Most people see squirrels as cute little animals only when they're frolicking in the park. If you have squirrels around your home, you've probably experienced just how much of a nuisance they can be. The key to preventing them from becoming pests is to understand how squirrels think and natural ways to deter their worst behaviors.
A Day in the Life of a Grey Squirrel
Squirrels are foragers that spend most of their day looking for nuts, seeds and flowers. Unlike many animals, squirrels don't eat everything at once and end up storing a lot of food for the winter months and times of food shortages. In natural conditions, this actually provides a big boost to the ecosystem because the seeds they forget about or don't fully digest are spread around for diverse plant growth.At night, squirrels return home to a nest they've built in a tree or other secure location. Female squirrels are especially known for creating well-hidden nests when having babies.
Common Problems Caused by Squirrels
Most of the havoc caused by squirrels comes from their foraging and nesting habits. They may dig up gardens and young trees when searching for food or when trying to bury food in the soft soil of a garden. Squirrels may find a hole or chew their way into an attic, shed or wall space to build a nest or hide food. Once inside, they tear up insulation, damage wiring and leave waste. The sounds of a squirrel racing through an attic can also be extremely irritating to homeowners.
How to Keep Squirrels in Check
If squirrels are becoming a nuisance around your home or you want to prevent damage, take the following steps:
- Secure construction gaps around your roofing and other entry points with galvanized metal flashing.
- Don't feed them. On that same note, make sure they can't access pet food or bird feeders. Watch your bird feeders during peak feeding times (early morning and late afternoon) because squirrels are geniuses when it comes to getting into "squirrel-proof" bird feeders.
- Trim trees so that squirrels can't easily move from the branches to your roof.
- Keep trees and bushes well-pruned. Squirrels prefer to nest in dense foliage and will seek shelter elsewhere if they don't have good cover.
If you need help squirrel-proofing your home or if it's too late and squirrels have already gotten inside, contact Breda Pest Management for assistance.