There are few creatures as stubborn and adaptable as the common squirrel. Found everywhere from the countryside to our downtown shopping centers, these rodents are great at finding creative ways to get the food and shelter they need in a pinch.
While these traits may seem admirable, especially when you consider how cute these animal acrobats are, any homeowner knows that squirrels can be a major hassle in the wrong situation!
Squirrel damage can be anything from overturned flowers to unwanted guests in the attic. Worse, these pests are surprisingly hard to kick out of your home and immediate surroundings. How do you keep these nuisances at bay?
Let’s take a look at how squirrels damage your home, and how to stop them.
Types of Damage Squirrels Can Cause
Despite their small size, squirrels can wreak havoc around your home. If you’re wondering whether damage you’re seeing is due to squirrel activity, consider these likely areas where squirrels can cause harm.
Building Material Damage
Like mice and rats, squirrels have great teeth for chewing. Unfortunately, they sometimes apply those teeth to things they shouldn’t—including the materials that make up your home.
If a squirrel has decided it wants to sneak into a quiet, hidden area of your home, it can chew through your home’s siding, your roof shingles, your insulation, and more. You might be surprised at the damage they can cause!
Electrical Wiring Damage
If a squirrel finds its way into your attic or an unheated area of your home, it may look for materials to help it make a warm home of its own. In this search, it may chew through vital electric components like wiring, which can cause major problems for your household.
Again, in their hunt for nest-building materials, squirrels may damage other aspects of your home, including your furniture. This may include your garden furniture, like wood or cloth cushions, but if a squirrel has gotten into your home, it can also damage the upholstery of your interior furniture as well.
Damage to Gardens
In their hunt for food during the warm months and their quest to bury food in the cool months, squirrels can wreak havoc on your garden. This can include digging up your new landscaping or unearthing the fragile roots of your plants.
In addition, squirrels may even eat any food you’re growing for yourself. Fruits and vegetables may tempt a squirrel to steal your home-grown produce, leaving you with half-eaten food on the ground!
Though it isn’t strictly “damage,” squirrels can also engage in nuisance behavior that makes life unpleasant for those around your home. This can include eating from your bird feeders, or even scaring away birds or pets!
Squirrel Damage Prevention Tactics
If squirrels have become a nuisance around your home, there are a few things you can do to minimize or stop the behavior.
This is often the most effective way to keep squirrels at bay.
Modify the habitat around your home to make the area less attractive to them. This may include trimming tree limbs that act as “squirrel highways” or cutting back plants like ivy that allow them to climb with ease.
If you provide food sources like vegetable gardens or bird feeders, keep squirrels out of the area. Netting around a vegetable garden is a quick and easy method, and bird feeders can be modified with baffles and other tactics.
Keep squirrels from getting into your home with a few simple tactics.
For example, you can add aluminum flashing to nearby trees to make them impossible to climb. Seal openings in your attic to make sure squirrels can’t get through them. If you think you already have squirrels living in your attic, however, you’ll need to hire a pest control company.
If you’ve ever seen owl figurines around houses, you might not immediately realize that they aren’t just decorative—they’re methods of sending squirrels scurrying. Adding a statue of a predator can keep squirrels at bay, especially if you keep them in areas where they’re more likely to roam.
Squirrels have powerful noses, and scattering strong-smelling scents around your property can make life very unpleasant for them.
To start, you can try simple smells from foods you already have in your pantry: peppermint, garlic, and pepper are overpowering smells to a squirrel. Sprinkle these around your home or garden, and it may be enough to keep squirrels away. If you have strong-smelling essential oils, these may work as well.
If the simple tactics above don’t work, you may need to upgrade to a commercial squirrel deterrent. These use the smells of natural squirrel predators to convince your pests to take a hike. You can purchase these at most home improvement stores or online in spray or liquid form.
Pest Control Services for Squirrel Infestations
In many cases, the simple tricks above can help you keep squirrels from damaging your home or becoming nuisances on your property. However, in some cases, stubborn squirrels may be harder to remove.
Like any other rodent infestation, squirrels tend to stick around the places where they nest, meaning you may have a hard time kicking them out of your home if they’ve found their way inside. When this is the case, you should call a pest control professional for help. This is especially true if you’ve found any structural or interior damage in your home.
An expert can apply professional-grade rodent control techniques to get squirrels out of your house and prevent them from returning. Don’t hesitate to schedule a service, especially in cases where you’d have to capture a squirrel to remove it!
Partner With Elevate Pest Control to Keep Squirrels Out
If you’re not sure how to conquer your squirrel damage issues—or where to turn for expert help—partner with us to keep your squirrels out for good!
Utah and Colorado homeowners have long trusted the Elevate Pest Control team with household infestations and exterminations. Our expert technicians provide both residential and commercial pest control, and we’re here to help you take back your home. To learn what we can do for you, contact us today.