It would be nice if you could plant some garlic around your house and never worry about squirrels again, wouldn’t it?
Money is tight for Houston families this year, so it’s natural to wonder if you can end a squirrel problem with inexpensive ingredients that you can pick up at the grocery store.
We’ve heard questions about everything from cayenne pepper to vinegar. Peppermint oil is another favorite. Who wouldn’t want to get rid of squirrels and keep their home smelling nice?
We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but it’s not going to work.
The Nesting Drive is Stronger than the Smell Drive
Squirrels instinctively nest in cavities. They like having a dry, protected place to bunk down, and they love it when they find lots of nesting materials to burrow into. Attics are the perfect candidate.
They’ll put up with a smell they don’t like as a trade-off because they’re so well-protected from most predators when they’re inside a human home. And while their strong sense of smell does mean that capsaicin is unpleasant for them, you probably cannot get enough of it into your attic to truly keep them away.
You might not enjoy having that much pepper circulating around in your air supply, either.
“Natural” Smells May Invite Other Pests
Some of the natural smells people want to use to repel squirrels just smell like food to other animals. You could be rolling out a red carpet for rats by attempting to get rid of squirrels the “cheap” way.
Wild rats will chow down on hot peppers as quickly as they’ll eat any other food. It may not be good for them, but they’re happy to try.
Squirrel Control Isn’t as Expensive As You Fear
Our methods involve removing the squirrels from the attic entirely, blocking off their method of entry, and helping you clean up after their mess. Exclusion methods are the only sure-fire way to get squirrels out of your home and keep them out of your home.
If you think you have a squirrel problem, don’t buy 50 pounds of Irish Spring soap, hoping that spreading the shavings around your attic will take care of the problem. Don’t waste your money on ghost peppers.
Squirrels can easily do $8000 or more in damage to your home. It may be hard to believe that such a small, cute creature can cause so much damage, but squirrels are fundamentally destructive.
Here are the five most common ways that squirrels will, if allowed, unleash havoc in your Houston home.
#1) Chewing Wires
From a squirrel’s point of view, the insulation sheathing over any electrical wire is a delightfully chewy treat. They like the metal, too; it keeps their teeth sharp and hard.
Once they start sawing into the wires, the damage is sufficient to cause stray sparks whenever a current is running. The NFPA estimates squirrels cause 500 house fires per year.
These fires are often devastating because they begin in attics and chimneys, places that allow them to spread quickly.
#2) Ripping Up Insulation
Insulation looks like a wonderful nesting material for squirrels. They rip it up, chew it up, and dig into it to bear their babies inside.
They’re also not all that careful about where they leave their droppings and are content to bury it or leave it on top of your insulation.
The more they tear up the insulation, the less insulation is happening. As they wet it down with their urine, they encourage mold and mildew growth. The end result can be truly devastating for the entire home.
#3) Destroying the Siding
Squirrels like having easy access to their new attic nest, so they’ll chew holes in the siding to make it easier for them to get in and out of the home. They also like running up and down the walls because they’ll often try to store nuts between the studs.
Some of the holes we’ve seen are the size of a man’s fist. They’re no joke and leave your house in terrible shape.
#4) Ripping Through Trim
Wood is no match for a squirrel on a mission. The soffit, fascia, and trim near your roof line are fair game as far as they’re concerned. For that matter, they’re perfectly happy to work their way through the shingles, too.
The result is a leaky mess and another breeding ground for mold and mildew.
#5) Staining Your Ceiling
That yellow stain on your ceiling might not be “water damage.”
Squirrels usually have to be at their dark work for a while before homeowners start seeing their mess so close to the living area itself, but it does happen.
Eventually, you might start smelling the results, too.
End Your Squirrel Problem Today
You’ve worked too hard to own your Houston home to let squirrels destroy it.
Elite Wildlife Services will help you get rid of them safely and humanely, and we’ll help you keep them gone for good.
Contact us for a free inspection today! It could be the best call you make this year.