Wildlife Issues – How to Get Rid of Squirrels
As rodents, squirrels are constantly looking for food and produce many offspring – two litters per year (spring and late summer), with an average of 5-6 per litter. This activity can result in significant damage to buildings and major headaches for business and home owners.
Property Damage from Squirrels
Squirrels will chew through anything. Structural wood, aluminium, electrical wires, insulation, shingles and vents are favourite targets.
FACT: Squirrels must constantly chew in order to keep their incisors from growing too long. Multiply the problem times five babies (pups), and you have a major building damage problem and fire hazard.
Squirrels will build nests in attics, chimneys, vents, roofs and walls. They will use a wide variety of nesting material including insulation, vapour barrier, wood, drywall and paper.
FACT: Squirrel nests tend to be large in relation to their body size and very messy, often extending several feet along a vent pipe or in an attic. Their large dry nests and electrical wire chewing make them a major fire hazard.
Health Risks from Squirrels
Squirrels attract ticks and fleas, especially in warmer weather.
FACT: If the squirrels leave the nest for an extended period, these ticks and fleas will look for new hosts (i.e. people and pets).
Although usually frightened of people, a mother squirrel can be quite aggressive if she perceives danger or is separated from her babies.
FACT: Squirrels are very swift and can move or attack quickly if threatened.
How to Find Squirrels
Squirrels are very active and are often detected because home and business owners hear them scurrying in the attic or walls.
FACT: There can be 30 or more squirrels per square kilometre in urban areas with mature trees.
Look for chewed or damaged soffit, vents and flashings as well as holes along the roof line for potential entry points.
FACT: Squirrels are more adaptable than you might think. They can fit through a hole the size of a baseball (black/grey squirrels) or a golf ball (red squirrels), but a smaller hole can easily be chewed open.
How to Get Rid of Squirrels
Simply patching the entry hole doesn’t work. They will chew through it to regain entry or find their young.
FACT: The most effective method is to remove all the squirrels and completely seal the entire building from further entry.
Killing or capturing the adult likely won’t solve the problem, since the babies may still be living in the attic, chimney, walls, roof or vents.
FACT: Squirrels produce an average litter of 4-6 babies twice per year, usually in the spring and late summer. Squirrels usually have 5-6 den sites in residential areas.