Most people think squirrels are just so cute, but actress Sarah Jessica Parker described squirrels perfectly. She said, “You can’t be friends with a squirrel! A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit,” and she wasn’t far off. Those little pests are cute when they are outdoors scampering around, gathering nuts, jumping from tree to tree and playing, but when they get inside your home, they are anything but cute.
Getting to Know the Cute Side of Pests
Squirrels are smarter than given credit for. They are smart in their own, animal way. Experts at adapting to their environment, they have proven that memory and abstract thought are two characteristics of their intelligence. Squirrels are quick learners, learning by observation. Obviously they have good memories; otherwise they would never know where they hid all of those nuts.
Being a bit OCD, when squirrels hide their nuts, they categorize and organize them. Those little pests are also capable of memorizing the easiest routes up a tree to get back and forth from their nests. Squirrels are so crafty that they will steal nuts from other nests. To dissuade would-be robbers, they will rebury a hoard of nuts over and over. Moving food around makes it harder for another squirrel to find the store. Squirrels will pretend to bury a nut if they know they are being watched and wait until they are alone to actually hide it. Being capable of misleading another squirrel is a form of tactical deception.
A smart little squirrel in your home is a nuisance; a dray or scurry of squirrels is a big problem that will keep you up at night…figuratively and literally. They scratch at walls, run around in attics and can cause quite a bit of damage. Once they find a way into your home, they often cannot find their way out. Squirrels are known for chewing through electrical wiring and insulation. They will make nests, leaving urine and feces everywhere they run throughout your attic. Sometimes, these medium-sized rodents will make their way inside a wall, get trapped there and subsequently dying; causing a horrible and menacing stench. Whether it is the damage, the noise or the odors, squirrels inside of the home need to go!
Prevent a Squirrel Infestation
Prevention is the best way to deal with rodent pests. First, inspect the exterior of your home. Seal up any potential entry points; this would include very small holes. A squirrel can enter your home through a hole as small as 1 ½ “. If it can fit its head in, it can get into your home. They will chew their way in if there is the smallest opportunity to do so. Steel screening and flashing will help prevent chewing. If you have a bird feeder, it is best to keep it far from the house. Trim back trees, remove any piles of wood or junk near your home to prevent nesting and climbing.
There are some smells that help in keeping the squirrels out of your home. You can often repel squirrels with some strategic placement of odorous material in your attic, garage or other susceptible areas: cider vinegar on rags, garlic, cayenne, or black pepper dissolved in water and sprayed, moth balls near outdoor plants or in the attic. Reapplication may be necessary.
Have Pests Removed by a Professional
Removing squirrels yourself can be dangerous. They are wild and they can carry diseases like rabies. Also, climbing a ladder or getting to tight spaces can be difficult or unsafe. Then, what do you do once you have found them? You are better off calling on a company that has rodent control. If you have a rodent control problem, you will need a professional. Buzzkill has the training and tools necessary to rid your house of those rats in a “cuter outfit”…I mean, squirrels.