Are you sharing your home with squirrels? At Chimney Sweeps of America, we have removed squirrels from a number of Denver homes, and know it is not always as clear as you might think. Some squirrels take up residence for a long time before a homeowner discovers them. Knowing the signs will help you rid yourself of these potential pests before they do too much damage.
Do you hear strange noises?
The sounds of jumping and scampering may not always be clear, but if you hear noises that could be either of these, you may have a squirrel issue. If a squirrel becomes stuck somewhere, you will hear a persistent scratching noise. This scratching sound is often the noise that will prompt a call to a professional, but if a squirrel is not stuck, the noises can harder to detect.
Often mistaken for bat droppings, squirrel droppings appear in very similar piles. If you see droppings in your home or garage, you’re going to be in need of animal removal services. In cleaning up wild animal feces, it is important to remember to use proper hygiene and care—something a squirrel removal professional must regularly practice. You can also contract salmonella if you are not careful in performing the removal yourself. We recommend being safe and bringing in professional services such as Chimney Sweeps of America in Denver.
Small damaged areas outside
Most people are not aware that squirrels, much like mice and raccoons, are able to chew through anything—even metal! To search for squirrel damage, you will need to look for damage to shingles, eaves, fascia boards, and outer panels both along the ground and the roofline. While mice generally leave holes, and raccoons use larger holes, squirrels sneak through very small spaces and holes that sometimes aren’t even recognized as damage. Extra careful inspection is important.
Squirrels love attics and this is the most common location for a squirrel infestation. They seem to enjoy making themselves at home particularly where the insulation is readily available for chewing and shredding. When squirrels tear up your insulation and shred it into tiny pieces, the insulation will lose its effectiveness. Squirrels also enjoy shredding ductwork. Inspect your attic regularly. If your roof becomes leaky, or you see evidence of bats or other pests, be on the lookout for signs that you’re sharing your home with squirrels. One pest often invites others into the area.
Sometimes foul odors will emanate from your ducts or you may notice a stench during an inspection of your attic. This is may be a sign you may have a squirrel problem. If a squirrel dies in your attic or elsewhere, the smell of dead squirrel will often result in headaches and nausea. Be aware that trapped squirrels will sometimes die in the walls, having fallen through gaps in the attic. Sometimes, a repair on a damaged area is done without knowing there is an animal to remove and the squirrel or squirrels become trapped and die then.
Chewed or ripped up shingles
It doesn’t take a squirrel much time to gain entry to your home. A squirrel can even chew through weaker forms of steel in less than an hour. They are very determined creatures. Since the roof is the most common entry point, look for shingle damage around roof vents, plumbing vents, and chimney flashing. The shingle damage will be more obvious than other entry points.
Squirrel footprint trails
Footprints from squirrels are pretty easy to distinguish. Squirrels have four fingers on their front paws. These fingers are shorter than the five fingers of their hind paws. Looks for tracks in the dirt or snow in areas such as your deck, garage, attic, and garden. If you see tracks, be sure to look for signs of entry around your house and particularly on your roof.
“Water damaged” ceilings and walls
In some homes, particularly larger ones, a family of squirrels can take up residence for years and not be noticed or heard. Years of life in your attic will create a build-up of feces and urine that can look like ceiling leaks or leaks at the tops of walls. Such damage can be incredibly costly, because not only will the damage to the wood and insulation need to be repaired, but also the area will need to be decontaminated and cleaned properly. Clean-up following a long-term infestation of squirrels can be a big and expensive process.
If you experience a flea infestation but don’t have any other pets, it is possible that you’re sharing your home with squirrels. This would be another reason to perform a thorough inspection to be sure that more than one pest hasn’t made its way into your house. It is important to note, that squirrels can carry a number of diseases that pose health risks to humans. They can carry tick fever, encephalitis, and rabies in addition to harboring fleas and ticks.
What should you do if you have squirrels in your home?
Because squirrels can carry disease or be rabid, we recommend professional removal if you suspect that you’re sharing your home with squirrels. We also recommend using profession services, such as Chimney Sweeps of America here in Denver because a nest of babies can be difficult to locate and you want the removal to be complete and accomplished safely. If a nest of offspring is left behind, you may end up with an additional odor problem or a new squirrel problem in the future. Additionally, a professional can alert you to issues you may overlook as well as help you with prevention.
If you suspect you have squirrels, do a thorough inspection and look for other hints that you may have a problem. You can also contact us at Chimney Sweeps of America. We can answer the question: are you sharing your home with squirrels? If you do have squirrels taking up residence in your home, we can make sure they are removed completely and safely. We can also help you ensure that they do not return in the future.