There may be worse pests than squirrels, but they can actually cause more damage than many homeowners think. In fact it’s not uncommon for the seemingly cuddly and harmless creatures to cause thousands of dollars in damage by chewing holes in your siding and beneath the eaves in your roof. They can also potentially chew through electrical wiring or utility cables, sometimes causing a fire or a blown transformer. And of course, they can also be a health threat and can keep birds away from your yard.
Effective squirrel control is important, especially if you live somewhere where squirrels are more prevalent, such as near woods, forests and meadows. However, squirrels can be found just about anywhere in the country, including in most larger towns and cities. Damage caused by squirrels and other rodents is not usually covered by your homeowners insurance. The laws on controlling squirrels can vary from state to state; some states consider them to be game animals and a homeowner doesn’t need a license to control them if they are causing property damage, while other states require homeowners to carry a hunting license in order to kill them.
Having your home inspected regularly for squirrels is an important part of effective squirrel control. Having a home inspection once a year to check for squirrels and other pests is generally recommended by most exterminating companies. Of course, if you know or suspect that you have a squirrel issue, calling the experts sooner rather than later can potentially save you money in the long run and can minimize any damage. However, there are some ways to deter squirrels from entering your home, without having to pay an exterminating company.
Squirrels can cause a lot of damage in your home’s attic, and preventing them from entering your home is one of the most effective ways to control them. Vents and chimneys should be covered securely with a thin mesh screen, and any overhanging tree limbs should be trimmed back; in fact, it’s recommended not to have any branches within about six feet of your home. Your utility company may be able to place plastic tubes over utility wires, which rotate and make it almost impossible for a squirrel to walk across. You can find squirrel resistant bird feeders at your local home improvement store, and fixing special baffles to the pole ensures squirrels can’t climb them.
Wire fencing at least 30 inches high should be placed around any vegetable garden to repel squirrels, and the fencing should extend at least six inches under the ground to stop burrowing. Loose metal sheeting or baffles can be placed around tree trunks to prevent squirrels from climbing, and mesh covered with mulch can be used to cover and protect any newly planted bulbs. Most garden centers also sell a range of repellents that are safe for other animals, yet will repel squirrels from your yard. And simply having a dog in your yard is an easy and effective way to keep squirrels away.
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