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Squirrel Removal and Squirrel-Proofing in Georgia

Young squirrel peeking out of a box next to a dandelion

Young squirrel removed from a home somewhere in Georgia

Squirrels are furry rodents who are more closely related to rats than any self-respecting squirrel is willing to admit.

The most common squirrels in our area are the gray squirrel and the flying squirrel. Both of these critters spend much of their time in trees, attics, and other high places, but there are some differences. This page deals with gray squirrel removal; please click here for information on flying squirrel control.

A lot of people think squirrels are cute -- and the squirrel in our logo agrees. But squirrels can become a nuisance and cause serious damage when they get into attics and start making a mess. That's when squirrels become very unwelcome visitors and must be trapped and removed.

Aside from the damage they do and the mess that they make, squirrels are also believed to be responsible for many thousands of house fires every year due to their habit of gnawing on the electrical wiring in houses. This is of special concern here in Georgia, where we have so many irreplaceable historic buildings.

Squirrels also create a health risk by way of their urine, droppings, and shed parasites. That's one of the reasons why after we remove squirrels from your home, we also clean up the mess they made and apply disinfectants and insecticides, if needed, to correct odor and displaced parasite problems.

All of these not-so-cute problems associated with squirrels are the reasons why squirrel removal, squirrel damage repair, and squirrel-proofing of homes, churches, and other buildings keeps us busy for most of the year. There's usually a short lull during the summer months when the squirrels tend to stay outdoors; but the rest of the year, they call our homes their homes. When squirrels move into human-occupied buildings, they have to be humanely trapped, removed, and relocated.

Signs that You May Have a Squirrel Problem

Most people realize they have a squirrel problem when they hear scratching noises in the attic or walls. Squirrels usually are the culprits, but sometimes mice, rats or birds can get into attics and wall voids and make similar noises.

Other common signs of a squirrel problem include gnawing or other damage to the attic or items store there, droppings, urine, stored acorns or shells, burrows through the insulation, or gnawed wiring.

Determining whether the animals in your attic are squirrels or some other critters requires a combination of old-fashioned know-how and high-tech gadgetry. Our motion-sensitive, infrared Attic Cam (see the photo in the next section) can positively identify which animal is in your attic, as well as help us know how the critters are getting in and out.

Squirrel Biology and Habits

Infrared photo of a squirrel in an Altanta attic.

Our robotic cameras give us a high-tech edge in squirrel control. As far as we know, we're the only Georgia squirrel-removal company that uses this technology.

Gray squirrels are skilled aerialists and have excellent balance. They easily run along tree branches and utility lines to get into buildings, and can also climb vertically on trees, shingles, siding, and most other exterior building materials. They often get into houses through chimneys, roof vents, construction gaps, or by gnawing their way in. Their aerial skills and dental prowess make keeping squirrels out of a house a real challenge.

Squirrels eat nuts and have powerful teeth and jaws, which they also use to gnaw holes through wood, siding, and other building materials, They can cause serious damage to both buildings and any belongings stored in them. Squirrels also cause fires when they gnaw on electrical wiring, which makes squirrel removal in Georgia especially important because we have so many irreplaceable, historic buildings.

When squirrels get into buildings, they also create health risks from their urine, droppings, shed fur, and parasites. In addition, dead squirrels cause odors when they die in wall and ceiling voids, soffits, and other inaccessible areas, and their corpses provide a breeding place for flies and other disease vectors. (In fact, we do a lot of jobs cleaning up the dead-squirrel mess when some exterminators mistake squirrels for rats and poison them.)

Squirrels and Home Fires

Electrical wires almost completely stripped of tehir insulation by squirrels in an attic in Stockbridge, Georgia.

Jason was "shocked" to find this wiring in an attic in Stockbridge. Squirrels had completely gnawed through the insulation. It's a miracle that the house didn't catch fire.

A lot of folks find this surprising, but squirrels cause many thousands of home fires every year when they gnaw through the insulation on wiring in attics and walls. The exact number is impossible to know because other animals, such as rats, mice, and flying squirrels also gnaw on wires. But a National Fire Protection Association study determined that a very large percentage of electrical fires, and a significant percentage of fires of unknown origin, were started by squirrels and other rodents.

In addition to their gnawing, squirrels also increase fire risk when they drag flammable materials into a home to use as nesting materials, or when they shred items already stored in an attic into nesting materials, basically making them into kindling. This makes for a deadly combination: They chewed through the insulation and created an ignition source, plus they created a pile of kindling next to it. All it takes is a nudge against the exposed wiring to short it out, create a spark, and start a fire.

Our techs are constantly sending the webmaster pictures of exposed wiring that they come across while doing squirrel jobs and other rodent-removal jobs, but the picture on the right is one of the worst wire-gnawing situations we've ever come across. This situation was so bad that Jason almost got himself electrocuted when he accidentally touched the exposed wires and caused a spark. Talk about a fire waiting to happen!

Preventing Squirrels from Getting into Your Home

Two squirrels peeking through a hole after do-it-yourself squirrel removal attempt

This DIY squirrel-proofing job didn't work out as planned. Our squirrel-removal services also include squirrel-proofing to keep squirrels out of your home.

The best way to deal with squirrels in your home is to trap and remove any existing squirrels using safe, humane, non-chemical methods; and then to seal up your house to keep new squirrels from getting in. We call this squirrel exclusion or squirrel proofing.

Squirrel exclusion is challenging and hazardous work. It's also difficult to do properly. It's definitely not a do-it-yourself or "handyman" sort of job. Permanently sealing squirrels out of a building is physically difficult work that requires specialized equipment and a keen knowledge of squirrel behavior. It also requires working in high places using long ladders, scaffolding, or bucket trucks ("cherry pickers") -- not the kind of equipment most people have sitting around in their garages.

Most "squirrel exterminators" aren't properly equipped to do the job right, either. First of all, there's no such thing as "squirrel exterminating." Squirrels are considered nuisance wildlife, not pests, and must be removed using humane, non-toxic methods such as trapping and relocation, followed by damage repairs and sealing the squirrels out of the building ("squirrel-proofing"). Secondly, few companies have the equipment and experience that's needed to truly seal squirrels out of a home.

So make no mistake about it: Trapping and relocating squirrels is the easy part of the job. Squirrel exclusion -- sealing squirrels out of your house -- is the key to long-lasting squirrel control. If you don't squirrel-proof your house, new squirrels will move in almost as quickly as the old squirrels are removed.

Long Story Short

Don't waste your time or endanger your life trying do-it-yourself squirrel removal, nor waste your money with companies that don't have the equipment and know-how to do the job right. Call us instead for humane, long-lasting squirrel removal and exclusion that's backed by the best warranty in the business.

Rid-A-Critter is a regional animal control company providing safe, professional, non-chemical squirrel removal. Our earth-friendly, humane squirrel control program uses trapping, exclusion, and habitat modification -- not chemicals or poisoning. We were doing "green" squirrel control long before being "green" was in style.

Our comprehensive squirrel control program includes:

Squirrel Removal Gallery

Here are some random pictures of squirrel removal work we've done in North Georgia.

These pictures represent only a small sample of the thousands of North Georgia squirrel-removal and squirrel-proofing jobs we've done. We have the tools and personnel to handle any squirrel control job and do it at a reasonable cost, so please call us today for an inspection and consultation.

 

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by Webmaster
Dec 10, 2019 10:50:15 am.

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by Webmaster
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Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Squirrels are busy this season as usual. I’m headed south to take a look at a commercial job in Macon for Bats. Yep bats their still hanging around with us despite the cooler temps. Have a good day.
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Dec 05, 2019 10:27:19 am.

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by Webmaster
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A Squirrel Tore Down the Insulation at a House in Canton, Georgia
by Webmaster
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Rid-A-Critter provides squirrel removal and squirrel-proofing in all of North Georgia, including Athens, Atlanta, Alpharetta, Canton, Carrollton, Cartersville, Cumming, Dacula, Doraville, Dunwoody, Ellijay, Flowery Branch, Gainesville, Kennesaw, Jasper, Lawrenceville, Loganville, Macon, Milton, Norcross, Rome, Roswell, Suwanee, Villa Rica, Winston, Woodstock, and everywhere in between.

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