In their natural environment, squirrels are furry, cute little tricksters that can make amazing leaps and daring jumps. Inside your attic, however, it is a different story. They can damage siding and shingles as they try to get in, and once inside their nests and droppings cause a mess. Some squirrels even chew through wires and create hazardous situations.
Close Entry Points
The first step in keeping squirrels out of your attic is to make sure there are no easy ways in. Squirrels can fit through holes that are about the size of a baseball, so begin by looking for existing entryways of this size. Also keep an eye out for rotting wood and damaged siding that might be easy for a squirrel to scratch or chew through.
Other areas to seal up include:
- Openings where pipes and cables enter the home.
- Siding and overhang joints.
- Damaged shingles, decking, or fascia (finished boards where gutters are attached).
- Roof vents and chimneys.
To close up small holes and gaps, use exterior caulk or expanding foam sealant. For larger gaps and holes, choose a material that cannot be easily chewed through such as steel mesh, sheet metal or aluminum.
Trim Nearby Trees
Of course, a determined squirrel will work hard to find a way into your attic so closing up entry points may not be enough. If you make it difficult for squirrels to reach the top of your home, they will be less likely to find their way into the attic. Most squirrels can jump as far as eight feet, so trim branches on nearby trees so they cannot make the leap. If this is not possible, consider wrapping the base of the tree with a sheet metal guard to prevent climbing.
Know When to Get Help
When squirrels have already made their way into your home, removing them can be a tricky matter--especially if a female has already built a nest and had her babies. Sealing the squirrels inside the attic can cause problems, and trying to trap and relocate squirrels is not always successful. A professional will not only help you eliminate the existing squirrels, they will also make sure that your home is secure from future unwelcome guests.