Squirrels are furry rodents who are more closely related to rats than any self-respecting squirrel is willing to admit. A lot of people think squirrels are cute -- and the squirrel in our logo agrees. But most folks don't think squirrels are so cute once they get into their attics and start causing damage and making a mess. That's when squirrels become very unwelcome.
Aside from the damage 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 the South, where we have so many irreplaceable historic buildings.
Squirrels also create a health risk by their urine, droppings, shed fur, and 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 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, and we have to remove them.
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.
Sometimes more than one specie of animal can be in a house, and usually both can be handled at the same time. For example, squirrel and rat removal work are similar enough that the same exclusion techniques will keep both critters out.
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.
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.
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.
Gray squirrels are skilled acrobats 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, asphalt, and most exterior building materials. They often get into houses through chimneys or roof vents, or by gnawing at existing holes. Their aerial skills make squirrel removal a 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.)
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!
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 are to keep them from getting in in the first place. 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 is the key to permanent squirrel control. If you don't squirrel-proof your house, new squirrels will move in almost as quickly as the old squirrels are removed.
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:
Here are some random pictures of squirrel removal work we've done throughout North Georgia.
Squirrel entry hole in a house in Roswell
Squirrel hole in a house in Dunwoody
Squirrel hole in a house in Acworth
Squirrel damage to dryer duct in Lawrenceville
How squirrels got into an attic in Rydal
Squirrel hole in a house in Adiairsville
Squirrel chewed through the rain gutter in Roswell
How squirrels got into a house in Dunwoody
DIY squirrel-control attempt in Dunwoody
Squirrel entry attempt in Alpharetta
Squirrel hole in a house in Suwanee
Squirrel removed from an attic in Acworth
Severe squirrel damage to a roof in Alpharetta
Squirrel droppings in an attic in Fayetteville
Squirrel hole in a house in Suwanee
Squirrel hole in the soffit of an Alpharetta home
Squirrels gnawed on a Santa statue in Snellville
Squirrel doing some research on humans
Josh with baby squirrels he removed from a home
Squirrel damage to a Dunwoody house
Squirrel hole in the roof of a Cartersville home
Squirrel hole in a soffit in Lawrenceville
A friendly baby squirrel we removed from a home
Gray squirrel removed from a house in Woodstock
Squirrel entry hole into a roof in Snellville
How squirrels got into a house in Clermont
Squirrel chewed its way into a house in Suwanee
Squirrel-damaged shingles at an Alpharetta home
Squirrel damage to wired at a Gainesville home
Squirrel nest in an attic fan in Lawrenceville
Squirrel hole in a house in Roswell
Construction gap in the roof of a house in Roswell
These pictures represent only a small sample of the thousands of squirrel-removal and squirrel-proofing jobs we've done in North Georgia. 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.