Tips for Preventing Squirrels from Nesting in Your Home

Well, worry no more! We’ve got you covered with a bunch of tips to keep those pesky squirrels from turning your cozy abode into their personal playground. Say goodbye to chewed wires, sneaky attic nests, and disrupted sleep – because we’re about to unveil some foolproof strategies that’ll make your home squirrel-proof in no time!

Introduction to squirrel breeding season

Breeding season for squirrels usually occurs twice a year, once in the late winter or early spring (late March through April) and again in the late summer or early fall (August through September). This is when adult squirrels are actively seeking out potential mates and establishing nests to raise their young. During this time, squirrels become more bold and persistent in their search for suitable nesting sites, which often includes human homes.

Squirrels are known for their quick movements, bushy tails, and love for nuts. However, not many people know that these furry critters are also highly active breeders. Unlike other animals that may have specific breeding seasons based on environmental factors, squirrel breeding tends to be triggered by hormones within individuals.

During the winter months when food sources are scarce, female squirrels enter into an inactive state called diapause. Diapause is essentially a dormancy period where her reproductive system shuts down until warmer weather arrives.

As temperatures start to warm up towards the end of winter or beginning of spring, female squirrels come out of diapause and begin preparing for breeding season, and actively look for a mate.

Understanding squirrel behaviour during breeding season

Squirrels are active creatures all year round, but their behaviour can change significantly during breeding season. Understanding squirrel behaviour during this time is crucial in effectively preventing them from nesting in your home.

During this period, male and female squirrels begin to search for suitable nesting sites to mate and raise their young. They become more territorial and protective of their chosen spot, making it difficult for homeowners to deter them once they have already settled in.

One of the main behaviours exhibited by squirrels during breeding season is their increased activity levels. Male squirrels will often chase after females in an attempt to impress them, while females will be busy building nests and preparing for the arrival of their babies. This heightened level of activity can make it challenging to keep track of squirrel movements and prevent them from accessing your home.

Squirrels are highly adaptive creatures, which means they can make use of any available resources to build their nests. During breeding season, they tend to favour warm, dry spaces such as attics or chimneys because they provide shelter from the cold weather outside. These areas also offer protection from potential predators.

The risks of squirrels nesting in your home

Squirrels may seem like cute and harmless creatures, but they can also be a nuisance when they start nesting in your home. During breeding season, typically in the spring and fall, squirrels become more active and may seek out shelter in or around houses. While it is understandable that these furry critters are looking for a safe place to raise their young, having them nest in your home can pose various dangers to both you and your property.

One of the main concerns with squirrels nesting in your home is the structural damage they can cause. Squirrels are natural chewers and have strong teeth that can easily gnaw through materials such as wood, siding, insulation, electrical wiring, and even plumbing pipes. Not only does this damage result in costly repairs, but it can also compromise the integrity of your home’s structure.

Beyond property damage, there are also health hazards associated with having squirrels nesting inside your house. These animals carry various parasites such as fleas and ticks that can transmit diseases to humans and pets. Their droppings also contain harmful bacteria which could potentially contaminate surfaces within the house if not properly cleaned. Inhaling dust from squirrel feces can also lead to respiratory problems.

Tips for preventing squirrels from nesting in your home

  1. Seal off any potential entry points
    The first step in preventing squirrels from nesting in your home is to seal off any potential entry points. Squirrels are excellent climbers and can chew through most construction materials.They can easily find their way into small cracks or openings around your home. Locating and protecting any potential entry point is absolutely essential in preventing wildlife from gaining entry into your home.
  2. Keep trees and branches trimmed
    Squirrels use tree branches as highways to access homes. To prevent them from getting too close to your home, keep all tree branches trimmed back at least 6 feet away from the roofline. This will make it more difficult for them to jump onto your roof and find a way inside.
  3. Remove potential food sources

Squirrels are opportunistic feeders and will likely nest where they have easy access to food sources like birdseed or garbage cans. To deter them from coming onto your property, make sure all garbage cans are securely closed with lids, bird feeders are out of reach (at least 10 feet above ground), and any fallen fruit or berries from trees have been picked up.

Sealing off entry points

Identifying potential entry points around your home is the first step towards keeping squirrels out. Common entry points include cracked or damaged vents, loose siding or roofing, gaps in soffits or eaves, builders gaps, and unsecured vent screens. Squirrels are skilled climbers and can easily scale trees and walls to gain access to your home through these areas.

Once you have identified the possible entryways for squirrels, it’s time to seal them off. There are various materials that can use for this purpose, including galvanized mesh/screening, steel wool, and hardware cloth. The choice of material will depend on the type of gap or opening that needs to be sealed.

For larger openings such as attic vents or chimneys, wire mesh guards provide an effective barrier against squirrel intrusion while still allowing proper ventilation. These sturdy guards should be secured tightly over the opening using screws to prevent squirrels from pushing them loose and sealed to prevent any water damage.

Using humane methods for removal if necessary

When facing the issue of squirrels nesting in your home during breeding season, it is important to consider humane methods for removal if necessary. While it may be tempting to resort to more aggressive measures, such as trapping, these methods can cause harm to both the squirrels and other animals.

Instead, here are some humane methods you can try when removing squirrels from your home:

  1. Seal Entry Points: The first step in preventing squirrels from nesting in your home is to seal off any entry points they may be using. This could include holes or gaps in your roofline, vents, or even small cracks in the foundation. Squirrels are expert climbers and can easily squeeze through small openings, so make sure to thoroughly inspect and seal any potential entry points.
  2. Install a One-Way Door: For squirrels that have already made their way inside your home, a one-way door can be an effective solution for removal without causing harm. These doors allow the squirrel to exit but not re-enter, ultimately leading them back into their natural habitat.
  3. Using a live trap: This can be effective in some circumstances, but is often recommended as a last resort. Squirrels can become distressed, injure themselves by trying to escape, or it can be fatal if they are left exposed to extreme weather conditions for too long.

Conclusion

It’s important to remember that prevention is always better than trying to deal with a squirrel after it has entered your home. By being proactive and taking necessary measures, you can save yourself time, money, and frustration in the long run.

Setting up ladders, and climbing around ones home is not for everybody. So, if you’d prefer TruTech Pest & Wildlife Control can have a wildlife technician come by your home or business to assist. They are experts at finding and protecting active entry points, as well as areas that could become one in the future.

Reviewed By Matthew Sawyer

Matthew is the founder and business director of TruTech Pest & Wildlife Control. A Structural Exterminator with government licensure and training from Guelph University. As a dedicated member of both the Canadian Pest Management Association and the Structural Pest  Management Association of Ontario, he takes great pride in his profession.

Matthew’s extensive experience has made him a valuable and forward-thinking  member of the pest control community. He consistently strives to improve the  effectiveness and environmental impact of pest and wildlife control methods.

Say Goodbye to Springtime Critters: Expert Advice on Pest Prevention for Toronto Homes

Spring pests Toronto
Read More >>