Uninvited Squirrels Joining Your Holiday Festivities?

Two plump gray squirrels (the braver of the two pictured above) have recently been sneaking in our home through a fist-sized hole in the roof (awesome!). Once I realized they were actually inside our house's structure—they began running laps in our kitchen's ceiling—I decided I'd had enough. So, I called a professional to see what humane options exist and the dangers of having these gray guests.

Disclaimer: Our house (pictured above) needs to be painted and have its roof replaced. The colors are just terrible and it's in bad shape, we know. Those are 2011 projects, so more on that is to come.

Back to topic...

We all try to keep our home safe and healthy: using chemical-free cleaning products; purchasing organic produce; using VOC-free paint. And the list goes on and on. But what I didn't know is how harmful squirrels can be to your space, even when they are not seen running through your living room.

  • Squirrels are likely to cause damage to your home as they make their way inside, chewing through your roof, exterior walls or fascia board.
  • Once inside they will scratch and chew on your home's beams and tear apart its insulation as they make their nest.
  • Squirrels and other rodents chew on wires (not sure what that's about) and have been known to start electrical fires.
  • Once squirrels are in your attic or eaves, they won't necessarily stay there. They may make their way inside your living space looking for food and might attack if they feel threatened.
  • Squirrel feces and urine will negatively affect the air quality in your home.
  • They are early risers (around 4 to 5 am) and will cause the most noise around that time, surely waking you up morning after morning.
  • What if one dies? You'll smell it for quite some time. Yuck!
  • Squirrels can carry rabies and other diseases.
  • Squirrels leave behind a strong pheromone scent. If they've been in your home in the past, it's likely they'll return to live in your home in the future. Locate the hole and have it repaired. But be cautious not to trap the squirrel inside—it will either die there or make its way into your living space.
  • The longer the pests are around, the harder they are to get rid of, especially if it's a female and her babies. So, if you have a squirrel living in your attic or ceiling or anywhere else in your home, don't delay. Call several exterminators immediately to find out your options and compare service prices.

FINAL THOUGHT
If you've had squirrels infest your home, make sure your smoke detectors are working. The last thing you want is a house fire. Keep yourself and your family protected by acting quickly to remove these rodents.

(Image: Landis Carey)

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