Tag Archives: squirrels in attic

Fat Squirrels in Chicago

Fat Squirrels in Chicago
Do the squirrels in your yard look a little plump to you this year? Maybe even fat?

If you have noticed the squirrels in Chicago are getting bigger then it’s not just your imagination. In fact, the squirrel population in Chicago has increased because of two straight mild winters and fewer squirrels freezing to death.

November was very mild, giving squirrels plenty of time to feast and stock up on food. Most of December was very mild as well, with no significant snowfall or cold weather until the last week of the month.

These factors have given the squirrels plenty of time to gorge themselves.

Late December and early January is peak fat squirrel season.
Tree Squirrel, SquirrelsIt’s their natural instinct to eat as much as possible in late fall. It’s natural to think that squirrels would be skinnier in winter, and they will be by spring, but in early winter they are fattened up.

Squirrels are fatter than ever right now. They don’t have a Tom Skilling to talk to them about the weather; they need to get ready for winter, and the best way to store calories is on themselves.” – – Squirrel expert and founder of Project Squirrel Steve Sullivan.

Squirrel diets consist of high-fat nuts such as acorns and walnuts, as well as berries, fruits, worms, and insects. In fall they will also eat unpicked garden vegetables and plenty of corn, gourds, and punkins from homeowners fall displays.

You may have seen them eating from bird feeders and been frustrated with squirrels digging up and eating your flower bulbs.

Squirrel eating pumpkinThey will basically try almost anything, especially when other food is not easily available. Squirrels have been known to put down whole hamburgers, potato chips, slices of pizza and other fatty human foods.

Some Chicago squirrels have been known to run right up to people and eat food out of their hands. It is rare, but they have even been known to attack their human enemies.

There are over 265 species of squirrel worldwide. The two common squirrels in Chicago are gray squirrels, which have gray fur, white bellies and tails, and the fox squirrel, which are brownish with an orange rust-colored belly and a black-fringed tail.

Both speeches have rarely lived next to one another in the Chicago metropolitan area. While gray squirrels resided in wealthier neighborhoods, fox squirrels preferred less affluent areas.

Squirrel in atticThey build their nests high up in trees to keep away from predators and in areas that they find to be warmer than the outdoors, for example, your attic. Squirrels have been known to cause thousands of dollars in damages to roofs and attics and even start fires by chewing on electrical wires.

Related: Protect your home from animals in winter

You don’t want those fatties in your home

If you find out that you have squirrels in your attic, then you’re going to have to remove them from your home. It’s cold outside, but wild animals belong in the wild. Squirrels are wild animals, not pets, even if you are one of those people who find them cute.

If squirrels are in your attic, then they are also likely to raise a family there, and then you’ll have anywhere from 4-8 squirrels in your attic causing mayhem. It’s not something you want to deal with and they can be a threat to your health and safety.

Attic restorationDo you need help removing a squirrel from your home?

Attic Solutions can provide you humane squirrel removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

We can also safely restore and sanitize your attic to remove dangerous contaminants.

For a limited time, get a 10% discount when you mention coupon code WEB10%

Satisfaction guaranteed!

How to Get Rid of Squirrels in Attic

How to remove squirrels from your attic

Squirrels are one of the most common nuisance animals that enter the home during winter.

During the spring and summer, they may enter the attic to find a safe place to raise a litter of babies. Squirrels can have two litters of 2-4 babies every year.

Like all other animals that will enter the home during fall and winter, they’re looking for a nice warm place to get shelter from the cold and snow. Squirrels also want a safe space to raise their young. They do not hibernate but they do want a warm place where that can sleep and remain mostly inactive until the weather changes and they leave in search of food.

You don’t want these little visitors living in your attic. Though they may not be as likely to carry diseases like raccoons do, they can be destructive.

 

Squirrel in attic

Photo by Tammra M – Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution

Besides digging, scratching and damaging items in your attic, squirrels chewing on electrical wires is a serious issue that causes hundreds of home fires every year.

 

The sooner you get rid of a squirrel, the sooner you can stop the damage they cause and the smell they leave behind. You don’t want them sticking around long enough to give birth to a litter and end up with even more squirrels living there.

In this post, we list four DIY ideas to try for removing squirrels from the attic before you call a professional removal service.

Sometimes the best option is to contact a professional animal removal service. In Chicagoland, contact Attic Solutions for fast, safe and affordable squirrel removal.

Steps to get rid of squirrels in the attic

First, you need to find out how squirrels are getting into your home.

Squirrels can squeeze through small openings to enter the home. They may also enter through chimneys or vents. Squirrels may also chew their way inside through a worn area in the siding or soffit.

Finding out where they get in may take some work. It’s likely they’re entering through a place that is not easily accessible to people.

Related: Common animal entry points

You want to find out how they’re getting in to help determine your strategy for getting rid of the squirrels. You may not actually close the entrance right away. If there is only one way in, then you risk trapping them inside your home, which can make them cause even more damage while trying to escape.

If there is more than one entrance, then close all of the exits except for the main one. Leave the most easily accessible entry intact for now.

Once you have found their entry points and closed all of them except for one, give the squirrel some incentive to leave the attic.

Related: Can I keep a squirrel for a pet in Illinois?

How can you get squirrels to leave the attic?

There are several DIY methods that people will try to get rid of squirrels in the attic. 

  • Light
  • Sound
  • Chemical Repellents
  • Trapping (permit required)

This squirrel wants to eat your electrical wiresPeople report varying levels of success using these DIY methods. What works against one squirrel will not always work with another because individual squirrels have different levels of tolerance to human activity.

Related: How to identify kind of animal in attic

Light

Some people have had success in repelling squirrels by placing bright lights and strobes in the attic. These can work because they disrupt the dark peaceful home the squirrel has tried to make for herself.

Sound

Sounds may also disrupt the environment of some squirrels and scare them away. Some people have said that simply placing a radio at a high volume in the attic is enough to get rid of them. Others have used ultrasonic animal repellers that make a high pitched ultrasonic noise that scares animals away.

Chemical Repellents

There are many chemical sprays and granular repellents available at your local hardware store. People report varying levels of success. Some people have complained that many animals develop a tolerance to repellents and eventually return. If you can get them out of your attic long enough to cover their entryway, it could be worth it.

Trapping

Some people opt to try and trap the squirrels in their attic. You should be aware though that squirrels are a protected species and require a nuisance animal permit in Illinois in order to trap and remove.

Don’t use poison to get rid of squirrels in attic

We never recommend using poison to remove squirrels from your attic, or any other animal. Most importantly, it is illegal to poison squirrels and other animals in Illinois. Most wildlife in Illinois are considered protected species and require animal removal permits to remove.

To trap and remove a squirrel in Illinois requires a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit (PDF) from the Illinois Department of National Resources. You may NOT poison squirrels or other nuisance animals.

Even if you did, you would face the likely outcome that the squirrel will crawl into a remote location in your attic, perhaps in the walls to die. You might not be able to get to them. You would also risk unintentionally poisoning household pets and other family members.

The Illinois DNR recommends highering a licensed animal removal specialist.

Related: Reasons not to use rat poison

Once you have chased the squirrels out of your home, it will be safe to perform attic restoration and repairs.

Make sure you’ve closed off their entrance for good and periodically inspect your home exterior, at least every spring and fall.

Attic restorationDo you need help removing a squirrel from your home?

Attic Solutions can provide you humane squirrel removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

We can also safely restore and sanitize your attic to remove dangerous contaminants.

For a limited time, get a 10% discount when you mention coupon code WEB10%

Satisfaction guaranteed!

Contact us online or call (847) 464-1861


 

Attic restoration

Why Attic Restoration is Important

Cleanup and restoration of your attic after animals have been living in the space is critical for the health of you and your family. 

Attic restoration means to clean and restore your attic to the condition it was in before unwanted wildlife moved in and created a mess.

You may think getting rid of the animal in your attic is enough, but that is not the end of your problem. Animals living in your attic will make a mess, leaving feces and diseases after they are gone.

For professional attic restoration in the Chicago area, please contact us online or call (847) 464-1861

Problems caused by animals in the attic

  • Animal feces and urine in your insulation
  • Leftover food and food waste
  • Animal and urine odors
  • Mold growing in urine soaked areas
  • Roundworms, parasites and their eggs
  • Animal scents which can attract more pests

Related: Dangers of animal feces in the attic

It’s extremely important to make sure all these issues are taken care of. They are not something that you would want to attempt on your own because you risk becoming infected by some diseases.

Parasites such as roundworm can become airborne, risking infection simply by breathing them in.

A trained professional attic restoration technician will clean, disinfect, and repair the attic using an air filter and protective clothing.

Related: What is attic restoration?

You will also need to make sure that you inspect the home to locate and repair any points where animals have entered your home. This may include roofing, fascia, soffit, siding, and chimneys.

Professional cleanup and attic resthelpon helps protect you and your family from disease. Animal entry repair will prevent the problem from happening again.

Live animal trapping and attic restoration video

In this video, you can see the Attic Solutions team cleaning and restoring a customer’s attic and returning it to its original state.

For animal removal and attic restoration services in Chicago, the Chicago suburbs and southern Wisconsin, contact us online or phone (847) 464-1861


 

Squirrels Chewing Wires is a Major Problem

This squirrel wants to eat your electrical wiresAre there squirrels plotting right now to take out the power in your home?

We’ve talked before about the damages squirrels can cause in the attic and how they’ve even gone as far as to attack a Chicago politician.

The biggest problem they can potentially cause though is to start an electrical fire in your home. Although we like to have fun and joke about animals, a fire in your house is no laughing matter.

Squirrels chewing on wires in your home are a major problem. Although it’s hard to find a reliable number, it’s known that squirrels cause many home fires every year.

They caused a fire that burnt down a home in the UK while a family was on vacation. They caused a fire in a pastor’s home in Florida. Squirrels have even been reported to knock out power to entire towns.

We’ve read claims that squirrels cause 30,000 house fires a year. We can’t say how reliable that number is but having seen the damages that squirrels cause all across Chicagoland, we wouldn’t be surprised.

Let’s talk about why squirrels do then and how you can stop them.

For professional animal and squirrel removal in Chicagoland Call (847) 464-1861

Why squirrels chew electrical wires

Squirrels are a common nuisance in homes and often may enter the home during winter months. They are looking for a warm and dry place to stays, and maybe even to hide some nuts from rivals or to raise a family.

The reason that squirrels chew is because their teeth never stop growing. Their teeth will continue to grow throughout their lifetime.

Because of this, squirrels need to chew on hard objects, such as metal wires, so that they can slow the rate of their teeth growing and control their length.

Chewing also keeps their teeth hard, and chewing on metal wires can help keep them sharp. Squirrels need hard, sharp teeth to break through hard nut shells and will engage in chewing and sharpening behaviors throughout their entire lifetime.

How to protect your electrical wires from squirrels

So how do you protect your home and family from the dangers of squirrels chewing your wires?

First off, if you think you have squirrels in your home, get rid of them! As soon as possible!

For professional inspection and animal removal call (847) 464-1861

If you don’t have squirrels in your attic, hooray! Let’s keep it that way. Nothing can protect your home like putting some time into prevention.

common animal entry points in home

Learn what the most common entry points for animals to enter your home and then inspect your house to make sure you’re not giving them an easy way in. Learn how to squirrel proof your home and keep them out.

Try to keep them away from your bird feeders and don’t give them any other sources of food.

Keep your house secured from squirrels and you will also be helping to keep other pests out as well.

Nobody likes an uninvited animal guest so make sure you’re not leaving them a welcome mat.

For more animal prevention tips read our blog.

For professional animal removal services in Chicagoland including squirrels, raccoons, bats and more, contact Attic Solutions by email or call us at (847) 464-1861