Squirrels have a lot of fans throughout the United States. While some people do call the fluffy-tailed rodents “rats with a tail,” many others like to watch their antics as they chase each other up and drown trees and bury their acorns. While they are cute when they are outside, they lose a lot of that appeal when they decide to move into people’s homes or places or business. There they can become more of a problem than anything. In fact, when people find squirrels in the attic, they often have no idea what to do.
The first thing is to notice they have made their way into a home. Orlando area wildlife removal expert David Seerveld says that homeowners are most often clued into their new unwanted rodent guests when they start to hear them running around or engaging in other squirrely activities.
Seervid says that the first thing people who have squirrels in the attic will hear is the scratching the little animals do during the daytime hours. He says that, unlike other unwanted rodents, such as mice or rats, squirrels are active during the day. Most other rodents prefer to keep nighttime hours. He also says squirrels are more common than other animals and than many homeowners may know.
These can be very destructive animals. Squirrels are known for causing fires and other damage by chewing through electrical wiring. They can cause leaks when they gnaw through the plumbing. These creatures have even been known to eat through ceiling tiles, which can lead them to fall into the living parts of a home, making them some of the most surprising of “drop-in” dinner guests.
The average tree squirrel will often mate and reproduce between once and twice each year. Once a squirrel has become pregnant, her first goal is to find a good home to have and raise her babies. Many people think their only option at this point to get squirrels in the attic to leave is to poison them. Luckily, this is not often necessary. Another strike against using poison is that many states have banned its use. This is also a very inhumane way to get rid of the creatures.
Another thing people often try is some kind of urine from another animal, such as fox. Others opt for other natural products such as lights, electromagnetic emitters, or sound machines. None of these has a great track record of working. Experts like Seervid have reported going into homes with squirrels in the attic where these methods have tried and failed. He says the squirrels, “just do not care about any of these things.”
People who have this problem need to see where the points of entry for the squirrels are as well as look at their sources for water and food. Seervid says one way is to try to spot any holes in the wall that are about the size of golf ball. He also says the people should be on the lookout for droppings and marks from their teeth.
The best thing to do when these have been located is to cover the holes with wire mesh. Leave one entryway clear. That is where you can set up a cage. If you do not want to trap the squirrels yourself, you can also set up a sort of “one-way door” so they can get out but they cannot get back in. When you are looking for these spaces, the entire house has to be searched.
Many animal removal experts like the “one-way” door squirrel removal plan the best because that is safer for the animals. Squirrels have been known to kill themselves in cages by hitting their heads against the wire.
People who prefer to trap and move the squirrels should make sure they drive a long way from home to drop them off. Ten miles is the minimum. It is important to follow your state’s laws if there are any, that govern the transport of live squirrels.
Finally, Seervid recommends treating the squirrels with kindness noting there is no reason to be mean just because you can. They are just trying to survive. Quoting Spiderman he says, “with great power comes great responsibility.”