How Do Squirrels Get Into Your House?
There are many ways that squirrels can get into your house. Squirrels are fun to watch as they climb trees and run around your yard, but it becomes an issue when squirrels decide to take up residence in your house. It can cause chaos and possible health issues for both you and your family once the squirrels get into your house.
Squirrels are very curious and creative creatures. Since they are avid climbers the most common way that they get into the house is from the roof. There are various ways that they find to gain access from your roof.
If your gutters are clogged or have ice dams during the winters, the edge of the roof becomes an easy target for squirrels to claw and chew through. The shingles and roof boards can be weak from rain and vegetations can keep the area wet providing an opportunity for squirrels to create a hole to climb through. Squirrels can squeeze their way into the attic through these holes, or make them big enough to do so.
Squirrels can also get into your house through the chimney. If the cap has been harmed by weather or tree branches, or there are cracks in the mortar, the squirrels will take advantage of the ideal dark environment.
When it is time to have their babies, squirrels will climb down through the chimney, bringing nesting material with them, and prepare a place to raise them. Squirrels also like to use the attic for their babies. It is warm and secure for them.
Another favorite way for squirrels to get into the house are the vent covers on the exterior of your home. If the vent covers are made of plastic or rubber, squirrels can easily chew through them to get into the attic where it is warm and comfortable.
The Dangers of Having Squirrels In Your House
Squirrels in your house can be a very hazardous and destructive thing. The presence of squirrels in your house can cause various health problems and expensive structural concerns.
The health concerns from squirrels include bacterial infections like salmonella, diseases from ticks such as Lyme disease, and rarely rabies. Contact with a squirrel, its droppings, or a deceased animal are the most common ways that these illnesses are passed to humans. The piles of squirrel droppings can also be a place for mold to begin to accumulate. The mold then can spread causing respiratory infections and destroying the walls of your home. Letting a professional handle the animals is the safest way to take care of a squirrel problem!
When it comes to the destruction of your house, squirrels can do this in a variety of different ways. Squirrels leave behind their droppings, urine, and chew through insulation and wiring. They can scratch the inside of your walls, tear apart shingles, chew apart vent covers, and leave behind flammable nesting materials in your attic or chimney.
The odor of squirrel’s presence can last for an extensive amount of time. The smell of rotting droppings, the urine saturation of insulation, and in rare cases a deceased animal can spread through your house making life miserable.
In the colder months, squirrels will burrow into and chew through the insulation in your house, trying to find warmth. This will add to your heating costs and the repair costs once the squirrels have been removed.
Wiring is another thing can that be destroyed when you have squirrels in your house. Squirrels can chew through the wiring of your house and attic, which can become a fire hazard and cause devastating damage.
Squirrels can also make the cracks and gaps in your roof, shingles, and walls much worse. Squirrel’s urine can weaken the structure of both the roof and walls, which can be a large expense to repair.
The Difficulty of Squirrel Removal
By the time you notice that there are squirrels in your house, it is generally too late to do anything yourself. The problem can be overwhelming with the amount of droppings, urine, and damage that will be found in your house.
As the droppings begin to rot in either the attic or the chimney, and walls become saturated with urine, the task of removing squirrels can become even more dangerous. As the soiled insulation and droppings are disturbed, bacteria can kicked up into the air, causing the potential for disease. If the squirrels have carried ticks into the attic, there is the chance that you could be bitten during cleaning if you choose to do that yourself. Droppings can be a place for mold to flourish, which can cause respiratory problems if inhaled.
The removal of destroyed insulation in the attic, the most common location of infestation by squirrels, can lead to skin irritation, redness, itching, rashes, eye irritation, and respiratory issues if you attempt the process on your own. It can also cause respiratory issues without proper equipment.
If wiring has been chewed through in your attic, a normal activity for squirrels, there is always the chance that you will be shocked or electrocuted. Exposed wires can spark, and the electricity can jump to your skin as you move around in the confined space. It could also ignite the insulation or wood structure around you with possibly fatal results.
Squirrels can be dangerous themselves if you happen to surprise them during the removal process. A bite from a squirrel that is infected with rabies is a serious concern. There is a chance that as the squirrels make an effort to find an exit from your house or attic during their panic, you will be injured, or the squirrels will be.
Removing the squirrels can also become difficult and expensive when you being to invest in the traps and equipment necessary to do the job properly. Without any experience in wildlife removal, taking care of getting the squirrels out of your house yourself can be costly and dangerous. Removal is a complicated task that is best left to a professional.
The Problems With Cleanup After Removal
Alright, so the professional has successfully gotten all of the squirrels out of your house and fixed things up to exclude them from returning! What’s next?
Next is the cleanup, which can be just as dangerous and unpleasant as the squirrel removal itself. Many of the same concerns remain when the process reaches this stage and more are added.
The first step for cleanup is the removal of the squirrel droppings. This process must be done with special protective equipment to protect from the health concerns associated with the droppings. If a mother and babies have decided to live in your house, droppings can pile up quickly. It can be a daunting situation best handled by a wildlife professional.
The second step is the removal of any damaged and destroyed insulation from the attic. This is an important process. The soiled, filthy insulation must be taken out of the house to prevent the spread of odor and disease. Ruined insulation can leave stains and discoloration on your attic floor and even the ceilings below. Again, contact with the insulation, with live wiring, or the droppings and urine are all problems to be concerned about.
Another thing that needs to be considered in the cleanup process is if a squirrel has fallen and died within your walls. Obviously, it will need to be removed to take care of the odors and damage it may have done while trapped. An expert can help sort all these things out for you and return your house to the way it was before the squirrel invaded.
Once the droppings and insulation have been taken care of, and you are certain no squirrels remain in the walls, an inspection must be done to see if any structural damage in the attic or walls has occurred due to the squirrel droppings and urine, such as rotting in the wood or corrosion of the metal. In rare cases, the squirrels have been in the attic so long that the droppings can have started to buckle the ceilings below!
After all of those things are complete, an attic restoration can be done. Attic restoration is an involved process with the use of extremely hazardous chemicals and expertise is highly recommended. Luckily, the same professional that handled getting the squirrels out of the house can handle all of these processes as well.