It’s spring and the squirrels are out and about in Maryland. You probably have to brake for a brave squirrel trying to cross a road a few times a week. You might even see or hear squirrels running on top of your roof on occasion. Should you brush this off as regular squirrel business or is there something to worry about? Our Columbia squirrel removal experts are here to clear up any confusion and suspicions about squirrels on the roof.
How do squirrels get on the roof?
Squirrels are excellent jumpers and can get on your roof from nearby trees. If a tree has overhanging branches, squirrels can easily travel back and forth. The same goes for other houses and structures located close to your home. Watch the video below to see just how far a squirrel can easily jump if it’s determined to get there. If no other access paths are available, a squirrel may climb up your downspouts to reach the roof. https://www.youtube.com/embed/HyomSW3PMQM
What do squirrels do on your roof?
So why is your roof such a squirrel magnet? First of all, squirrels prefer to be off the ground to avoid their predators, and your roof satisfies the height requirements. Plus, when there are not that many mature trees around, your home might actually be the tallest structure in the area. Second of all, roofs and gutters are often covered with leaves, twigs and even nuts from nearby trees, which all are squirrel’s resources. And lastly, it’s possible that a squirrel is climbing on your roof because that’s how it enters your attic. If you suspect that a squirrel might be living in your attic, that’s definitely something to worry about. Squirrels are known for chewing wires and destroying attic insulation—something no homeowner wants to deal with. Next time you see or hear squirrels on your roof, keep an eye on where they go. Squirrels are most active during the day when they are foraging for food, so come out before sunset to find the place they call home.
How NOT to Remove Squirrels
So, you are pretty sure there are squirrels in your attic. Maybe you even found a hole in the roof where they get in. If that’s the case, beware of how not to remove squirrels. Don’t seal the entrance hole with a squirrel inside. This may cause the squirrel to start looking for alternative exits elsewhere in the house. As a result, the animal may get stuck in a hard-to-reach area or enter your living space. Neither scenario ends well for you or the squirrel. Don’t seal the entrance hole while a squirrel is away. This is also a bad idea, because a determined squirrel will simply find another way to get in. This often results in a new hole chewed through on the other side of the roof. Also, if you have a mother squirrel with her young living in your attic, sealing off the mother may end up causing the immobile young to starve to death. But if both of these methods are so problematic, what is there left to do? To solve your squirrel problem once and for all, you need to call your local Maryland wildlife control company. We will dispatch a squirrel removal technician to trap all squirrels living in your attic and then relocate them far away. Only then we proceed to repair any damage caused by squirrels and seal their entrance holes. If you have squirrels making noise on your roof or in your attic, give us a call and one of our Maryland squirrel removal professionals will be in touch with you to schedule an inspection.
While raccoons give preference to attics, they can be just as happy denning under your deck or porch. They aren’t looking for comfortable accommodations: a roof over their heads and a proximity of a food source is all they need. If you have raccoons under your deck, you might need help of a Maryland wildlife control company to get the pest animal removed, because household deterrents rarely do the trick.
Why Remove Raccoons
You may think that having a raccoon under your deck is not nearly as bad as having one in your attic. And you are right, in most cases there’s less damage to be caused on the ground than inside your home. However, keep in mind that a raccoon living under your deck, porch or shed can be a nuisance in many ways, including:
- Stealing dog food, bird seed or other food-related items you store outside.
- Digging up your flower beds and destroying fruit-bearing trees.
- Harassing your pets, especially if they live outside.
- Ripping up insulation from the underside of your porch or deck.
- Going through your trash and making a mess.
- Wreaking havoc on your deck.
How to Get Rid of Raccoons Under the Porch
If you are willing to put up with annoying raccoons for a few months, they may eventually leave the nest on their own once their kits become old enough. Some homeowners try harassing raccoons into leaving by using ammonia, mothballs lights or loud noises, but these methods rarely work as planned. If you have a mother-raccoon with her young under your porch and you want them gone ASAP, you should hire a Maryland raccoon removal professional. It’s important that the animals are captured and relocated together to ensure the best chance of survival. Whatever you decide to do, don’t come close to a raccoon. A mother can be especially protective and territorial, and you may end up with serious scratches and bites.
Contact Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control today if you have a problem with raccoons under your porch, deck or shed.
If you read news, whether online or in the paper, there is an article almost every week about a massive power outage caused by a squirrel that climbed into a transformer. These opportunistic, curious rodents just can’t keep away from man-made structures, including our attics. A squirrel in your attic is a ticking time bomb, figuratively speaking. It’s important to get it out as soon as possible—enlist a Maryland squirrel removal pro if needed—before you incur thousands of dollars in damage.
Squirrels Cause Fires
Squirrels have large and strong front teeth that have to be constantly used in order to keep them from overgrowing. That’s why squirrels gnaw on everything even if it’s not edible. Once in your attic, a squirrel can chew on wires, and even plumbing pipes, just for the sake of chewing. Squirrels cause hundreds of attic fires throughout the U.S. every year. Many get extinguished in time, but in some cases attic fire may cause total loss of the house and even fatalities.
Squirrels Cause Water Damage
How do squirrels get in your attic? They simply pick a spot along your roof line and chew a hole. Even if your roof is in excellent shape, a determined squirrel can get in. When a squirrel makes a hole in your roof, it opens up the possibility for water damage. Rain will go right through the hole, soaking through the attic insulation and roof deck, and causing mold and rot. If the squirrel lives in your attic for a long time, it may make several such holes for convenient entry and exit. Imagine all the water-damaged materials and personal property you might have to replace.
Squirrels Are Territorial
Once a squirrel makes a nest in your attic, it’s the squirrel’s attic now. This means if you need to get anything from your attic, you are now an intruder. So much for spring-cleaning! A mother squirrel may attack a person if she believes you are a threat to her babies. While it’s not a very common situation, it can happen and you may end up with a few bites and scratches. The good news is, squirrels don’t carry rabies, so it’s extremely unlikely to contract rabies from a squirrel.
Squirrels Have Babies in Your Attic
The most common squirrel species in Maryland is the Eastern Grey Squirrel. These squirrels typically have 1-2 litters a year, one born around March and the other one around May-June. Each litter may have between 1 and 6 baby squirrels. If you don’t handle the squirrel problem right away, you may end up with 10 squirrels by June instead of 1. That’s ten times the chewing and ten times the urine/feces damage to your attic. Although both the mother and the babies eventually leave their nest, the mother can return next year to the same breeding grounds. For these reasons, it’s best to act fast if you have a squirrel nesting in your attic. This time of year, it’s probably a mother with her young. If you hear scratching noises coming from your attic or see signs of water damage, it may be an indicator of a squirrel problem. Contact us today for squirrel removal in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia or Washington, DC. Our experienced technicians will humanely trap and relocate your squirrel intruder.
On April 4, 2015 our Silver Spring squirrel removal professionals were contacted by the owners of this home on Silver Spring Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland. The homeowners were complaining of scratching noises coming from the attic around 6 am every morning and 6 pm every evening for the past few days. Upon inspection, our squirrel removal technicians discovered a female gray squirrel that had taken up residence in the attic. They also discovered five newborn babies in a nest that the squirrel built in the front-left corner of the attic directly above the homeowners’ bedroom. The inspection of the roof revealed one entry point the gray squirrel made by chewing a hole through a shingle and plywood rooftop above the fascia board. This entry hole allows rain water to enter the soffit area, causing moisture damage such as wood rot and mold.
Other damages found during the inspection included electrical wires that were chewed on, as well as rolled-in insulation that was ripped apart. It is common for squirrels to chew on ROMEX electrical wiring in attics, which creates a fire hazard for the occupants of the home. The mother squirrel ripped apart the rolled-in insulation in one corner of the attic to build her nest. Luckily for the homeowners, the damaged insulation was only a 4’x4′ area and not the entire attic. Our Montgomery County squirrel removal company not only traps and removes squirrels, but also repairs damage caused by squirrels. The damage done to this home is common when squirrels are living in the attic. The process begins with trapping of the mother squirrel and removal of the baby squirrels (all baby squirrels are transported to wildlife rehabilitators). After the eviction, the hole that the squirrel chewed through the roof is repaired to prevent other wildlife and rain water from entering the attic. The electrical wiring and attic insulation repairs are the final steps in restoring this roof and attic back to its original appearance. Contact us online or give us a call if you suspect a squirrel might be nesting in your attic.
Squirrels can be annoying neighbors: they steal bird seed, dig up your yard and destroy fruit and vegetable gardens. And that’s if the squirrels are living in a nearby tree. When a squirrel moves into your attic, you may expect more significant damage, such as eaten-through shingles, chewed-up wires and shredded insulation. Some homeowners get understandably upset when they find out about all this destruction. However, as Maryland squirrel removal experts, we urge you to keep calm and opt for humane squirrel removal.
Can’t I Just Shoot the Squirrels?
Eastern Grey Squirrel, the most common nuisance squirrel in the mid-Atlantic region, is considered small game animal in Maryland and many other states. This means you are allowed to shoot and kill squirrels during the official small game hunting season (typically in fall and winter) if you have a hunting license. Other than that, you are not allowed to shoot squirrels or discharge a firearm in a residential area. Even if it’s a BB gun or an air gun, you may get in trouble with law enforcement for animal cruelty. Besides, simply killing squirrels won’t solve your problem. New animals will come to replace the dead ones, and you will be facing the same issues soon enough.
What About Poisons and Traps?
If you search online for “squirrel removal in Maryland,” or any other state for that matter, you’ll probably find a few sites that advocate for poisons and lethal traps as the best methods to get rid of squirrels. While they may be effective in some cases, traps and poisons are some of the most cruel ways to kill an animal. Death from both is rather painful and not always immediate, leaving the animal to suffer. Problems with traps and poisons:
- Other animals (and even your pets if you are careless) may consume the poisoned bait or get into a trap.
- A poisoned animal may crawl into a hard-to-reach place to die, leaving you with a stinky mess to clean up.
- In most cases, a squirrel in your attic is a mother with her young. Killing the mother won’t get rid of the young and will make it more difficult to locate and remove them.
Why Use Humane Squirrel Removal
Humane squirrel removal consists of live-trapping the squirrels and relocating them far away from your home. If there are baby squirrels involved, they are moved to a wildlife rehabilitator, where they are nurtured and released into the wild when they are old enough. No animal suffers during humane wildlife removal, but it has to be done right. There’s nothing humane about having a poor animal sit in a trap for days, starved and exposed to the elements. It’s crucial that your Maryland squirrel removal professional checks traps frequently.
If it’s so easy, can I do it myself?
Trapping squirrels might sound easy, but there is a lot of planning involved in the type and location of the traps. There are some areas, such as inside the attic, where squirrel is very unlikely to enter a trap. Besides, Maryland requires anyone involved in wildlife trapping to obtain a permit from the Department of Natural Resources. In addition to that, you are supposed to obtain permission from the owner of the land where you are planning to release the captured squirrel. While police might not arrest you for taking a caged squirrel to a nearby park, know that you are violating the law.
Will Squirrels Come Back?
As long as you don’t separate the mother from her babies, your nuisance squirrel is unlikely to return. At Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control, we release squirrels far from your location to make sure they have a new, equally suitable territory they can call their home. However, if you don’t take appropriate measures, there is no guarantee new squirrels will come to take the other one’s place. If your property has fruit and nut trees, and your fascia boards are rotten and easy to chew through, your home will remain a squirrel magnet. That’s why we always take the time to explain to our customers what else they can do to discourage nuisance wildlife from nesting on their property. Call us today or contact online for humane squirrel removal in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania or Washington, DC.