With the fall and winter comes all the cozy critters: rabbits, (rein)deer, birds, owls, and squirrels. While pictures and figurines of these furry creatures may look great as a part of your home decor, you certainly don’t want them taking up residence in your home. Unfortunately, many squirrels and birds choose to build their nests in gutter systems and attics.
How Squirrels Can Cause Damage
As temperatures drop, squirrels start looking for places to hunker down for the winter months. And, to a squirrel, nothing looks more inviting than an attic. It’s protected from the winds. The insulation is perfect material to build a warm nest. And the four walls protect them and their young from any predators.
Gutters systems are also inviting. If your gutters are clogged with debris, squirrels will see it as an easy base for their nests.
When squirrels build a nest in your gutters, they will undoubtedly clog your gutter system. Furthermore, they will be more likely to chew the wood around your home. Squirrels have a strong instinct to gnaw and chew since their teeth are always growing. Consequently, if they build a nest on or near your home, they will be more likely to chew and cause damage to the woodwork around your home. Squirrels chew up eaves, fascia, soffits, and decks. They may even chew electrical wiring.
Sometimes a squirrel may first build a nest in your gutters but eventually chew a way into your attic. Once in your attic, they will not only use it as a literal breeding ground. They will also chew up insulation and dirty the attic. Because of the destroyed attic insulation and the holes chewed through the wood, your home will become less insulated overall.
So how do you prevent these (once cute, now pesky) creatures from entering your home? Below are five tips to keep your home from becoming a squirrel boarding house.
How to Keep Squirrels Out of Your Home
- Avoid leaving food scraps around your home.
- Have your home’s exterior inspected for any wood rot.
- Keep tree branches trimmed at least 6-8 feet away from your home to keep squirrels from easily accessing your roof.
- Regularly clean your gutters to prevent nest-building.
- Install gutters guards to prevent debris accumulation.
How to “Evict” Your Squirrel Family
Already have squirrels in your attic? Before hiring someone to close up the entry points, you will first need to hire a wildlife removal expert to remove the squirrel family. If you just close up the entry points, the squirrels will find their way back in.
Once someone safely removes the squirrels, you will want to hire a carpenter or siding specialist to inspect and close up the entry points. If your home is older, you may also have some wood rot you will want to replace to prevent other squirrel families from entering.
Lastly, you will want to have a gutter expert inspect your gutters to make sure no areas were damaged. Depending on the age of your gutters and the extent of damage, you may need a minor repair or a partial or full gutter replacement.
Have squirrels damaged your gutter system? Or are you looking to make your home “squirrel-proof”? Contact Quality Seamless Gutters! We specialize in gutter cleanings, gutter guards, and partial or full gutter replacements. Need roof work done as well? We’ve got you covered.