Squirrels Driving you Nuts this Winter? How to Prevent Them in the Cold Months

You see them darting up trees in the spring and summer. But why are squirrels still terrorising you in the winter? Surely they hibernate, right? Actually, squirrels don’t hibernate, but they’ll seek shelter in the winter, and that could include your home. Here’s how to prevent squirrels in the cold months.

How Do Squirrels Prepare for Winter?

To understand why you need to prevent squirrels in the cold months, you need to understand a few things about their behaviour. To prepare for winter, squirrels do three things:

· They put on layers of fat by increasing their food consumption in the Autumn. This helps them keep warm in the colder weather.

· They hoard food and store it in holes they’ve dug.

· They seek shelter, either in a den, or they will happily nest in your warm home.

The Problems Squirrels Cause

It’s this behaviour that causes the problems we get called out to people’s homes for.

They nest in homes

Squirrels need warmth, shelter, and food to survive the winter, so they often get into homes. They can squeeze through gaps as small as 1 ½ inches and they love to nest in sheds, garages, inside of wall cavities, or lofts.

They dig up gardens

Squirrels can cause a lot of damage in gardens when they dig up lawns to find the food they stashed in the Autumn.

They attract other pests

This is another important reason to prevent squirrels in the cold months. Squirrels carry parasites like ticks, fleas, and mites which can end up in your property or on your pet.

They spread diseases

Squirrels carry a number of diseases that can be transmitted to humans including typhus and ringworm.

How to Prevent Squirrels From Getting into Your Home

If you’ve noticed signs of squirrels like:

Evidence of gnawing or nesting;

Scratching noises;

An increase in the number of squirrels around your property;

It’s time to act. Here are some things you can do to prevent squirrels.

• Inspect your home for potential access points-don’t forget the roof! This is often how squirrels will get into your loft. Use mesh to seal up any gaps or cracks.

• Trim any overhanging tree branches that could give them access to the roof.

What if Squirrels are Already in My Home?

If there are squirrels in your loft, you might be tempted to set traps. However, there’s an issue with that. Grey squirrels, while considered pests, have some protection under the law. Also, the law says that if you do happen to catch a grey squirrel, you can’t release it back into the wild. That means you have to humanely kill it. Obviously not everyone will want to do this, and if you end up causing suffering to the animal, you can end up with a fine.

The best way to deal with squirrels in your home is to call in professional pest control. Contego’s expert technicians are experienced in wildlife management. We’ll humanely deal with the target species while making sure no harm comes to any other wildlife. After we’ve dealt with the problem, we’ll give you some expert advice on how to prevent squirrels from invading your home again in the cold months.

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