CAN PEST CONTROL GET RID OF SQUIRRELS?
Tree squirrels are among the most widespread rodents in North America. They are found in wooded and urban areas with trees. The name “tree squirrel” encompasses several species including the gray squirrel, fox squirrel, flying squirrel, and pine squirrels.
Squirrels are generally harmless. They can appear cute with their bushy tails and tiny legs. However, they can also become pests in the home and surrounding property. They gnaw on wires and cables and cause electrical problems and even fires. They can chew on walls and wooden beams which can result in structural damage to the house and they can certainly wreak havoc in the kitchen and pantry.
Many people are wondering if pest control professionals offer their services to manage squirrel infestations. But before we answer that query, let’s identify some of the most common squirrels in the United States.
Identifying Common Squirrels
They are gray with white undertones and grow up to 14-21 inches long. They are mostly seen in the eastern United States. They are active all year-round. Environmentally, gray squirrels are helpful because they often forget where they buried nuts and trees grow in their hiding places. However, they can become pests in highly populated areas where trees are not available. They will seek out telephone poles and roof lines for shelter. If they enter your house, they can cause power outages and structural damage. They have sharp teeth and nails that they can use to chew and scratch on electrical wires, wooden walls, and support.
They are also called pine squirrels because they often prefer to live in wooded areas with pine trees. They are reddish with white underbellies. They are the smallest of the tree squirrels growing on up to 7 ½-9 inches in length. They are seen in Alaska, Canada, and the northern United States.
They range in length from 17-27 inches are the largest of the tree squirrels. Their color varies from reddish-brown to black to gray. They can be found in the eastern and central United States. They are natural climbers. They eat nuts, flowers, insects, and small birds. They build their nests in the summer and spend the winter inside the trees.
They range from 8-12 inches in length. They are found in California, Michigan, Arizona, Alaska and in the eastern United States. They do not really fly but they glide on the air up to 160 feet using a membrane between its legs and bodies. They can be carriers of ticks, fleas, and lice. They are active and are very noisy at night.
Signs of squirrel presence in your home
Tree squirrels prefer a natural habitat. However, they can enter the home if no tree is available, especially during the winter. They build nests inside the attic, in the roof and walls. Squirrels rarely survive outdoors during the winter, especially without a stable and secure space. So, they look for alternative areas where they can nest, find food, and procreate.
Here are several tips to detect squirrel presence in your home and property:
- Damaged bird feeder and garden plants as squirrels search for food.
- Small holes in your yard dug by squirrels in search of food.
- Noise or sound of movement in the attic, within the walls, chimneys, or vents. So much for having a good night’s sleep. This is one of the main reasons why we need to prevent infestation brought by squirrels.
- Chewed wires and holes in the insulation. This sign should alarm all of us. It indicates that they have access to our wires and electrical cables. If we ever observe any entryway to our ceilings, we need to take immediate action.
- Droppings in the attic and on the roof. You can also find stool outside where bushes and trees meet the exterior of your house.
- Holes in the siding. Just like raccoons, mice, and rats, squirrels can bore their own holes to enter homes. If not, they can take advantage of broken shingles and open chimneys.
- Noise during the day indicates gray or fox squirrels. Noise during nighttime is most probably made by flying squirrel.
Preventing squirrels from entering your home
Preventing entry is probably a better option, since, squirrels can be very relentless. Here are some simple measures you can take:
- Seal all possible entry points in the house. You can install a gauze hardwire cloth mesh on drains, gutters, under eaves, chimney openings, and downspouts. Seal cracks and crevices with caulk or expandable foam. For larger holes and openings, you can cover them with a screen or new siding.
- Trim tree branches that grow too close to your roof and windows. Cut them back at least 6-8 feet from your roofline. Squirrels are expert acrobats and can jump long distances.
- You can place a two-foot metal collar around power poles and isolated trees. These will keep them from climbing up.
- Keep food in airtight containers. Squirrels have the habit of chewing containers. If you don’t want them a full-access on your food, purchase some airtight containers to use. Another advantage of using these is the prevention of other pests from accessing it such as ants, rats, mice, and cockroaches.
- Dispose of garbage regularly. Squirrels will scavenge food in trash bins so use bins that have covers. Also, wash the trash bins periodically to remove residue and odor that attracts squirrels.
- Double-bag odorous wastes like spoiled meat and fruits before throwing it in your garbage can.
- Install mesh or wire fences around your garden to protect it. Extend the fencing 6 inches below the ground to prevent burrowing.
- If you have fruit-bearing trees or berries, rake up fruits that have fallen and do not let them ripen and rot on the ground.
- Ask telephone or electrical company to place slit strips of plastic PCV pipes over utility lines which can serve as perfect bridges for squirrels. These will rotate when animals try to run across it.
- When putting up a bird feeder, keep them in hard to reach places and far from the house. You can also try to buy one that is squirrel-resistant like those that rotate when a squirrel offsets its balance.
- Do not leave pet food outside. Seal it up when your pets have finished feeding. This is one of the most common mistakes by pet owners. They neglect to fix up the leftovers of their pets. Most people do not anticipate the risks and consequences of leaving open food.
- Clean inside the house and surrounding areas regularly. Make sure there is no leftover food scattered after parties in the yard or debris and old food residue in the basement and attic.
- Place six-foot-tall metal sheeting around tree trunks.
- Eliminate standing water in your yard. Squirrels will also look for water sources.
- Installing a sprinkler system and floodlights with motion sensors can scare squirrels away since they are very skittish.
- Put mulch around your plants to dissuade squirrels to dig.
- Do not let dirt or debris pile up against the side of your house. After raking leaves and trimming trees and bushes, dispose of them immediately.
- Place ultrasonic devices in your basement and attic.
- You can buy squirrel repellents in nurseries and garden centers. Be sure to keep them away from children and pets. However, you can use home-made repellents too like apple cider vinegar or regular vinegar with soaked jalapeno pepper, mint, safflower seeds, and cayenne pepper.
In using pesticides or repellents against squirrels, make sure to follow the instructions as prescribed by the manufacturer. Take note of first aid instructions just in case you or any family member accidentally breathes or ingests the fumes or residues.
Sometimes, even with all the precautions, squirrels can still find a way to enter houses. If the situation goes out of hand, you can always contact a licensed pest management professional. Yes, a pest control professional can get rid of a squirrel infestation.
Keep in mind that every state has varying laws regarding the use of traps and there are some squirrels that are protected by state and local wildlife regulations. Trapping and the use of pesticides are best conducted by a professional. They use an integrated plan that deals with squirrels in a humane way and use proper treatment methods to repel them.
If you are looking for Winston-Salem Exterminators, you clicked the right link. To end the worry about the damage that squirrels bring to the family, contact a pest control professional near you.
Go-Forth Pest Control is one of the best pest control providers in North Carolina. Experience high-quality service with well-trained individuals who will do everything to secure the problem. Equipped with the latest methods and techniques of pest management, you can shoo squirrels in a humane and safe manner. All it takes is one quick call. What are you waiting for? Contact Go-Forth Pest Control now!