As the weather turns colder, many types of New Jersey wildlife that have adapted to human habitats start to eye our homes as warm respite from the harsh outdoor elements. Recently, a Leonardo homeowner found this out this problem first-hand. A number of squirrels decided that his attic was a lot more comfortable than being outdoors. Before calling Cowleys, the homeowner had tried to deal with the squirrel infestation as a DIY project. As is usually the case, he wasn’t successful. After attempting to patch up any potential access points he could find, he tried trapping the critters with a trap that he bought himself. While he was initially successful in catching a squirrel, the success was short-lived. The wily squirrel was able to quickly free herself and run off. After that less than satisfactory experience, the homeowner decided that it was time to get serious. He called in the pros from Little Rascals Wildlife Service by Cowleys.
I was dispatched to the residence to resolve the nuisance wildlife problem. After interviewing the homeowner, I thoroughly inspected the entire home to determine how the squirrels were gaining access to the roof, and from there, how they were getting inside the attic. A good wildlife technician has to put himself in the “paws” of the nuisance wildlife that is invading the home, and it takes a “squirrel’s eye” view to figure things out. I immediately noticed several potential routes that would enable a squirrel to gain access to the roof. The main culprits were a number of trees close to the house with overhanging branches. For an acrobatic squirrel, it would be a hop, skip and a jump from these branches onto the roof. I informed the homeowner that the tree branches needed to be trimmed away from the roof line or squirrels and other nuisance wildlife would effectively have 24/7 access to his roof. The next issue was to figure out how the squirrels were gaining access inside the attic. As I continued my inspection, I observed many large gaps underneath the shingles and above the gutters. Squirrels are experts at exploiting any gaps that they come across. If the gaps are too small, they will do their own “construction work” and expanding them by chewing around the edges until they form a usable entry point. Squirrels are rodents with razor sharp teeth that can grind through most construction materials. While the homeowner attempted to remedy this, the job was incomplete. One spot in particular was wide enough for squirrels to come and go without any further widening.
With my findings in mind, it was time to implement a strategy to get rid of this infestation once and for all. I set and baited several live traps along the path the squirrels were likely to travel along the roof. Within just a few days, I had trapped and relocated three squirrels. After determining that there were no squirrels (especially babies) inside the attic. I properly patch the holes in the roof to prevent these critters from getting back in. The homeowner was happy that I was able to resolve his squirrel problem that he tried, but could not do himself. Dealing with nuisance wildlife is a lot more than running to the store and buying some traps. You have to know the behavior of the animals and you need to have a detailed eye to find those access points that are easy to miss — and that takes experience.
Once inside a home, wildlife can cause significant property damage both from chewing and from their toxic droppings that contain bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens. When the droppings dry and spores are released into the air, they pose a health risk to the home’s occupants. .You don’t want wildlife to get accustomed to using your home for their own living accommodations. Once they do, there is a higher chance that they’ll keep trying to return.