Squirrels are remarkably agile creatures with adaptable qualities. They can run as much as 32km/hr and jump 5 feet up off the ground. But, did you know they have powerful senses? Squirrels have superior vision and a very good sense of smell. This helps them find food and communicate with other squirrels. Note however that this sense of smell is what may bring them into your house.
Squirrels are little diurnal rodents that are very common all over the world. These are arboreal mammals that have adapted well to human habitats. Weighing approximately 500g, squirrels measure up to 30cm in length and have bushy tails nearly just as long. As omnivores, squirrels eat the occasional insect but feed primarily on nuts, buds, berries, and fungi. Squirrels have an excellent sense of smell that helps them locate food. It is so strong that they can smell the nuts they buried months before, even under a foot of snow. Squirrels can even smell the food you keep in the house.
Squirrels often invade people’s homes because they find the smell of food attractive. They can also feel warm air escape the roof and, like trees, attics are above ground. To get inside, squirrels will chew their way through things like roof vents, soffits, and chimneys. Squirrels have incredibly strong teeth that can chew through practically anything. Plastic vent covers are no match for squirrels. Once inside, they like to nest within the insulation of the attic, close to the entrance they created. The problem with these nests is that they are messy and destructive, increasing energy costs and putting your home at risk of another animal invasion.
If there are squirrels in your area, be sure to protect your home from an invasion. Examine your roof closely for signs of damage and make all necessary repairs. Check that there are no gaps between the roof’s edge and the framing of the house. You can seal small gaps with caulking. Cover your roof vents, plumbing vents, and chimneys with galvanized steel mesh. This material is strong enough to resist squirrels, raccoons, and other pests. Then, clean the gutters and tidy up the yard. Cut tree branches away from the house and remove all fallen fruit. Store garbage in sealed containers and switch to squirrel-proof bird feeders.
Squirrels have a great sense of smell, so be careful not to let them in. These are destructive little critters that can cost you a fortune in repairs.