Squirrels are nature’s acrobats, agile and persistent creatures that can find their way into the tiniest openings in your home.
While they may be cute and entertaining to watch from a distance, having squirrels invade your living space can lead to a host of problems, from chewed wires to damaged insulation and even potential health hazards.
So, if you’ve noticed signs of squirrel activity in your attic, walls, or other areas of your home, it’s crucial to figure out how they’re getting in.
How Do You Find Where A Squirrel Is Getting In?
There may be many points to consider, which may differ from what you initially imagined.
First of all, squirrels are very small and can squeeze through much smaller holes than you think. You shouldn’t rule out any holes because they’re too small (except for the vents in your soffit, for example).
Inspect soffits, vents, corners, and any other area where wiring or pipes enter a home.
You might find them coming in around the foundation or from your garage, climbing up walls or even on the inside of walls. Inspect decks and stairs for holes, as well as under decks.
Tracks left in the snow in the winter can provide a helpful clue (but don’t wait until winter to get rid of them).
Starting at the other end is a good idea. You can track their movements by looking for a trail where they’ve been.
Look for damaged or displaced materials like insulation, footprints in dust, chewed areas, droppings, etc., and trace them.
It might help to spread something like talcum powder around; if you know they go up there a lot, they might leave a trail in it or even track it on their way out. It is likely that they get in and out the same way.
You should spread more in that area if the tracks fade a little way, then fade again. Continually follow the path they take, finding more of it by covering just part of it.
Common House Entry Points for Squirrels
In the yard, squirrels might look adorably cute, but they quickly lose their appeal in the walls or attics of the home.
A squirrel is a fast-moving, energetic, and nimble species that excels at climbing and leaping. Since urban and suburban areas grow, nuisance pests are forced to live among humans instead of their natural habitats.
When nesting for the winter and raising their young, homes prove to be the most suitable destination.
Squirrels Are Rodents
Squirrels are rodents, but many people are unaware of this. Despite chewing on nuts and acorns with hard shells, their teeth remain healthy throughout their lives because the four teeth at the front continue to grow.
They can chew through almost any type of material a house is constructed of because of these same teeth. They might be cuter than rats, but they cause much more damage.
How Do Squirrels Get Into an Attic?
A squirrel’s daily routine involves:
- Running up and down trees.
- Jumping from branch to branch.
- Inspecting home roofs from a bird’s-eye perspective.
Squirrels don’t hibernate in winter, so gaps make an ideal winter den because they feel the warmth emanating from them.
A squirrel will chew through an unscreened vent or a tiny gap to get into an attic using the teeth on their cheeks or lips.
The most common way they reach the roof is by climbing branches near the house or through wires. Even though squirrels have ideal living conditions, they also pose health risks to the people living there.
The gap squirrels need to enter your house is only 1.5 inches. A squirrel’s most common entryway into your attic is through the following places:
The gutters are designed to handle rainwater and melting snow away from the house. In the case of blocked gutters, roof edges are deteriorated along the edge, through which squirrels can enter.
Regarding corners, this trim is used to hold your siding in place.
In roofing, this is the material that covers the underside of the overhang. It is normally made of wood or fiber cement.
Additionally, soffits prevent moisture from accumulating between rafters, which reduces the chance of mold. Soffits maintain the aesthetic appeal of your roofline. If the soffits aren’t flush with the siding, squirrels can enter.
Chimneys carry smoke and combustion gasses throughout a house from a fireplace, stove, or furnace.
It is the part of the roof that double backs to the house wall. In a home, it lies between the end of the roof and the wall.
This type of vent is located at the peak, where two sides meet on a gabled roof. Usually, they have louvers that allow air to flow into the attic, which helps it stay cool in hot weather.
Roof ridge vents provide continuous exhaust ventilation at the highest point of an attic through the use of air exhaust vents. In the winter, squirrels are attracted to the warm air coming out of these vents.
Typically, these are longboards that run along the lower outer edge of a roof, covering the entire roofline. By keeping water out, they help prevent flooding.
Rubber matting covers the cylindrical vents on the roof connected to the plumbing system that allows gases to escape.
Wall and Crawl Space Squirrel Nests
There is no doubt that attics are the most common places to find squirrels in a home, but property owners should also be aware that squirrels can also enter homes through wall vents and crawlspaces.
Typically, crawl spaces are unfinished spaces between the ground and the first floor that are not tall enough to stand in.
With it, plumbing, wiring, and other household systems can be accessed without excavation. Crawl spaces aren’t found in every home.
The vents are located on the side of a house for ventilation in kitchens, bathrooms, and dryers. Their resemblance to tree cavities makes them perfect nesting sites for squirrels.
What Are Other Signs Of Squirrels Living In An Attic?
You can identify if you have a squirrel problem by looking out for a variety of signs.
You should remember that these signs apply to other types of wildlife, such as raccoons and mice.
All 3 animal groups can usually be recognized based on very similar signs.
For an accurate determination, you’ll need the services of a wildlife removal company, especially if you’ve never seen the animal.
Several signs are common to this condition:
You can tell if outdoor or indoor holes in your home were made by wildlife if one can see them easily.
- As a result of wildlife tearing or destroying attic insulation to make nests, there may be exposed and ripped insulation in the attic
- The electrical system throughout your home may be damaged by chewed-out wires in the attic or walls
- You’ll find wooden chips scattered throughout your attic from animals chewing on it
- There is moisture (urine and feces) visible on the ceiling of your attic from moisture seeping through the attic floor
- In the middle of the night, you hear noises like scattering in your attic or walls
- In your home, you observe strange behavior and reactions towards your pets who hear or sense the animal’s presence
These are the most common signs that a homeowner should look out for. There are also a few other indicators.
They won’t be visible to you because unless you have experience with wildlife removal, you probably won’t notice them. It is at this point that professionals are called upon.
Squirrel Control and Exclusion
A properly maintained property is the best way to prevent squirrels from entering a home. Look out of your attic during the daytime to see if there are any areas where you can see out. You need to seal all those gaps.
Chimneys and vents should be capped, or mesh should be placed over them. Ensure that the tree branches in your yard don’t provide squirrels with easy access to your roof by trimming them.
You should contact a wildlife specialist if the squirrel resides in your yard. Such a person will be able to humanely remove them. It is common for squirrels to become aggressive when approached, especially if they have kits nearby.
Additionally, they spread parasites and diseases. Professional squirrel removal is the fastest and most efficient solution for a squirrel infestation in an attic.
The question is, in my opinion, mostly unanswerable. As a result, the question is no longer “where” are they entering.
Squirrels are incredibly determined little animals. Once they have determined your home is theirs, the biggest concern is changing their minds. Optional options include:
- Establish the most likely entry point set up a trap, and relocate the animals (ALL of them),
- Ensure all points of entry are covered with metal flashing and hardware cloth.
- In the hands of a professional, squirrel removal can be a simple and noninvasive process.
An untrained homeowner will often experience the exact opposite outcome. You should not risk further damage to your home by attempting to save a few bucks and learning a few tricks.