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Keeping Squirrels Out of Your Roof

Animal Damage to Roofs in the Minneapolis Area

The Problem:

Red Squirrel

Case Study 41

Scientific Name – Sciurus Vulgaris
Unscientific Name – Bastardus Rodentae
Size – Body length of about 4 inchs (not including tail)
Diet – Nuts, acorns, seeds, and your cedar roof
Preferred habitat – Mainly a tree dweller, occasionally a roof dweller

This guy popped out from inside the roof vent when Steve was inspecting a wood roof in Shorewood, Minnesota. Squirrels frequently chew into wood roofs causing damage ranging from minor cosmetics to major leaks and house fires. In fact, fire inspectors estimate that each year in the United States over 12,000 house fires are caused by squirrels chewing into wires – Nuts! Whether it’s a roof leak or a potential fire, it’s safe to say that keeping squirrels out of your attic is a good idea.

Case Study 41.2

Still not convinced it’s wise to keep squirrels out of your attic? Here are a few other reasons:

  1. Their holes provide access to other critters like bats, birds, mice and bees.
  2. When-not if-they breed your problems are multiplied by 4 or 5 times.
  3. Squirrels bring fleas, ticks, and mites into your house, which can spread to your living areas.
  4. Aside from fires, they can cause real property damage to anything they come across.
  5. Rodent infestations can cause home sellers a real headache when putting their homes up for sale.
  6. Although rare, squirrels can and do infect people with rabies.

The Solution:

Sorry folks. There is no known way to squirrel-proof the average American home. We suggest a few common sense approaches to minimizing the likelihood that your home will attract squirrels:

  1. Keep trees trimmed back from your home a minimum of five to ten feet.
  2. Sadly, stop feeding birds and other wildlife, as that same food attracts squirrels.
  3. Address new entrances as soon as you notice them. Don’t wait for your home to become familiar.
  4. Treat areas on your home with commercial squirrel repellants (available online).

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