Grey squirrels can cause significant damage to your garden and your home once they have entered the roof space of your home or outbuildings.
This is why spotting the early signs that squirrels are making themselves at home in or around your property is very important.
If you believe you may have a squirrel problem, you will be familiar with one or more of the following:
- Scratching and rustling sound from your loft, wall cavity, and in between skirting boards and the ceiling. They will make themselves at home in your loft space especially in the winter months when they seek refuge as it will be warm and dry. They can also breed in your loft if undetected leading to an even larger issue should they not be spotted early.
- Droppings in the loft with an accompanying smell of urine. Squirrels contaminate cold water tanks and attic spaces with their urine and droppings.
- Gnawing on woodwork and ceilings, insulation being stripped from electrical wires, and fibreglass insulation being torn up.
- Holes in vents or damage to your insulation foam. This would indicate that this is where the squirrels are entering and leaving your property. Just blocking these holes will not be enough as they will be able to get back in eventually.
- Insomnia! Squirrels are noisy and can disturb your sleep as they run amok in the loft space and between the floorboards and ceiling of other rooms. Their peak activity is four-five hours before daybreak.
- Spotting many other squirrels around your property, particularly near the roof or on high fences. This could be an indication that they are looking for a place to settle and nest.
- Fruit and nuts are being taken from bird feeders and the feeders are being disturbed/knocked over and damaged. Squirrels will make light work of a metal mesh feeder, gnawing through to the contents.
- Bark being stripped from trees in your garden.
In your garden squirrels can wreak havoc without being disturbed. They can:
- Dig up your lawn to bury the fruits, seeds, and nuts they have gathered from your trees, plants, and bird feeders.
- Dig up and destroy bulbs.
- Raid birds’ nests preying on the eggs and fledglings.
- Destroy the most sophisticated bird feeders – gnawing through the metal.
- Damage trees such as beech, oak, and chestnut. By stripping the bark at the base, the tree weakens and eventually dies.
These are the primary signs of squirrels around your property. It is best to act quickly as soon as you spot an indication to reduce the extent of the issue. Should the problem already be more advanced, finding ways to get rid of squirrels would be a necessity.