Squirrels may seem cute and fluffy. They may also seem harmless. But what you have to understand is that these animals can cause huge amounts of damage. This squirrel damage can affect all parts of your home from your roof to your garden. Squirrels have even been known to raid kitchens. But how do you know if you’re at risk? The way you do this is by spotting damage before it gets too bad. Here’s how:
Squirrel problems can be a headache
Squirrels are not generally considered pests by the public. These animals are most often spotted frolicking in gardens or London parks. In these environments you may actually be pleased to see them. Squirrels are also very smart. For instance, they are said to gauge the presence of food or safety by listening to bird activity. But here’s the problem: squirrels will often get into your house. When this happens they cause extensive squirrel damage. There are several reasons for this.
Most often it is because there is not enough space outdoors. The squirrel population has grown to such a size that they cannot find shelter anymore. In this case, your home is the perfect place for them to move.
“Another reason why they get into homes is because of overhanging tree branches“, suggests Glen from Diamond Pest Control, a seasoned pest control expert in London. “Squirrels use branches as a type of ladder“, he says. “They crawl along the branch and then drop down onto your roof. From there they can easily enter into your attic or loft.“ It is reported that squirrels will also sometimes crawl up drainpipes or down chimneys. No matter how they find their way into your home, once there they will cause squirrel damage.
So how do you deal with squirrels before things turn ugly?
The most obvious sign is their nests. Squirrel nests are almost like a larger version of rats nests. They are about one to two feet apart, and constructed out of twigs, leaves, bark or even cardboard. Squirrels also often use bits of wood from your roof.
Another big sign is the sounds they make. Squirrels sound exactly like rats. You will hear loud screeching, scratching and crawling noises. You may also hear a squeaking or shrieking. These are most prevalent at night.
You should also look out for squirrel droppings. Go up into your roof and look for these with a flashlight. Squirrel droppings are similar to those of rats except larger. They have a dark, smooth oblong shape and are tapered at the ends. The strong smell of urine emanating from your roof is also another sign. You may also smell rotting squirrels which have died in your roof, or become stuck somewhere.
Look for general squirrel damage on the property
Like rats, these rodents cause a lot of damage. For example, they chew through anything. Examine the wooden parts of your roof for gnaw or bite marks. Basically look for anything which has been destroyed or broken. This can include roof tiles which have been pried off or scratch marks from the squirrels claws. If you see nests, droppings, gnaw marks, destruction, or smell urine then you more than likely have squirrels.
In the event of one or two squirrels, placing repellents may work. You can also try bait traps. These techniques may be successful, but in our experience they usually fail. Remember, squirrels are hardy animals which are used to living outside. This means they are often quite difficult to get rid of. Especially when they become used to your roof. If you have tried DIY methods and the squirrels did not leave then it may be time for pest control.