During the winter season, Squirrels may seek refuge in your home’s attic or other out-of-the-way spaces. With proper rodent proofing, you can rest assured that your house is protected from the various types of damage that can be caused by mice in the home. If you neglect to practice proper rodent control, you may find that your house suffers from extensive property damage. Read on to take a look at how a rodent infestation can impact your home.
How do Squirrels enter your home?
Located on the exteriors of brick homes, weep vents allow moisture to drain out of the brick and play an important role in extending the life of the material. However, these openings are usually big enough to allow rodents to make their way in between the walls. Weep vents should never be sealed completely but can be rodent proofed using non-plastic materials, such as metal screens.
When beginning the rodent proofing process, many people overlook their attics. This can prove to be a devastating error, because squirrels are some of the most common invaders in this part of the home, and can make their way inside through just a small crack or opening. Once squirrels get into your attic, they can create a major mess and leave significant damage in their wake as they chew through walls, insulation, baseboards, and wires. To help keep rodents out, check your roof shingles, fascia, and soffits for signs of damage or rot, and ensure that your attic vent screens, attic insulation materials, and chimney cap are in good condition.
If your home has utility or HVAC lines that run to the exterior of your home, then it is critical to check these areas as part of the rodent proofing process. Commonly, the holes cut into exterior walls for these lines are oversized and leave gaps that are large enough for rodents to make their way through. Be sure to seal off these holes with exterior grade caulking.
How to Know if You Have Squirrels In Your Attic
When it comes to rodent control, keeping squirrels outdoors comes to mind for many homeowners. However, squirrels also have a habit of living in attics when given the opportunity. If you’re wondering if you need rodent proofing for your attic because of a squirrel problem, then read on to learn what signs can indicate that you’re sharing your home with these critters.
Signs of Nearby Squirrels
When you have squirrels in your attic, there are several signs that you may notice around your home. First, if you frequently see squirrels running back and forth along your home’s utility lines or fighting in your yard, then this can indicate that you have a sizable population of the rodents in the area. Also, you might notice nests in trees or tree trunks, chewed bark and plants, and squirrel droppings.
Noises in Your Home
As with most types of rodent infestations, a squirrel problem will often identify itself through noise. When squirrels are living in your attic, you might hear scratching and running noises coming from the ceiling, or you may notice sounds of movement coming from your chimney, vents, and walls. Sometimes, you might even hear the squirrels fighting with one another, which typically involves loud chirping and squeaking. When you hear noises like these at night, this can indicate the presence of flying squirrels, while daytime noises can mean that fox or gray squirrels are living in your attic.
Damage to Your Home
Finally, there are a few more visible signs that can mean you have squirrels in your home. First, you might see damage to your bird feeders and notice that they empty too quickly, as squirrels jump on these devices and cause the seeds to spill on the ground. Also, watch for chewed wires, holes in your home’s siding, evidence of squirrel nests, and insulation damage in the attic.
Damage to Electrical Systems
Squirrels can cause serious damage to the various electrical systems that are located within your home. Since rodents have the urge to continually chew and gnaw on solid surfaces, they may eventually start to nibble on your home’s electrical wires. Since frayed and gnawed electrical wires pose a risk of fire, you will want to take care of your rodent problem before it gets severe.
Damage to Attic Insulation
Squirrels can also cause significant harm to your attic insulation. Due to its fluffy consistency, attic insulation is the perfect nesting material for a colony of rats or mice. After mice have nested in your attic insulation, it may need to be ripped out and replaced.
Contamination of Indoor Areas
A squirrel problem poses more than just a threat to the structural integrity of your home. When squirrels invade your property, they can bring harmful diseases and pathogens into your interior spaces. To make sure that you and your loved ones are not exposed to rodent-borne illnesses, you will want to schedule rodent proofing at the first indication of an issue.
Steps to Remove Squirrels From Your Attic
For many household pests, like squirrels, attics provide an inviting place to seek refuge from natural predators and the outdoor climate. However, once cozily inside, these animals can wreak havoc on your property and even impact your family’s health. If you detect the sound of squirrels in the attic, it’s important to know what to do next.
Contact a Pest Removal Service
Squirrels often chew on wooden support beams, walls and even electrical wires, which can result in serious damage to your home. If you suspect that there may be squirrels living in your attic, your first step is to contact a rodent removal specialist right away. For your safety, never attempt to handle a wild animal on your own.
Replace Damaged Materials
After the squirrel or squirrels have been removed from your attic, you’ll need to replace any damaged insulation, wood and electrical wires. Fortunately, as part of Atticare’s rodent exclusion and animal waste removal services, our experienced team will help ensure a clean and rodent-free home. Besides replacing damaged insulation, we’ll use hospital-grade disinfectants to properly clean and sanitize the contaminated areas for a completely restored space.
Rodent-Proof Your Home
As territorial animals, squirrels often mark their territory, leaving behind strong pheromones that can attract other unwanted guests. To help prevent future squirrel and rodent infestations, you must seal off any potential entry points. At Atticare, our professionals will fill in susceptible areas with mesh or expandable foam to keep pests out of your attic or crawlspace for good.
If squirrels are making themselves at home in your attic, contact the experts at Atticare to schedule a free inspection.
Tips For Making Your Home Less Vulnerable To Rodents
Rodent proofing your home is necessary for your family’s continued health. Thankfully, you can rodent-proof your home in a few simple steps. Let’s take a quick look at some essential tips to making your home stronger against squirrels and other rodents.
Tip #1: Clean Up Clutter
The best way to strengthen your home against rodents is by cleaning up any clutter inside and outside of your home. If your attic, basement, or crawlspace is used as a storage area, then ensure your items are well-protected and the area is kept clean. If you have junk or trash inside or outside your home, then clean it up right away. Rodents look for dark and unused areas to build nests. Cleaning up the clutter in your home is one of the best forms of rodent proofing.
Tip #2: Use Plastic Containers
Your storage and your pantry supplies should be kept in hard, plastic containers. Rodents have sharp, strong teeth, and they can penetrate cardboard boxes, plastic bags, and wood. However, rodents cannot penetrate plastic containers. They also cannot smell food or other items through the plastic, and this will deter them from infesting your storage or pantry supplies. Store your grains, rice, and cereals in airtight plastic containers. Keep your files, clothing, and stored items in a plastic bin. These actions will deter mice or rats in the attic from infesting your home.
Tip #3: Clear Water Sources
Rodents need food and water to survive. Rodent control requires sealing your foods in plastic containers and clearing up any water sources. Schedule waterproofing services to look at your pipes and plumbing fixtures. This inspection can help you locate leaks or puddles of water that could attract rodents to your home.
If there are squirrels making themselves at home in your attic, contact the experts at Atticare to schedule a free inspection.