Though there are several species of squirrels, our experience and expertise is limited to tree squirrels. There are a few species of tree squirrels, but the most common ones are either black or gray. Another species found is the Flying Squirrel (it's not a joke) which doesn't really fly - but instead can glide from branch to branch by extending its paws out to reveal a flat, rectangular area of skin which will support brief periods of flight. The Flying Squirrel is also smaller than the more common gray or black squirrel.
Squirrels are very cute until they become a pest around structures. If they enter a building, they are capable of doing damage to a multitude of objects because of their chewing behavior. The most common entry point for squirrels is the attic, which they may enter by chewing a hole into a gable or other susceptible area. In other cases, squirrel will chew into soffits areas and make themselves quite comfortable there.
Once in the attic or soffit, they may nest and eventually reproduce with a litter of several young. In an attic, there is potential for damage to stored goods as well as to wiring with the potential for fire due to gnawing of those wires. Droppings from squirrels may also be a nuisance.
If squirrels enter a home through a door or garage, they may do damage to furniture and upholstery in an effort to escape. In other cases, squirrels may do damage outdoors by chewing on structures, screens, lawn furniture, plants or digging in the grass.
The most common clues to a squirrel infestation are actual sightings of the animals entering a structure and/or running or scratching noises in the attic that are heard early in the morning (4 AM to 7 AM) or late in the afternoon (5 PM to 8 PM).
Dealing with squirrels can take several forms. First, environmental changes may be made such as by pruning trees that extend over a structure or removing or securing any decorative trim or attachments that provide access to the structure. If squirrels are coming to a roof across wires, it may be possible to install a cone-shaped shield that would eliminate access to the roof. These may be available through the local utility company and would naturally require professional installation. Click here for a link to a company that offers this type of device.
We currently offer three squirrel repellents that may discourage a variety of destructive behavior. One repellent is placed inside an attic, soffit or overhang to repel squirrels outside. Rid-A-Critter is a naphthalene (moth flake) product which needs to be applied by placing this granular product in a panty hose, cheese cloth, a mesh bag or in a box. The bag(s) or box may then be placed in the problem areas within the attic. Bagging the product permits removal since naphthalene vapors are heavier than air and the odor could seep downward into living areas of a structure.
Special Note: Care should be taken using this product in attic areas containing furnaces due to the volatility of naphthalene.
This product volatilizes into these areas which causes respiratory irritation to the squirrels forcing them to leave. After that, repair to the opening(s) that the squirrels entered through should be done by a carpenter, roofer or knowledgeable pest management professional. For more information on Rid-A-Critter, click here.
Another repellent, Ro-Pel, a bitter tasting product, may be sprayed on surfaces such as furniture and siding as well as grass and plants to discourage chewing, biting or nibbling. Ro-Pel relies on a bitter tasting substance to discourage damage to the treated surfaces.
Finally, cage traps such as a Hav-A-Hart TM trap will allow removal of squirrels without harm to the animal. Once captured, you will need to transport the animal five miles or more from the property to discourage a return appearance. Note that many state and local governments regulate trapping of wild/nuisance animals - you may want to check with local authorities first.
For more detailed product information about the products discussed above, click here. Animal Control products are listed below the Insect Control Products. Some are listed under Dr T's Nature Products.
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