It’s a freezing bitter winter, and all the wildlife in your area is looking for a warm place to hunker down and keep out of the cold. They’re looking for tree hollows, burrows, making nests themselves, or opportunistically wriggling through a hole in your roof and into your attic. Squirrels, in particular, are adept at this. They are acrobatic and nimble and can get into holes almost anywhere in your roof and walls. Shumaker’s Animal control is here with a guide to squirrels, their behavior, and tips for squirrel removal and prevention.
All You Need to Know about Squirrels in Maryland
Maryland is home to five species of squirrel, the red squirrel, the eastern gray squirrel, the southern flying squirrel, the eastern fox squirrel, and the Delmarva fox squirrel. Red squirrels are less common then the eastern gray squirrel, and tend to be only found in western Maryland. Though the southern flying squirrel is common in Maryland, it is rarely season or interacted with due to its nocturnal nature. The eastern fox squirrel is common, but mostly in the western portion of the state. The Delmarva fox squirrel is an endangered species, due to habitat loss, and currently only found on the Delmarva Peninsula. The eastern gray squirrel is the most common species of squirrel, and the one you most likely see in your day to day life and will be the focus of this blog.
Despite their name, eastern gray squirrels can be black, gray, white, and “blonde”, though gray is the most common coloration. Eastern gray squirrels omnivorous, meaning that even though the majority of their diet is made up of nuts and fruit, they do also eat insects, bird eggs, baby birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even small mammals. They are active during the day year round, and survive the winter by fattening up in the fall, caching food for winter, and by finding warm places to nest during the night and on particularly cold days.
Squirrel Removal and Prevention
It’s when squirrels go looking for shelter from winter cold or nesting that you have human squirrel conflict. Squirrels are extremely agile, and can get through almost any hole you have in your roof or walls to get into your attic. In your attic they can cause damage by gnawing on boards, pulling up insulation, and chewing on electrical wires. You might hear them during the day or at night, rustling around in the attic above your head, or scratching around in your walls.
Removing squirrels is a tricky business, but before you can remove them, you need to find their point of entry. Squirrels have a good homing instinct and will just return if you remove them but don’t seal their entrance. You can find the entrance by entering the attic, and looking for light coming from were it shouldn’t, or feeling for air flow where there shouldn’t be any. If you can’t access your attic, inspect the outside of your house, particularly under the eaves, your vents, and roof.
Once you’ve found the entrance, or entrances, to your attic, you can go about removing the squirrels in your attic. Start by determining whether it’s a mother squirrel with young. If it’s an adult without young, you can use a variety of methods to make it leave on its own. Bright lights on in the attic, loud noises like from a radio, or the smell of apple cider vinegar will all encourage adult squirrels to leave. If it is a mother squirrel however, you need to hire a professional who knows how to remove the young and mother safely.
Now that the squirrels are out, you need to keep them out. Repair any holes the squirrels had used to get into your attic. One they’re repaired, we recommend installing metal flashing, to prevent squirrels from trying to chew their way in.
Do You have Squirrels in Your Attic?
Call Shumaker Animal Control. Shumaker Animal Control is a twenty-five year veteran of the animal control profession and knows how to detect and properly remove squirrels in your Maryland Home. We can also patch any holes made by squirrels to keep them out and guarantee against them chewing back through it.
If you have any questions about animal removal, contact Shumaker Animal Control by calling (443) 854-8072 or click here today!