Time to Create a Pest Control Plan
With fall right around the corner there are several things that you, as a homeowner, should be thinking about. Because as you probably know (because we keep saying it!), it’s always better to take care of potential problems before they become larger and more expensive to fix. Things like having your heater inspected and making sure all aspects of your plumbing and electrical system are in top shape ensure that your home will operate smoothly without a major failure. But an important item on the list that not many people think about is having their home inspected for rodents.
Damage Squirrels Do to Your Home
Squirrels, although cute to look at, can cause extensive damage. During the warmer months they stay outside and nest in trees, but as soon as the first cold front hits they start searching for shelter, which usually means an attic.
“Squirrels tend to pick a tree and start building a nest,” said John Moore Services Pest Control Manager Brian Menn. “They will make big nests out of things like pine needles and straw. People think all nests on trees are from birds, but a lot of the time it’s squirrels. They don’t harm the tree, but the problem with having them so close to your home is that when it gets cold out, it’s your home they will pick to come into and build their winter nest.”
If you think you might have a squirrel problem, you should first check for signs around the outside of your house. Look for debris in your yard. When squirrels build their nests, they use anything they can find. But sometimes, pieces of the pine needles, straw, and leaves don’t make it into their nest and end up all over the yard. Also, they constantly gnaw on tree bark, which also falls to the ground.
Dealing with a Squirrel Infestation
“Chew marks are a sure sign of an infestation. Squirrel’s teeth are like human fingernails, they never stop growing,” said Menn. “In order to file down and sharpen them, they chew on anything they can find. Common areas are boards around the house, the gutter, and the roofline. And in the winter when they are ready to come inside, they chew a perfect hole to get into the attic.”
Once inside the attic they start to build their nest, and insulation makes for the perfect spot. They are mammals just like we are, and they get cold in the winter and need a warm place to take shelter.
“If you have a squirrel infestation in your attic, you will know immediately,” said Menn. “They are not quiet like a mouse, and you will know the second they enter your home. I like to call them the party animals of the rodent species because they are always running around, jumping, and making noise.”
The damage they cause can be extensive. Think about how many important parts of your home are located in the attic. They will chew on wires that are connected to the AC system. They will chew their way inside air ducts. They will rip up insulation. They will even chew holes through walls and wooden boards. So, how do you get rid of them?
Taking Charge in the Matter
“The only way to get rid of squirrels is to trap them and remove them. If they’re getting into your house, we do an exclusion,” said Menn. “We seal up all entry points so they can’t get out. Then, we put food inside a cage and when they walk inside, the door shuts. After we trap them, we release them outdoors in a wooded area. Some companies kill them, but we don’t. Anything that is larger than a rat we catch and release.”
Once you have squirrels, it’s hard to get them to go away. The only thing you can do is trap and remove them from your home. And sure, they might look cute and cuddly from a distance, but they will attack if they feel threatened, which is why the removal process should be done by a professional. John Moore Services has trained pest control technicians who can not only trap and release all rodents, but can also seal up all entry points into the home to make sure they don’t come back again. If you think you might have a rodent infestation, or are constantly hearing squirrels “party” in your attic, it’s time to call the experts!