04.12.2005 - Here I am, doing my job as a nuisance wildlife control operator, up on a stepladder, bolting in a new vent cover to keep wildlife out. It's about more
than just catching critters. In my opinion, the more important step is in preventing them from causing problems in the first place. This home had squirrels in the
attic. They were able to enter the house via these vent holes in the soffit. The flimsy vent covers have rotted and fallen out over the years, and it's a very
simple access point for squirrels and other animals. Squirrels can climb concrete walls like this, or just swing around from the roof and jump in. For added
measure, the squirrels chewed some of the woodwork around the entrance hole. I'm not sure why squirrels often do this, even when there's enough space to easily enter.
I suppose it's just part of their general rodent gnawing behavior, or perhaps an instinct to gnaw holes to get inside, even if there is enough space.
There were several such holes around this house. In order to solve the squirrel problem, I sealed off all the holes except for one, the main one I thought that squirrels were using. On that main hole I set an exclusion door and traps. I removed all the squirrels, and once the were all gone, I sealed that last hole. I am seen in this photo sealing one of the secondary holes. This house had many entry points, which is usually the case.
Remember, the most important step in a total wildlife control solution is to stop the source of the problem - if you have wild critters in your attic or home, the only way to permanently solve the problem is to close all the entry points! This is a special skill, and it requires extensive knowledge of both architecture and animal behavior. Being a skilled repairman also helps. All repairs should be done in such a way that keeps animals out for good - this often means sealing with steel, and sealing openings so that they are airtight, with no trace of airflow for animals to detect. Remember, rodents can gnaw through almost anything, and raccoons can tear through almost anything. While it's important to trap and remove animals, and clean up the waste they leave behind, the most important step in solving the critter problem and in keeping animals out forever is to identify and repair every last critter access point into the building. Without this crucial step, the job isn't complete.
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When a rodent enters your property, they are bound to cause physical damages to the home especially when they reside in it for long periods of time. After getting rid of the pest in the house, the next step is to handle the damage they've done.
One thing common with these rodents is that they come into the home through holes which they either make themselves or find. The holes then serve as entry points which they can simply go to and from, which also causes more of their kind to find their way into your home.
Before you even completely take the rodent out of the property, it would be best to seal up these holes to prevent them from potentially coming back after they've been relocated. This can happen with squirrels, particularly because most states only legally allow squirrels to be humanely taken out of the property without causing harm or causing it to die.
Compared to other rodents, though, squirrels are quite big so the holes they make may be bigger than the usual rat-sized entry points. Here's what you can do to fix them:
Locate each entry point that the squirrels may be using.
First, take note of every entry point that the squirrels could possibly be using. Even if you're not sure, it would be best to mark them as it could potentially turn into one if you leave it out.
Most of the time, squirrels will have multiple entry points but only a few that they regularly use which is treated as the main entrance.
Seal up the smaller ones and keep the main one open.
It may be an option to seal up all the holes, but this would make it harder to bait the squirrels into coming outside or into traps. They are rather smart and can detect when they may be in danger.
Because of this, it is recommended to seal up the extra holes first. You can do this by covering up the holes with sturdy materials like hardwood, wires, and anything that squirrels can't easily push through or gnaw.
Be sure all the squirrels have been excluded from the home.
With all the other holes closed up, add traps and exclusion doors to the main entrance or entrances and make sure you get to capture all the squirrels that are inside.
The squirrels are likely to get caught if you set the traps in the entry point that is most used since they would see this as their “escape route”.
Completely seal up the last of the holes.
When all the squirrels are out, it's time to seal up the main entry point completely. The material you use for sealing the holes should be something strong enough to keep wildlife and pests out of the house for good.
Some materials that are good to use are steel, small wires, etc. The characteristic you should find in the material to use is that it cannot be easily pushed over or chewed at. A few examples of materials you should avoid are plastic and thin wood planks.