Squirrels are classified as rodents making them distant cousins to other more popular species like rats and mice. Like their rodent counterparts, squirrels can cause damage to your home and spread diseases to you and your family. Squirrels can access your home through small openings such as open doors and windows, down chimneys, through fireplaces, and through holes or openings in roofs or eaves. Once inside, these pests can chew through wires, siding, and insulation, causing costly damage and putting you at risk of fire. To keep these nuisance pests out, here are five ways to deal with a squirrel in your house.
Identify Where They Get In
The first step in dealing with squirrels is to figure out where they are getting into your home. Squirrels only need a small opening to squeeze through and once they are inside, getting them out can be difficult. Perform a thorough inspection of both the interior and exterior of your home, checking for holes, openings, and gaps that squirrels and other pests can use to gain access.
Seal Up Entry Points
Once you’ve identified where the squirrels are getting in, seal it up to prevent them from using it again. If there is no presence of squirrels inside your home, go ahead and seal up ALL of the entry points you find. If there is a squirrel present, make sure to leave one entryway open so they have a way to get back out. Cover this last opening with a single sheet of newspaper. If it is still intact 2 to 3 days after you stop hearing the squirrel, it is safe to go ahead and seal it up. Make sure doors and windows are covered with screens and properly fit to your home. Place wire mesh over chimneys and open vents. Use caulk, steel wool, or other appropriate materials to seal any other openings you find.
Give Them A Reason to Leave
Squirrels will often not leave your home on their own, especially if they have already given birth to a litter. To avoid this, try to drive the squirrels out as soon as you notice their presence. Playing loud music or keeping the lights on are both good ways to repel squirrels. If there is a squirrel present, try to avoid the area as you can spook them, causing them to flee to another part of the house, usually causing even more damage.
As a last resort, you can use traps to get rid of squirrels in your home. There are several different types of traps you can use. Live capture traps are a box-type trap that allows you to capture the squirrel alive and then release it outside. These traps have to be checked frequently and some states even require permits to use them. Kill traps are also box-type traps but eliminate the squirrel quickly and safely. Body-gripping traps can be used outside known entry points to capture the squirrels as they go in and out of your home.
Prevention is Key
As with any other type of pest control, prevention is key to keeping squirrels and other nuisance pests out of your home. The first step, as mentioned above, is to seal up any entry points around your home. Trim any overhanging trees that squirrels and other pests can use to access your roof, windows, and attic. Use traps as necessary.
If you have a problem with squirrels or any other pests, contact a professional pest control company who can help identify the type of pest you are dealing with, find potential entry points, and help prevent future infestations.