Introduction To Nuisance Squirrels
Squirrels are members of the Sciuridae family making them cousins of Prairie Dogs, Chipmunks, and Marmots. According to the information in the Integrated Taxonomic Information-System, there are well over 200 different types of Squirrels in the world and all these are categorized into three separate groups.
These three groups are known as the Tree Squirrels, the Flying Squirrels, and the Ground Squirrels. These categories each are further separated into the subgroups of Mountain Tree, Albino, Grey, Albino, American Red, Southern, Spotted, Douglas, Arizona Grey, Northern Flying, Pygmy, and many more.
Squirrels are found in every country on every continent in the world with the exceptions of Australia and Antarctica.
They are sized between 5-36 inches and can weigh up to 4 pounds. Squirrels are usually regarded as pests and are hunted with regularity the world over.
Signs Of Squirrel Infestation
Figuring out if a home has a squirrel infestation can be extremely obvious at times and at other times, if damages or noise isn’t head you would be surprised to know how long squirrels have been living in your attic. Here are some common signs of squirrel infestations in attics.
- The presence of nests in trees or the hollows of trees.
- Squirrels running into attics and chimneys, as well as on top of roofs and along utility lines.
- The appearance of chewing marks on the bark of young trees, small disturbances to the turf of the yard, and the disappearance of young garden plants.
- As an infestation progresses, the resources required to sustain the squirrel population will begin to dwindle. As such, the sight of squirrels fighting over supplies will become common.
- Squirrel droppings will become a regular sight, though as they are similar in appearance to the leavings of other species, the confirmation of their origin by a professional should be done.
- If the Squirrel infestation is within a structure noises will very likely be heard from vents and walls. This is from the movement or fighting of squirrels within them.
- Squirrels require an entry point to go from between the interior of a structure and the outdoors, Therefore, if unusual chewed areas appear on the outside of a building are observed, an infestation may be in progress.
How To Deal With An Infestation
This refers to the act of sealing any entry points in use by the Squirrels using screens and other hardware. Such entry points can include gable and roof vents, and any chewed open openings.
When squirrels invade homes, they live in attics, chimneys or hidden areas that are rarely accessed. The best way to capture them is by using live cage traps, which is the most humane way of dealing with nuisance squirrels. However, removing them is not enough. Homes should be made less squirrel friendly and favorable to keep them out for good.
Modification of Habitat
A humane way to end an infestation is to make the habitat of the infestation area inhospitable. This includes removing any sort of food sources including bird feeders and trimming any branches within eight feet of the roof to inhibit easy passage.
One method of dealing with an infestation is by reducing the population of squirrels in the infestation area. This can be accomplished by the setting of traps, though these traps must be checked at least once a day per wildlife regulations.
The usage of frightening devices such as loud noises and strobe lights is an excellent way to deal with Squirrels in cramped space. Though the pest population will eventually grow used to them and they will become ineffective.
Application Of Repellants
Though they are subject to variable effectiveness due to a host of factors, repellents can be employed to combat infestations in some cases.
Diseases Squirrels Carry
Squirrels do not often come into direct contact with people. However, when they do are even less likely to attack. Though this usually prevents the spread of illness, sometimes the spread of disease does often occur via other means.
The illnesses Squirrels carry are often bacterial and are very dangerous to humans. If a person is experiencing an infestation and exhibits any of the symptoms expressed below they should immediately seek medical help.
Squirrels can carry Salmonella in the bacteria found in their droppings. Salmonella, known in the medical community as Salmonellosis, has the common symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.
Squirrels often carry Ticks. These ticks, if spread to humans, will often cause Lyme disease. Symptoms include nerve pain, stiffness, and inflammation of the spinal cord and brain.
Tularemia is a condition that can causes the sufferer to gain ulcers and make the lymph nodes swell. These symptoms bring considerable discomfort to the afflicted.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that causes fever, vomiting, headaches, jaundice of the sufferer, and various rashes. As the infection progresses kidney failure can occur.
As already been mentioned, squirrels are not known to attack humans. However, in the rare cases that they do, they sometimes pass on the infection of rabies.
Squirrel infestation is one common problem you might have to deal with at one point or another. Considering how destructive these rodents are, it is always advisable to have them removed before they can make your property a breeding ground.
Hiring a professional squirrel removal expert is one way of ensuring a safe and effective removal squirrel removal from your home.