Squirrel Damage To Roofhow To Repair And Prevent It
Squirrels can look awfully cute with their fluffy tails and stuffed cheeks, but these little creatures can create a mess of problems for your home. Squirrel damage to homes includes chewed up decking, shingles, and fascia boards in your roof as they retreat to the dry warmth of your attic.
Once inside, the squirrel can wreak havoc if left alone to nest. They love to chew through electrical wires, putting your home at risk for electrical fires, and they will urinate all over your attic, creating stains, a foul odor, and even cracks or leaks in your celling. These tiny animals can create a big problem, so below are some steps to handle squirrel damage to your roof.
How To Prevent Squirrels From Damaging Your Roof
When moving into a home situated in an area known to have squirrels, its best to arm yourself against these rodents before they come knocking.
Safety precautions against squirrel infestation go a long way in saving you unplanned bills regarding roof repair and additional utility bills. If the insulation is messed with, heat conservation within the home will prove futile.
And even when you have in the past successfully eliminated squirrels, it is also prudent to put measures in place that will help you just in case your home falls victim to another squirrel infestation.
Ignoring The Signs Of Squirrels In Your Attic
Most homeowners are not okay with sharing their house with pests of any kind. Even so, many people dont know how to rid squirrels from the attic. The idea of confronting squirrels living in your attic can be especially daunting sometimes.
Its in your best interest to confront a pest problem as soon as you can. An uncontrolled infestation could pose serious risks to your house and health. Additionally, there will be more squirrels to remove the longer you wait.
Here are some risks you may face when ignoring the signs:
- Fires. Rodents need to wear down their teeth, so squirrels in the attic damage anything they can get their mouth on. This includes electrical wires. Make sure to check for new fire hazards as you address your pest problem.
- Widespread Damage. Electrical wires arent the only things rodents get into. They may chew through PVC pipes and wood, make nests in your insulation, and tear up your furniture if the problem gets that far.
- Feces Contamination. Animals living in an attic may leave droppings and urine everywhere. Not only is the smell extremely unpleasant, but droppings may spread mold and salmonella.
- More Pests. The scent of animal droppings, urine, and fur grease can easily attract other predators. The longer that animals are left in your attic, the more likely it is youll find larger animals checking out your property.
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Chasing Squirrels Out Of The Attic With An Ultrasonic Repeller
One of the easiest ways to get a squirrel to leave your attic and not return is to use an ultrasonic repellent device. These units are simple to set up, less messy than using sprays, and easier than trying to catch a live rodent.
Ultrasonic Squirrel Repeller
Ultrasonic repellers emit high-frequency sound waves on a short wavelength that is too high for humans to detect. However, pests such as animals and insects detect sounds at a higher range and installing one of these units drives them away from the area.
Follow the instructions for your particular model, and plug the repeller into an outlet in the attic close to the space where squirrels enter and exit the room.
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Getting Rid Of Squirrels On The Roof
If you are lucky enough to have the squirrels just on the exterior roof and havent made their way in, it is of primary importance that you prevent them from continuing to access your roof.
Start by observing the squirrels for a few consecutive days or for as long as it takes to notice their pattern. You are mostly looking out for how exactly they are finding their way onto the roof.
Trim long branches ensuring that there is a distance of at least 8 feet between the branch and the roof. Squirrels are great jumpers and can clear up to 8 feet in a single leap.
Cover your tree trunks with sheet metal at least 6 feet high and 2 feet wide. Hold the sheet metal in place with springs and wires to allow the tree trunk easy room to expand. The sheet metal is slippery and discourages the squirrels from climbing on the trees.
If you notice that the squirrels are gaining access to the roof via wires or cables, cover them with PVC pipes. Take about two-inch long PVC pipes and cut lengthwise to slide over cables or wires. The idea is the pipe spins when the squirrel tries to scurry across it and drops to the ground. Squirrels are impressive gymnasts and can fall from great heights without getting injured. You may need to contact an expert if the critters are accessing the roof via electrical wires.
About Squirrels Feeding Breeding And Habitat
Squirrels are part of Sciuridae family that includes small rodents such as chipmunks, prairie dogs, marmots, etc. Squirrels exist in different species, more than 200. They are divided into three different categories: ground squirrels, tree squirrels and flying squirrels.
Since squirrels exist in so many different types, they differ greatly in size. The grey squirrels that are mostly found in North America are considered to be medium sized weighing 1 to 1.5 pounds and are about 15 to 20 inches in length. Their long tails contribute to the extra 6 to 9 inches.
The African pygmy squirrels are known to be the smallest species of squirrels that grow to about 2.8 to 5 inches and weigh 0.35 ounces. On the other hand, the Indian giant squirrel, just as the name suggests, its known to be the largest squirrel in world that weighs almost 4 pounds and its about 36 inches in length.
A scurry or dray is a group of squirrels. They group themselves into territorials, and they are known to fight relentlessly to protect their territories. The tree squirrels can be found in trees where they prefer to live. The ground squirrels dig burrows where they live, build nests and live for long periods of time during winter. The flying squirrels find homes in trees holes where they build nests and nurse their young ones.
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What Do Squirrels Eat
What squirrels eat varies by where they live and what they have available locally. In the United States, we have red, ground, grey, fox, flying, black, striped, antelope, and Aberts squirrels, among others. There are dozens of breeds of squirrels in the US. Squirrels live in nearly every region of North America, even the deserts and mountain ranges. Theyre close cousins of chipmunks, prairie dogs, rats, and other vermin.
Squirrels love to eat a wide variety of foods, though most people think they only eat nuts. Like raccoons, squirrels will tear through open trash cans in search of food, especially during drought years when wild-sourced foods are unavailable. In moist, loose soils, squirrels will go after worms. After a hard rain when worms are crawling on the top of the soil, youll often see squirrels and birds fighting over nightcrawlers. The same is true for grasshoppers and other insects.
When humans are planting their gardens, squirrels are watching. They know when seeds are planted, and they wait until humans go inside before they pounce. Theyll dig up seeds at the earliest opportunity, especially if the seeds are for cucumbers or pumpkins. If the seeds survive unscathed to become seedlings, squirrels make short work of them too. It can be difficult to discern whether the damage is done by squirrels or rabbits. They both snap seedlings off at their base before eating and moving onto the next plant.
Encourage Squirrels To Stay Out Of Your Home
If necessary, close the holes thirty days after your EVICTOR® strobe light installation.
DO NOT close holes before you’ve started the process in this guide. You want to avoid additional damage! Squirrels will chew new holes to gain entry if the holes are closed too soon.
However, you want to leave a small opening for the squirrels to SEE inside your previously occupied attic/crawl space.
This way, whenever a squirrel ventures back to your house, a view of the strobe light is a REMINDER that this is one place they do not want to go back into.
Having the EVICTOR® Strobe Light visible to any returning squirrels serves as a reminder that your house is a place they don’t want to live in.
To accelerate the squirrels move out date, and encourage living outdoors, it is recommended you install a squirrel box in your yard in a nearby tree.
Squirrel boxes provide a quick place for a squirrel to call home, rather than having the squirrels take the time to build an entirely new nest.
WARNING: REMOVING ANY SQUIRREL FECES/URINE/CONTAMINATED MATERIAL MAY PUT YOU AT RISK OF POTENTIAL BIOHAZARDS. BE SURE YOU HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF THESE RISKS OR CONTACT A SPECIALIST.
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How To Get Rid Of Squirrels In The Attic By Scaring Them
While using squirrel traps for attic is a great way to move these animals to another location, there are easier ways to get rid of squirrels. Certain things startle these rodents and cause them to flee, giving you the chance to secure entry points to the attic.
- Bright light bulbs
Just like humans, squirrels prefer to nest in a dim and quiet location where they feel their baby squirrels are secure. If you suspect that you have attic squirrels, install bright light bulbs in the room and keep the lights on.
Another great method is to plug in a radio, turn it to a talk station, and turn up the volume. These two actions drive the pests out in search of a better place to make a home.
How To Get Rid Of Squirrels In Your Roof
If you have noticed scratching sounds coming from your roof or attic and have deduced that there is an animal present, the most likely source of the sounds is the common squirrel. Many times squirrels can be found in roofs or attic spaces when you least expect it. As cute as they appear to be, they can cause damage to your roof, attic, or stored belongings, and it is generally not a good idea to let them stay there. Generally, its best to let pest control professionals deal with them, but there are a few methods you can carefully try yourself. Here are a few suggestions on how to get rid of squirrels in your roof.
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S To Help You Get Rid Of Squirrels Now
Well, first off, make up a plan of action so that your pest control strategy is consistent and effective. We suggest that you should take the following steps:
1. Start with the area outside your house. It is easier to chase squirrels away from your backyard rather than from the attic or any other space indoors, where rodents usually nest. Remove foodstuff: all fallen fruits, nuts, and other debris from the backyard to reduce food availability for squirrels. Tightly seal garbage cans. Trim the trees and shrubs adjacent to the house and avoid planting new ones, otherwise, their branches will turn into a perfect bridge to your house.
2. Inspect your house for any openings and cracks in the structure. Seal them with foam insulation or use metal mesh. If squirrels have already established their nests in your house, wait until they leave for hunting and only then block all access points. When applicable, build a fence extended 12 inches below the ground level, so that squirrels cant get underneath.
3. Since the attic is a prime target for squirrels, clean it up: remove any garbage and foodstuff if you store it there.
4. Drive squirrels away using natural repellents. It is safe and relatively cheap, so try this method first. Place dog or cat hairs where squirrel activity is detected, they can scare rodents away. Garlic, peppermint, and castor oils affect the senses of smell and taste.
Squirrels In Your Attic How To Get Rid Of Squirrels Naturally
Your house is quiet. There isnt a peep to be hard except for the rustling sounds you hear in your attic. You go up to investigate.
The intruder is gone but there are tiny little squirrel tracks in the dust on the floor. Its important that you find out where your unwanted houseguest is coming in from so you can get rid of them and avoid any damage to your attic.
Youre not sure how to get rid of squirrels naturally but thats the route you want to go with. Poisons arent the answer. Were here to help you in this endeavor. Here is a quick guide that will assist you in dealing with your unwanted house guest in the most humane way possible.
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Recognizing Sources Of Entry
Animals often find easy access into your home through the roof.
“Squirrels know they can get a constant supply of food and shelter near houses. And since they have no trouble scaling buildings, they often enter through vents or openings around roofs,” Bandurka says.
Also, roof shingles weaken over the years as they are exposed to the hot sun, hail storms, and wind damage. “This can cause water to seek into the wood and make it rot. When wood rots, it gets soft and animals can dig right through it,” says Brandon.
Additionally, the rubber flashing on roof pipes dry up and crack over time, making it easier for pests to break through.
“The fascia, chimney, and siding can be perfect places for animals to get in, too,” notes Brandon.
Tree branches that hang over or are too close to a property can be a primary culprit as well, Smith adds.
Solution 7 Use Noise Deterrents To Repel Squirrels In The Attic
Another solution to get rid of squirrels from the attic is to scare them off with noise deterrents. Quite similar to other small animals, squirrels are timid and prone to be horrified by sounds and movements.
Aside from investing in a specific noise maker, you can use the two-way audio security cameras to do the job as well. These security cameras are able to give off audio alarms and even your customized recordings once they are triggered by abnormal movements.
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What Damage Can Squirrels Do In The Attic
Squirrels get babies twice in a year. During spring and fall. At these times, they are constantly looking for shelter to build their nests. Squirrels can easily get into your attic by chewing holes from outside, typically above the gutters. They could also get into your attic by chewing trim corners or weak areas that will grant them access into your attic.
Often, squirrels will cause damage to your attic insulation or will chew through your cabling and electrical wires. More significantly, is the damage they can cause to the exterior of your attic. As they give birth to more litters, they will grow, leave their initial nest and build different nests within your attic.
In case their population is not controlled, they will continuously chew holes throughout your attic, and sometimes, through every corner of your house. This could potentially cause your house to collapse in case the structural beams have been chewed up and are not strong enough to hold it anymore. They could also cause a potential fire hazard when they chew through your electrical wiring. The longer squirrels stay in your attic, the more entry point they are likely to create.
Pruning Of Tree Branches
Squirrels are jumpers, and overgrown tree branches allow them to leap from branch to roof. So the surest way to keep squirrels off your roof is to make sure that any tree near your house has its branches cut off so that there is at least a ten-foot distance between the roofline and the nearest tree branch. It will make it impossible for them to leap as the distance will be too far.
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