Squirrels are medium-sized furry rodents that are common nuisance animals in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. They’re mainly diurnal animals who eat seeds and nuts. They’re harmless, overall, and many people even think they’re cute.
The problem with squirrels is that they can’t seem to resist the attraction of a nice, warm attic when they’re shopping around for a new home. In nature, squirrels are aerialists who commonly nest in hollow trees; and if they just kept doing that, chances are that no one would have a problem with them. But as their natural habitat is shrinking and hollow trees are getting hard to find, they feel perfectly justified moving into our attics when they need a new place to live.
To add insult to injury, they don’t even take care of the place once they move in. They gnaw out nice comfortable holes for themselves to get in and out, gnaw on wiring (which can cause fires), gnaw on pretty much anything you may have stored up there, and tear up the insulation; and just in case all that wasn’t enough to make you dislike them, they pee and poop all over the place.
Squirrels can also cause significant damage to homes just by the act of getting in and out. They have very strong jaws and have been known to chew through wood, shingles, siding, and even metal rain gutters to make their way into a house. This damage can result in secondary moisture damage, making for an expensive repair job for the homeowner.
Squirrels and Fires
One of the biggest problems with having squirrels in your attic is that like all rodents, they love to gnaw. They actually have to gnaw in order to keep their teeth sharp; and they seem to have a particular fondness for electrical wires. They gnaw the insulation right off the wires, which can result in short circuits and fires.
No one knows exactly how many fires are started by rodents gnawing on wires, but the National Fire Protection Association estimates that they are responsible for a significant percentage of the fires whose causes are never conclusively determined.
Squirrels can also damage low-voltage wiring such as telephone, network, and smoke and fire alarm data cables. In fact, about the only kinds of electrical wiring that squirrels usually won’t gnaw through is BX-type electrical cable. They also don’t care much for metal-braided coaxial cable, probably because the metal braid pokes them in the mouth once they get through the insulation. Anything else is fair game.
Squirrels and Health
Squirrels, like all wild animals, have parasites, many of which can spread diseases. Their droppings can also serve as breeding media for flies and other insects, and their urine can cause odor problems, especially in homes where the HVAC system is located in the attic. Dried squirrel droppings may also contain fungus spores that can get into the home’s living space.
This is why at Bugaboo Pest Control, we don’t just remove the squirrels from your attic. We also offer optional services to clean up and disinfect after them, as well as to replace contaminated insulation with new, fresh, energy-efficient insulation that can help lower your heating and cooling costs.
Squirrel Removal and Exclusion
Squirrels are not considered “pests.” They belong to a slightly more prestigious group known as “nuisance wildlife.” That means that they are treated with more respect than, for example, their cousins the rats. Perhaps squirrels have a better lobby. Or maybe it’s those cute, furry tails.
Whatever the reason for their special treatment, squirrels generally must be humanely trapped and removed from a home alive. That’s why there’s really no such thing as a “squirrel exterminator.” They are trapped, removed from the home, and released alive.
The problem, of course, is how do you stop new squirrels from moving in the moment the old squirrels are evicted? Good question. That’s where squirrel exclusion or “squirrel-proofing” comes in. In short, this means that we repair the damage the squirrels caused, and also seal your attic to keep new squirrels from getting in.
Why to Choose Bugaboo to Squirrel-Proof Your Home
Now let’s be clear about something: It’s your home, and you have the right to shop around for the best deals, or to do the exclusion work yourself if you like. If you want, we’ll simply remove the squirrels, and otherwise leave the place the way we found it. But there are several excellent reasons why you should consider hiring us for the squirrel damage repair and exclusion work, as well:
- We’re Portland and Vancouver’s wildlife exclusion professionals. We’ve been doing it for three decades.
- We have the tools, equipment, know-how to do it right.
- We are fully licensed and insured for this work.
- Because we’re also a pest control company, we can eradicate any parasites or other pests the squirrels leave behind, as well as disinfect your attic to remove odors.
- We stand behind our work with the best warranty in the business.
In addition, we don’t just make your home “squirrel-proof.” The techniques we use will discourage raccoons, bats, birds, and other animals from getting into your attic, as well.