Don't Let Squirrels Turn Your Attic Into a Circus!
Squirrels are the circus clowns of the animal world. They are cute and their acrobatic stunts are fun to watch, but make no mistake, there is nothing funny about a squirrel entering your home. Squirrels can cause serious damage, and in some cases can even cause fires.
People who like squirrels think of them as delightful furry performers. People who don’t like them think they are just rats with a good PR guy. Squirrels bushy tails and tiny paws may make them endearing but in fact they do share a lot of similarities with rats. And like rats, a squirrel in your home will lead to problems.
Squirrels are rodents. Like other rodents, their four front teeth continuously grow. Their incisors can grow five and a half inches in a single year. Their teeth often look orange because of the incredibly hard enamel that protects them. Why is it important to know about squirrels teeth? Their teeth are one of their most prized weapons when it comes to mastering how to break into homes.
Like other rodents, squirrels can fit into small holes. Squirrels only need a space the size of a golf ball to get inside. You may think that there are no voids in your home that large, and that may be correct, right now. But, it doesn’t take much time for a squirrel to uses its strong teeth to make a very small hole large enough to gain entry. They can chew through soffits, fascia boards, siding, wood, and even shingles to gain access to your attic.
So squirrels can chew holes in a variety of building materials in order to gain access to your home, but why would they want to be there? Attics, with their protection from the elements, as well as predators, and easy access to nesting materials, make them a perfect fit for squirrels. Squirrels find attics to be an ideal place to have babies. Squirrels typically have two litters a year with 2-4 young per litter. In less than a year you can go from one squirrel to almost 10 squirrels without having any more join from outside (with a golf ball size hole in your soffit more squirrels are likely to join from outside).
Squirrels are relatively small, with adults weighing less than 2 pounds. So why would having even 10 in your attic be such a huge concern? The major reason is their teeth. Not only do their teeth help them to gain entry, but those same teeth can wreak havoc on your house once the squirrel is inside. Their constant gnawing poses a danger especially if they are chewing on your home’s wiring. Chewed and frayed wires can easily cause fires and having electrical systems replaced can be very costly.
The best way to prevent a squirrel from causing damage to your home is to make sure it doesn’t get a chance to settle in. It is a good idea to check your attic for squirrel activity. If you see gnaw marks, shredded insulation or an actual squirrel make sure to give our Little Rascals Nuisance Wildlife Division a call.