Left to their own devices, squirrels can chew through structural timber, putting the integrity of your house in danger and landing you with expensive repairs.
Attics are dry, warm, safe and often full of soft, fluffy insulation perfect for nesting. The abundance of timber makes them not unlike a giant tree trunk where they would make their nest in the wild.
Unless they fall in by accident, squirrels usually enter the home in search of a nest rather than food. Squirrels only take a few weeks to reach maturity, and with an average litter size of six, a small squirrel problem can quickly become a big, noisy, destructive one.
Unlike mice, which can sneak around your house undetected for weeks or even months, you’ll know straight away if squirrels have made their way into your attic.
Grey Squirrels are very noisy creatures. They sprint around, gnaw, chatter and scratch. This means that squirrels usually only do serious structural damage when a building has been left vacant for some time.
But squirrels don’t need much time to do the worst of their damage. Squirrels are notorious for chewing through wiring, causing lost internet, blackouts or, worse, electrical fires.
If you have live squirrels in your house, you need to hire professionals to trap and kill them.
As grey squirrels are categorised as an invasive species, it is illegal to release them once they are trapped, so if you’re not up to the task of humanely dispatching them, leave the job to professionals.
Squirrel poison is also illegal unless you are a professional pest control technician, and even if it was legal, we wouldn’t recommend it as the size of the corpse would cause just as many problems as a live squirrel.
In the very rare event that red squirrels have entered your property, you have to react very carefully.
Red squirrels are a protected species experiencing population decline due to the introduction of grey squirrels. It is a serious offence to kill or injure red squirrels, or damage their nests.
We cannot offer services for red squirrels beyond identification, so you need to contact your local authority if you have discovered any in your home.
Squirrels are unrivalled climbers, so proofing against them is a real top-to-bottom effort. Holes in the roof far beyond the range of rats or mice are easy routes into your home for squirrels.
Other than being more thorough, proofing against squirrels is the same as it is for other rodents. Like rats and mice, squirrels easily chew through ordinary filler, so you need to use a gnaw-proof filler is used to fill in any holes which might provide access.
You should also make sure that trees or shrubs growing against your house aren’t giving squirrels an easy bridge over to your roof.
Bear in mind that squirrels can jump impressively far (up to nine feet with a running start), so you need to keep trees pruned far back from your property.
One of the top results that will come up online if you’re looking for ways to get rid of squirrels is squirrel repellent. Unfortunately, both odour sprays and ultrasonic electric repellents are complete wastes of time and money.
Only proofing can keep squirrels away from your property, as well as making sure there are no easily accessible food sources in your garden which may be attracting them, such as bird feeders, fruit or berries.