Squirrels - the fluffy-tailed animals - are nature's gardeners. More so in a forested ecosystem. They gather acorns and seeds and bury them throughout the environment, hoping to snack on them later. But they do not always return to collect the buried nuts; even if they do, they forget to locate where the buried points are, eventually contributing to reforestation. They are intelligent and organized, with some zany behaviors that are entertaining to watch. Who does not like to observe the incredible sight of squirrels leaping playfully through trees?
While all of that is fine and appreciated, all types of squirrel activities in their natural habitat is one thing, but squirrels ending up as unwanted guests and infesting your home is another. If you do not have an informed understanding on how to get rid of squirrels in the attic on time, these playful creatures can be a nuisance and can bring with them various issues and unexpected damages. Find how to get rid of squirrels effectively in this article.
Identifying squirrels is easy if you learn about their looks, habitat, and behaviors. Generally speaking, they are small and furry mammals, recognizable by their big, bushy tails and a habit of collecting and storing nuts for winter. The common squirrels can differ regionally and range from 12 to 25 inches in length. They can be found in various fur colors, from black to brown and more. Learn more about various types of squirrels and squirrels in attics removal below.
Common Species of Squirrels Found in New York
Understanding what types of squirrels are found in your area and what measures should be taken to prevent their entry to your attic and home is half the job done. We will briefly cover some of the most common squirrel types below.
Various types of squirrels - their identification and prevention
The Eastern Grey squirrels are commonly found in New York with an average of 16.6 – 21.6 inches in length and weighing 400 – 600 grams. They have a large bushy tail, and their head, feet, and tail may have a red tinge.
Red squirrels are easy to identify with their reddish color and white belly marks. They weigh around 200–250 g and are 11- 14 inches in average length. Compared to gray and fox squirrels, they are smaller in size.
Fox squirrel's weight can range from 500 – 1000 grams, and their average length (including tail) is around 17.7 – 27.6 inches. They are characterized by grayish-brown fur coats.
The average length of Northern flying squirrels is 9.8 – 14.6 inches, and their weight can range from 110 – 230 grams. On the other hand, Southern flying squirrels' weight can range from 56 – 85 grams, and their average length can be between 8.3 – 10.2 inches.
Ground squirrels' weight can vary from 4-28 inches in length. Depending on their species, they can come in various colors, stripes, and spots.
Getting Rid of Squirrels in the Attic
Squirrels thrive in their natural habitat but can enter your home for the same reasons as other rodents. They are searching for food, shelter, and warmth. They are seeking a safe nesting place away from predators. Homes with easy access points are attractive to squirrels. When it comes to how to get rid of squirrels in the attic, one can follow the following steps -
- Find the squirrel nest - First, finding out how squirrels get inside your attics is essential. The creatures can use uncovered vents in the roof, wall edges, plumbing mats, chimneys, etc., as entry points to your attics. If, after examination, you spot these entry points, seal them off. However, in doing so, make sure to leave one opening so that squirrels that are presently available in your attic can leave.
- Seal entrances in your attic - If you have a squirrel family in your attic, search for a nest. Squirrels' nests are often composed of cardboard, leaves, or insulation. If there are baby squirrels, it's preferable to wait a few weeks until the babies are mature enough.
- Use a one-way cage door - Install a one-way cage door outside the entry point you left so you can trap the squirrels in a cage as they leave your attic. After the squirrels have been trapped, move them to a new place at least five miles away. Trapping and relocating wildlife are unlawful in several states, so check your local regulations first. For expert guidance on trapping a squirrel in the attic or other areas, please seek professional advice and help.
The above are some common things to note when getting rid of squirrels. However, suppose you are searching for the best ways to efficiently get rid of squirrels in the attic and other areas. In that case, it is essential to seek the help of a professional squirrel removal service provider. They have the latest tools, processes, and systems for identifying the root cause of the problem and getting rid of squirrels in the fastest and safest way. Metro Pest Control is a humane wildlife removal company.
How do you know if you have a squirrel in your house?
Identifying the signs of a squirrel infestation is the first thing in your effort to get rid of squirrels. Here is a small list of signs indicating the possibility of a squirrel infestation.
- You hear unusual sounds like scurrying, chewing, or scratching sounds that are coming from your attic or ceiling
- Holes outside of the attic
- Squirrel droppings
- Teeth marks in wood or chewed electrical wires
- Squirrel footprints
- A messed-up bird feeder
- Foul odor coming from your vents
Best Way to Remove Squirrels from Attic in Winter
A squirrel infestation can cause several issues. They can chew various things at home, spark a fire by chewing electrical cords, build their nests using your personal belongings as materials, and carry diseases. Their urine and feces can cause terrible odors and even cause allergies in some people. When removing squirrels from the attic in winter, examine if there are any entry points and seal them off accordingly.
Make sure that the bird feeder is in the distance from the home and it is squirrel proof. Also, it is important to ensure that the tree branches are trimmed back from roofing and siding. The best solution when it comes to getting rid of red squirrels, fox squirrels or gray squirrels, in winter is to seek experts' help who have years of experience and expertise in removing squirrels in the safest and fastest way.
How to Keep Squirrels Out of the Yard and Garden?
Don’t let your garden become an attractive salad bar for squirrels. Remember that squirrels can dig up gardens and flower beds searching for seeds, nuts, and fruits. They can pull up roots, empty out most or all of the foods put in bird feeders that are available within their reach. In other words, they can raid a perfectly grown garden and make it a mess. So, what are the ways to make a garden unappealing to squirrels? Here are a few things you can do
- Cut back the trees in your garden that are close to your roofs. This may slow down their movement.
- Do whatever you can to make the garden less attractive or unappealing to squirrels. While you can use decoys, foul odors, noise etc, they may end up being solutions with limited and temporary results.
- When simple measures fail, it may help to reimagine your strategy and adopt more powerful steps. Having a fenced-in yard with a chicken wire topper can be a good way to prevent squirrels from entering your garden.
- When removing squirrels from the yard and garden, one can use cayenne pepper, hot sauce, or chili pepper flakes and sprinkle them on top of the soil. The step may need to be replaced whenever the smell fades.
- The little creatures have an uncanny ability to get food out of bird feeders without getting caught in action. So, invest in a high-quality squirrel proof bird feeder and try to keep it out of their reach.
If all the attempts fail or you lack time to protect your garden from squirrels, take the help of squirrel removal service providers.
How to Keep Squirrels from Coming Back
Once the squirrels have been shown the exit door, it’s time to take further actions so as to prevent them from returning. Here are a few steps to remember -
- Cut trees - Cutting trees and tree branches touching your roofs. It can limit their movement and stop them from entering your roof and home.
- Keep unattractive foods in the bird feeder - Sunflower seeds, corn, nuts etc are appealing to squirrels. Replace them with those not usually liked by squirrels like nyjer seed, safflower seed etc.
- What about a plastic owl to scare them away? - Putting a plastic owl in strategic locations such as on the roof may deter them from entering your yard.
- Use a motion-activated sprinkler system - This can also be an option to keep a variety of animals, including squirrels, away.
If you notice any symptoms in your home, office, or school, you should contact a professional like Metro Pest Control. We provide Squirrels removal services in New York, and throughout the New York including Nassau County, the Bronx, and Queens. Metro Pest Control Service was founded in 1977 and has been assisting individuals with pest problems ever since. You can also call us for a free quote or schedule an appointment on our website, www.metropest.com.