Did you know that a squirrel can jump as far as 10 feet from the branch of a tree to the top of your home?
More than just an annoyance, squirrels can create a fire hazard when they chew through the wiring in your home. When squirrels choose to enter your attic to nest, the most effective way to prevent them from eating the electrical wiring is to evict them from your attic. This eliminates the fire hazards the squirrels’ chewing causes as well as eliminates the health hazards that arise from having squirrel feces and urine in your attic.
Here are a few tips for keeping squirrels from causing serious damage to your home’s wiring and your safety:
1. Thoroughly inspect your attic for tell-tale signs of squirrels. Signs include droppings, or areas where your attic’s insulation has been ripped apart and piled in what could be nests. Check for wires missing their insulated covering or show signs of chewing and listen for scratching noises in your attic, especially after dark, when nesting is most active.
2. Look closely around all of the edges of your attic, where the roof meets the top of the wall. You may find small holes the squirrels are using to enter your attic and take up residence. Most likely, the edges will appear chewed, as believe it or not, the squirrels are smart enough to take advantage of already existing holes and making them larger so they can get inside and nest.
3. Create an unwelcome and “anti-squirrel” environment in your attic. Play a radio or install a flashing light, both of which will annoy the squirrels and encourage them to take up residence elsewhere. If you’ve installed a one-way door, the squirrel will use the flap to exit and not be able to re-enter.
4. Once you’re absolutely certain they’re gone, patch the holes they’ve used to previously enter. The squirrels may have already nested, meaning there could be baby squirrels hidden in nests around your attic. Check very closely to be sure the mothers have taken the babies, otherwise they could die in your attic.
5. Trim the branches of your trees so that they end at least 10 to 12 feet from the top of your home. Most squirrels can’t jump further than that, so this should prevent squirrels from reaching your roof and subsequently the wires in your attic.
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