How To Get Rid Of Squirrels In Your Attic

In order to get rid of squirrels inside your attic, you must first identify the problem as squirrels. Squirrels are usually heard scurrying through your walls in the morning. They make their baseball sized entry holes most commonly in soffit eves and behind gutters. Squirrel removal should be left to a Wildlife Control Operator.

To get these rodents out of your home you should:

  • Install a one way door positive set over the entry hole. A trap should be attached to it. That way any squirrel inside will be secured for safe removal.
  • Traps will need to be set on the roof. These will trap any squirrels blocked out of the nest by the one way door.
  • Tree branches should be pruned 6-10 feet away from the home.
  • Chimney caps and roof vent covers should be installed before the entry hole is repaired. This will prevent any attempts to re-enter the home.

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Squirrel Removal From Attics

Squirrel control in Cleveland, OH heats up as the weather cools down. Grey squirrels, red squirrels, fox squirrels, and flying squirrels reside in northeast Ohio. Black squirrels are a color variation of the grey squirrel. Any one of these cavity dwellers can find a way into your home. Once fall arrives, most tree squirrels naturally leave their cool summer dreys (leaf nests) for a more protected location. Woodpecker holes or other such tree cavities are common winter nesting sites. Survival rates are much higher when overwintering inside cavities, than in dreys. Be on the lookout. Squirrels are cavity dwellers. If there is a suitable void within your home, they will move in.

Main Dangers Of A Squirrel Infestation

  • Damage to wires (home and vehicle) through gnawing.
  • Problems with parasites- Secondary infestations of fleas can occur, even if you have no pets!
  • Carriers of disease- Dropping of Flying Squirrel can carry Murine Typhus.
  • Wildlife Making Noises In The Walls

    Squirrels make a variety of sounds:

    • They bark warnings.
    • They squeal when hurt.
    • Churrs express anger.

    It is the scampering of their feet on the attic floor that most people hear. Most Lakewood, OH homes have walk up attics. Newer homes don’t usually have an attic floor. This is due to the fact that 2″ x 6″ lumber for joists has been exchanged for 2″ x 4″ lumber. Most newer homes in Rocky River and Westlake, Ohio have 2″ x 4″ construction. What a lot of the newer homes do have though are overhangs for soffit ventilation. Squirrels make noise in the soffits at the time when most people are getting ready in the mornings. It can sound like something is in your walls because the soffits sit lower than the ceiling.

    Just because you hear noises in the walls or ceiling does not mean that you have a squirrel in your house. It could just be a tree branch rubbing against the home in the wind. It can also just be a mouse. Never under estimate the sound that a mouse can make through drywall. Their nighttime gnawing on your wall studs makes it seem like something much larger is on the other side. Most calls we receive for nighttime noises in walls end up being mice. Other wildlife noises coming from the attic at night could be bats, raccoons, or flying squirrels. Tree squirrels will be most active in the morning. If you hear noises just after sunrise coming from your attic, you most likely have a tree squirrel infestation.

    Where Squirrels Enter Homes

    In Lakewood, OH and surrounding areas, squirrels most commonly enter a home through:

    • The eves of dormers– The junction where the dormer roof meets the main roof is a soft spot for squirrels and raccoons.
    • Behind gutters- Squirrels will gnaw their way through fascia board behind gutters to access the attic.
    • Underneath roof shingles- Unless you have an old roof their should be a drip edge underneath the bottom row of shingles leading behind the gutter. When drip edge is absent, squirrels test the weak point between the plywood and the fascia board.
    • Gable vents/ Roof vents- Gable vents are located in attic spaces on the sides opposite the roof. Roof vents are primariily circular vents cut through the upper portions of a roof. Gable vents often go with roof vents. Whereas soffit ventilation often goes together with ridge vents. Gable vents, roof vents and power attic fans are usually poorly screened from the interior.
    • Chimney- It is a good idea that everyone get chimney caps. Squirrels are not the only wildlife that will go down there. Raccoons, birds, squirrels, bats… Everything you do not want in your house can get in your house through the chimney.
    • Overhanging Vegetation- Tree squirrels will use tree branches to get onto your roof. Respond by trimming tree branches back at least 6 feet from your home. That also goes for large shrubbery.
    • Tree squirrels also tight rope walk utility lines. Plastic tubes on non-electrical service wires may block their entry.

    How To Get Rid Of Squirrels

    Squirrel control in Rocky River, OH- Lakewood Exterminating

    Grey Squirrels caged trapped and removed from a home in Rocky River, OH.

    Setting Squirrel Traps On The Ground

    It is generally not effective to just trap squirrels in your yard. Once squirrels are removed from your property, neighboring squirrels will quickly move in. On the contrary, if there is one problem squirrel in the neighborhood, it is possible to catch it outside before it comes inside.

    Habitat Modification And Exclusion

    The best way to stop wildlife from coming onto your property is through habitat modification and squirrel proofing your home. Plan on doing at least a couple recommendations in this article. It may save you thousands of dollars in remediation expenses.

    Bird Feeders

    The best way to attract rodents onto your property is with bird feeders. If you must feed the birds, then it is recommended that you use thistle seed. Thistle seed is not palatable to rodents. Thistle seed is more expensive, but at the same time it attracts colorful birds into your yard.

    Size of Entry Holes

    Squirrels will chew enlarged holes in your bird houses. Take notice that these holes are no larger than 4″ squared. Anything larger than 4″ squared, and a raccoon can enter. Raccoons are predators to juvenile squirrels.

    Kinds of Squirrels

    While it is the grey squirrel that is notorious for entering homes, any one of the four local species may do so. Fox squirrels are larger and mainly stay in their tree dreys over winter. Red squirrels are less common due to their diet. They usually find tree cavities to overwinter in. Flying squirrel activity is not easy for a homeowner to recognize. Their nocturnal habits often go unnoticed. They can also enter much smaller gaps than their cousins. Grey squirrels are territorial, aggressive and adaptable creatures. They are most likely to become the trouble makers out of this group. For more information about squirrels read our rodent page in the pest library.

    It is important to correctly identify and learn the lifecycle of any pest you choose to control. For example, it is important to know that fox and grey squirrels will have two breeding cycles per year. If you do not take time to learn about your target pest, you run the risk of orphaning juveniles inside your home.

    Squirrel removal from attic in Lakewood, OH- Lakewood Exterminating

    Positive set trap attached to squirrel entry hole behind fascia board.

    Trapping Squirrels

    Paper towels may be stuffed in potential entry points in order to evaluate which holes are currently being used. Traps should be placed inside as a precaution. Once the openings are stuffed, they potentially may attempt to chew out of a building. Damage is more likely to occur if the mother is separated from her young. It is safe to say that juvenile squirrels are not present in Ohio from September through January.

    Lakewood Exterminating’s squirrel trapping service often utilizes one way doors with traps attached to them. This is called a positive set trap because it is secured over the entry point. Attaching multiple traps to the one way door will curiously draw the others into it once the first squirrel is detained.

    Preliminary to the installation of one way doors; chimneys and vents must be secured with wildlife exclusion guards. If the home is not structurally sound, any squirrel blocked out of the structure by our positive trap placement may create an alternative entry point. Careful site evaluation precedes effective squirrel eviction.

    Red and flying squirrels are less likely to cause any damage trying to chew their way back inside. They are simply not strong enough. Fox and grey squirrels, on the other hand, can chew and claw their way back into a structure. An apron of wire mesh is installed around the one way door to minimize the likeliness of this occurring. A couple traps set on the roof or in an adjacent tree usually takes care of this issue.

    Our squirrel removal service implements a multitude of control measures. Depending on the time of year, their may only be one female nesting inside of your home. On average there are 5-6 squirrels nesting inside during the winter months. Squirrel nests inside homes are rare during the summer due to excessive high heat in attics.
    If you have a squirrel in your home, give us a call! (216) 466-2486