Squirrels are drawn to attics because they are safe and above ground. They can tell that the attic is warm by the air that escapes the roof’s vents. Once inside, they nest in the insulation and cause a whole lot of damage.
As rodents, they have a tendency to chew electric wires, which may cause power outages and fire. Squirrel nests are also messy and will contaminate your insulation with feces and urine.
One of the best things you can do for your attic is to keep squirrels out. Here’s what you can do to protect your attic from an unwanted squirrel invasion.
Seal openings in the roof
The first thing you should do when squirrel-proofing the attic is to inspect the roof thoroughly. Check for loose shingles, gaps in the roof’s edge, and other holes in the roof.
Gently lift the shingles on the edge of the roof to inspect closely. Then, seal cracks with silicone caulking. Squirrels have powerful teeth that can widen any gap. Repair any other damages you find.
Squirrels often reach the attic by chewing through roof vents and plumbing vents. Cover these with a 16-gauge, galvanized steel mesh. Squirrels will be unable to chew through this material and it will last for years.
If accessing the roof is unsafe, or if you have difficulty finding the right materials, call a company that offers squirrel removal in Peterborough or near you. He or she can safely inspect your roof and pest-proof every single opening for you.
Maintain the yard
Once you have repaired the roof and covered your vents, get in the habit of maintaining the yard. Squirrels and other wildlife are attracted to yards that are overgrown and in need of maintenance. Rake the leaves in the fall and bag them up in compostable bags for collection. Empty out the gutters every spring and fall.
In early summer, check for tree branches that hang over the roof and cut them, so they are a few feet away from the roof. If you grow food in the garden, protect your plants with floating row covers or mesh bed covers. This will keep squirrels from visiting the garden and making their way toward the attic.
Get rid of food sources
One of the easiest things you can do to keep squirrels off your property is to get rid of the bird feeder. Switch to one that is high up above the ground and that hangs far away from any tree branches, at the very least.
If you have fruit trees, pick their fruit as soon as they are ripe and don’t let any fallen fruit stay on the ground. Use lidded garbage and recycling containers and store them in a shed to reduce odours.
What if there is already a squirrel in the attic?
If you suspect that there is a squirrel living in the attic, hire a wildlife removal company immediately. Relocating squirrels is illegal in most places and handling the animal yourself can be dangerous. A professional can remove the animal safely and humanely, so no one gets hurt.
Once the squirrel is out, follow the steps listed above. Sealing entry points, maintaining the yard, and restricting the animal’s access to food should keep your attic squirrel-free for many years to come.