Squirrels: intelligent, charming creatures to delight in, or disruptive, dangerous vermin to be controlled? Unfortunately, both descriptions are equally valid. While a friendly and inquisitive squirrel might be a welcome visitor to a city garden, if one takes up residence in your home’s roof space, chimney, or foundations, then the guest will be much less gladly received.
Why Squirrels are Unwanted Guests
The damage a squirrel can do to your home is incredible for such a small animal. They are compulsive and accomplished diggers, and your attic insulation is an irresistible playground for them to practice their nut-burying skills. Worse, they also often mistake electrical wiring for tree branches, and chew happily away causing untold devastation – at best, you may need to have expensive electrical repair work carried out, but the outcome can also be much more severe. It’s estimated that squirrel damage to electrics is responsible for up to 30,000 domestic fires every year.
Not only that, but squirrels are usually teeming with ticks and fleas, and can be carriers of several diseases including rabies, tick fever, and the deadly Powassan virus. All the more reason to take a squirrel infestation seriously.
The longer a squirrel stays, the worse the damage to your home will be. If you’re unlucky enough to have a pregnant female move in, then the chances of her being a fleeting visitor are remote.
If left alone, she’ll be sticking around until the baby squirrels are ready to leave the nest. As this takes around three months, and a litter contains up to five infants, you can imagine the havoc a young squirrel family can wreak. Not to mention the year’s second litter…
It’s extremely unwise to try and tackle a squirrel infestation yourself. These animals are famously agile, and can be surprisingly aggressive if cornered or if their young are under threat. Trying to deal with an angry squirrel while perched on a ladder can only end unpleasantly. Alternatively, laying down poison can be harmful to other innocent creatures in the area, including pets or even children.
A professional pest control company will make short work of removing a squirrel infestation using humane methods to clear your home of the intruders. They will also identify how the infestation occurred in the first place, and advise on how to secure your building to prevent similar problems in future. If you suspect you have an unwelcome squirrel guest in your house, it’s time to call in the experts and deal with the issue before too much damage is caused.