squirrels inside a roof

How to Get Rid of Squirrels in the Attic

8 minutes

While these charming creatures may be delightful outdoors, having them take up residence in your attic can lead to significant problems. Squirrels cause structural damage, create a mess, and even pose potential health risks. Dealing with these critters can be frustrating, but fear not! This guide will walk you through proactive and humane methods to evict squirrels from your attic and prevent their return  

In the following sections, we will help you understand why squirrels seek shelter in your attic, how to identify their presence, and why it is crucial to adopt ethical approaches to handle the situation. We will provide practical steps for DIY removal and tips to prevent future infestations.  

We aim to empower you with the knowledge and tools needed to address this issue confidently. Let us step towards pest-free living and ensure a harmonious coexistence with wildlife.  

How do Squirrels Get into Your Home?  

Squirrels can enter your home through various means, utilizing their remarkable agility and persistence. They often exploit existing vulnerabilities, such as gaps or holes in the exterior of your house. Squirrels are adept climbers, so overhanging branches and nearby trees can serve as launchpads for their entry. They may also access your home through damaged roof shingles or attic vents. Additionally, loose or improperly sealed attic windows and eaves offer an invitation for these agile creatures to find their way in. Once a squirrel identifies a potential entry point, they use their sharp teeth to gnaw and enlarge the opening, granting them access to your attic or living space. Being vigilant about addressing and promptly sealing potential entry points can help prevent squirrel intrusions and protect your home from these persistent creatures.   

What are the Signs of Squirrels in Your Attic?  

You can identify signs of squirrels in a home through various observable cues. One of the most common indicators involves hearing audible sounds emanating from the attic, such as scurrying, scratching, or chewing noises. As these agile creatures explore and forage, they leave visible teeth marks on electrical wires, walls, flooring, or around windows. Additionally, you might spot a nest constructed from materials like leaves, paper, cotton batting, or string, which serves as a clear sign of squirrel habitation. If there is water damage in the attic that did not previously exist, it could be a result of rainwater seeping into chewed or damaged wood or from missing or damaged shingles and flashing. Finally, if you notice an unusual odor coming from your vents, it might be attributed to squirrel urine or the presence of decaying squirrels. By being attentive to these signs, you can identify a squirrel infestation early and take prompt measures to address the issue effectively. 

Why Did a Squirrel Choose Your Home?  

Squirrels are attracted to home attics due to the warmth, protection, and abundant nesting materials they offer. The enclosed space provides a safe shelter, especially during adverse weather conditions. Attics near trees or bird feeders become convenient food sources for squirrels. Easy access through openings in the house and the proximity to human settlements contribute to their presence. Taking preventive measures to seal entry points and limit food access can discourage squirrels from making your attic their home. 

How can Squirrels Damage Your Home?

Squirrels can cause a range of damage to your home’s attic and living space, leading to potential safety hazards, costly repairs, and inconvenience. Here are some ways squirrels can wreak havoc: 

  • Chewed Wires and Electrical Hazards: Squirrels are notorious chewers, and they may gnaw on electrical wires in your attic. This behavior poses a significant fire risk, potentially leading to electrical malfunctions and house fires. 
  • Damaged Insulation: Squirrels may rip apart insulation materials to create nests. Damaged insulation can compromise your home’s energy efficiency, leading to increased heating and cooling costs. 
  • Structural Damage: Squirrels are adept at burrowing and digging. They may create openings and tunnels in your attic’s structure, weakening support beams and potentially compromising the integrity of your roof. 
  • Water Leaks: If squirrels damage your roof or attic vents, it can lead to water leaks during rain or snowfall, resulting in water damage to your home’s interior.
  • Contamination and Odors: Squirrels leave droppings and urine in their nesting areas. The accumulation of waste can lead to foul odors and contaminate the attic space, posing health risks to you and your family. 
  • Noise Disturbance: Squirrels are active during the day and can create a lot of noise in your attic as they scurry around, scratch, and gnaw, causing disturbances and disrupting your peace. 
  • Nesting Materials: Squirrels gather nesting materials, such as leaves, twigs, and other debris, which can create a mess in your attic, obstruct ventilation and create even more of a hazard for fires. 
  • Insect Infestations: Squirrels may bring ticks, fleas, mites, and other parasites into your home, potentially leading to secondary pest infestations. 
  • Access Points for Other Pests: The openings created by squirrels can attract other pests, such as raccoons, mice, or birds, further exacerbating your infestation problems. 
  • Damage to Personal Belongings: If you store items in your attic, squirrels may damage or destroy them while searching for nesting materials or food. 

How to get Squirrels out of the Attic 

To get rid of squirrels in your attic effectively, you can employ a combination of safe, humane, and proactive methods. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you tackle the squirrel infestation: 

  1. Identify Entry Points: Before taking action, carefully inspect your attic to identify the entry points squirrels use to access your home. Seal off these openings with sturdy materials like metal mesh or steel wool to prevent new squirrels from entering.
  2. Repellent: While using repellents like ammonia or apple cider vinegar might deter squirrels temporarily, they are not always effective in the long term. Squirrels can become accustomed to strong smells, making the repellents less potent over time. However, you can still use them in combination with other methods.
  3. Bright Lights and Loud Music: Squirrels prefer dark and quiet spaces, so making your attic less appealing can encourage them to leave. Turn on bright lights and play loud music or loud noises for a few hours during the day to disturb their habitat.
  4. Remove Attractants: Squirrels are often attracted to food sources near your home. Keep bird feeders, fallen fruits, and pet food indoors to discourage squirrels from coming close to your property.
  5. Use Squirrel Traps: Live traps can be an effective way to catch squirrels. Place bait like nuts or peanut butter inside the trap, and when a squirrel enters to grab the bait, the door will close, trapping the animal inside. Check local regulations and laws to ensure you trap squirrels and release them far from your home.
  6. Offer Alternative Nesting Sites: If possible, create or provide alternative nesting sites for squirrels away from your home. Erect a squirrel nesting box in a tree or other locations away from your attic.
  7. Seek Professional Help: If the infestation persists or the squirrels are causing extensive damage, it is best to consult a wildlife removal expert. They can safely and humanely remove the squirrels from your attic, identify and seal entry points, and provide recommendations to prevent future infestations.

How to Deter Squirrels from Your Home in the Future 

To effectively deter squirrels from your home, consider implementing the following measures: 

  • Remove Bird Feeders: Temporarily remove bird feeders from your property as they attract squirrels easily. Wait until the squirrel problem is resolved before putting them back.  
  • Eliminate Food Sources: Clear your yard of fallen fruits and scraps that might serve as food for squirrels. Store pet and livestock food in metal bins with secure lids. 
  • Trim Trees and Brush: Cut back trees and brush that are too close to your home or hang over your roof. Squirrels can use these as bridges to access your house. 
  • Repair Roofing: Replace any damaged shingles or flashing on your roof to prevent squirrels from finding entry points. 
  • Secure Chimney Cap: Ensure your chimney cap fits securely, leaving no gaps for squirrels to enter. 
  • Seal Holes and Cracks: Inspect your home for holes or cracks in the exterior and seal them with silicone caulk or repair the damaged siding or roofing to prevent squirrel access. 

By diligently implementing these measures, you can make your property less appealing to squirrels, discouraging them from seeking shelter and food in and around your home. Remember that a combination of preventive steps and humane strategies will help create a squirrel-free environment while respecting the natural behavior of these fascinating creatures. 

Contact DaBella to Learn More About Our Exterior Replacement Services 

Are squirrels wreaking havoc on your roof and attic? Don’t fret! DaBella has the perfect solution for you. While we do not handle extermination or repairs caused by these furry invaders, we specialize in comprehensive roof removal and replacement services. Our team of experts will replace your damaged roof with top-quality materials and ensure a squirrel-free environment by addressing potential entry points during the installation process. 

Say goodbye to squirrel-induced headaches and welcome a durable, beautiful roof that will stand the test of time. Protect your home from future infestations and enjoy peace of mind with DaBella’s professional roofing services. Contact us today at 844-DaBella for a free consultation and experience the difference between a squirrel-proof, expertly installed roof that will keep your home safe and secure for years to come.