Case Studies

Wildlife Removal Case Studies: Squirrels chew into Ocean Gate, NJ home

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017 by Tom Reilly


A homeowner in Ocean Gate, NJ contacted Cowleys after finding himself with a squirrel infestation in his new porch roof. Whenever we deal with a wildlife infestation, it is critical to determine how the wildlife is gaining access to the home so the access points can be fixed. While it is critical to trap and relocate the wildlife, you need to also perform an exclusion to ensure that there is not a later re-infestation. 

The homeowner told me that he had a contractor finish up a back porch addition to his home right before the squirrel infestation. During my inspection where the squirrels were gaining entry, I observed that there was a 2ft X 1ft section hole in the new porch roof. For animals like squirrels, this was a perfect-sized hole from which to come and go.

Instead of doing it right and extending plywood all the way to the end of the porch roof, the contractor simply covered up the gap with roofing tiles. This quick fix wound up causing a major headache for the homeowner. Wildlife has a knack for discovering and exploiting any weaknesses in construction (or damaged or weakened building materials like roof tiles, fascia boards, or soffits with gaps, cracks, or wood rot)  to gain access a home. 

Here, squirrels found this patch and easily tore through the roof tiles to make entry in order to find a home for themselves in the porch roof. 


To evict the critters, I installed a “one-way” with hardware cloth around it to cover the entire hole. A one-way wildlife device allows the animals to leave, but stops their return so that any animals are limited to a one-way trip out of the home. In addition, I set three traps nearby to humanely capture the squirrels and relocate them to a safe area away from human habitats just in case they decided that they enjoyed hanging around this home instead of moving on elsewhere. 

The homeowner understood that he needed to have the roof properly fixed. The  plywood needed to extend the entire length of the porch roof to be an effective barrier that would prevent any squirrel or other wildlife re-infestation. Finally, I told the homeowner that Cowleys has home improvement specialists experienced in repairing wildlife property damage after the trespassing animals are trapped and relocated.