- Posted by gordonb
- On November 11, 2020
- 0 Comments
Rustling in the attic is not a comforting sound. You may assume it’s a rodent, and think first of rats and mice — but their bushy-tailed cousins, the squirrel, could also be the culprit.
The Triad, like virtually every town and city in North Carolina, has more squirrels than it can count. If you’ve spent any amount of time watching these acrobatic rodents, you know it would be no problem for them to find their way onto the roof and into the attic. But when you become aware of their presence, it’s best not to let them make a home in your home.
Why squirrels in the attic can be harmful
- Chewing on electrical wiring — One of the most common problems with having squirrels in the attic, and maybe the most dangerous one, is electrical failures because of them chewing on wires. If they expose live wires, it can cause a risk of fire or electrocution. Even if it simply cuts the power, that’s not always a quick fix and can come at very inconvenient times.
- Structural damage — In order to find a way in, squirrels often chew a hole through fascia board or even through shingles and plywood. Once inside, they may continue to mess with structural parts of the roof, like the roof trusses and framing supports. It’s common to hear reports of chewed 2x4s and moisture entering a hole in the roof when squirrels are found in an attic.
- Health and safety of residents — As we warn with other rodents in the home, like rats and mice, a big part of why you don’t want them around is for the health and safety of those living in the home. Not only is the waste from squirrels unhealthy to be around, but they also carry diseases. There is also the possibility that a cornered squirrel with their young may become defensive over the space they’ve claimed in your home, even leading to a bite or scratch.
- Damage to valuable goods in storage — An attic isn’t just an empty space under the roof; you probably use it as storage and have some valuables there, like pictures and boxes of important documents. If squirrels have free reign of the attic, they may shred these documents and use them as bedding or soil them. Even if the items don’t seem too damaged, it can be unsettling knowing that they were rifled through by a rodent.
How to get rid of squirrels in the attic
To figure out how to get rid of a squirrel, you have to think about how the problem began in the first place. Is there a branch that overhangs the roof that they use to access the attic? You may need to have it removed. Is there a good food source (often your birdfeeder) that they stay nearby for? You likely need to take a break from feeding the birds for a year or two.
Beyond that, making your attic a less hospitable place is another step. They come in because they see it as a nice, warm place to set up in colder months. But what if it weren’t as nice of an environment for them? There are things like noise makers and strobe lights specifically for this purpose that you can find online.
Ultimately, you may have to call in the experts. Squirrels are notoriously stubborn and hard to evict. Professional pest control services can trap and remove them though. Once this is done, the holes they chewed for entrances should be closed up, barring them (or any other squirrels) from returning. If you live in Guilford, Alamance or Forsyth counties, call Critter Control of the Triad at (336) 370-0445 and we can discuss how to get the squirrels out of your attic for good.