What You Need to Know about Your Attic and Squirrels

Friday, March 5th, 2021 by Amanda Ciufecu

Squirrel Climbing up a tree

Why Do Squirrels Go in Attics?

Our home - especially the attic - provides the perfect refuge for squirrels, especially during the winter months. It allows for protection from predators and helps them stay warm and dry.

Besides the warmth and safety of the attic, our roofs are a great source of wood to trim their teeth. Any holes, loose shingles, or damaged areas make the attic a tempting target for squirrels, which is one reason why you want to make sure your roof is in good condition!Hole from a squirrel gnawing through asphalt shingles on the roof

Are Squirrels in the Attic Dangerous?

YES. Squirrels can squeeze into holes one to two inches wide and bring the wet weather in with them! Once inside, they continue to cause damage by chewing on wires and urinating all over the attic, leaving stains on your ceiling and causing leaks. They are even capable of chewing through plastic, PVC piping, lead sheathing, polyethylene, and aluminum.

Nesting squirrels are also a serious fire hazard in your attic. They use soft materials like pieces of clothes, blankets, and books and can sometimes make these homes in chimneys or vents. There are over 30,000 home fires caused by squirrels every year in the US!

Even the little things squirrels do can cause major problems. Squirrels can leave excess debris on the roof and in the attic that can weaken the ceiling of your home or clog your gutters and cause them to detach from the house or form ice dams.

Aside from all the physical damage squirrels can do, they also carry ticks, fleas, mites, rabies, salmonellosis, leptospirosis, tularemia, and make your home vulnerable to other pests.

How Do I know If a Squirrel is in My Attic?

If you have squirrels in your attic, you will most likely hear scratching, jumping, and scampering noises. The main way to distinguish between squirrels and other pests is that squirrels are most active in the morning, while other pests such as mice are primarily active at night and invade other corners of your home as well.

How Do I Get Squirrels Out of My Attic?

It's best to take action before the whole squirrel family moves in and starts making a nest out of your home! The best way to get rid of them is to hire pest control. They know how to get rid of squirrels safely and humanely, without causing any further damage. There are some steps and solutions you can take in the meantime, but live trapping or setting out poisonous bait for squirrels is NOT recommended.  

Shining lights in the attic and making sounds can scare them off, since the sound of human voices is threatening to them. You could also use sents such as apple cider vinegar, mothballs dryer sheets, pepper, garlic, peppermint, citrus peels, and human or animal hair.

How Do I KEEP Squirrels Out of My Attic?

The best way to keep squirrels out of your attic in the first place is to keep your roof in excellent condition and seal off every possible entryway. If there are no holes in your shingles or rotting wood, that cuts down on any possible access points for squirrels to get into your roof. Drip edge flashing can also be installed. These are pieces of metal that slide under the shingles on your roof and go over the fascia board, filling in a prime spot where squirrels will get into your attic.

Other entryways such as plumbing boots and ventilation openings will need nets or pest screens to ensure squirrels can't get through. Special paints and taste repellants such as capsaicin spray and mustard spray can be used to keep squirrels from gnawing on shingles, pipes, or woodwork. Commercial squirrel repellant sprays, fake owls, and sonic repellants are also excellent preventative humane measures.

Put a Klaus on your House!

If you have lingering damage from squirrels invading your attic or are worried about potential access points, put a Klaus on your house! We can help squirrel-proof your home and assess for any holes or damage that could invite squirrels into your home in the future. Even if you don’t have squirrel problems, it’s better to be proactive than to call too late when your home is leaking and your roof is failing. We take care of skylights, attic insulation, air sealing, and gutters as well! Schedule your FREE estimate and put a Klaus on your house today!

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