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Squirrels are small mammals known for their acrobatic abilities and fondness for climbing trees. While they may seem harmless, they can cause significant damage when they find their way into attics. Understanding why squirrels go into attics and the potential impact of their infestations is crucial for homeowners. This article will provide an overview of squirrel damage in attics, how to identify squirrel infestations, steps for getting rid of squirrels, preventing future infestations, repairing damage, and the cost and insurance coverage associated with squirrel-related issues.

The Impact of Squirrel Infestations in Attics

Squirrel infestations in attics can have several negative consequences for homeowners. Firstly, squirrels have sharp teeth and are natural chewers. They will gnaw on various materials in the attic, including wooden beams, electrical wiring, and insulation. This chewing behavior can lead to structural damage and pose a fire hazard if electrical wiring is compromised.

Furthermore, squirrels are capable of carrying fleas, ticks, and other parasites that can spread diseases to humans and pets. The accumulation of droppings and urine from squirrels can also create unsanitary conditions in the attic, leading to odor, mold growth, and potential health risks.

Identifying Squirrel Infestations

It is essential to know the signs of a squirrel infestation in your attic to address the problem promptly. Some common indications include:

  • Noises: Hearing scurrying, scratching, or running sounds coming from the attic, especially during the daytime, may suggest the presence of squirrels.
  • Droppings: Squirrel droppings are small, cylindrical in shape, and resemble black grains of rice.
  • Damaged Entry Points: Squirrels will create openings or enlarge existing ones to gain access to the attic. Look for chewed holes or gnaw marks on exterior vents, fascia boards, or roof edges.
  • Nesting Materials: Squirrels will build nests using various materials like leaves, twigs, and insulation. Finding these materials in your attic is a sign of their presence.

Getting Rid of Squirrels

When dealing with a squirrel infestation, it’s crucial to handle the situation safely and effectively. Here are steps to consider:

  1. Identify Entry Points: Inspect the exterior of your home to locate potential entry points and seal them off. This will prevent new squirrels from entering the attic.
  2. Use Repellents: Natural repellents such as predator urine or certain plant substances like peppermint oil can be effective in keeping squirrels away from your attic.
  3. Implement Trapping Methods: Live trapping is a humane way to capture squirrels. Once trapped, release them far away from your property to prevent their return.
  4. Seek Professional Help: If the infestation is severe, or if you are unsure of how to proceed, it is recommended to contact a wildlife control expert. They have the necessary skills and experience to handle squirrels safely and effectively.

It is important to note that trying to remove squirrels on your own can be hazardous, as they may become aggressive when cornered or feel threatened.

Preventing Squirrel Infestations

Preventing squirrel infestations is crucial to avoid potential damage and health hazards. Here are some prevention strategies:

  • Trim Overhanging Branches: Squirrels often use tree branches as access points to your roof. Trim any limbs that hang over your home to deter them from gaining entry.
  • Secure Roof Openings: Ensure that all vents, chimneys, and gaps in your roof are properly sealed to prevent squirrels from finding their way inside.
  • Install Squirrel-Proof Barriers: Adding physical barriers like mesh screens or metal flashing around potential entry points can discourage squirrels from attempting to enter.
  • Keep Your Yard Clean: Removing fallen fruits, birdseed, and other food sources from your yard can make it less attractive to squirrels.

While these measures can significantly reduce the risk of squirrel infestations, it’s important to remain vigilant and regularly inspect your attic for signs of activity.

Repairing and Preventing Future Damage

Once you have successfully removed squirrels from your attic, it is crucial to repair any damage caused and take steps to prevent future infestations.

A wildlife management service can help with repairing squirrel damage, including fixing chewed electrical wires, replacing insulation, and sealing entry points. They can also clean and sanitize the attic to eliminate any lingering odors and potential health risks.

Properly sealing openings and implementing preventive measures, such as installing sturdy vent covers and reinforcing weak areas, can go a long way in preventing future squirrel infestations.

The Cost and Insurance Coverage

The cost of removing squirrels from your attic can vary depending on the severity of the infestation and the required repairs. It is advisable to obtain quotes from reputable wildlife control companies to determine the specific cost for your situation.

As for insurance coverage, standard homeowners’ insurance policies typically do not cover squirrel-related damage. However, it is recommended to review your policy or consult with your insurance provider to understand your coverage options or if additional coverage is available.


Squirrel damage in attics can be a significant problem for homeowners. By understanding the impact of squirrel infestations, promptly identifying signs of their presence, taking appropriate measures to remove them, preventing future infestations, and repairing any damage caused, homeowners can protect their property and ensure a safe living environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use mothballs to repel squirrels?

A: Mothballs are not recommended for repelling squirrels. While they may have some deterrent effect, they are toxic and can pose health risks to humans and pets when used indoors. It is best to use natural repellents or seek professional help.

Q: How long does it take to remove squirrels from the attic?

A: The duration of squirrel removal can vary depending on the infestation size and the chosen removal method. It may take several days to a few weeks to completely eliminate squirrels from the attic.

Q: Are there any legal restrictions on removing squirrels?

A: Local, state, and federal laws may regulate the trapping and removal of squirrels. It is advisable to check with your local authorities or consult a wildlife control expert to ensure compliance with any applicable regulations.

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