How Squirrels Damage Your Home
What Kind of Damage Can Squirrels Cause to Your Home?
You might not think of them as major pests, but squirrels damage homes all over the United States. They can cost you thousands—or even tens of thousands—of dollars in home damages. Their jaws are stronger and more destructive than they appear, and help squirrels chew right into common household construction materials that hold up your roof and keep the lights on. Some experts even estimate that squirrels are partly responsible for up to 20% of annual power outages nationwide. What’s more, damage caused by squirrels may not be entirely or even partially covered by your insurance policy.
Are There Squirrels in Your Attic?
The fundamental problem that squirrels pose is that your house looks just as much like a home to them as it does to you. It is very common to find a squirrel in attic corners or nesting in insulation. Squirrels will look for any way they can to get under your roof and into the attic. That’s where they make nests and begin to breed—producing litters of two to nine in the summer. And once they’ve had offspring, the juvenile squirrels themselves can start to breed in as little as a year. So, in preventing squirrels from causing major damage to your property, it’s important to act quickly and effectively in response to an infestation.
Things in Your Home that Squirrels Damage
When it comes down to it, given enough time squirrels damage anything around your property that isn’t concrete, stone, or metal. In fact, that’s exactly what they’re inclined to do. Chewing on things is how squirrels naturally wear down their sharp teeth, which continue to grow throughout their lives. In other words, squirrels don’t just see your house as a home: to them, it’s a place where they can carry on their instinctive behavior and remain safe from predators.
Specifically, squirrels damage:
- Wood: Siding, joists, doors, you name it. Particularly around the roof, squirrels will chew holes three to four inches in diameter to gain access to your attic. This will open holes that make it easier for other wildlife and pests to get in and puts your home at risk of structural failure.
- Shingles: Squirrels are just as capable of compromising your shingling as the roof itself, which, if the problem becomes bad enough, can lead to water damage when rain arrives.
- Plastic: From outdoor furniture to PVC pipes, squirrels cause damage to all kinds of plastic. In worst cases, you may find yourself with leaking pipes that will eventually cause water damage.
- Wiring: Unfortunately, electrical wiring tends to be found in the attic, which is just where squirrels want to be. And they have absolutely no trouble chewing through the stuff. The damage they can cause to wires is one of the biggest dangers a squirrel infestation poses. Once bare copper cable has been exposed, the risk of an electrical fire is suddenly much closer than you want it to be.
- Insulation: When squirrels get into your roof, insulation is where they’ll choose to make their nests. Trampling on it and shredding it for nests will reduce its effectiveness, and may require you to replace your insulation.
Diseases Squirrels Can Spread to Humans
There are other ways that squirrels damage your home and harm your family. Like other rodents, their feces and urine may also transmit salmonella to people who touch it, as well as pets. Additionally, squirrels are carriers of fleas and ticks which they can also transmit to your pets, or introduce them directly into your home. Not to mention, squirrels also are a threat to your garden. Given the chance, they’ll eat seeds that have been planted and ripe fruit, among other things. Lastly, squirrels often get caught in vents and chimneys, causing damaging obstructions.
We Can Help When Squirrels Damage Your Home
The good news is that clearing squirrel infestations is a process Eastside Exterminators specializes in. We know how to safely and humanely remove squirrels from your premises without damaging your home or the surrounding environment. We can also educate you as the homeowner on things you can do which will reduce the likelihood of another infestation occurring. Call us to schedule an appointment for our affordable, highly-specialized services at 425-482-2100.