This time of year, most animals are getting ready for winter, and squirrels are not an exception. However, their idea of “getting ready for winter” may include finding a way to get into your attic. Around September – October, we usually get a lot of calls about squirrel removal in Gaithersburg, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, and many other areas throughout Maryland. Here are a few tips on how to prevent squirrel invasion in the fall, as well as how to address the problem if they already got in.
Your Squirrel Invader is a Nesting Female
In fall, you are most likely dealing with a female squirrel looking to build a nest to rear her young. Squirrels mate and give birth twice a year to around 2-4 babies. The first time is in late winter and the second time is around June – August. The babies are born just 45 days after mating, which means a squirrel that mated in August may have her babies as early as September. Males are not really present or active in taking care of their young. A mother squirrel, however, will make the best use of all available resources, even if it means chewing a hole in your fascia board to build a warm and secure nest for her young.
Signs of Squirrel Activity in Your Attic
If you think you might have a squirrel in your attic, it’s likely there are actually 4-6 of them. Most squirrels have already given birth and are working tirelessly on gathering enough supplies to support their little squirrel family in winter. You may not hear the babies, as they are small and don’t leave the nest yet. However, you should check for the following signs of a mother-squirrel:
- Daytime scampering as the squirrel makes multiple trips to forage for food.
- Scratching noise behind walls if a squirrel has the misfortune to fall.
- Holes along your roofline or sawdust-like debris on the ground.
How to Deal With Nesting Squirrels
Whatever you do, don’t separate the mother squirrel from her young. At this young age, they are not yet ready to fend for themselves, so they will likely die in their mother’s absence. You also don’t want them to start looking for their mother, wander off and fall in the gap behind a wall. A dead animal behind your living room wall will cause an unbearable stench and you may end up having to cut into the wall to remove it. To avoid all this trouble, it’s best when the babies are removed at the same time as the mother. This can be done by your Maryland squirrel removal professional in a safe and humane manner. A big mistake we see some homeowners make is sealing the squirrel’s entrance hole while the mother squirrel is away. If the babies are still in the attic, the mother could rip off your seal or make a new hole to get to them.
Inspecting Your Roof
If you think your home is so far free of squirrels, you’d probably want to keep it that way. Squirrels and other nuisance wildlife often choose homes with existing damage to the roof, flashing, or trim boards. Now is a good time to inspect your home’s exterior, specifically the roof, to make sure there are no weak spots. Even if squirrels are not an issue, patching holes and replacing rotten boards will help with insulation in winter. And if you ever need the assistance of a squirrel removal professional, you can rely on our experienced technicians at Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control. Just call us or contact us online today.