Squirrel Archives - Pest End

Category: Squirrel

Squirrels 101

Squirrels may be fun to watch with their crazy antics and fun jumping maneuvers, but boy can they be a major pain if they find their way into your home! Fall can be an especially trying time for homeowners plagued by a horde of squirrels because this is the time that these critters are stocking up on food and looking for a safe place to spend the winter. The combination can lead to headaches for homeowners, so here is our quick guide on squirrels to help you out.

What do squirrels eat?

Squirrels are omnivores, which means that they eat both meat and plants. Many homeowners long believed that their garbage was safe because there were no nuts hiding inside the barrels. Once you have seen a squirrel climb up a tree with a piece of pizza between their front teeth you will know that your garbage is fair game. Keep your garbage, pet food, and grill drippings clean and secure.

Where do Squirrels nest?

Most of the time, these frisky creatures live in tree cavities where they can easily access the food and water in their environment. Unfortunately, during the colder winter months, they sometimes attempt to enter structures that can provide higher levels of protection and warmth. Inspect your home annually to ensure that there are not access points for these critters to enter your home, including the chimney cap, vents, soffits, and gaps in the siding.

What are common squirrel behaviors?

Squirrels are tricky in that they can outsmart many animals and even seem unafraid of humans. They are, however afraid of owls, so some homeowners attempt prevention by placing a plastic owl around the yard. In addition, squirrels give birth to their young about once or twice each year. The number of newborns can vary depending on the species. If you begin to notice droppings, chew marks, and messes in your attic, garage, or crawl spaces, then you may have a squirrel problem.

Do you have a squirrel problem that you need fixed? Call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

 

Squirrel Situations

Squirrels can be fun to watch, what with their playful antics of jumping, leaping, scurrying, and all around zaniness. I should amend this and say they are fun to watch… as long as they are not in an area of your home such as the eaves, chimney, fireplace, attic, or crawl space. Then the playful antics become nothing short of a nightmare. Do you have a squirrel situation in your home and need a quick solution? Pest-End Exterminators can evaluate how these pests got into your home in the first place, how to exclude them in the future, and what to do about the current situation.

  • Attraction – Squirrels love seeds, nuts, and berries. Do you feed birds at your home, have shrubs that contain berries, or have a garbage barrel with a treasure trove of yummy items a squirrel would love to eat? That is all you need to attract these critters to your property. In general, a squirrel may find their way into your home through luck, ingenuity, or completely by accident!
  • Common Squirrel Locations – Squirrels tend to find themselves in tricky spots to escape from such areas as: your fireplace, chimney, eaves or crawl spaces. Either they can not crawl back out of the location, or they can’t find their initial entry point again and then they are trapped! Occasionally, these buggers want to remain in your home because they are nursing young ones or need shelter from an act of nature. Usually, however, they’re just looking for a way out.
  • Determining if the Creature is a Squirrel – Many times, homeowners can hear something scratching, crawling, or scurrying around in the attic or walls but are unaware of what type of animal it may be. Mice and rats tend to be more active at night, while squirrels tend to be alert first thing the morning and then again in the afternoon. A professional can determine which creature you are dealing with and the best way to handle the situation. (Flying squirrels do tend to be active at night).
  • Damage – While squirrels do not pose a public health risk, they can cause some serious damage once they are cornered inside a home. Once a squirrel starts chewing and rummaging through hidden areas of your home, they can cause damage to electrical wiring, air conditioning vents, heating ducts, and chew holes in siding, wallboard, and cause general chaos if they are evading capture, not to mention the sleepless nights you will spend wondering if it has escaped yet.

 

Do you have a squirrel situation? Call Pest-End Exterminators for a fast solution. Call us at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321, or visit our website to find out more about our services.

 

Who’s in the Attic?

Ever had a quiet moment in your home and heard rustling, scratching, or squeaking of some kind? Wondering if you are losing your mind or, if possibly, there are creatures hiding out in your home, specifically in the attic? This is the time of year when wildlife begin to search for warmth, and access to food and water. Unfortunately, your home may be an attractive alternative to the cold, wind, and precipitation of the outdoors. So once you realize that something is up there, you’ll need to find out “Who’s in the attic?”

 

Attics make particularly good hiding places for several reasons including: many homeowners do not frequent the area, there are ample places to build a nest, and the heat of the home will keep wildlife safe and warm all winter. Ok, so it is not what you want to hear, but we have solutions for removing and preventing future invasions. First, we need to determine which creature or creatures are taking refuge in your attic. Here is a quick list of possible culprits.

 

  • Raccoons – If you are hearing noises during nighttime hours such as rustling and scratching, you most likely have a raccoon or flying squirrel living in your attic.  Raccoons and flying squirrels are nocturnal animals, meaning they are usually only active at night. If a raccoon is living in your attic, you may see areas called ”latrines” which are where a raccoon urinates and defecates in the same spot regularly. Raccoons generally do all their evacuations outside, to avoid attracting predators due to any scents. However, sometimes they do create latrines inside, so this is something to watch for. An oily stain on a ceiling may be your first clue that there’s a latrine above.
  • Squirrels –  If you are hearing noises during daylight hours you most likely have a squirrel living in your attic.  Squirrels are typically only active during the day, and their activity patterns cease as soon as it has become dark outside. If a squirrel is living in your attic, you may see leaves and debris such as nuts stashed around the attic. You may also see squirrel droppings left behind, which are usually smooth and oval in shape.
  • Rats and Mice – Rodents can find their way into your home using openings as small as a dime. That means if you have any gaps in your foundation or near windows, doors, or vents, you may have left your home open to rodent infestation. If you hear light footsteps at night or in the walls, or see small droppings around your home, or even if you see chewed items when you investigated the attic, you may have a mouse or rat problem.
  • Bats – Bats tend to be less noticeable in sound but are often discovered because they make their way into the living areas of the home or the smell of their guano (droppings) alert you to their presence.

 

If you have unwanted guests staying in your attic, call Pest-End Exterminators Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321

 

Wildlife Wake Up – Spring Yard and Home Issues

With a yawn and a stretch, the spring wildlife is beginning to wake up. The warmer weather is just around the corner and nature is slowly coming back to life. According to the World Wildlife Federation, waking up from winter hibernation is hard work. Drowsy mammals have to shiver for hours to get their chilly bodies moving again. By the time they do warm up, they are ready for a good meal! That means birds, chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons, deer, and skunks are beginning to look for food and sustenance around your home.

 

Here are a few suggestions on preventing and dealing with wildlife wake up season.

 

  • Always keep a cover on your trash, preferably one with a locking mechanism to prevent raccoons and skunks from seeing your trash barrels as a buffet line.
  • Check attics and siding before starting any spring projects in those areas. You do not want to surprise any mommas and her young. Safety first!
  • Keep bird feeders in areas where wildlife can not access other than your birdy friends.
  • Check for nests and families of birds and squirrels before you start your spring trimming of trees and bushes.
  • Inspect chimneys and vents to be sure no wildlife has used your home as their hibernation location.
  • Keep pet food indoors and inspect the yard before you let Fido out for the day.
  • Spring is traditionally mating season so stay away from wildlife that may wander onto your property.

 

If you have deer, skunks, raccoons or other wildlife that you need to prevent from entering your property give us a call at Pest-End Exterminators and we can evaluate the situation and help you take the proper measures to keep you and your loved ones safe.

 

Do you have a Squirrel Issue?

Jumping, nibbling, scurrying, and climbing are just a few of the activities squirrels take part in on a daily basis. Squirrels are extremely active throughout the course of a day. They love climbing on homes and trees. Unfortunately, they can cause damage to the outside of your home by chewing on everything from roof flanges to attic vents, wood shutters, and of course, siding. Even worse is when these critters get inside your home’s attic, crawl spaces or walls and cause extensive damage. Squirrels are notorious for chewing up electrical wires or digging through insulation to create a nest.

 

Dangers of Squirrels

It is very common for squirrels to enter buildings, primarily attics and crawl spaces. Squirrels are constantly looking for both food and a warm place to have babies. Squirrels have litters usually twice a year so if you spot one rooting around looking for entrance into your home, act fast because before you know it there will be more than just one. As more litters of squirrels are born in or near the home, these squirrels will grow up, leave the nest and search for new areas within the attic to build their own nests. It could be a constant cycle. In addition squirrels can cause damage due to chewing of insulation and the potential of a fire caused by nibbling on electrical wiring.

 

Controlling Squirrels

If squirrel populations are not controlled, they will continue to chew holes around the outside of the attic, sometimes in every corner of the house! The longer the squirrels live in an attic, the more entry points they are going to create. Here are some steps to consider when trying to exclude and eradicate squirrels from your home.

 

Exclusion of squirrels is one of the important steps in ridding your property of these critters.  If you see wood damage from squirrels around your home, shed or garage you can cover it with a piece of 1/2-Inch galvanized welded wire mesh or chicken wire or even a tin metal sheet. Check gable, soffit, and power vents in the attic – as well as caps on chimneys – to make sure they have metal hardware cloth behind them that’s firmly attached around the edges. Covering holes should not be done until a professional has removed all squirrels from the property.

 

Eradication, trapping and relocating is a specialty of our company. Pest-End Exterminators can trap and rid your property quickly and professionally of all squirrels even immobile baby squirrels. We do not advise attempting to find nests in your attic or crawlspaces. Call Pest-End for an evaluation and rid yourself of these dangerous nibblers.

 

Squirrel Concerns

Squirrels, like acrobats are fascinating to watch. They climb, jump and seemingly fly through the air from branch to branch. If these fluffy critters get into your home, however, they are not as much fun. In fact, they are noisy, destructive and smelly. Squirrels are classified as rodents, and, as such, they need to chew. This chewing could include home materials such as: drywall, wood, siding, vents, piping and most dangerous of all – electrical wiring. If you are dealing with squirrels in your home, you may have some questions and concerns. Here is some basic information that may help you understand why these pests have chosen your home and what to do once they have set up shop.

Why My House?

A question that may be in your mind could be why your house was chosen over the others in your neighborhood. A quick answer is that squirrels are opportunists. They are looking for food, safety and shelter. In the case of squirrels, when there is food available from bird feeders, pets, or nut trees and gardens, a home is even more attractive. Your home may also not be one hundred percent sealed, thus making it easy to enter. In addition, predators rarely penetrate the attics and chimneys occupied by squirrels, giving them great feelings of safety. Finally, climate controlled buildings provide a warm, comfy place to raise baby squirrels. Squirrels use attics and crawl spaces as a handy substitute for the hard-to-come-by hollow tree. Attics are a great place to raise baby squirrels.

What Should You Do?

Getting a squirrel, or worse, a family of squirrels out of your home is not all that simple. Our suggestion would be to call in the professionals like Pest-End Exterminators that have the knowledge and skill to exclude and remove all of your squirrels. Actions that you should avoid doing would be to seal the entry points to your home before finding the nests and removing them. We also suggest acting fast – as soon as you know that you have a squirrel(s). Thinking that they may just find their way out on their own and move out of your safe, warm home is truly a fantasy. Pest-End also recommends that you do not attempt to catch and remove these critters on your own. These critters can harbor parasites that you do not want passed on to you or your family. Call Pest-End Exterminators if you suspect that a squirrel has taken up residence in your home.

Squirrel Situation?

Squirrels can be described as cute, furry and jumpy. Well, that is if these little critters are outside and out of your hair. Once one of these critters decide to be non-paying tenants in your home they stop being cute and furry and become a huge problem. Over the past few years the squirrel population has grown quickly and seem entering homes looking for food and shelter in larger and larger numbers. Consequently, homeowners, and even commercial buildings, have experienced an influx of these animals looking for a good place for the winter. Let’s examine the danger this could mean and how to prevent a squirrel situation in the first place.

Squirrel Damage-

Squirrel damage to homes can be costly. Squirrels can chew through just about anything that’s not made of metal. Their front teeth continue growing throughout their entire lives so they need to constantly chew (like on acorns or or walnuts or tree branches.) Squirrels may also chew on your wood siding, roofing shingles, doors, sheds, barns, grill covers, patio furniture, plastic yard lights, non-metal parts of parked cars, and possibly wiring in your attic or crawl spaces. If a squirrel happens upon wiring, an extreme problem could develop – such as a fire hazard or electrical situation in your home.

Squirrel Deterrents and Removal

One of the best methods to stopping a squirrel situation is to prevent them in the first place. Some options you may want to pursue include: sealing the roof and siding, placing traps in a location you have discovered they are living, or professional extermination. Pest-End Exterminators can help you identify the squirrel nest and stop the problem in its tracks.

 

Squirrel Issues

Tree squirrels can be a blast to watch.  Their antics of collecting nuts, and jumping from tree to tree showing reckless abandon and carefree joy can be entertaining and sometimes even hilarious.  However, this nutty behavior is not funny once these rodents find their way into your attic, basement, chimney or crawl spaces!  Squirrels can cause damage not only in your yard and garden in the spring but in your home during the colder months of winter.  Let’s take a closer look at these nuisance critters.

In case you haven’t noticed the squirrel population has skyrocketed in the past few years.  And once they become a problem on your property, they are no longer cute and cuddly and adorable to watch.  Not only can squirrels cause physical damage while trying to gain access to your home, they can also cause massive destruction to the interior once they set up shop and start nesting.  In addition squirrels can pose a health risk to you and your family.

  • Damage – The most common squirrel infestation is in the attic. the shelter and insulation seems to be a great draw.  Unfortunately, squirrels will shred the insulation, chew up ductwork, scratch at and ruin walls, and potentially cause a fire risk by gnawing at electrical wires.  The fire risk is the largest and most scary possibility when dealing with squirrels.
  • Disease – Less common, although still a real possibility, squirrel infestation poses a serious health risk to humans. Squirrels are primary carriers of tick fever, powassan encephalitis, and rabies; insects also commonly live on squirrels who can import all sorts of nasty microorganisms and disease. Their droppings can also cause a health risk.

Due to the potential exposure to disease and the aggression of the animals if cornered, squirrel control should be left to the professionals.  Contact Pest-End if you suspect a squirrel infestation anywhere on your property.  They will inspect and come up with a solution for your home.

 

Attic Critters

This is the time of year that many children are hopeful to hear noises on the roof or  sounds of sleigh bells above the attic. Unfortunately, the sounds in your attic may not always bring a smile of joy and most likely are not the sounds of a jolly old elf.  Instead they are probably the sounds of an attic critter!  There are several types of wildlife that commonly seek shelter inside attics to gain warmth and protection throughout the cold New England winters. Here is a short list of who the unwanted visitor could be and the clues that will help you identify the type of wildlife camping out in your attic.

  • Squirrels – The Eastern Gray Squirrel is the most common type of critter, nationwide, to invade attics. You know this culprit as the gray/brown, fluffy-tailed rodent who scurries around your yard collecting food for the winter.  The attic, to this pest, is like a big hollow tree to nest in over the winter.  For female squirrels, this is the perfect place to have her winter liter!  Unfortunately, this critter likes to chew which may include your drywall, attic items or even the electrical wires (which could cause a fire hazard!) Squirrels are active during the daytime (diurnal). In fact, they’re most active in early morning and evening, before sunset. So that’s when you hear the noises.The noise can come from any part of the attic, but squirrels do tend to stick near the entry hole, near the edge of the roof. They can also be heard in the walls, scurrying up and down. They also leave many clues that they are nesting in your attic including hundreds of droppings that look like black rice, and nesting debris such as leaves, sticks and chewed debris.
  • Raccoon – These “masked” critters that have the opposite schedule of their squirrel counterparts.  They are nocturnal, thus, most of the noise you’ll hear will be at night, often soon after sunset and soon before sunrise, as the animal exits and then re-enters the attic in its nightly foraging for food. Raccoons are large, so they leave behind large evidence. This includes large tracks and pathways through the insulation, and large droppings, like that of a small dog. The droppings often contain berries. They also leave a lot of destruction, so if you see ducts torn to shreds or insulation torn apart this may be the sign that your attic critter is a raccoon.
  • Rodents like Mice and Rats – Rats and mice are commensal rodents, which means that they associate themselves with people, not the wild. They are active year-round, and they can breed in very high numbers. Thus, rats in the attic can quickly get out of hand if not properly addressed. Evidence that you have a rodent problem include the sounds of light scurrying at night in the attic or the walls.  Like other attic critters they can leave hundreds, if not thousands of droppings, about the size of rice.  They also leave tunnels in insulation and gnaw marks on drywall and wood.
  • Bats– While one or two bats can be fairly quiet, a whole colony in your attic can make quite a ruckus. They squeak, crawl and fly!  Although physical sightings of them entering and exiting the building are the best identifier, bats clearly make themselves known with the odor of their droppings, or guano. It can accumulate in huge amounts, contaminating an attic and potentially causing lung disease for the people in the house.

If you suspect you have one of these attic critters camping out in your home contact Pest-End to inspect and identify the critter.  We can help you remove and exclude them from your home thus preventing future infestation problems.

 

The Eastern Gray Squirrel

The Eastern Gray Squirrel can be described by many as furry, gray and adorable to watch recklessly jumping from branch to branch in the woods. Most of us can watch their crazy antics collecting food for the winter from the comfort of our home.  In your observations of these critters, you may have also noted that there seems to be more and more of these rascally rodents to watch since their population has almost doubled in the last few years.  For most of us this is not a problem.  Unfortunately, some squirrels become a problem for homeowners whether it is in the garden, at bird feeders or worst of all in your attic, walls or chimney!  How do you know you have a squirrel problem and what can you do about it? Read further to find out how Pest End and Pro-Tech can help you solve your pesky squirrel dilemma.

Some background on the Gray Squirrel –

  • The gray squirrel is active year-round but needs tree cavities (or unfortunately your attic, walls, or chimney) for shelter during harsh weather. In the fall, gray squirrels gather and bury, at random, a winter food supply. This food supply is usually recovered as needed, by sniffing the ground until a buried nut is found.
  • Gray squirrels mate in late winter and spring. After a 44-day gestation period, females give birth to a litter of two to seven young.
  • Gray squirrels eat a variety of mast (hard fruit) including acorns, hickory nuts, beechnuts and butternuts, along with berries, mushrooms, maple seeds, and some field crops such as corn.

 

Squirrel Problems

  • Most complaints about squirrels are from homeowners with squirrels in their houses. If an overpopulated area finds squirrels competing for tree space, they may decide to take up residence in your attic, crawl spaces, out buildings, chimneys, or even the walls of your home.  Homeowners will notice gnawing, scratching, and pattering sounds, in early morning or daylight hours, as a  signal of their presence. Balls of torn insulation, twigs, debris or cardboard may signal a nest somewhere in your home.  Do NOt try to trap them yourselves.  Hire a professional like Pest End to locate and remove these rodents.  They are extremely excitable and can cause major damage to walls, wires and the structure of your home,  not to mention the constant sounds of running and scratching that will be worrisome to you and others living in your home.  After removal Pest End can block all means by which these critters got into your home to begin with.
  • Other areas where squirrels become a problem are at the bird feed and throughout the garden.  Squirrels will dig up and eat tulip and crocus bulbs. Although these areas don’t cause as much concern since they are outside the home, they can still be bothersome to lose garden plants and birds who visit.  Some suggestions for solutions may be putting bird feeders in an area where squirrels cannot gain access to them, far away from shrubs and overhanging tree branches. Discuss what repellant may be used in your garden to stop squirrels from destroying your hard work.

 

Consult with Pest-End and Pro-Tech Lawn Care if you suspect that you have a squirrel problem either inside or outside of your home.