Common little critters in Houston that can seem adorable and friendly from afar, squirrels have the potential to become a nuisance to you and your property. When seen playing in the park, it’s hard to imagine that these little cuties could be problematic. But it’s important to remember that squirrels are rodents that can wreak havoc outside and indoors.
While outside, squirrels can eat your vegetables, feast from your bird feeder, tear up your garden and dig holes in your lawn. Squirrels are often looking for a place inside to stay warm and dry. They’ll happily chew holes through utility wires and chomp through screens or even wood walls to gain access to the inside of your house or outbuildings. Once inside, squirrels often build nests inside walls or in the attic, tear up insulation, make noise, cause property damage, and may even spread disease.
As in most pest situations, prevention and exclusion is the best form of squirrel control. Keeping squirrels from getting inside in the first place is much easier than trying to get them out once they’ve nested.
Keep your home sealed up tight to prevent many kinds of pests from invading. Inspect your house top to bottom, checking for small cracks or openings around windows and doors. Look for holes in soffits and other places squirrels could enter. Cover chimneys, vents, and exhaust fan openings with screen or caps. Replace old weather stripping. Cover the tops of window wells with screen or sturdy hardware cloth.
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Bird feeders, pet food, and other sources of meals can make squirrels think that your yard is going to be their new home! Either stop using bird feeders altogether, or choose a version that is squirrel-proof. Try hanging your bird feeder on a pole (away from trees) and use a baffle to deter them from climbing up for a snack. Keep your pet food tightly sealed in a place that is inaccessible to pests.
Because squirrels can jump across tree limbs onto rooftops, keep limbs trimmed back to about 8 feet away from the roofline of your home. Trees around the garden should also be trimmed back so that squirrels can’t enter your garden by jumping from above.
Make sure that your outdoor trash cans are properly covered and sealed so that squirrels can make a meal out of your garbage. If you compost, be sure to cover it carefully so that it is inaccessible to squirrels and other wildlife.
Installing a metal mesh fence around your garden should keep squirrels out of the produce you are growing. Their bodies are actually very tiny so mesh protection should have holes that are smaller than ½” square
Piles of leaves, foliage, or random fruit from trees can be an attraction to squirrels. Clear up the debris in your yard to keep from providing a playground for pests.
Crawlspaces, attics, and basements offer an attractive place for rodents such as squirrels to hide and build nests. Damp, messy areas are particularly susceptible so keep your storage areas tidy, dry and well-ventilated.
If prevention doesn’t work and you suspect that you have a squirrel infestation in your home, you may need to get help from a pest control professional in your local area. For the best in Houston pest control, contact Cypress Creek to help with squirrels, rodents, and other critter problems.