Whether in wooded, rural areas or the middle of the city, squirrels are a common sight. While these animals’ small size and high-energy antics may be cute and amusing outdoors, they can do a lot of damage when they invade the home. As they are part of the rodent family, squirrels have constantly growing teeth that they must maintain by chewing. They can choose to chew on a variety of household materials, including: wood, siding, wires, and plastic, causing significant harm over time.
Why They Come Inside
In nature, squirrels often look to build nests in the cavities of trees, where protection from the elements and often a cache of food is readily available to support the animal and any young. However, scarcity of natural nesting sites can lead to competition, causing some squirrels to look for alternative shelter. In addition, there are many things about a house that could make it an appealing option for these animals.
Not only does a home provide shelter from rain or snow, but most are temperature-controlled and thus make a warm, comfortable place to nest. Houses are also safe in that there are not typically a large number of predators with access inside. Finally, there may be food resources within or near the home the squirrel can exploit, such as pet food, bird feeders, and food scraps. All these aspects can make a house attractive to squirrels.
5 Ways They Get Inside
- The chimney is one possible point of entry. As squirrels often look for nesting sites during the winter, which is the time when the damper is most likely open for use, they may move from sheltering in the flue to actually coming in the house should the opportunity arise.
- Vents without screens can also allow squirrels inside. Their small size and climbing abilities allow these animals to seek out even small openings into the home.
- Gaps between layers of siding or shingles can go unnoticed, particularly if they are not large enough to cause a leak. However, these curious animals are more than capable of exploiting such weaknesses in the exterior of the home. Even small holes are potential ways in, as such an animal may widen the hole using its teeth or dexterous paws.
- Holes previously created by other animals may also be a way in. Again, even if the hole starts out small, such as one created by a mouse or other smaller rodent, the squirrel is perfectly capable of widening such weakened areas to suit its own bulk.
- Finally, a squirrel may take advantage of open windows to the attic or other low-traffic areas. While most ground floor windows and doors are often kept closed, those on upper floors may be left open due to the assumption nothing can reach them. Squirrels, however, can employ many paths to the upper floors or roof of the home, such as telephone wires, trees, and adjacent buildings.
Being aware of these possible ways into the home can help prevent these pests, but if they are already inside, it is important to remove them to prevent further damage. Squirrels are adept at choosing well-hidden nesting sites that can be difficult to reach or even find. The best option is to seek professional help in removing these animals. Contact Bug Out for expert pest removal services.