In their natural environment, squirrels can be cute and amusing to watch. Nevertheless, when they invade your home, destroy landscaping, eat vegetation, or scare aware desirable birds, their playfulness quickly become less entertaining or cute. While squirrels are not dangerous in and of themselves, they can carry many diseases, such as rabies.
What damage do squirrels cause in or around my home?
In seeking to build nests, squirrels can damage homes and structures by chewing openings through the siding and underneath eaves. They also may chew through unscreened chimneys and vents, and build nests in these areas. Once in this “nest,” squirrels will continue to chew on insulation and wires, and like rodents, they can potentially cause a fire. Additionally, when squirrels run along utility power wires and cables, they can short out the transformers. Like rabbits, squirrels also can cause severe damage to landscaping and plants when they dig in lawns for nuts; chew the bark and twigs of trees and shrubbery; eat fruits and grains or planted bulbs and seeds and carry off mature nuts.
Are squirrels dangerous to people?
It is possible for squirrels to carry diseases that could affect humans, such as rabies, but such instance is extremely rare. If you are bitten, the wound should be thoroughly flushed with water and cleaned with soap and water, and a doctor contacted immediately. It is also advised that you contact your local health department, and, if possible without endangering yourself, trap the squirrel for inspection by the health department.
Are squirrels dangerous to other animals?
It is very common for squirrels to invade bird feeders, scaring off birds, taking the food, and damaging the feeders. To get to the food, a squirrel also may gnaw to create a larger opening, and it may also gnaw on the perches.
So how do I protect my home from damage from squirrels?
Squirrels can be excluded or discouraged from entering your home through physical methods:
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