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Eastern Gray Squirrel

Eastern Gray Squirrel

The most common squirrel found in Wisconsin is the Eastern Gray Squirrel. Most likely when someone talks about squirrels, the first image in your mind is the Eastern Grey Squirrel. As such they are also one of the most common wildlife species that can invade your home. Wisconsin is also home to Flying Squirrels, Red Squirrels, and Black Squirrels.

Squirrels pose two risks to the people living in a home they have invaded. While both can be rare, it is important to note them. First, as with any wild animal, there is a risk of disease. For a human to contract a disease from squirrels it would require a bite or ingesting something that is contaminated with their feces.

As squirrels rarely enter the living area of a home, the risk of contracting a disease from a squirrel is small. Second, and more likely than the first, is the risk of an electrical fire. Squirrels are of the rodent family (rodent means gnawing) as such their front teeth never stop growing and so they have to constantly gnaw to keep them worn down. They will gnaw on just about anything, including electrical wires that may be running through your attic. And just one spark can start a fire in your attic and cause serious damage to your home.

Squirrels will most often enter your house via the roof. Most commonly they enter where two roof lines intersect. Most home builders and roofers pay little attention to the small (sometimes large) gaps left between the soffit or fascia and the shingles, where the roof lines intersect. These small gaps, to a squirrel, are the same as leaving your front door open. And even if the gap is a touch too small, for the squirrel to get through, they may gnaw the opening larger to allow them easier access. Also, a squirrel can gnaw through wood fascia or soffits, especially if they are rotting, and making their own entrance.

There are two things that can help prevent squirrels from entering your home. First, and likely the only step needed, is to keep trees cut back 6 to 8 feet from the roof. And not just horizontally, branches above and below the roof line need to be cut back. A bush or small tree growing alongside your house that is a few feet short of the roof line may still allow a squirrel access to your roof. Second, is maintenance. While cutting back tree branches may solve most problems, squirrels have been known to scale houses with log, brick, stone, stucco, and other course siding materials. As such make sure all gaps along the roof line are completely sealed and that any rotting wood is replaced. Do not use foam or steel wool as squirrels will just crew through it or pull it out, you will need to use metal materials like hardware cloth or sheet metal and make sure they are firmly secured to the existing structure. A good rule of thumb is if your finger can fit in the gap so can squirrels.

If squirrels are already in your home this is where Prompt Action Pest Control can help. While it may be possible to “do it yourself”, to save a buck, if you are not experienced in wildlife control, doing it yourself may end up costing you more than if you had called a professional. Squirrels can come and go at various times, sealing a hole without first making sure all the squirrels are out may cause them to enter the living area of your home.

If they get into the living area they will be panicked and running around looking for a way out. They can knock over items as large as lamps and they will try to chew out around the edges of windows, all of this could lead to several hundred, if not thousands of dollars in damage. Also, seldom is there just one squirrel, so even if you see one leave you may still trap others inside. Also once the squirrel has been living in your house they will try much harder than normal to get back in if the entrance has been blocked.

Don’t allow further damage to occur. Call us today!