrel problems, as more people means more food for squirrels to scavenge. Once they have chewed their way inside, they are capable of causing tremendous damage and creating fire hazards by chewing electrical wires. Squirrels’ teeth are constantly growing, and they are capable of destroying structural elements of a home like roof trusses and supports, to enter attics. As part of the removal process, Skedaddle technicians take the time to clean out the nesting material and bacteria left behind by squirrels. Our technicians know where to look for structural and electrical damage, and are able to give homeowners a detailed understanding of the fire hazards that may be present in their home.
During the winter, squirrels in Durham are spending most of their time inside their dens hiding from the cold weather. In order to receive their fat stores through the winter, ground squirrels enter a state known as torpor. This state allows them to lower their body temperatures and conserve energy. Tree squirrels however spend more time being active especially during the day. With the arrival of spring comes baby season for squirrels throughout Durham and this can create a whole new set of challenges for any squirrel removal job. Failing to take babies into account when removing squirrels could lead to more damage or an inhumane death for the mother and babies. Female squirrels can give birth to two litters of babies, one in spring and another in early summer.
Baby squirrels need to be removed by hand because they are too young to remove with conventional traps. This process requires skill and experience. As temperatures rise, squirrel mothers may move down wall cavities for cooler temperatures, carrying their babies in hard-to-reach areas. In some cases, squirrels may even emerge into the living space by accident. In 2016, a Port Hope resident called local police after they came home to find their living quarters in disarray and suspected a person had done the damage, however the incident turned out to be the result of a squirrel who entered the living space through the chimney. Many mother squirrels during this time of year are trapped and removed by homeowners who later discover she had a litter of babies in the attic, leading the mother to destroy exterior materials to regain access.
The only way to prevent squirrels from returning is by animal-proofing the home. With over 30 years of experience removing squirrels from homes, our team knows exactly where squirrels are able to gain access to a home. Over each potential entry point, Skedaddle technicians secure galvanized steel screens, made to stand the test of time against weather, and the determined teeth or squirrels.
In some more built-up areas, there may be many more squirrels than there are safe, natural dens. Therefore, some choose to hide away in human homes. Keep an eye out for any squirrels spending a lot of time on your roof or the sides of your house.
Squirrels can uncover food even if it is buried under a foot of snow. They have finely tuned noses and are skilled foragers. Keep an eye on one the next time snow is on the ground, you may be amazed.
Their frenetic movements help them avoid predators. If you have ever watched a squirrel move, they seem to shoot about all over the place. Their wild movements and zigzagging help them to stay out of reach of predators.
They are master tricksters. Squirrels lose up to 25% of their stored food to thieves (often other squirrels). However, they may pretend to bury food to trick the would-be thieves. That’s right, squirrels fake each other out by acting.
Their teeth are always growing. Their front teeth continue to grow for their whole lives. They help keep them short and sharp by constantly gnawing on nuts and other materials, including building materials.