How to Keep Squirrels Out of Your House
Urban wildlife and in particular squirrels are a firmly entrenched in most cities and towns. Understanding that squirrels are part of the urban landscape is an important part of proper wildlife and pest management. Physical exclusion and prevention is the best to way to protect a home from would be squirrel intruders.
Once we understand How Squirrels Get into Houses, we can begin to take steps to keep them out. As part of the Skedaddle process we will fully inspect your home and detail all potential squirrel entry points. Our technicians then get to work protecting your home by installing 16 gauge galvanized steel wire over top of potential entry points. Skedaddle professionally protects roof and wall vent covers, chimneys, soffits and other any other openings to keep your home safe.
Our screening does not rust and cannot be pulled off or chewed through by squirrels. We also perform minor roof repair and replace shingles to prevent water damage. We guarantee all of our workmanship and materials for up to 5 years. Skedaddle is your trusted and humane option.
Things You Can Do
Inspect and Maintain Your Roof Regularly
Squirrels prefer den sites that are well above ground. When squirrels get into homes, the entry point is most often found on the roof. The roof edge, where ice and water tend to gather, is a particularly vulnerable point due to rot. Inspecting your roof before and after winter will help you to identify any potential problems. Minor problems discovered in the fall can turn into major repairs after a Canadian winter.
Be sure to keep your gutter clean to allow for proper drainage and trim back tree limbs and vegetation that extends over the roof. Tree limbs not only provide easy roof access for squirrels they can accelerate roof rot. When replacing your roof, make sure to cover exposed fascia and roof boards with sheet metal and have a drip-edge installed.
Don’t Feed the Squirrels
Squirrels will find plenty to eat on their own and do not need a helping hand from humans. Squirrels will continue to return to food source and well-fed squirrels will live longer and produce larger litters in your neighbourhood. With an increased squirrel population, more den sites are required and that puts your home at greater risk for intrusion.
It is also important to limit indirect sources of food on your property. Squirrels are omnivores and will chew holes in unprotected garbage bags to find a meal. Unprotected bird feeders are also a target for squirrels as are the seeds that fall to the ground. Be sure squirrel proof any bird feeders on your property and regularly clean up seed that finds it way on to the ground below.
Do it Yourself Measures That Don’t Work
Getting rid of determined squirrels and their families can be tricky business. While it is important to act quickly, employing band-aid solutions can sometimes make the problem worse. Below is a list of things you should be aware of before tackling a squirrel problem on your own.
Closing up The Hole
Sealing the squirrel’s entry point without being absolutely sure that they are all gone can be a recipe for disaster. Sometimes homeowners will keep an eye on the entry point and wait for a squirrel to exit before closing the hole and locking them out.
It is important to remember that at any time between March and August the squirrel in your attic could have babies. A mother squirrel locked away from her babies will chew at your home for hours and cause extreme and needless damage in an effort to reunite with her young. During winter and mating season, adult squirrels will often nest communally. Locking a single squirrel out of your home could leave others to die in the attic, causing horrible odours and unsanitary conditions. Removing dead squirrels can be even more difficult and expensive than humanely evicting them.
Even more dangerous is going a day without hearing squirrel noises and proceeding to close the entry. Squirrel activity can vary from day to day and going even a few days without hearing them does not mean they have left.
Trapping and Relocating
Trapping and relocating nuisance wildlife can also complicate matters for you without providing an effective solution. With potentially 50-60 squirrels occupying a square kilometer, it is impossible to catch them all. Even if all the squirrels could be removed it would not take long for others to move into the space and take advantage of newly abandoned den sites and food sources.
Some people believe that trapping and relocating wildlife to the wilderness is humane when in reality they could be contributing to suffering and death. Here are some more reasons trapping and relocating squirrels is not the right solution:
- Trapping is inhumane. If a mother squirrel is trapped and relocated her babies will be left to die and rot, possibly in your attic. This result is both inhumane and creates unpleasant smells and unsanitary conditions. Additionally, relocated animals dropped off in unfamiliar territory have no idea where to find food and shelter. Studies have shown that relocations most often end in mortality.
- Trapping is not targeted. Setting traps with tasty baits could draw in any squirrel from neighbourhood. You have no guarantee that the squirrel in your trap is the one waking you up in the morning. Repeatedly trapping the wrong squirrels will only prolong the problem.
- Even if you are successful in trapping the squirrels in your attic it will have done nothing to prevent other squirrels from entering your home. As long as your attic remains unprotected, squirrels will keep coming.
- It’s illegal. Provincial and municipal regulations often prohibit the transfer of live wildlife over certain distances. Moving animals from one area to another can help spread diseases and can lead to conflicts between people. You wouldn’t want someone dropping squirrels from their side of town into your backyard.
Duct tape and spray foam are best friends of the handyman. It’s too bad that squirrels easily make short work of spray foam with their teeth to quickly regain entry. The only thing left behind is a mess.
Loud Music and Bright Lights
It is often suggested that squirrels can be scared from your attic with loud music and bright lights. These types of remedies should be ignored. Any music would have to be played at such a high volume and for so long that it would bother you and family more than the squirrels. It is also impossible to fill your entire attic with light. With mountains of insulation to build nests, the squirrels easily block it out.
Moth Balls and Ammonia
Chemical deterrents are also impractical. You would have to cover every inch of your attic with these dangerous problems to have any chance of bothering squirrels. At that level, you are more likely to impact your own health and well-being before any animal.
We know how difficult it can be to rid of pesky squirrels. Skedaddle has been humanely removing and excluding squirrels from houses and businesses using pioneered methods for over 24 years. Call today to find out what we can do for you! 1.888.592.0387