While squirrels can appear cute and friendly, they can be an absolute nuisance for homeowners. Let’s take a closer look at these rodents and the surprising amount of destruction they can cause.
Call in a Professional
Human encounters with a squirrel can cause cuts or bites that can spread disease. If Squirrels are spotted near the home, it’s a great idea to contact a licensed professional about squirrel removal as soon as possible. The pest control or wildlife removal specialist will be better equipped and has specialized training to handle problem rodents.
The season you are most likely to encounter a squirrel will depend mainly on what type is near the property. Squirrels are divided up into three main types, flying squirrel, tree squirrel, and ground squirrel. While most squirrels are active year-round, the fall and spring are most active in the food search.
Flying squirrels do not fly in the same way that a bird flies. This squirrel species has a thin, furry skin membrane that runs from the tip of their front paw to the end of their back paw that they use to glide from tree branch to tree branch while hunting for food. The squirrels can control their position by a slight movement of their limbs. The animals can be found throughout Canada and the eastern United States.
These squirrels are generally more active at night. Based on studies completed by scientists at Northland College in Wisconsin, all species of North American flying squirrels are fluorescent under UV light. These species do not hibernate during the winter.
Tree Squirrels do not have the furry membrane of their flying cousins and are the most common squirrel found in North America. Tree squirrels make their nest in trees, attics, and other high places. These squirrels are the most likely culprits for damage to home roof and attic spaces.
Once a tree squirrel gains entrance into the home, the destruction can be extreme. These rodents will chew and gnaw on any plywood and rafters that they can access, leading to extensive damage to the house. Cases have been reported of squirrels chewing through wires and causing electrical damage and power outages in the house.
Ground squirrels, as their name implies, live in underground burrows. It is not uncommon for several ground squirrels to build an underground labyrinth burrow by working together. These squirrels hibernate each year from September until March and are found throughout the United States and the western parts of Canada.
While the biggest threats to property from the tree and flying squirrels are usually the roof and attic, the most significant danger is the foundation with the ground squirrel. The extensive burrows built by these creatures can place the foundation of a home in peril by burrowing underneath and causing cracks. In the worst-case scenario, this can lead to structural instability for the entire house.
In addition to the damage caused to property, these rodents and their droppings are a threat to human health. While conditions like Tularemia and Rabies are spread by contact with squirrels, sometimes humans can become sick without even contacting the critter directly. Diseases like Lyme Disease occur from ticks carried by the squirrel, and salmonellosis is a bacteria that lives in squirrel feces.