Just like humans, squirrels dedicate a lot of time to finding a cozy, warm place to spend the winter— which can become a problem when you have the same space in mind. To prevent squirrels from sneaking into your house and stirring up trouble this holiday season, take a look at the places they’re known to target from top to bottom.

Why Are Squirrels Such a Problem? 

Squirrels are downright adorable, essential to their local environment, and far from aggressive; however, they can still do a fair amount of damage. Because squirrels are wild, they come in contact with a lot of harmful bacteria that easily spread to humans and other animals. Therefore, when entering your home, they tend to bring a bit of baggage along with them. Just one squirrel in your home puts your loved ones at risk of a handful of health issues, including:

  • RabiesBite from a rabid squirrel requires immediate medical attention, as this virus can quickly progress and turn deadly.
  • LeptospirosisSpread through water and food contaminated by squirrel waste, this bacterial infection presents severe flu-like symptoms.
  • TularemiaMany modes of contact can spread this infectious disease which can attack multiple organs, including the eyes, skin, and lungs. 
Attempting to handle a squirrel on your own is a serious health hazard. When they feel scared or threatened, squirrels can abandon their normal behavior and defend themselves through the scratch or bite. Instead of taking pest control into your own hands, consider contacting a professional who can safely handle the situation and prevent further pests from entering.

Where Should I Check for Entrance Points? 
The holes, openings, or gaps that squirrels use to enter a residence are commonly known as “entry points.” Squirrels can find entry points just about anywhere around your property—even in the most hard-to-reach places. Here are the main areas of entry that squirrels may use to access your home.

  • The roofAs excellent climbers, squirrels have no trouble hiking overhanging trees, nearby flagpoles, or right up the side of your home. Once they gain roof access, they will check for gaps in between shingles, soffits, or chimney caps that lead straight into your attic.
  • The foundationSquirrels can start at the base of your home to find a few of the easiest access points. For example, any openings around your plumbing lines or cracks in your foundation are the perfect place for squirrels to tunnel right into the heart of your home.
  • Everywhere in betweenOne small crack is enough for a squirrel to create a full-blown hole. Check around your windows and door frames for warped wood or aging assembly, as squirrels can chew through weak frames and create large holes for even more pests to use.
Chimney caps, vent covers, and other pest-proofing materials are essential for homes of all ages. Even if your house is newly built, squirrels can still take advantage of areas that aren’t professionally protected.

How Can I Keep Squirrels Out? 
Unfortunately, if a squirrel can’t find a clear-cut way inside, it’ll create one. By chewing, scratching, or squeezing, squirrels will take advantage of any area that isn’t sealed to keep them out. Therefore, the only way to keep your home safe while the seasons change is to have every entry point professionally repaired. Before the seasons switch and set squirrels on high alert, contact your local pest professionals at Critter Control® of Grand Rapids. Our team of trained and licensed technicians can alleviate infestations anywhere from your attic to the underside of your foundation with safe, humane solutions.