While it is normal to see squirrels scurrying around a lawn and leaping from trees to utility lines, the rodents can become a serious nuisance if they overpopulate your property. The small animals can destroy ornamental plants, devour your edible vegetation and infiltrate your home. When you notice the signs of a squirrel infestation, you need to manage the population of the rodents in a legal and effective manner.
Signs You Have a Serious Squirrel Problem
The first step in decreasing the population of squirrels in your yard is to figure out the extent of the problem. If you have ground squirrels, you should check your sprinkler heads and irrigation lines for signs of damage. Squirrels will gnaw on the equipment and cause the devices to malfunction.
Grounds squirrels also:
Tree squirrels have bushier and longer tails than ground squirrels. They are the culprits that find ways to enter openings in your home such as small gaps under eaves and holes in the attic. They will also enter via chimneys.
In addition, tree squirrels will gnaw at siding, roofing materials, shingles and even plastic. They will even cause electrical problems if they chew through your home's wiring. Tree squirrels can also damage trees by stripping the bark.
Educate Yourself About Squirrel Regulations
If the squirrel infestation is driving you crazy, you may be tempted to take matters into your own hands. However, some municipalities and states have laws that limit how you can treat squirrels. For example, in California, you cannot shoot certain types squirrels without a permit.
In some places it is illegal to try and trap squirrels or use fumigation chemicals to get rid of the rodents. You may kill other types of animals inadvertently using those methods to control squirrels.
Before you take action, contact your local government and your state's fish and game commission to find out if there are any laws governing how individuals treat the animals.
Hire a Professional
Squirrels carry serious diseases so you should never try to handle them, even if they are dead. The bacteria on an infected carcass can be hazardous to your health and ground squirrels carry ticks that transmit Lyme disease.
Consequently, it is best to call a licensed pest control firm to handle your squirrel problem. Professionals specializing in exterminating the rodents have the proper equipment to find squirrels living in your home and building nests in your yard.
Techniques exterminators use include using professional-grade traps and disseminating bait that is not toxic to your pets. Pest control specialists will also have access to products not available for consumer use.
Keeping the Squirrels Under Control After Pest Control Treatments
The last thing you want is for the squirrel population to explode again after you pay for an exterminator. You can schedule periodic inspections of your yard by pest control experts, but there are several things you can do to prevent another squirrel infestation.
Keep your yard clean and mowed. Do not let mounds of debris pile up. Squirrel burrows are harder to detect when your yard has overgrown vegetation, accumulated brush and junk. Exterminators will destroy any burrows they find but you do not want to make it easy to squirrels to build new ones.
Inspect the exterior of your home for any openings. Cover the small holes and gaps with chicken wire or welded wire mesh. Repair or replace old siding and roofing materials damaged by squirrels. Trim any tree branches that hang close to your house to prevent easy access by squirrels to your roof and chimney.
If you have edibles in your garden you want to protect, use chicken wire to build a barrier around the plants. Keep all garbage cans and compost bins around your home covered. If you like to attract birds to your yard, purchase squirrel-proof bird feeders.
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13 August 2015
Although I've never worked professionally in the real estate business, I sure know my way around it. How, do you ask? Well, I have simply rented a lot of different places and worked with a lot of different landlords and real estate agents. In the past 7 years I've lived in 11 different houses or apartments, none of them my own. In finding those 11, I have looked at literally hundreds of apartments. I used to hate house hunting, but now it's kind of fun. You just need to know what you want and the right questions to ask. Hopefully this blog can help you learn some of the tricks of the trade from another renter like yourself.