So you wake up in the morning hearing scratching and scurrying through your attic ceiling and walls. Sounds like you have squirrels in the attic. In general you often hear squirrels in the attic the most, first thing in the morning. During sunrise squirrels become most active as they head outside to look for food and nesting materials. Squirrels are busy nut gathers and do this most of the time throughout the day. However not all squirrels in Michigan are diurnal.
Types of Squirrels in Michigan
There are different types of squirrels in Michigan. Red squirrel, fox squirrel, gray squirrel, black squirrel, chipmunk, and flying squirrel. Most squirrels are diurnal but the flying squirrel is nocturnal.
Flying squirrels are most active at night. Flying squirrels are very small and need the night time to be disguise themselves from predators.They fly through the trees at night so they can avoid hawks, eagles, and other flying predators. Squirrels feast on pine cones, bird seed, egg corns, walnuts, and during Halloween pumpkins. They like to gnaw on treated wood because of the salt in the wood. They live primerly in trees and underground. They make nesting material out of leaves and sticks.
Nuisance Problems: Squirrels will live in soffits and attics. They bring hazardous material into your attic. Worst of all they chew on power lines and electrical wires in your attic. They are often herd in the attic running around, jumping truss to truss, and dropping nuts and pine cones. Squirrels have many babies who will stay in the nest and remain to living there. We have found up to 15 squirrels living in one attic.
Signs of Squirrels in Your Attic
Most obvious are the noises you hear. understanding the noises you will hear will allow you to identify your attic pest. Noises squirrels make in the attic are digging, scratching, rolling nuts, and squeaking noises. As mentioned above these noises generally take place first thing in the morning or at nigh fall. Squirrels often run and jump through your attic as well. Squirrels will not sound as loud as raccoon's in the attic, but will be much louder than bats or mice in the attic.
Damages Caused by Squirrels in the Attic
Just like most wildlife animals in the attic are a nuisance and destructive. Different than other wildlife, but much like birds squirrels bring materials from the outside to inside your attic. Things like leaves, sticks, pine cones, and walnuts are brought into your attic to store for nest or food. Like raccoon's squirrels can also damage the insulation with nesting, droppings and urine. Common diseases found in squirrel or rodent droppings is the hanta virus. A disease causing respiratory problems. The biggest problems squirrels cause in your attic is the chewing of wires. 25-30 percent of all house fires are caused by rodents chewing on the wires inside your attic and walls
How to Get Rid of Squirrels?
Squirrels are generally trapped in a live trap during the day or in some cases at night. Once the squirrels are trapped and relocated we can make all the necessary repairs to prevent the return of squirrels. Another method we have used in the past is an exclusion method. For flying squirrels this works great. They are small enough to escape through our exclusion tubes, but can not figure how to get back into them. It's also very important to repair around the hole with strong hardware cloth or aluminum flashing to prevent the squirrels from chewing back in.
Squirrel Exclusion: Sometimes large nest of squirrels have to be evicted from attics and homes. Trapping is a method we use, but exclusion is another method we have implemented into our services. With a one way trap door squirrels can leave through the opening, but not get back in. This allows squirrels to free leave the attic. Within a few days we can return to remove the trap door and seal up the hole. Because rodents are constantly chewing and gnawing to file down their teeth is is very important to seal up any entry points with either a flashing or heavy gauge hardware cloth. Spray foam will not fix these openings.
DO NOT poison or use any other toxins to get rid of squirrels in the attic. This will not work! It will kill the squirrels, but then you will end up with dead decaying rodents in your walls and buried beneath your insulation. Dead animals will get you nothing but maggots, flies, and a fowl odor. Not to mention it's very cruel to the animal. They a die slow painful death.
Here's a video of squirrel Removal Through a One-way Door
Importance of Squirrel Removal From the Attic
Squirrels breed twice a year and have two sets of litters. The longer you let your squirrel problem go the more and more squirrels you will be dealing with. Squirrels are notorious for chewing on wires and causing house fires. Squirrel droppings can cause the hanta-virus, like other rodents living in your attic. Squirrels chew several holes on your home because of the salt in the treated wood. Saying all of that, squirrels are just flat out annoying living in your attic. They will keep you up all night and frustrate you through the day.
Squirrel Prevention: There are some things you may do to try to keep squirrels out of the attic however like all rodents squirrels are constantly chewing on things to wear down there teeth. Hardware cloth over vents and flashing in the eaves are some things your may try to keep squirrels out. If squirrels have a nest inside they may try to chew their way back into the attic.
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