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House Damage by Squirrels and How to Prevent It

Spotting the common black and gray squirrels is something most of us do every single day. Squirrels are plentiful in Ontario and are often seen in trees, on grass lawns, and pretty well anywhere else outdoors! One place we don’t want to find squirrels, however, is inside our homes. While squirrels living outdoors isn’t a cause for concern, squirrels who take up residence in your attic or cause significant damage to your home can be.

Read on to learn more about how to know if squirrels are gaining access to your home, how to prevent them from entering, and what to do if you find wildlife inside your home.

How Do Squirrels Get into Homes?

Squirrels have excellent climbing skills and are able to easily chew through wood. This makes it relatively easy for them to climb onto your home and chew through any wood gables (or other vulnerable areas) to access the indoors. During the breeding season, female squirrels seek shelter to give birth and raise their litters safely, making this time the most common to find squirrels inside homes.

Some of the most common signs that squirrels may be living inside your home are:

  • The presence of fecal matter
  • Telltale damage by squirrels
  • A nest made of shredded insulation and/or wood
  • Scratching or other strange noises
  • Visible damage to the exterior of the home

About Squirrel Damage

When squirrels access your home, the damage can be widespread. Not only are they likely to damage the exterior of your home while they work to get inside, but once they are inside they will shred insulation and wood framing to create bedding. They can also chew through electrical wiring and PVC piping which in turn can lead to a fire and/or water damage. Essentially, squirrels have the potential to cause enough damage that you may have to file an insurance claim. Unfortunately, many homeowner insurance policies do not cover damage caused by local wildlife. Preventing these animals from entering your home is the best way to ensure the safety and aesthetics of your home.

How Can I Prevent Squirrels from Entering My Home?

One of the most effective ways to prevent squirrels from entering your home is to promptly fix any areas on the exterior that may be vulnerable to squirrels. This includes any holes, unsecured soffits, wooden window frames, etc. It’s also important to ensure that all doors and windows shut and seal properly, with no large gaps around the outer edges that small animals could squeeze through. On the inside of the attic of your home, inspect the area for signs of

previous damage by squirrels. Repair any areas that require it, and replace any insulation that may have been damaged or removed. You can also install steel screens over any vents or other purposeful openings to prevent squirrel access through them.

It is important to routinely inspect the exterior and interior of your home for signs of squirrel damage, as well as for any areas that squirrels might use to gain access. Being proactive and practicing prevention is the best method of protecting your home from wildlife.

What If I Find Squirrels Inside My Home?

If you do find that squirrels are in fact living inside your home, it is best to consult the professionals. Professional wildlife removers are trained in how to safely and humanely remove wildlife that has taken up residence in your home. Squirrels can carry diseases that can be deadly, so don’t risk trying to remove them yourself.

When in Doubt, Call a Home Inspector

If you are concerned that squirrels may be accessing an area of your home, and you aren’t able or want to inspect your home for signs of wildlife and possible damage, call your local home inspector. Home inspectors are experts when it comes to spotting damage and identifying access points for squirrels and other critters. They can also help you make a strong prevention plan and identify any areas that are vulnerable or in need of repairs.

If you want to learn more about how to prevent squirrels from entering your home, book your inspection, or receive a free quote, contact us at Building Insights today!

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