Know Your Enemy: Squirrels

The St. Louis squirrel is a polarizing creature, one that is part of St. Louis lore for more than a few reasons. As is  the task of squirrel removal. Thanks to an improbable and joyously memorable appearance during the 2011 MLB Playoffs, the Rally Squirrel forever changed how we think and feel about those cute, furry and allegedly lucky critters. It’s hard to hate on squirrels in St. Louis, that is until they go bump in the night and scratch-scratch in your walls at the crack of dawn.

Squirrels are messy, destructive, and noisy pests once they enter your home. Squirrel removal can be a tricky task, which is why you need to know your enemy and learn how to get rid of squirrels. Without proper squirrel removal techniques, you’ll go nuts trying to get rid of squirrels while they chew holes in your attic, track in nesting materials, and disrupt the peace making baby squirrels or searching for food. Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions is your St. Louis squirrel removal expert, and we’re here to help.

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Appearance

Squirrels are medium-sized rodents with an unmistakable appearance, mostly thanks to their strong population and presence in pop culture. Unlike other wildlife, squirrels are not hard to identify. Squirrels in St. Louis are almost exclusively of the gray squirrel variation. We do have a presence of red or fox squirrels, but they rarely enter homes. St. Louis squirrel removal almost entirely focuses on the gray squirrel.

The gray squirrel has predominantly gray and sometimes brownish fur with a white underside. It has a large bushy tail and big eyes. The bushy tail isn’t just a cuteness multiplier; squirrels use it to communicate anxiety or aggression, impress mates, or aid in balance when climbing. In the cold St. Louis winter, squirrels will use their tails as a blanket to keep warm. Then in the blistering hot St. Louis summer squirrels will use their tails as a fan or shade from the sun!

Behavior

Squirrels are scatter-hoarders, meaning they gather and hide small stockpiles of food for later recovery. Each season squirrels will make thousands of small caches! They have incredible spatial memory which is aided by landmarks so not one stockpile is lost or forgotten. To throw off threats to their hard earned food supply, a paranoid squirrel will even pretend to bury food by digging a hole, faking the placement of food inside of it, and cover the empty hole back up.

The gray squirrel reproduces twice a year – December to February and May to June. The first litter is born sometime between February and March and the second litter between June and July. On average, two to six young are born in each litter but the number can be as high as eight. In the wild, squirrels will often live approximately 12.5 years.

Habitat

Squirrels are cute when they’re gathering food and rushing around trees. Sentiments change, though, when they’re nesting in your attic, digging holes in your structure, and chewing through wires. Squirrels are most populous around large areas of mature, dense woodland ecosystems. Thus, squirrels are very common in wooded communities such as Chesterfield or Wildwood. Urban squirrels are a big problem in urban areas, too. We love our parks in St. Louis – but so do the squirrels. A dense supply of older structures near large parks filled with mature trees make for a strong squirrel population in St. Louis urban areas such as University City, Tower Grove, and Forest Park.

Squirrels typically nest in attics where the conditions are favorable to construct a home. Since attics are dry, have easy access to nearby trees, and are spacious enough to raise a litter, they represent an attractive permanent residence unless you intervene with proper knowledge of how to get rid of squirrels. The risk of squirrels in your attic is that they leave droppings and urine, make a lot of noise, and even create fire hazards as they chew through wires and insulation.

Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions is your St. Louis squirrel removal expert. Continue reading to learn more about how to get rid of squirrels or contact us now to speak with your neighborhood pest control professional!

How to Get Rid of Squirrels

Squirrel removal can be maddening at best; costly and destructive at worst. There are a number of theories on how to get rid of squirrels, but decades of experience as your St. Louis squirrel removal expert has taught us that only a few approaches offer a true shot at achieving victory over your bushy tailed enemy. If you don’t have squirrels in your house yet, do seriously consider prevention. It’s much easier to keep squirrels out than it is to remove them.

Point of entry should be your first point of defense. Squirrels usually access your attic by climbing trees near your structure. Thus, make sure to trim branches so that the nearest perch is six to eight feet from the house. You can make the trunk more difficult to climb up by fastening about a two-foot band of sheet metal around the trunk six to eight feet above the ground.

Also, regularly inspect your home for entry points. Attics are usually too warm in the summer for squirrels, so this is a good time to block entry holes. You don’t want to block holes in colder seasons when squirrels might already be inside because they will either die inside, causing an awful odor and necessitate the help of a squirrel removal expert, or they will rip apart your structure trying to get out or back in. Watch for existing holes that need to be sealed up, cracks that squirrels could exploit, or weak or rotting areas that might be easily penetrated.

If it’s too late for prevention, and you do need to know how to get rid of squirrels, trapping and removal is your best option. In St. Louis, damage-causing squirrels may be trapped out of season without a permit (Code 3 CSR 10-4.130 Owner May Protect Property; Public Safety). However, trapping requires a special skill and without the help of a squirrel removal expert you’ll likely bump in to a number of headaches and hidden costs. For more information about trapping methods acceptable in St. Louis, refer to the Missouri Department of Conservation. Moth balls and commercial spray are also options, but not recommended. Not only are they toxic, but they offer short-term prevention at best and often have to be reapplied as rain washes away their impact.

Holper’s Approach

Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions is your St. Louis squirrel removal expert. We get rid of squirrels by understanding how squirrels behave and why. We study your property and your home to understand exactly where they are entering and where they are hiding. With over 30 years of experience, we know that one size doesn’t fit all. The approach to trapping is unique to your situation, which is why we apply local knowledge, combined with pest control expertise, to ensure that the problem is solved and not just concealed.

Our squirrel removal techniques are humane, non-invasive, and safe for your home. By trapping the squirrels we do not introduce any dangerous poisons and we are able to confirm effective removal (instead of leaving a dead animal hidden in your walls somewhere). So if your home and peace of mind are under assault by the annoying gray squirrel, call Holper’s today (314-732-1413) and discover how we can set you free from these pests with precision and effectiveness.