Tree Squirrel Image

Background Information

     Though there are several species of squirrels, our experience and expertise is limited to tree squirrels. There are a few species of tree squirrels, but the most common ones are either black or gray. Another species found is the Flying Squirrel which doesn't really fly - but instead can glide from branch to branch by extending its paws out to reveal a flat, rectangular area of skin which will support brief periods of flight. The Flying Squirrel is also smaller than the more common gray or black squirrel.

     Squirrels are very cute until they become a pest around structures. If they enter a building, they are capable of doing damage to a multitude of objects because of their chewing behavior. The most common entry point for squirrels is the attic, which they may enter by chewing a hole into a gable, soffit or other susceptible areas and make themselves quite comfortable using insulation for nesting material.   Once settled in, they may eventually reproduce with a litter of several young.  When squirrels live in an attic, there is potential for damage to stored goods as well as to wiring with the potential for fire due to gnawing of those wires. Droppings from squirrels may also be a nuisance. 

     If squirrels enter a home through a door or garage, they may do damage to furniture, upholstery or curtains in an effort to escape. In other cases, squirrels may do damage outdoors by chewing on structures, screens, lawn furniture, plants or digging in the grass.

     The most common clues to a squirrel infestation are actual sightings of the animals entering a structure and/or running or scratching noises in the attic that are heard early in the morning (4 AM to 7 AM) or late in the afternoon (5 PM to 8 PM).

Control

     Dealing with squirrels can take several forms. First, environmental changes may be made to minimize access by pruning trees that extend over a structure or removing or securing any decorative trim or attachments that provide access to the structure. If squirrels are coming to a roof across wires, it may be possible to install a cone-shaped shield that would eliminate access to the roof.  These may be available through the local utility company and would require professional installation.  Click here for a link to a company that offers this type of device.

     We currently offer two squirrel repellents that may discourage destructive behavior.   Deer-Off and Critter Ridder, both contain food products which repel squirrels by taste and touch.   Deer-off is a liquid spray that contains garlic, capsaicin (hot sauce) and putrescent egg whites while Critter Ridder contains a variety of different pepper related products that work by both taste and touch.   Both Deer-Off and Critter Ridder can be used to keep squirrels from doing damage to garden flowers, fruits and vegetables.

     Finally, cage traps such as a Havahart #1078 Professional Cage Trap TM will allow removal of squirrels without harm to the animal. Once captured, you will need to transport the animal five miles or more from the property to discourage a return appearance.  Note that many state and local governments regulate trapping of wild/nuisance animals - you may want to check with local authorities first.

     If you have any further questions about squirrels, you are invited to contact us by telephone, by fax or by E-Mail. These are 800-433-1128 or 845-356-2837, 845-746-9018 and drbugclinic@bugclinic.com, respectively. We offer free, friendly advice.