The Dangers of Squirrel Nesting Season

Spring is squirrel nesting season, which can be very destructive to homes as squirrels will be breaking their way into attics to have their babies, chewing holes in your house to gain entry and ripping up insulation to make their nests. Thankfully, the licensed wildlife removal experts at Summit Wildlife Removal can help remove the squirrels safely and humanely, and install preventative measures to make sure they don’t come back.

Squirrel Development

During the spring season is when squirrels have their babies. Squirrels often mate in January/February, with a gestation period of 45 days. After these 45 days, squirrels will give birth to a litter, typically consisting of 2-4 kits. These squirrel babies are born pink, hairless and helpless, and don’t open their eyes until they are 4 weeks old. When the squirrels are this age, they completely rely on their mother. By the time they are 6 weeks old they are able to leave the nest, and at 10 weeks, they can fully be on their own. While these squirrels can be adorable, what they do to your house, attic and insulation is anything but.

Squirrel Nests and Attic Insulation

Squirrels are looking for a warm shelter safe from predators, and your attic is often their ideal option. Attics are typically full of insulation, which squirrels will rip up and use to make their nests. When nesting inside attic insulation, squirrels will not just rip it up, but also oftentimes soil it with urine and feces. When squirrels soil the attic insulation like this, it can spread diseases like leptospirosis, which, if contracted by members of your household, can make them very sick. Soiled insulation will need to be removed, the area sanitized, and the insulation replaced.

Squirrel nests can also be dangerous for your roof. If a mother squirrel is separated from its babies, it can gnaw and tear its way through your roof into your attic to find them. Squirrels will also often gain entrance to your attic through gable vents.

Summit Environmental Solutions can screen off gable vents to protect your home from squirrels and other wildlife that might want to settle down and build a nest inside your attic.

How To Tell If Squirrels Are In Your Attic

Listening for sounds made by squirrels and looking for some visual cues is the best way to tell if you have a squirrel infestation. Some telltale signs include:

  • Running or scampering sounds from the attic, this could be squirrels running around.
  • Sounds or visual signs of scratching and gnawing. Squirrels need to wear down their teeth, and they will gnaw on anything they can find.
  • A distinct, high pitched chirping that sounds like baby birds. Baby squirrels will make this sound when hungry, without their mother, or otherwise stressed.

Diseases Spread By Squirrels

Squirrels are wild animals that often carry diseases and parasites they can spread to you and your family if they take up residence inside your house. These include:

  • Leptospirosis
  • Tularemia
  • Rabies
  • Fleas
  • Ticks
  • Mites

Attic Fire Hazards from Squirrels

Squirrels are rodents, and similar to mice and rats, they have large teeth that never stop growing. Squirrels need to gnaw on anything they can in order to keep their teeth manageable, which can include beams and other structural supports in your attic.

Squirrels will also gnaw on the rubber covering around wires, which can expose the bare wiring. When this comes in contact with flammable substances like insulation, it can cause a house fire.

Squirrel Nests on Exterior of Home

Squirrels tend to build nests high up in trees, so they will gravitate towards attics when building nests inside a house. However, squirrels will also occasionally build their nests inside other parts of the house, and sometimes get stuck inside. Squirrels will build nests in eaves and soffits on your roof, and even sometimes you can find squirrels getting into your crawl space. However, crawl spaces are a more common stomping ground for critters like raccoons, opossums, rats and snakes.

Squirrels can also sometimes get inside the space between your walls, also called a “wall void”. While rare, squirrels can sometimes build nests inside your wall voids, which will become obvious to you when you hear them skittering around inside. Sometimes, a baby squirrel can get trapped inside your wall voids, where it will make a high pitched chirp as the mother tries to rescue it. If you think a baby squirrel has fallen into a wall void in your house, immediately contact a licensed humane wildlife removal service like Summit Wildlife Removal.

Resolving Squirrel Nest Issues With Summit

Letting squirrels nest inside your house is never a good idea. Squirrels can spread disease and the damage they do can let in other wildlife, like raccoons, rats, opossums, bats and snakes. The best way to deal with squirrels in the attic is to contact a professional wildlife removal service like Summit Environmental Solutions. Our expertly trained technicians can safely and humanely remove the squirrels as well as their babies, and relocate them to a wildlife rehabilitation facility.

Summit Environmental Solutions also offers preventative measures for squirrels. We can seal out areas of the home after squirrel nests are removed to keep them from coming back, which will also prevent squirrels from getting inside your house in the future. Call us at 703-337-3686 or fill out a contact form!

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