Red Squirrels: How to Protect Your Property This Winter
When Do Squirrels Become Pests?
One of the best parts of the season can be setting out feed in the garden and watching squirrels or birds coming to the feeder each day. Whether you live in town or in the country, squirrels bring in a sense of cottage garden cuteness. Squirrels in particular are one of those cute animals that people truly enjoy watching. But there are some important reasons why you may need to not be so quick to invite this critter into your backyard.
As with most pests, it tends to come down to shelter and food. Many houses provide food already even if they do not mean to.
How Do Squirrels Cause Damage Outside?
Squirrels are most commonly found outdoors where they are seen dashing across yards and dropping nuts from trees. Here are some of the areas they are noticed causing damage outside the home most often:
- Gardens - Do you have a garden? Squirrels love gardens with the amount of resources available to them. They will tear through the dirt and dig up your bulbs you’ve planted for spring.
- Oak Trees - These nut providing trees are excellent sources of food. Squirrels will build their homes in the trees, chew on the bark or twigs, and dig holes around them to store food.
- Bird Feeders - One of their absolute favorite snacks is bird food. If your house puts out bird feeders, the squirrels will come. Even with no way of getting into the feeder, they find a way and will also wait and pick up all the seeds on the ground.
- Pumpkins - They have also been known to snack on pumpkins during the fall season, so your jack-o-lantern may end up looking rather chewed upon.
How Do Squirrels Cause Damage Inside A Home?
Squirrels really turn the corner from cute to pest once they have access to a home. And they are extremely persistent in seeking access to your home! By seeking to build a nest, they begin to search for any opening into a chimney or vent in which to access the attic or eaves. They may even chew through siding in order to gain access to your home.
An attic provides them with a fantastic place to live. It is warm and cozy, keeps them out of the wind and the rain, and is safe from predators. This also means it is a safe place for them to raise young.
They will continue to chew on insulation and even wires; bared wires can then start a fire. Squirrels may also run across utility wires and can even in some cases short out a transformer. In short, squirrels pose much more of a risk to your home than simply having a wild animal running around.
How Are Red Squirrels Different?
If you’ve ever encountered the American Red Squirrel, you know he’s not quite the same as his gray cousins. Their diets are specialized to the seeds of pine cones and they call North America their home, while expanding their reach to hardwood forests. Red Squirrels also exhibit territorial behavior and may find your home a nice, warm environment to hang out in during the winter months.
What Makes Red Squirrels a Nuisance?
If you’ve got red squirrels nearby, it can start to feel like having a rooster that won’t stop crowing, or a smoke alarm you can’t turn off. Red squirrels are wonderful, beautiful creatures…but they never shut up. Even worse, they’ll happily tear up your roof in order to make homes that help them cope with winter. If they’ve claimed your home or property as their territory, you’ve got two choices: invest in ear plugs, or consider squirrel exclusion and removal.
What’s Involved With Squirrel Exclusion?
Squirrel exclusion is simple enough and involves barring their points of access: trimming overhanging branches, closing off holes in your roof, installing one-way doors to access points that might be more difficult to close. You can actually use flour to see if you have a squirrel incursion. Just sprinkle flour on the floor where you suspect squirrels might be entering. Come back later and see if any footprints have been made. For squirrel exclusion, there are a range of simple options. Sometimes red squirrels have to be removed.
Remember, repairing a roof in the winter can be both dangerous and costly. Squirrel removal now, can help you stave off a more costly problem down the road.
Should I Call a Professional?
Why should you turn to an expert? Understanding the laws of your area is critical. In some areas, squirrels are protected from some types of elimination. There are also a range of benefits you get from working with an expert. Control is more than elimination. You will get valuable tips regarding “disinviting” squirrels from your property altogether (keep them out of those bird feeders!), ways to protect your existing plants from squirrels as well as how to ensure your home is not an easy target for nesting. Further, when it comes to removing squirrels from your property, you don’t want to turn necessarily to pesticides, which can damage other wildlife, nor trapping, if you have no experience with it and don’t understand the rules regarding wildlife release.
Ransford Pest Control
For squirrel removal, Ransford Pest Control’s traps are humane. Red squirrels are typically more damaging than gray squirrels, so if you suspect they’re getting too close for comfort, don’t hesitate to call at 508-756-5197. Squirrel control is particularly important given how bad squirrels have gotten in this area. For squirrel removal, contact us immediately to prevent damage to your home.
Rely on the expertise of an integrated pest management company in order to make sure your home is completely pest free without needless and dangerous chemicals or other hazards.