How can I prevent squirrels from getting into my attic?

How can I prevent squirrels from getting into my attic?

Mike Spanola, owner of A-rated All Pro Wildlife in Plant City, Fla., says this problem has developed in the last decade and is likely to get worse. "Your parents taught you to live in a house, and squirrels are the same way," he says. "This wasn't much of a problem 10 years ago, but now more and more generations of squirrels are taught by the parents to seek shelter in an attic."

He says the most important response is prevention. "Look for overhanging trees or branches they can use to get onto your roof, and trim them back," he says. "Every year, thoroughly inspect your property for deteriorated or rotten wood. Squirrels only need a hole the size of a golf ball to squeeze in."

Once squirrels have taken residence, he recommends hiring a professional. "Many people end up doing it wrong and making the problem worse," Spanola says.

John Felicione, owner of highly rated Expert Wildlife & Animal Removal Specialists of Brooksville, Fla., says a reliable contractor will not only close off the holes, but search for weak points in construction. "We determine all the entry points and places they might be able to chew through," he says. "Squirrels are determined and can get on top of nearly any house; the key is to keep them from getting in."

Spanola and Felicione say the price of removal and prevention starts at about $300 and can go up depending on house size and number of squirrels.

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