It would be nice if you could keep squirrels out of your home before calling a pest control company like ours. And we’ve got good news!
There are steps you can take to vastly reduce your chances of acquiring a squirrel problem.
Inspect Your Home
The best way to keep squirrels out of your home is to control potential entry points. Look for holes in the soffits, as well as for rot in the fascia. Check for holes in your siding.
Add a steel mesh to the top of the chimney. This will let smoke out but will keep squirrels from getting in. You should also screen off the attic and crawlspace vents.
Trim Back Trees
Trees create a little “squirrel superhighway” when they run right up to the roof. Here in Houston, a lot of us have huge Live Oaks in our front yards for shade. Those branches may have extended over your rooftops for generations, but it may be time to trim them back.
When it’s a short hop from the trees (a squirrel’s natural habitat) to your roof, it becomes a short leap of logic for squirrels to decide your home looks pretty great for nesting, too. Keep the idea out of their tiny minds. When you trim back your trees, they’ll naturally run up and down and around the trees. It’s a way to encourage them to “stay in their lane.”
Clean Your Gutters
When you let your gutters fill up with dead leaves and pine needles, you’re essentially creating a nesting box for squirrels. Think about it; it’s enclosed on three sides by something hard, and it’s filled with soft, warm stuff the squirrels can burrow into
Once they’re nesting in the gutters, the soffits, fascia, and roof shingles are right there for them to chew. Once they chew long enough, they’ll wander inside. Once they wander inside, they’ll never want to leave.
Limit Access to Foo
Squirrels are just like mice, rats, and raccoons. They’re opportunistic about food. They’re happy to dig in your trash.
Getting an animal-proof garbage can is an excellent investment that keeps all sorts of pests away.
If you love feeding the birds, then pick up a squirrel-proof bird feeder. There are several varieties available on the market. This will allow you to feed the songbirds you enjoy without encouraging squirrels to hang around your house.
Get Help When You Need It
Squirrels are persistent little creatures. There’s always a chance they’re going to get into your home despite your best efforts.
When that happens, call Elite Wildlife Services to schedule a free inspection. Our team will help you humanely trap, remove, and exclude squirrels. We can also find entry points you may have missed and help you seal them up.
Squirrels can do a lot of damage. It’s good that you’re taking them seriously.
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.
It’s squirrel season here in Houston when they’re scrambling to find shelter for the winter and your attic looks ideal to them.
Cute as squirrels may be, there are numerous reasons to keep them out of your home, and one of the biggest is that in addition to all the damage they cause and spread, they carry numerous diseases that can spread to humans.
Some of the diseases they carry are particularly dangerous.
Salmonella causes diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever, nausea, vomiting, and headaches. It can progress into a full-blown case of sepsis or meningitis, too.
Salmonella comes primarily from squirrel droppings. You don’t have to come into direct contact with wet droppings to be in danger of contracting this disease. Squirrels in the attic mean squirrels in your ductwork, and dried droppings will eventually turn into contaminated dust that settles into your air supply.
Squirrels carry ticks, which aren’t content to hang out on their bodies. Eventually, ticks will jump onto your body, too.
When they do, there’s a good chance their painful bite could give you a bad case of Lyme disease, which means nerve pain, stiffness, and inflammation of the brain or spinal cord.
Tularemia attacks the skin, eyes, lymph nodes, and lungs. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, ulcers, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle aches.
Mostly, you’re not in danger of contracting Tularemia unless you directly handle a sick or dead squirrel. When squirrels die in the walls, most people call us out to deal with them, and we wear our PPE. Nevertheless, if you see a dead squirrel in the home, you should wear rubber gloves before disposing of it, and then call us right away.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection. It causes fever, headache, vomiting, jaundice, and rash.
Leptospirosis is transmitted through squirrel urine. While most people don’t come into direct contact with it, the danger is still present; as infestations grow, urine shows up in more and more places where urine should not be.
Rabies causes fever, headaches, excess salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis, and mental confusion.
You’re only in danger of getting rabies if a squirrel bites or scratches you. This is a rare event, but it can happen. Never trap or corner a squirrel in your home. An infected squirrel may be unusually aggressive and wander into inhabited areas of the home most squirrels stay away from.
Squirrels aren’t the only carriers of diseases that come with a squirrel problem. They also bring in all of their fleas. Fleas attack you and your pets, carrying their own diseases.
Once squirrels are in the home, a spot of Revolution on the back of your pet’s neck is rarely going to be enough when an entire squirrel colony is constantly bringing new fleas in and out of your home.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Squirrel Free
If you’re hearing thumping, bumping, and chittering, there’s a good chance you have a squirrel problem. Don’t wait to get sick!
Squirrels can do plenty of damage both indoors and outdoors. People in Houston have found chewed-up chairs and decks, stripped-down gardens, and worse.
When they’re inside the home, they tear up insulation, chew on wiring until your home becomes a fire hazard, and leave feces everywhere.
Understanding their patterns can help you keep squirrels out of your home.
Spring is mating season, and it’s the season when squirrels are working the hardest to get into your home. Your attic looks like the perfect nesting spot to them.
Gathering behavior kicks up again in the spring. They can gather roughly 3,000 to 10,000 nuts per year, and they store them close to their nests.
That’s why if you have squirrels in your home, you’ll start hearing what sounds like a bunch of boulders thundering inside your home. It’s squirrels bouncing nuts in between your walls.
Squirrels get territorial during the summer, meaning they won’t just want to live in your home; they’ll want to yell at you and any other squirrel near you.
On the one hand, that’s great. They’ll keep new squirrels from infiltrating your attic. On the other, you’ll soon have new squirrel pups scampering around in there, and the pups want to chew even more than the adults do.
Squirrels continue gathering food and material for their winter nests.
They’ll get even more active about their gathering efforts during this period, so they’re prone to running in and out of the house and making plenty of noise.
Since spring is coming around sooner than you think, it’s a good time to call our office for an inspection. We can help you block off squirrel entry points and keep them out of your home. If they’re already in your home, we’ll get them out and make sure they can’t come back in.
Meanwhile, the squirrels will be less active. You won’t hear them moving around as much if they are in your home. They’ll be using up all the food they stored during the fall and won’t want to run around as often.
Schedule an Inspection Today
Squirrel populations have exploded throughout the Houston area. While we can’t necessarily keep squirrels out of your yard, we can help you remove them from your home or keep them out entirely.
All Houston-area squirrels can be extremely destructive. If you think you might have a problem, don’t hesitate to call us for an inspection.
If squirrels are only in your yard, they may not be a problem at all.
In fact, squirrels can serve a vital ecological function. They take seeds and bury them.
Unlike some animals, squirrels aren't quite so adept at remembering where they stored all their treasures. They'll successfully dig some back up and eat them. The rest will be left in the ground, where they'll sprout. Essentially, they're little gardeners.
Some people just enjoy seeing squirrels. They're silly little creatures!
Squirrels don't necessarily overrun a yard. If you're only seeing them there, then there's no need to call us. They can go about their little squirrel lives without intervention.
Squirrels are only a problem when they find their way into your house. Here in Houston this happens most often in the spring and in the fall, when they are searching for places to bear their young.
Once they get into your home they'll chew up your wiring and insulation. In fact, roughly 20% of house fires are caused by squirrels. They do not have to chew all the way through a wire to cause a fatal short and spark.
The earliest sign that a squirrel has gone to work? One of your outdoor lights stops functioning. If this has happened to you, then you should call an electrician pretty soon after you call us.
They cause other damage as well, mostly to the insulation, as well as via their droppings.
We focus on blocking squirrel access to your home. You're never going to get squirrels out of your yard. We could trap them all day long and they'd just show up from other yards around the city. There is absolutely nothing you can do to keep them off your property entirely. They've successfully adapted to every aspect of urban life. We trap the squirrels inside of your home, but only to get them back out again.
You can make your house a little less attractive to them.
Put the bird feeders on the far side of your yard instead of close to your home. Trim trees and bushes that are near your home so you're not providing squirrels with a little superhighway that they can use to get into your attic. Address any wood rot quickly so squirrels aren't tempted to chew their way inside.
Once you've done all that, you can enjoy the antics of your yard squirrels without worry.
REQUEST A FREE INSPECTION
Our goal is to take time to evaluate each customers situation and customize proven results to solve it. If you are looking for a professional solution for your Squirrel Removal needs, please contact us today.