Most of us don’t mind squirrels. Some of us even deliberately leave nuts out to attract these furry little creatures but did you know that they’re actually classified a household pest?
This will come as a surprise to many because aside from being cute, squirrels very rarely pose a health threat to humans. So why exactly are they considered pests?
The first problem with squirrels is that they can cause considerable damage to electrical and telephone cables. Not only can this cause disruption to our service providers, it’s also a potential fire hazard.
The other problem with squirrels is that they frequently make themselves at home in our lofts during the cold winter months. Aside from being noisy houseguests, why is this a problem? With the absence of trees to divulge of their bark, many squirrels will turn their attention to the wooden beams in your attic. Over time, they can weaken structural integrity and cause untold damage.
In more severe cases, they can strip the protective covering from wires and cause a serious fire hazard. There are numerous instances of squirrels being blamed for causing fires due to these kinds of electrical malfunctions.
If you’re a bird watching enthusiast you’re probably already aware that squirrels can be a pain. They will happily steal any nuts, seeds and fruit which have been left in gardens to attract wild birds.
How to prevent a squirrel infestation
The first step is to seal any potential entry points around your home, including small openings and cracks around doors and windows and even chimney openings.
Keep food in airtight containers and dispose of rubbish regularly. During winter, food supplies are limited for the animals that don’t go into hibernation so if your home is providing an easy supply, you’re going to attract all sorts of pests.
It can be difficult to keep squirrels away because they’re so good at climbing. A great tip is to keep tree branches trimmed so they’re at least eight inches away from your roof. This will stop them jumping from trees onto your house and making their way into the loft.
Motion-activated lights, radio noise and ultrasonic sound producers can also help to deter squirrels and even other unwanted pests such as rats. Bear in mind however, that repellent noises can also affect your pets, causing them discomfort and anxiety. If you do have pets, make sure you shop around for the best solution for your situation and if in doubt, contact a pest control professional who will be able to provide expert advice.
Inspect wires, insulation and walls for any signs of gnaw marks as this is usually a good indication that you have some sort of pest infestation.
Please don’t attempt to eradicate a squirrel infestation yourself. Some species, such as the red squirrel are protected which means it’s illegal to harm or capture them. It’s also worth noting that it’s also an offence to destroy, even partly, an area in which a red squirrel is taking shelter.
Even though they’re not a protected species, if you manage to catch a grey squirrel, it’s illegal to release it back into the wild. They must be put down humanely and any evidence of inhumane killing will result in legal action and hefty fines.
For help eliminating a squirrel infestation, or for more information about squirrels or any other pests, please feel free to contact Prokill and we will be more than happy to help. Our accredited experts will be happy to provide you with a free, no obligation quote. What’s more, because we have a team of local experts, you can rest assured that there won’t be any long waiting times to get an appointment. Complete an online enquiry form or call us on 0800 328 9354.