Squirrels on Roof
Squirrels thrive in man made landscaping, so they’ve become a universal part of urban life. All they need is a cheek full of nuts and a few trees. City habitats are pleasantly predator-free, and your roof is the perfect shelter from dogs and foxes. Squirrels love building nests in eaves, but your insulation and wiring don’t make good rodent living rooms. When they’re not chewing them away, they’re creating nests out of your cellulose insulation. Squirrels cause 20, 000 residential fires every year in the US alone, so you’ll need to render your roof unattractive to Scrat, Hammy, and Bucky. They might be adorable, but they can cause untold destruction.
Why are squirrels on my roof?
Squirrels favor elevated homes because they’re safer, but roofs offer several extra benefits. Your roof decking and siding are wonderful nesting materials. Rodents can also make quick work of your soffit, and if that’s not comfy enough, your gutters even deliver a steady stream of delicious pine cones. Put simply, squirrels are on your roof because it’s not really your roof. It belongs to your neighborhood rodents. They’re not going to give it up easily, so you’ll need a tight strategy to confront that infernal squirrel digging on roof eaves.
How to find out if you have squirrels on your roof
Squirrels are determined creatures, so they leave catastrophic damage in their wake. Signs of an infestation include:
- Scampering after the sun goes down.
- The potent scent of squirrel urine, which might enter your interior through your vents.
- Signs of chewing in your beams, entryways, and wiring.
- Acorn deposits.
- Chewed out holes in your gutter lines, insulation, and shingles.
- Droppings in your attic.
It’s challenging to remove a well-established squirrel family, but live trapping is illegal in many states. It distresses animals and can even cause dehydration and serious injuries. It also removes social animals from their community, so the only humane way to keep squirrels off your roof is by making it unattractive to them.
How to get rid of squirrels in roof eaves
Even the best pest control professional can do little to prevent a future infestation, so the most drastic and lasting way to evict your squirrels is to replace your roofing with chew-resistant materials. Squirrels can chew through sheet aluminum, but stainless steel and galvanized metals create tough, rodent-resistant shells. Critters are likely to relocate into the entry points of your roof, so you’ll need to seal them off, too. Galvanized steel gutter guards can keep squirrels out of your gutter and downspouts while simultaneously removing their access to fallen acorns.
How to keep squirrels off roof tiles with a drip edge
Squirrels tend to burrow through shingles and dig into your fascia until they reach the attic underneath. They can’t nest on your roof if they can’t climb onto it, though, so a drip edge is an excellent barrier. Drip edges are typically installed beneath your lowest shingles and sealed with roofing cement. They can also be nailed into place for extra structural strength. Rolling PVC pipe is another ingenious solution as long as your infrastructure doesn’t offer an alternative route onto your roof. Now all you need is a series of squirrel guards at the base of your trees and poles.
How to stop squirrels from running on roof with a repellant
Sometimes all it takes to evict squirrels is an acrid taste and scent. If you apply a repellent early enough, you can prevent infestation. Pepper-based deterrents are bird-safe and capable of repelling silverfish, rodents, and raccoons. This economical solution can even be mixed at home with a little hot water and some powerful chilli-pepper products. Capsaicin is a US Environmental Protection Agency-approved biochemical pesticide, so you can apply it with a clear conscience. Bright lighting will also discourage squirrels, so if your infestation has reached your attic, invest in a few floodlights. Scarecrows are another easy cure. Owls are natural squirrel predators, so a standard Dalen Scarecrow should do the trick. Wind chimes are another temporary solution, but you can extend their efficacy by regularly switching to a new design.
Adapting your landscaping
An overhanging tree branch can provide roof access and make your shingles an attractive squirrel home. Keeping branches trimmed will prevent jumpers from accessing your roof from the tree canopy. Mother Nature offers some excellent squirrel deterrents that are worth planting. Mint, marigolds, nasturtiums, and mustard plants might help to keep rodents at bay. If you can bear it, remove food sources like bird feeders and oak trees.
Squirrels can be a delightful addition to your garden, but their destructive habits demand swift action. The best solutions address the reasons they prefer your roof in the first place, so a little minor remodeling can achieve far more than trapping ever will.