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Squirrels; Cute Friend or Foe?

Although most people would agree that squirrels are cute, these adorable little critters can actually cause quite a bit of damage, especially if they manage to find a way into our homes. Let’s see what we can learn about these fuzzy little furballs, and take a look at some ways to reduce the problems they cause.

Facts about squirrels you may not already know:

  • Squirrels are born blind.
  • Squirrels exist in nearly every habitat on earth and there are 285 species across the globe, ranging from the half-ounce pygmy tree squirrel to the almost 20-pound gray marmots.
  • Squirrels help trees spread by burying acorns.
  • Squirrels make their very own type of ‘mushroom jerky’ by hanging fungi out to dry between branches so it keeps better over the winter.
  • Flying squirrels don’t actually fly. But they can glide up to 150 feet in a single glide!

They may be interesting, but they can be dangerous to your belongings.

There have been many occasions where squirrels have been known to damage vehicles. If one of these creatures finds its way under your hood, perhaps just trying to get out of the weather, it’s likely to start chewing on things and causing all sorts of problems. When this happens, the repair costs can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand to replace shredded hoses, brakes and more.

But more common than vehicle damage by squirrels is home damage. When the weather turns cold, many animals seek shelter in attics and wall voids. And once inside, they will chew everything in sight. They find bedding material by shredding insulation and wood frames. They also chew through electrical wiring which can lead to a house fire. Known to chew through PVC piping which can lead to flooding or water damage just proves, yet again, that these are all things we can all live without!

What to do if a squirrel, or squirrels, have invaded your home:

While it might seem like a good idea to seal up the hole you have discovered, where squirrels have been getting into your home, it could only make your problems worse. There is a chance one or more squirrels are still inside, and if trapped inside, they will do anything to get out, chewing anything and everything in their way. If they are trapped for a number of days, it is not uncommon for them to chew their way into living spaces. And, if the animal is not able to chew its way out, it will die in the wall voids and create a horrid smell. Then there is the problem of where the smell is coming from, and having to cut open ceilings or walls to remove the dead animal.

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