This site was written by a multiple license-holding (semi-retired) pest control professional with years of experience dealing with Squirrels in Attic and rats in Attic:
Squirrels are Rodents "Rodent" comes from the Latin word which means "to chew or gnaw". Rodents such as Squirrels in Attic are classified as rodents because of their constant need to gnaw and chew on such things as Attic wood and Attic wires. Squirrels' front incisor teeth grow about 1/2 a foot annually. So each year the Squirrels are in your Attic - the more damage to Attic wiring they do.
Squirrels in the Attic - if you have Squirrels in your attic then there is a good chance that the Squirrels could cause an Attic fire. Squirrels in Attic and electrical wires usually / overtime means Squirrels chewing the Attic wires.
Figures from the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) estimate (from fire station reports) that 15,000 residential fires are caused each year in the USA alone by rodents such as Squirrels in Attic chewing on attic electrical wiring.
Using mothballs in the Attic for Squirrels in Attic is illegal in all 50 states - because it is toxic to humans and pets - especially human infants. Persons who have mistakenly used mothballs to get rid of of Squirrels in the Attic often only make this error once. The amount of mothballs it takes in the attic to rid an Attic of Squirrels is toxic. The vapors of mothballs are heavier than air and not only do the Squirrels leave the Attic but the vapors leave the Attic too and descend from the Attic into the living quarters. Naphthalene, of which mothballs are made, is a coal tar by-product and it kills moths by suffocation. The heavier than air vapors from mothballs in the Attic seep down from the Attic and the vapors are very similar to car exhaust. No wonder Squirrels in Attic leave and the people want to too! I knew a lady who at the recommendation of a lawn man used mothballs in the attic of her 5,000 sq. ft. house to get rid of the Squirrels in Attic. The Squirrels left for a few weeks and came back after the vapors had seeped down from the Attic to the living area. The first floor of the home years later still has the smell of the mothballs she placed in the Attic and then removed from the Attic at the request of her visiting family. Mothballs for squirrels in attic - illegal, toxic, and bad idea.
Some Good News.
The lady finally did get rid of the Squirrels in Attic using strobe lights like Stunbright™. At first she used a less quality strobe light but the bulbs burned out in about 6 months. Our recommendation is Stunbright™ for Squirrels in the Attic. They are built for harsh environments and Stunbright™'s average bulb life is 4-5 years.
Where are the Squirrels able to get in?
Squirrels are able to get into these areas because they can chew their way in but also they are remarkable climbers! It is no problem for a Squirrel to scale a wall and hold on long enough to chew in an access way in!
What about sealing the entrances the Squirrels have chewed - surely they can't chew though metal like wire mesh or metal roofing "flashing" sheets!
Oh yes they can - easily!:
Squirrels leave scent trails for others to follow! Their scent glands are located in the soles of their feet on their foot pads! The scent trail they leave everywhere they go lets other squirrels know their age sex and mating health! The scent trails left by their foot pads can last up to two years and thus can lead other squirrels straight to your abode! So even if you are able to get rid of the ones you have - then you will still have the problem with others following the scent trail that leads them straight to your attic! These new squirrels will often time chew their way in or use existing holes and access points! This is one thing that I really like about the use of the strobes - not only do they get rid of the squirrels you are trying to deal with but the Squirrel Strobes also will be just as unpleasant to any new ones coming your way!
Again I recommend the strobe route but some persons wish to try trapping and sealing --- so here are some suggestions that can be helpful!
Since Squirrels have three litters per year and each litter is dependant on the mother squirrels for about 12 weeks - then potentially and most likely anyone with squirrel problems will have baby squirrels in their attic for about 36 weeks out of each year! Trap the momma squirrel - babies are left to die in the attic space - it is just that simple - and smells much worse!
So if you wish to go the trapping and sealing route then
1. The only really "safe" months to do this is December through early February!
2. Being as these months are winter months any trapped and released squirrel will find their way back within a couple of days to a couple of weeks from as far away as 25 miles! Squirrels have amazing homing capabilities and they also have a real incentive to get back to your attic! The acorns and other food stores they have buried in your yard to get them through the winter time! So it is always a good idea to carrying the trapped squirrel at least 12 miles away from the capture site and leave the squirrel or squirrels an alternate food source such as a good amount of peanuts so the squirrels have a reason to stay at the new site and less of a reason to return to your yard and attic!
3. If any other season of the year you wish to try trapping and relocating then without handling the trapped squirrel - looking at it while in the squirrel is in the cage trap - look to see if it is a girl squirrel with swollen teats! If it has swollen teats
then it is either nursing young or pregnant with young - so don't carry it away - but instead legally release it in the area where captured so that any young squirrels are not left to starve - die and rot in your attic and wall cavities!
4. If you see young juvenile squirrels running around in your yard then the mother is probably between litters and actively dating again so a good window of opportunity is only a few weeks if you want to be on the "safe side"
1. Ultrasonics - companies have been taken to court by the FTC for claiming these products are effective at repelling pests
2. Fox urine - doesn't work and can you say "Fur Farm Foxes"?
3. Plastic owl - just about as effect as old fashioned scare crows - not at all!
4. Again, Mothballs - really bad bad bad idea - is illegal and toxic - but some say that it works and that the smell goes away - it does not! The homeowners just become acclimated / used to the toxic vapors and don't notice it as much - but visitors to the same home are usually overwhelmed by the smell of the mothballs while the toxic vapor inhaling residences say "Oh, I really don't smell it much anymore"
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