Finding out that you have squirrels in your attic is a surprise that most people aren’t excited about. While they might seem like cute and fun animals when you watch them run around your yard, they can actually be quite the nuisance. There are many signs to watch for if you suspect that a squirrel has chosen your attic to call home.
When will I find squirrels in my attic?
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Though it’s possible to find squirrels in your attic in any season, they are most likely to get in at a few key times of the year:
- During baby season, which occurs each spring and fall
- At the beginning of winter when the weather gets cold
Squirrels will look to enter your home during these times because your attic offers a warm, dark and safe space to either create a den or hide out from the cold temperatures that winter can bring.
The most common times of day that you’ll hear squirrels in your attic is in the early morning or late afternoon.
Signs you might have a squirrel in your attic
1. You see squirrels ALL the time
If you’re seeing squirrels playing around in your yard, climbing your roof and running through the trees more than you used to, it’s possible that they’ve decided to create a home in your attic. When you see them running around outside keep an eye on them to see if they go into your attic or chimney.
2. You’ve noticed holes in your siding
The easiest way for squirrels to enter your attic is through holes in your siding, vents or soffits. Each spring and fall you should spend some time inspecting the exterior of your home, around the base of the roof. If there is any hint of a crack or hole around vents, windows or between the roof and fascia, there’s a good chance a squirrel has worked its’ way into your attic.
3. There’s damage or a mess in your attic
Squirrels are not very clean pests so if you go into your attic and notice a mess of insulation, debris and wires, you no doubt have a not-so-welcome houseguest. Squirrels typically use their teeth to chew their way into attics and to build their nest, so look closely for teeth marks on wood beams, wiring and any other material in your attic.
4. You have destruction in your yard
These rambunctious pests will often make a mess of your yard, as well. Keep a look out for small holes in your lawn, chewed up bark on tress, destroyed bird feeders, scattered garbage from bags stored outside and even chewed up garden plants.
5. There are sounds coming from your attic
Squirrels are anything but quiet and the noises they make might be the first sign you notice of a squirrel infestation. These pests will often make themselves known just by making noise in the space they’re using. You’ll likely hear scratching, chewing and rustling as squirrels busy themselves with destroying your attic space. You might also hear banging and scurrying sounds as they move around.
6. There’s a terrible smell
If a squirrel has made a den in your attic, they’re likely using the space as a bathroom as well. Squirrel droppings and urine are typically very stinky, so you may notice that the smell is permeating through your home. It’s also possible that a squirrel has become stuck in your attic and died, leading to an even stronger smell.
7. Fighting squirrels
When squirrels start fighting over territory it can be a sign that they might start looking for new places to build their nest. Fighting squirrels typically mean that one or both are feeling threatened by reduced resources, so will feel a need to create a new den.
A squirrel infestation can be dangerous
Though they make for great summer entertainment in your yard squirrels are actually quite a dangerous pest. If they make their way into your attic, their penchant for chewing anything they can could lead to some serious hazards like potential fires and reduced ability to maintain heat.
If you suspect you might have a squirrel living in your attic, act fast! Once you’ve ensured there’s no babies living there with them you can employ a number of DIY methods to send them packing or hire a professional to get the job done safely and effectively.