pest-management

Do I have Squirrels in My House?

Is scratching in your walls and attic driving you nuts?  Are squirrels running on your roof or on the power lines leading to your house? Do you see them disappearing above your gutters?  Does it sound like something is knocking on your ceiling?  You, my friend, likely have yourself a good old-fashioned squirrel problem.

What Are the Signs of Squirrels in My House?

If you hear scampering in your attic, knocking noises above your head, or scratching in the ceiling and walls between 5:00am-7:00am or between 4:00pm-6:00pm, you quite possibly have squirrels in your home.  If it is a pregnant squirrel that has chosen your home to birth her young, she will then look at it as her home.  It won’t be long until you have a family of squirrels enjoying the benefits and bounty of your home as protection from the elements.  The longer they remain the more potential danger to your biggest investment-your home.

Squirrels 101

Gray squirrels are the primary squirrel species found in the Greater St. Louis region.  The average gray squirrel is 20 inches in length, but half of that is made up of the iconic wide, bushy tail.  Most adult females first breed in December or January, with a small percentage of older females breeding again in June of each year. Each litter consists of 3-5 young, who spend the first three months in the nest before heading out to discover the world.

What’s so bad about a Squirrel?

In a word: Damage.  While many wildlife visitors to your property are merely a nuisance, a squirrel can pose a significant threat to property, health and welfare.  Squirrels are avid chewers and the bark on your trees and shrubs are of particular interest to them.  During the fall and winter, squirrels will often enter homes and businesses for shelter, while in the spring they enter to bear and raise their young.  Many structure fires of unknown origin are believed to be caused by pests, such as squirrels, gnawing into electrical wires.  These zealous chewers have also been known to destroy wiring in cars.

Disease is also a concern where squirrels are concerned.  They are known carriers of and capable of transmitting, the following diseases; leptospirosis, salmonellosis, tularemia, encephalitis, typhus and in very rare cases, rabies.  Lyme disease is also spread by the ticks that squirrels carry.

The First Steps to Control Squirrels

Scratching in the walls and attic, and/or knocking noises above your head, can also be the calling cards of mice, raccoons, birds or opossums.  An inspection by Holper’s is the only way to determine which pest has invaded your home. After consulting with you to pinpoint where the noises have been heard, your Holper’s technician will inspect the gutter line and the roof, looking for entry points and damage.  If no obvious entry points are found, the attic will also be investigated to help ID your pest(s).

Reclaiming You Home or Business

Once our Holper’s technician confirms that you do have squirrels, they can begin to formulate a customized treatment plan addressing not only the infestation, but also the damage.  Variables that will be evaluated are the construction of your home, the location/height of the entry points, and the types of entry (e.g. gable vents, mushroom vents, gutter line, dormers, etc.).  Consideration of these will determine the type of trap(s) used. While the trapping phase is progressing, Holper’s will monitor activity at the entry points.  Monitoring is done to ensure that no animals remain in the structure.  Since every infestation is different, the length of time for the completion of trapping will vary by population density; however, most Holper clients find this phase to be over within 30 day or less.

Continued Pest Management with Holper’s

Prevention of additional infestations is always the goal that Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions has for our clients. Once it has been confirmed that no activity has occurred at the monitoring site(s) for at least seven days, Holper’s starts the final step; repairing the damage done by the squirrels.  The goal of a Holper’s repair is to blend in so seamlessly with the surrounding area that it cannot be detected.  To keep squirrels from entering through a chimney, Holper’s recommends and installs approved chimney screens and rain caps. It is also wise to keep trees trimmed back 8 to 12 feet from the structure to aid in reducing access to the roof.

Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions can help keep your home or business free of squirrels and all other pests!  Call us today at 314 544-7378!