The two squirrel species that most commonly get into attics and soffits throughout Metro Atlanta and all of Georgia are the Eastern gray squirrel (which we'll talk about on this page), and the flying squirrel. If you're not sure which squirrels are living in the attic of your home or building, please feel free to give us a call. We'll be happy to help you identify "your" squirrels, and we'll provide a plan to keep squirrels aqnd other nuisance wildlife out of your attic.
Gray squirrels are usually grayish in color, but there's a lot of color variation. We've encountered "gray" squirrels ranging in color from jet black to albino, along with a lot of reddish-brown ones. In nature, they live mainly in hollow trees; but they're even happier to find a nice, warm, dry attic to live in, especially during the cooler months.
The need for squirrel removal and exclusion in Atlanta usually peaks during the late fall or early winter; but squirrels start looking for their winter homes long before the weather gets cool. Squirrels become highly motivated to get into houses, by any means necessary, in the late summer through the early fall. Wildlife biologists speculate that they know winter is coming due to factors such as the angle of the sun, the length of days, and the availability of nuts and seeds.
Speaking of which, squirrels spend a lot of time on the ground gathering and burying nuts. They're known as "scatter hoarders," which means that they bury nuts all over the place -- often in hundreds of different locations -- nearby their nests. They'll also hide nuts in other places and usually store some in their nests.
It's not clear how (nor even if) squirrels remember all the places where they buried nuts. It's possible that they just bury them in random locations and sniff around for them when they get hungry, sniffing for the scent of the nuts themselves or possibly for their own scent, and then start digging when they find it. It's also possible that they only remember the general area where they cached their food, and start digging randomly once they're there. With so many caches, their odds of hitting one are pretty good.
This burying behavior, incidentally, is one of the beneficial things that squirrels do. The squirrels, in effect, plant the trees that produce the nuts.
When needed, we use top-secret, stealth, night-vision technology to positively identify your animal problem.
Squirrels aren't considered "pests" like their cousins the rats. They're classified as "nuisance wildlife." That means that they're higher up in the rodent social scale and are treated with a lot more respect than rats are.
It also means that there's no such thing as a "squirrel exterminator." If you meet one, turn him in. He's breaking the law. It's illegal to use rodenticides (poisons) for squirrel control or to use traps that intentionally kill them. They're protected animals. When they get into a home, squirrels have to be humanely trapped, removed, and relocated to a more suitable habitat.
In addition to trapping and removing existing squirrels, permanent squirrel control also requires sealing up the gaps in the house or building to prevent new squirrels from getting in. We call this "squirrel exclusion" or "squirrel-proofing," and we do a lot of it. In short, we make your home or building off-limits to squirrels. There's no point in removing squirrels from a house if you're not going to seal up all the gaps to keep the squirrels out of the attic.
Some folks consider squirrels harmless and are happy to leave them alone "as long as they're not bothering anyone." This is a mistake. There are very good reasons why you don't want squirrels living in your home or commercial building.
First of all, squirrels living in a home or building make college students in a dorm seem squeaky-clean by comparison. Squirrels are hoarders by nature, and they hoard things that really don't seem to make any sense at all. It's obvious why they would hoard things like acorns and other foods, but we've found squirrels hoarding everything from jewelry to toys.
Squirrels also cause damage to the building itself and to items stored in the attic, which we'll talk about in the next section.
As is the case with all rodents, squirrels also present a health risk when they get into homes. Their droppings can harbor bacterial and fungal pathogens that can cause human diseases. Their fleas, ticks, and other parasites can also transmit diseases. They also stink the place up with their urine and droppings. If your air-conditioning or heating system is in the attic and you have a squirrel problem, you're probably spreading airborne pathogens and odors throughout your home. That's why we offer squirrel clean-up and decontamination and insulation-replacement services as optional add-on services. We clean up the mess the squirrels made, pack it up, and cart it away so you don't have to. We're also licensed to apply insecticides to kill any displaced parasites, if needed.
Like all rodents, squirrels like to gnaw. They gnaw to eat, they gnaw to make holes to get into or out of places, and they gnaw for the sheer joy of gnawing. They also gnaw to keep their teeth sharp and in good shape.
The problem is that when they get into houses and other buildings, squirrels gnaw on things like PVC pipe, HVAC ducts, personal belongings stored in the attic, and worst of all, electrical wiring. Squirrels and other rodents cause many thousands of home fires every year when they chew on live electrical wires. This is something of special concern to those of us in the Atlanta area because of all our irreplaceable historic buildings.
Another serious kind of damage that squirrels do is gnaw at flexible heating and air-conditioning ducts in the attic. If they manage to get inside the ducts, you'll have a major problem on your hands. The entire duct system will have to be inspected and cleaned, and parts of it will probably have to be replaced. And that's assuming that they don't get into the air-handling equipment itself and get caught up in the impeller. Scraping dead squirrel guts off an impeller fan is not fun. (Don't ask me how I know. Just trust me on this one.)
Squirrels also damage other things, including the house itself, as well as personal possessions that you store in your attic. We've seen many cases where valuable collectibles, antique furniture, sentimental heirlooms, and antique dolls and toys, were destroyed by squirrel gnawing. They really can do a lot of damage.
The only long-term solution to a squirrel problem is to humanely remove them, relocate them, and seal up the gaps in the house to keep squirrels out of the attic. That's what we do, and we do it best. We use safe, humane, non-chemical squirrel-control methods that remove the squirrels from your home or commercial building and make it squirrel-proof. In fact, we guarantee it. We back our work with the best warranty in the business.
Rid-A-Critter has the experience, know-how, and equipment to solve any squirrel problem, whether the building is a fishing cabin in the woods or a huge industrial building in the City of Atlanta. Our wildlife management professionals are animal-removal specialists, not handymen who do a bit of animal control work on the side.
Our squirrel-removal crews in the field are supported by a team of field service supervisors who make sure that the technicians have everything they need to prvent squirrels from getting into your home. They also make sure that every squirrel-exclusion job is completed to your satisfaction and Rid-A-Critter's exacting standards.
If you live in or around Metro Atlanta have a problem with squirrels or other wildlife, please call us for an on-site inspection and consultation. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, please have a look at some pictures of squirrel-removal and squirrel-proofing jobs we've done over the years.
Here are some randomly-selected pictures of squirrel-removal and squirrel-proofing work we've done in the Metro Atlanta area.
How squirrels got into this Atlanta Home
Squirrel nest in a soffit in Decatur
Squirrel damage to a roof vent in Dallas
Squirrel on the roof of a house in Atlanta
Young squirrel we were babysitting enjoying a meal
Post squirrel-removal attic cleanup in Atlanta
Squirrel-exclusion job at a house in Duluth, GA
Squirrel entry gap into an Atlanta home
Squirrel entry gap into an attic in Grayson
Squirrel entry gap in roof of a Brookhaven home
Squirrel entry gap in Conley
Squirrel hole through roof fascia in Douglasville
Squirrels chewed the wires in Ellenwood
Squirrel hole in a soffit in Marietta
Squirrel damage to ducts in an attic in Atlanta
Baby squirrel removed from a house in Atlanta
Squirrel entry gap in an Atlanta home
This gap allowed squirrels into an Atlanta attic
Squirrel gap into the attic of a Canton home
Squirrel hole in the soffit in Powder Springs
Squirrel chew hole into a Douglasville home
Squirrel hole in a rain gutter in Marietta
Tim and Faith with squirrel removed from a home
Squirrel chew hole in a house in Austell
These pictures represent only a small sample of the thousands of squirrel-control jobs we've done in Metro Atlanta. We have the tools and personnel to handle any squirrel control job, so please call us today for an on-site consultation.