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Risks squirrels pose to your home

Abell Pest Control

Although squirrels might not carry as much stigma as other rodents like mice and rats, these little animals can still be a serious nuisance for your property. Like many other creatures, their presence could lead to expensive damage around the home, and squirrels have been linked with dangerous diseases as well. There are nearly two dozen species of squirrels that live in Canada and the northern U.S., including grey squirrels, chipmunks, ground squirrels and flying squirrels.

There's a long list of issues associated with this diverse group of mammals. Here are some of the most serious threats squirrels pose to your property:

Damage to the home
Squirrel problems can be traced to their rodent anatomy.

First, rodents are small animals that can fall prey to animals like snakes, hawks, coyotes and others. For that reason, a safe place to sleep and raise young is particularly important for squirrels, and they may find that your garage, attic or even inside your home is an appropriate haven from predators. Pennsylvania State University stated that chewed holes along your gutters or trim may come from a clever squirrel trying to find its way indoors. Likewise, these animals may widen an existing hole in an attempt to escape from predators and enjoy the warmth of your home.

Second, rodents must continually gnaw on hard surfaces throughout their lives to stop their trademark front teeth from getting too long. Damage to wires, woodwork and other structural parts of your home could be from a squirrel that has made its home on your property. Scampering feet in your walls or ceiling is a disgusting occurrence but the risk of real destruction is even worse.

Problems around the yard
Even if your home has yet to be invaded by a pesky squirrel, there are problems that can occur all over your yard. It's well known that squirrels will bury acorns and other nuts in anticipation of leaner times, which can lead to divots and holes in your grass. To make matters worse, the National Wildlife Federation reported that squirrels may actually dig more holes than needed. If one of these rodents thinks it's being watched by an opportunistic adversary, it will pretend to bury a nut in one place before actually hiding it elsewhere. For that reason, a single squirrel can cause an impressive amount of damage to your lawn.

Beyond nuts, squirrels will also be happy to investigate a garden and munch on berries and other edibles. And in the winter, some individuals may even eat the bark off of a tree, potentially killing saplings in the process.

Issues with the car
Larger trees will likely survive any damage caused by squirrels and instead they offer a place for these animals to hide from predators. If your car sits beneath a tree - even one that doesn't bear acorns or other nuts - a pesky squirrel could still drop its meal onto your vehicle and create dents.

To make matters worse, many homeowners have found that squirrels have either chewed through wires on the underside of their car or otherwise colonized the vehicle altogether. This can be a very dangerous situation.

Squirrels can transmit bacteria that cause illness, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that tularemia, a form of infection, can come from contact with animals such as squirrels and rabbits.

Many areas have local laws against the trapping or removal of squirrels, despite the risks they pose to your property. If you're dealing with these rodents, call a pest removal specialist right away for a safe and effective solution.

About the author:

Abell Pest Control is a family owned Canadian company dedicated to providing effective, professional and courteous service in pest management.Started in 1924 with one office, Abell now employs several hundred people with branch offices across Canada and the United States.

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