During cold weather, squirrels love to stay in the attic to warm themselves. It’s an ideal place for them as it provides what they need—heat and safety. However, squirrels staying in the attic can bring many problems to homeowners.
How do you get rid of squirrels in your attic? You can start by finding and sealing their entry point, leaving only one open as their exit point. Additionally, you can also give the squirrels a little push to vacate from your attic. However, if your squirrel problem is too immense (infestation), you can call your local pest control company for help.
Moving on, you may refer to the given ways below to effectively get rid of squirrels in your attic in the most humane way possible.
How Do Squirrels Get Into Attics?
Attics are preferred by squirrels because they are deserted, warm, dry, high up, and safe from wolves and other predators. But having kids is the main purpose of squirrels hiding out in attics.
Once they establish a home in your attic, they will use urine to denote the area as their property. There is also plenty of space for them to store their supply.
Squirrels have the following options when trying to enter an attic, such as chewing through the roof’s shingles, wood, metal, and high, difficult-to-reach areas or squeezing through cracks in the roofline.
When Are Squirrels Most Active In Attics?
In your attic, you’ll mostly hear squirrels scurrying around at dawn and evening. When the weather turns chilly, squirrels retreat to attics. Construction of nests and food storage is necessary for squirrels to be ready for the winter.
Signs of a Squirrel Infestation in Attic
Make sure the animal you are hearing in your attic is a squirrel before taking any action. Here are several indicators that these creatures are in your attic:
- Your attic, crawl spaces, or ceiling are making scurrying, clawing, or gnawing noises.
- You see chew marks in the wood or wires, damage to the air vents, and wear and tear on the walls, ceiling, and flooring.
- You notice their footprints
- You notice an unpleasant smell coming from your vents, which may be the result of urine or waste of squirrels
The Dangers of Squirrels in the Attic
Your home may sustain significant damage from squirrels. They are notorious for starting house fires because they chew through electrical lines. This can be hazardous, especially in the attic of a house. Additionally, some of their dangers are the following:
- Chewed-through gaps and holes in your home’s attic
- A squirrel-filled attic filled with piles of leaves and other garbage
- Squirrels’ droppings
- Squirrels are carriers of dangerous parasites and diseases
Effective Ways in Getting Rid of Squirrels in Your Attic
As you might already know, there are various means of freeing your home from squirrels, and that is through poisoning. However, it is such a cruel way, and not all homeowners have the heart to do that.
Thus, you may consider following the given steps below to free your home from these wild animals without causing harm to them.
Find Their Entry Point
If you want to get rid of squirrels in your attic, start with the following steps:
Step 1: Find their entry point. There could be more than one entry point, so you have to search thoroughly.
Step 2: If you didn’t find any openings in the attic, try inspecting the roof, vents, and exterior eaves.
Step 3: Once found, seal up all their entry points, leaving only one open as their exit point. Sheet metal, mesh, or aluminum flashing can be used as seals since they cannot be chewed through. You can also utilize foam sealant or caulk to close the openings and paint them over if you want.
Leave Only One Entry Point
Squirrels are highly capable of fitting into any opening of your home. Thus, it’s essential to ensure that your home is properly covered with fitted screens, which can’t easily get chewed by these animals.
Step 1: Thoroughly inspect your place for possible holes that you’re unaware of and seal them up with caulk or other materials.
Step 2: Make sure to leave the most noticeable entry point open so that the squirrels can leave on their own quickly.
Step 3: Temporarily cover the one entry point with a newspaper and observe for a few days if there are no more squirrel activities in your attic.
Step 4: Seal up the opening for good once you’ve seen the paper is still intact after a few days have passed and haven’t heard any noises caused by squirrels in your attic.
Give the Squirrels a Little Push to Vacate From Your Attic
Most of the time, squirrels won’t simply leave your attic, especially if they’ve given birth. They’ll always go in and out of your home and bring some food to feed the young.
To avoid this from happening, take action to drive them out right away as early as you’ve first noticed any squirrel activities.
- You can play loud music and keep your lights on, as these can repel the squirrel from staying on your property.
- As much as possible, avoid your attic for a while because squirrels can be dangerous, especially if they feel threatened. They’re territorial, so they might assume that you’re crossing their premises.
- You can also soak some rags with cider vinegar and put them in the attic, as squirrels hate this smell.
- If the squirrels have been nesting in your home and you’ve noticed they have babies, consider calling a pest control expert to vacate the squirrels and their babies.
Pest control professionals are skilled in managing infestations of pests and animals in homes, commercial establishments, and industrial businesses. So, if your efforts to push the squirrels away from your attic aren’t working, you can always call a pest control professional to do the work for you.
Preventive Measures to Avoid Squirrels From Entering Your Attic
One of the best ways to prevent squirrels from entering your attic is by taking preventive measures. This way, you don’t have to deal with the nuisances of squirrels and save your time for other better things to do.
Below are some of the measures you can take to prevent squirrels from entering your attic.
Remove the Things That Attract Squirrels to Your Property
Squirrels are naturally attracted to foods. This is why it’s essential to clean up your surroundings and not leave any food leftovers behind.
If you have any fruit-bearing trees in your yard, make sure to rake the fallen fruits to avoid attracting squirrels. This is because the smell and view of fallen fruit can entice these animals to stay within your vicinity.
As much as possible, clean your yard regularly and remove any trace of nuts, seeds, and other fruits that can attract the squirrels. Make sure to put these things in tightly closed garbage cans.
Avoid Feeding Squirrels in Your Yard
Squirrels are adorable to look at, and some couldn’t help but leave some food behind to feed these animals. However, if you want to avoid possible infestation, it’s safer not to leave any food in your yard. Doing so will serve as an invitation to these cute yet dangerous animals to roam around your property.
Thus, avoid feeding them in your yard and ensure to clean regularly. Make sure that no trace of food is found to prevent squirrels from getting enticed to your place.
Unleash Your Pets in the Yard
Dogs and cats can help you chase away squirrels from entering your property. Thus, if you have any of these pets, they can help ward off these animals from infiltrating your home. Dogs, in particular, are active in chasing squirrels whenever they see them.
If you don’t have any of the mentioned pets at home, you can buy animal toys like plastic owls to scare them away. Just don’t forget to put the toys in higher places, such as on the roof or fence posts, ensuring they’ll be scared.
On the other hand, you can also opt to buy a container of predator’s urine and spray it in your backyard. The scent of this solution is enough to scare various animals like rabbits, squirrels, and many others.
Keep the Squirrels Out of Your Property
Once you’ve spotted some squirrels in your backyard, it could be a sign of a bigger problem. There could be a possibility that some of these animals have already entered your house.
Thus, it would be beneficial to inspect the whole exterior of your house for any signs of holes. You can start checking your exterior walls, eaves, and even your roof for possible gaps where squirrels can enter.
Once you spot any openings, make sure to repair them right away. This way, you can lessen their entry points and exit points, helping you limit their access to your house.
It would also help if you’ll observe and evaluate the squirrel activity happening in your yard. Inspect for any signs of damage, such as plant bed holes, missing plants, and bite marks on fallen fruits. Upon seeing these signs, act accordingly based on the things stated above.
It’s best to act right away and never put off taking suitable action to ensure your home is free from the disasters that these squirrels might bring.
List of Sources
Cochran, S. (2020). PESTS & WILDLIFE — Preventing Conflicts With Tree Squirrels. University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Thurston, S. N., Brittingham, M. C. (1997). Tree Squirrels. Penn State Extension.
Baldwin, R. A. (2016). Tree Squirrels. University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources.
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