There are many animals that no one ever wants around their home. Snakes, for example, or the dreaded termites. Then, there are animals that are fun to see out the window but you still don’t want them inside the house.
One of those animals is the squirrel. While most people like to see squirrels in the park and even in their yard, they don’t want them scurrying around their homes. The attic is usually off-limits to wildlife.
Why Do Squirrels Get In The Attic?
Squirrels are found in the attic much more often than they are found anywhere else inside. There are a few reasons for this and it’s easy to understand once you know why they are found in the attic.
First of all, in the summer, squirrels want somewhere with less intense heat, so they go inside. In the winter, they want somewhere warm, so they go inside. This explains it in one sense, but why not enter into the rest of the house?
Well, there are also a few reasons for this. They want somewhere easy to get into and the attic is usually much less insulated and weatherproofed than the rest of the house. On top of that, squirrels don’t actually like to be around people. The attic gives privacy.
Signs Of Squirrels In The Attic
Sometimes, what we think are signs of squirrels in the attic are actually signs of something else. This could be another animal, settling of the house, or someone downstairs shifting something in the attic with their movement.
Scurrying And Scratching
This is the sign that most people notice first. If you hear scurrying around in the attic when you know that no one else is up there, it’s probably not a ghost or spirit, it’s probably just a squirrel making noise.
While this isn’t always a sign of a squirrel, it is the first sign of one. You can also hear the scratching when building their nests and burying food. So if you hear any of this then you should probably check for squirrels.
If you notice teeth marks in your attic on posts or stair railing, then there is definitely an animal up there. Hopefully, it is a squirrel because they are much less harmful than most other animals that roam the attic.
It’s also better to see teeth marks on wooden objects than on wiring. Because this can cause severe problems and even start housefires. So if you see teeth marks, get rid of the squirrels in the attic quickly.
If you see foreign feces around the floor anywhere in the house, you probably have an animal infestation. Their fecal matter is dark and barrel-shaped so you know that it’s probably a squirrel if you see it around.
Not only is it disgusting to see but it can also be harmful to you and your pets. Human diseases caused by exposure include typhoid, cholera, polio, and hepatitis. While pet diseases include parvo and many other parasitical diseases.
Footprints from squirrels are a sure sign that they are around. These signs are super easy to spot if you pay attention though they aren’t always present because footprints can’t be left unless the foot or surface is dirty.
If you do have a dusty attic then this will make it easier to see footprints. You can also leave out flour or something that will ensure that the footprints show. The footprints have small pads and long toes.
No one wants to smell a dead animal in their house, but at least it means your squirrels are no longer disturbing you. Most of the time, it means that the squirrel has gotten stuck in a vent and the smell is radiating outward.
You can check the vents yourself but calling a professional is recommended. If you’re wondering if you will notice the smell, don’t worry, because you will. The smell of a dead animal is unmistakable in the house.
Squirrel nests are easy to recognize once you learn how to do so. You may have to go search for the home because they aren’t always out in the open. In fact, they are usually hidden under or inside something.
Surprisingly enough, a squirrel’s nest will look a lot like a bird’s nest. There will be twigs, paper, and torn-up fabric packed together with a very round spot smoothed out for the squirrel to sleep in, especially if there are babies involved.
How To Get Rid Of Squirrels In The Attic
There are a few different ways to get rid of squirrels in the attic. But this has been the most predictable and surefire way to do so humanely. Follow these steps when first trying to get rid of squirrels in your attic.
Step 1: Find Their Home
The first thing you need to do is find the squirrel’s home. We’ve talked about what their nest looks like so you should be able to find their home in your attic. But if you can’t, you might have to branch out.
A lot of the time, the squirrel will have a nest on the roof or a nearby tree. They won’t live in your attic but travel in there to get relief from the weather or to look for food. So branch out and find the nest.
Step 2: Seal Everywhere
This isn’t a preventative seal, this is actually a sealing job that will keep the squirrel in a certain place. Remove every other entrance to your attic except for one so that you know where the squirrel will enter from.
You can seal everywhere in hopes that the squirrel will be deterred but a squirrel can dig away at places to make its way inside. But if you leave a spot open for them then they will probably take the easy way in.
Step 3: Put Out A Trap
It’s important not to exterminate the squirrel. You want to do things humanely. So put the trap out for them. The trap should be a cage with bait inside of it, not something that will harm the squirrel.
Any type of nuts or seeds will draw a squirrel in but the best bait is peanuts or peanut butter. This is likely because of the strong aroma and taste that squirrels and drawn to and can’t get enough of.
Step 4: Call For Removal
Once you catch the squirrel, call for removal as soon as you can. You want the squirrel to be relocated as soon as possible to give it its best chance. Just beware that some counties don’t allow relocation.
This is especially true for female squirrels that could be mommas. If this is the case, as the animal control center what you should do instead. They may give you tips on how to prevent squirrels in the attic.
How To Prevent Squirrels In The Attic
The best way to ensure your attic is squirrel-free is to take the measures needed to prevent them in the first place. You can do this by following a few steps that will make sure that they can’t get into the attic.
When we say bridges, we mean remove anything that will allow the squirrel to climb into the attic window or unsealed corners. To do this, start with trees. You want to trim the trees around the house.
Trimming trees can be a hassle and it can be dangerous. It’s a good idea to call a tree removal service even if you just want to remove a few branches that will bridge the gap from, the ground to the house.
Remove Bird Feeders
You don’t necessarily need to remove the bird feeders altogether, but you may need to change the food. Squirrels are attracted to all types of seeds and nuts so a different mix may be your best option.
This can be difficult because squirrels and birds typically eat the same types of food. But you may be able to find a non-squirrel-friendly mix that birds still love. If not, you may need to get rid of the bird feeders.
Put Out A Scarecrow
You don’t need a scary scarecrow but sometimes a little something on the fence post or roof will be enough to scare away almost any creature, but especially squirrels. Garden gnomes may work but not always.
A better option is a lawn owl which tends to deter squirrels. Some will be unaffected but more often than not, a few here and there will be enough to discourage the squirrels from entering certain areas.
You don’t need a toxic repellant that will harm the squirrels that are near in order to deter them. You can actually make your own that won’t harm any wildlife that walks near the repellant but will still keep them away.
A good mix involves garlic and vinegar. Add pepper, onions, and anything else bitter to the mix because squirrels do not like the bitter taste or smell. Just make sure you add garlic and vinegar for the most effective mix.
Install A Sprinkler
Finally, a good way to prevent squirrels from entering your yard the humane way is to install a motion-activated sprinkler. Squirrels don’t like getting wet but they hate it, even more, when the sprinkler catches them off-guard.
If you take these simple steps to prevent squirrels then you probably won’t have to deal with squirrels in the attic any longer. It is very simple and you won’t have to worry about harming any living creature!