Some Arizona homeowners may consider squirrels to be cute big-eyed creatures that they watch play around outside. Because of their carefree and charming nature, it’s hard for many people to think of squirrels as the troublesome pests that they really can be. While they may appear soft, fluffy and harmless, squirrels can be a nuisance pest.
Squirrels can be a Nuisance Pest
Squirrels are also considered to be a serious forestry pest, causing considerable damage every year to woodlands, especially to saplings and young trees. There are few cost estimates for the damage squirrels inflict on timber crops but, in the book, The Grey Squirrel, Jonathan Derbridge, the author notes that woodlands and trees damaged by squirrels, with bark stripping, can lead to a 70% drop in the value of the lumber.
Property Damage Caused by Squirrels
Tree squirrels generally nest within trees in wooded areas. As humans expand into natural areas, squirrels are forced to look for alternate means of lodging, including entering buildings. If given the chance, squirrels will not just destroy trees, they will make their way into buildings and homes to gnaw on property. Squirrels often like to gnaw on wooden beams throughout a home or business (usually in an attic). Over time, the damage can weaken the structural integrity of the property. Squirrels can also be a nuisance by tearing through insulation, paper products and fabrics as they rummage for nest materials.
To gain access to property, squirrels will chew through wood in the structure. These holes create entry points for other pests and rodents, such as rats, mice, chipmunks, and birds. On the outside of your home, squirrels also enjoy chewing through electrical wires and cabling. This can lead to costly repairs, property damage, and create a risk of fire.
Diseases Squirrels Carry and Can Transmit to Humans and Pets
Squirrels are known to carry a multitude of diseases, some of which can be harmful to Arizona homeowners and their pets. The most common harmful diseases squirrels carry include: tularemia, lyme disease, salmonellosis, leptospirosis, rabies, and bubonic plague.
Many of these diseases are fatal when left untreated. Individuals should seek medical attention after encountering squirrel urine or feces or being bit by a squirrel. Breathing in particles of the animal’s excrement is the most common method of disease transmission.
Because squirrels can be a nuisance pest, keeping them off your property and out of your home is the most effective way to ensure the health and safety of yourself and others on your property. Entry points to a property, such as: windows, doors, and holes in the roof should all be properly sealed to prevent squirrels from getting in. Prevention methods should be implemented early in order to maintain a rodent-free home. These rodents, like many others, reproduce rapidly, and small populations become full-blown infestations in very little time.
If you find your Phoenix, Tucson, or Scottsdale, AZ home or business infested with squirrels, you should contact Bucksworth Home Services to help you manage the infestation. We are skilled at removing rodents like mice, rats, squirrels, or chipmunks.