How to Get Rid of Squirrels in the Attic

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Do you have squirrels playing house in your attic? Not only can their constant scampering disturb your peace, but these furry little squatters can also cause property damage and bring potential health risks. 

You must find a solution to evict them sooner rather than later. This article will explore effective methods to bid them a kind farewell from your attic space. 

We’ll discuss various steps and strategies to efficiently and humanely give those squirrels their marching orders and ensure they don’t find their way back in.

Key Takeaways

Squirrels can cause safety issues, raise electrical bills, and bring in health hazards.
Keep tree branches near the roof trimmed back and watch for squirrels climbing downspouts.
Locate and seal entry points. Look for holes that squirrels have chewed, areas where roofing has moved or worn out due to age, and then look for gaps between your roofing and your gutters.
Once entry points are sealed, set cage traps in your attic to capture any stragglers that may still be in your attic.
Squirrels can be tricky to deal with you don’t hesitate to hire a professional if you feel the task is too big for you or if you’re fighting a losing battle.

Understanding the Issue of Squirrel Infestation in Attics

Squirrels are master climbers, and they often find attics to be the perfect cozy spot, away from predators and the harsh outdoor elements. Loose shingles, unsecured vents, or tiny gaps in the siding are VIP entries for them. Attics provide a warm, dry space, often with insulating materials perfect for nesting.

Roof pitches and attic spaces provide natural insulation against weather patterns, keeping squirrels warm during cold seasons and cool during hotter times. The standard roof designs in many residential roofs, with a slight pitch, often mimic the natural habitats of these creatures in the wild, making them feel right at home.

However, having squirrels overhead is more than just a noisy nuisance. These critters can be health risks and cause potential property damage. Their constant gnawing can compromise your home’s structural integrity and even pose fire risks if they chew through electrical wires. Not to mention, squirrels can be carriers of ticks and fleas, which brings in a whole new set of problems.

So, while thinking of a squirrel family upstairs might be mildly amusing, prompt action is crucial. Left unchecked, a small squirrel problem can quickly become overwhelming and expensive.

It’s essential to note that different types of roofs offer varying degrees of accessibility to squirrels. For instance, a flat roof might be less attractive than a high-pitched roof or a mansard roof due to differences in attic space and access points. 

The type of materials used, whether asphalt shingles, wood shake, or concrete roof tiles, can also impact how inviting your attic is. Modern roofs with metal or composite materials might offer fewer entry points than older roof types, where wear and tear have created unintended gaps.

If you’ve got a hunch that squirrels are playing house in your attic, don’t wait. Investigate, assess, and act. If you’re feeling out of your depth or want to ensure a thorough, safe, and efficient squirrel eviction process, there’s no harm in calling in the experts. 

Grey Squirrel Climbing on Brick House

The Consequences of Ignoring Squirrel Infestations

While they might look cute and fluffy, the reality is that squirrels in your attic or shed can be a costly and dangerous problem. Acting promptly is both a health and financial imperative.

Consequences include: 

  • Safety risks
  • Health risks
  • Costly property damage

Safety

Squirrels love to chew, and in an attic, they have a buffet of options—wooden beams, insulation, and those ever-tempting electrical wires. Unfortunately, chewed-up wires can be a major fire hazard, and damaged insulation can send your energy bills skyrocketing.

Health Risks

However, there’s more because squirrel droppings and nesting materials aren’t just unsightly; they’re a health risk. These droppings can contaminate your attic space, leading to potential respiratory problems and other health concerns for you and your loved ones. Plus, squirrels can carry mites, ticks, and fleas they could introduce into your home.

The Cost

Neglecting a squirrel infestation can lead to hefty repair costs. From fixing the damage they’ve caused to potential medical bills from health issues they introduce, the financial implications can add up quickly.

Additionally, the type of shingle or roofing material plays a vital role in the potential for damage. Wood shingles or shakes give a rustic and beautiful look and can also be prime targets for squirrels’ sharp teeth. 

In contrast, a metal roof or specially designed roofing materials might be less susceptible to gnawing but could still have vulnerabilities at their connecting points or overlap areas.

Effective Solutions for Removing Squirrels

So, now that we’ve painted the picture of why squirrels in the attic aren’t a good idea let’s dive into ways to show them the door politely. To truly protect your home, a combination of physical barriers, such as sealing entry points and deterrents like scent repellents or electronic devices, might be required.

Traps

These are classics for a reason. Cage traps can effectively capture these little climbers, set up in the attic or near entry points. Remember to check these regularly to ensure a trapped squirrel is kept from being left for too long. And always opt for humane traps; it’s about eviction, not harm.

Grey Squirrel Caught in a Live Trap

Exclusion Devices and One-Way Doors

Imagine a door that lets you out but never lets you back in. That’s the logic behind one-way doors. Attach these to the entry points; squirrels can exit but can’t re-enter. Exclusion devices work similarly, making the environment hostile for the squirrel to return.

Sealing Those Entry Points

After you’ve ensured the squirrels are out, it’s time to ensure they stay out. Inspect your attic for potential entry points, from loose sidings to small holes, and seal them up. Remember, if there’s a will, there’s a way, especially for a determined squirrel.

Steep Roof Pitches

Certain roof pitches make it more challenging for squirrels to find a comfortable foothold, but their agility often surprises homeowners. Depending on the roof’s angles and design, even a steep slope roof can provide squirrels with pockets of shelter. 

Implementing Prevention Strategies

Now that we’ve tackled the immediate problem let’s future-proof your attic against these agile invaders.

Seal Potential Entry Points

We touched on this before, but it bears repeating. Squirrels are opportunists, and even a tiny opening can be an invitation. Use wire mesh, metal flashing, or caulk to cover gaps and secure your attic.

Trim those Trees

Squirrels are like Olympic athletes in jumping. Are those branches hanging near your roof? They’re essentially squirrel highways leading straight to your attic. Regularly trim trees and branches to ensure they’re at least 10 feet from the roof.

Deploy Deterrents

Sometimes, the best offense is a good defense. Strong scents like peppermint oil or mothballs can act as natural repellents. However, these need regular replacement or reapplication to remain effective.

Roof Pitch Guards

Some homeowners might consider installing roof pitch guards. While primarily designed to prevent snow and ice accumulation, these guards can also serve as a deterrent for squirrels attempting to scale your roof. These devices and the preventive measures mentioned earlier can offer a comprehensive solution to squirrel infestations.

To wrap it up, while squirrels might be a delight to watch in a park, they’re a tad less delightful in your attic. By combining removal and prevention strategies, you can ensure your home remains a squirrel-free zone. And trust me, both your peace of mind and your pocketbook will thank you.

Final Thoughts About Squirrels in the Attic

Squirrels might be adorable fluffballs, but when they decide to crash in your attic, they can bring along some not-so-cute problems. From health risks to tangible property damage, these little critters can stir up quite the storm. 

Our handy guide walked you through understanding the gravity of the issue, detailed steps to effectively remove them, and preventive measures to keep future invasions at bay. Remember, the clock’s ticking once you’ve spotted signs of an infestation. Swift action is paramount to avoid an escalation in damages.

Seeking professional assistance often saves you time, effort, and potential missteps. After all, peace of mind is priceless, especially when keeping your home critter-free. Safe squirrel-proofing!

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Sean is the founder of Conquer Critters. With more than 17 years of experience in dealing with various pests, he is passionate about spreading his knowledge to help everyone manage their pest problem in the fastest, most effective manor possible.