Squirrels are rodents that most homeowners in the Dallas/Fort Worth area have dealt with at some point. You’ve probably seen them scurrying up and down trees in your yard or running across your roof. It can be fun to watch these active rodents, but the fun comes to an abrupt end when they choose your home as their nesting spot. Squirrels can easily find openings around your home that lead directly into walls and more likely, your attic. The entry point is widened by gnawing to make a baseball-sized hole so that they can move indoors and outdoors without a struggle.
What kinds of squirrels live in Dallas, TX?
Eastern Gray Squirrels
The Eastern gray squirrel is a common invader for homeowners in Northeast Texas. They are a mixture of gray and brown with a white underbelly. The diet of an Eastern gray squirrel mainly consists of nuts, walnuts, acorns, beechnuts, and bird seed when available. Eastern gray squirrels measure 8-10 inches in length with a large, bushy tail that’s 7.5-10 inches long. If you’re hearing scratching and movement in your attic during the day, Eastern gray squirrels can be afoot. As diurnal creatures, they forage outdoors in the daylight and bring their bounty back into your attic. If you think you hear squirrels at night, it could be fox squirrels or mice.
Fox squirrels are the most commonly found squirrels in the Dallas area. They are widespread in our area, but not throughout the South and Western most points of Texas. The colors of fox squirrels vary, but most are grayish brown with rust-colored feet, tails, and bellies. Unlike the Eastern gray squirrel which you can observe during the day, fox squirrels are nocturnal. They also live in trees but can make their way into attics.
What are signs that I have squirrels?
You can identify squirrel damage on the exterior of your home by looking for holes like you can see below. The holes are large enough for a big squirrel to fit through, and are along edges where material can be more easily separated.
Signs of squirrel nesting in your attic include:
- You hear strange scratching, jumping or scampering noises in your home
- You find squirrel droppings throughout your attic
- Damaged entry points including around the fascia boards, shingles, eaves troughs and outer panels with all kinds of damage along the roof line
- Strange odors
Why do I have squirrels in my attic?
Exposed entry points along gutter lines are also vulnerable to squirrel activity. The problem with squirrels is that the hole they use can be small and out of sight without climbing up a ladder or getting onto your roof. If you have branches from trees that are touching your home in any way, squirrels can use them as a natural bridge to climb onto your roof and explore. Attics, wall voids, and crawl spaces are the most common squirrel nesting spots indoors.
Are squirrels dangerous?
Even though they might be cute and fuzzy, these rodents can truly cause havoc when left to their own devices inside houses. They can also cause substantial damage to your home by gnawing holes, chewing wires and contaminating surfaces with their urine and feces. Fires and short circuits can happen if squirrels chew through electrical wires, which is more common than you may think. If squirrels have chosen your attic to call home, that means all of your valuables can be in danger of becoming destroyed and contaminated. Damage caused by squirrels can be more than just financial; it can also be emotionally devastating to have prized possessions damaged beyond repair.
How can I prevent squirrels?
The best way to prevent squirrel infestations is to make sure all areas on your on and around your roof are secured and free of any damage and wear and tear. Take a look around your roof and above the highest story of your home. Are there torn screens, broken gable vents, aged gutters, or other openings? Repairing all of these areas will block off easy access points for squirrel nesting. Keeping trees cut back 6-8 feet away from the home will remove natural bridges they can climb to access your gutters and attic. Do not hang bird feeders from trees. Squirrels can easily break in and steal any food, leaving the bird feeder broken in the process. Do not try to trap and relocate squirrels. In most cases, they will not survive in unfamiliar surroundings without knowing where to find food water, and shelter. They can easily starve or be a hawk’s lunch. Relocating squirrels does not guarantee that another squirrel will not move in.
How does Certified get rid of squirrels?
Every animal carries unique risks and requires different control tactics. When in doubt, it’s always safest to call a professional for help. Handling squirrels is dangerous, and they present a big challenge in capturing and handling safely. Certified Termite and Pest Control will perform an inspection at your home, and come up with a customized plan to get rid of the squirrels in your attic and prevent them from coming back. Give us a call at 972-852-2847 or fill out the form on this page to set up a squirrel inspection at your home!