Squirrels are small to medium-sized mammals in the family Sciuridae. There are many species of squirrels, but the two species that tend to make nuisances of themselves in the Athens-Clarke County, Georgia area are the Eastern gray squirrel and the flying squirrel. This page is about the Eastern gray squirrel. You can read about the flying squirrel here.
Appropriately enough, most gray squirrels are predominantly gray in color. But there's a great deal of color variation. "Gray" squirrels can be found in any color from jet black to pure white. But most of them are predominantly gray or brown and gray.
During the summer months, gray squirrels usually live in trees. As would be expected of a tree-dwelling animal, they have excellent balance and can effortlessly run along tree branches, roof peaks, and power lines. Their daily lives during the warmer months consist of gathering and burying nuts, and trying not to get eaten by cats, canines, birds of prey, and other predators.
When the cooler weather comes along, however, squirrels look for a nice, warm, comfy place to sit out the winter; and all too often, the place they settle on is in the attic of a house. Once they get inside, they surely do make a nuisance of themselves. That's why it's so important to seal up a house to keep squirrels out of the attic, not just to trap and remove any squirrels who are already living up there. We call this "squirrel exclusion" or "squirrel proofing".
When needed, we use top-secret, stealth, night-vision technology to positively identify your animal problem.
Squirrels are classified as "nuisance wildlife," and they certainly do the name justice. Despite their small size, squirrels can create big problems when they get into your attic, roof soffits, or anywhere else in your home. That's why squirrel removal and squirrel exclusion are among the most common jobs we're called upon to do.
One of the problems with squirrels in your attic is that they hoard things. They're hoarders by nature, and they hoard the oddest things sometimes. We've found toys, jewelry, beads, and all sorts of small items "squirreled away" in attics over the years. What a squirrel needs with jewelry, we can't rightly say. But we've found them hoarding it anyway.
Squirrels also create a very unsanitary situation in an attic. They stink the place up and contaminate the attic with their urine and droppings, and also damage and contaminate stored clothing and other items. Their droppings can harbor bacterial and fungal pathogens that can make humans sick, and their fleas, ticks, and other parasites can vector arboviral diseases.
That's why we also provide clean-up and sanitizing services as part of our squirrel-removal protocol. If needed, we also offer contaminated insulation replacement as an optional add-on service.
Like all rodents, squirrels are gnawers. They gnaw pretty much anything they can get their teeth around, from nuts to roof flashing. This habit is another reason why squirrels inside your house are not something you can ignore.
When squirrels get into your home, they gnaw on anything that's handy. They gnaw on PVC pipe, HVAC duct work, stored clothing and other personal belongings, furniture, the structural wood of the house itself, and worst of all, electrical wiring. Squirrels and other rodents in houses cause many home fires every year when the wires they gnaw on short out and catch fire.
The long and short of it is that squirrels in a home can really can do a whole lot of damage. They can even start a fire that destroys your home.
There are a lot of symptoms that suggest that you might have a squirrel problem, including:
Of course, there are other critters that can cause any of these signs, and proper control begins with identification. No worries. Our highly-trained technicians can identify the critters in your attic by careful inspection. In difficult cases, we even have newfangled, motion-triggered, infrared cameras we can set up to catch your critters in the act and identify them.
Squirrels are nuisance animals, not pests. That means there's no such thing as a "squirrel exterminator." The only way to legally control squirrels in to humanely trap them, remove them, release them, and seal them out of your home. If you come across an exterminator who wants to use poison to kill squirrels, that individual is breaking state and federal law.
In addition, even if it were legal, it wouldn't make sense to poison squirrels. There are few things that smell worse than a dead squirrel's carcass rotting away in a wall, and that's exactly what could happen if you poisoned squirrels in your home.
The way we handle squirrel problems is to humanely trap and remove the squirrels that are already in your home, relocate them elsewhere, and seal up your house so no "new" squirrels can get in. Removing squirrels from your attic without sealing up the roof to prevent new squirrels from getting in is a waste of time.
This is not the kind of work that handymen, roofers, or do-it-yourselfers should attempt. Squirrels are very resourceful, determined animals. A poorly-done squirrel-proofing job won't keep them out for long, if at all. More likely they'll just enjoy a good laugh at your expense. Squirrel control also requires specialized equipment and can be hazardous because of the heights involved.
That's why at Rid-A-Critter, all of our technicians complete an intensive training and apprenticeship program. They also are provided with everything they need to do squirrel exclusion safely, effectively, and permanently. We provide ladders, scaffolding, cherry pickers, safety equipment, or anything else they need to make your home squirrel-proof. More importantly to you, the homeowner, we back up our work with the best warranty in the business. It's even transferable to new owners if you sell your home. That's how confident we are in the work we do.
If you have a squirrel problem and you live anywhere in the Athens, Georgia area, please call us for an on-site consultation. We look forward to your call.
Here are few pictures of some of our squirrel removal work.
Handyman squirrel-proofing job - FAIL
Squirrel entry gap in Watkinsville
Squirrel entry gap in a house in Winder
Squirrel chew hole in a house in Athens
Squirrel entry gap into a house in Greensboro
Another DIY squirrel exclusion fail
Squirrel damage to a dryer duct
Young squirrel we were babysitting enjoying a meal
Squirrel damage to a metal roof vent
Squirrel chew hole in Athens
Squirrel got stuck in a PVC pipe and died
Squirrel hole in the soffit of a house in Athens
Squirrel damage to the wiring in Athens
Squirrel gave its secret away
Squirrel hole in a house in Winder
Squirrel hole in a house in Hoschton
What a baby gray squirrel looks like
Sagging rain gutter let squirrels into this house
Squirrel gap into a house in Bogart
Squirrel damage to a house in Greensboro
Squirrel damage to the soffit of a house in Athens
Squirrel stuck in a range hood at a restaurant
How squirrels got into this Braselton home
Squirrel gap into an attic in Hoschton
We have the tools and personnel to handle any squirrel control job, so please call us today.