Recently, I was sent to a home in the Borough of Beach Haven, NJ, on the southern end of Long Beach Island (LBI) in Ocean County to deal with a squirrel infestation. As with many of the homes here, this residence was used as a summer vacation home. At the end of last summer, the homeowner had hired a contractor to install new cedar shingle siding on the home. Fortunately, the owner makes periodic checks of the home during the off-season, and heard some wildlife scurrying noises in the back section ceiling of the home.
While inspecting the home, I observed that the new siding was installed quite well, but the contractor forgot to re-install a duct cover when finished. With the home empty and quiet during the winter, this opening proved just too tempting for a squirrel or two looking to escape the harsh outdoor elements. Squirrels, a common arboreal rodent, will often seek entry points into the roof area of home through shingles, fascia and soffits, or chimneys.
To resolve this squirrel infestation, I installed a “one way” device with hardware cloth over the opening. This device allows the animals to exit the home, but prevent their return. You never want to immediately seal a wildlife entry point because of there are animals still inside there may be significant damage from the animals trying to escape or you could wind up with dead, rotting animal carcasses that could attract insects and other wildlife. In addition to the one-way, I also set three traps on the roof directly above it. We successfully trapped and removed two squirrels from the property. Once the home was free of wildlife, we installed the duct cover that the contractor had removed and forgot to re-install.