What are squirrels?

Squirrels are a type of rodent. Most commonly, Texans will see various tree squirrels in their back yard, particularly the fox squirrel and the Eastern gray squirrel. 

Squirrels vary in appearance and behavior depending on the species, but in general, they have a long body covered in fur that ranges in color from light whitish-gray to dark reddish-brown. They have dark eyes, ears that stand up off their heads, and their notorious long bushy tail. 

squirrel on tree

Are squirrels dangerous?

Squirrels are a type of wild animal, and you should always take care around them. While squirrels are not usually aggressive towards people, if they feel threatened or cornered, they will protect themselves by biting or scratching. When living inside your home, squirrels will contaminate surfaces with their urine and excrement, potentially making people ill. They are also hosts to disease-spreading parasites like fleas and ticks.

The biggest concern associated with squirrels is the structural damage they cause to your home. Squirrels are rodents, and therefore, they have front incisors that continuously grow. To prevent their teeth from overgrowing, they gnaw on anything they come across. These furry creatures cause a lot of damage inside homes by digging through and chewing on wires, pipes, flooring, insulation, and sheetrock. Damage caused by squirrels may cause electrical shortages and even trigger fires.

What are squirrels doing in and around my home?

Like most other pests, squirrels live in and around your home because it provides suitable shelter and plenty of food. Squirrels typically eat insects, flower buds, green shoots, fruits, and seeds. Squirrels are most problematic on properties with or near wooded areas, but they have the potential to live in almost any yard.

Squirrels move into homes to take advantage of the temperature-controlled environment it provides. They use tree branches, utility poles, and wires to gain access, usually moving inside through the chimney or openings along the roofline. Once inside, squirrels nest in chimneys, behind walls, and in attics.

How can I keep squirrels away?

Though you may do everything you can to keep squirrels away, they still may find their way into your home. However, there are some useful strategies you can implement to make your home less appealing to squirrels and other unwanted wildlife:

  • Limit their access to food by regularly harvesting fruits and vegetables from garden areas.

  • Keep tight-fitting lids on compost bins and removing bird feeders from your property.

  • Eliminate entry points into your home. Place caps on chimneys, repair holes along the roofline, place mesh covers over vents, and replace loose window screens.

  • Remove all access points to your home by cutting back tree branches that squirrels could use to jump onto your roof. 

How do I get rid of squirrels?

Squirrels can be tricky pests to deal with. As a homeowner, the best thing you can do to solve your squirrel problem is to partner with a pest control company. Pest control professionals at DANCAN have the proper experience and equipment to deal with those critters. At DANCAN, we use only the highest quality tools when excluding or removing wildlife from your property and hire only the best pest technicians trained to handle all wildlife in any situation, including squirrels.


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