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Squirrels and Raccoons: Homeowner Issues and How Pest Control Services Can Help | exterminator in forest hill | Raven Termite & pest Control

Squirrels and Raccoons: Homeowner Issues and How Pest Control Services Can Help

While squirrels and raccoons may seem cute and harmless when spotted in the wild, these animals can cause significant problems when they invade residential areas. Their presence in and around homes can lead to a variety of issues, including property damage, health risks, and increased stress for homeowners. Understanding the problems these creatures can cause and how pest control prevention and services can help is crucial for maintaining a safe and peaceful living environment.

Problems Caused by Squirrels and Raccoons

Property Damage

One of the primary concerns with squirrels and raccoons is the extensive property damage they can cause:

  • Structural Damage: Both squirrels and raccoons are adept climbers and can find their way into attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Once inside, they can chew through insulation, wood, and even electrical wiring, posing a significant fire hazard. Squirrels, in particular, need to gnaw continuously to keep their teeth from growing too long, leading them to chew on anything they encounter.
  • Roof Damage: Squirrels can gnaw on roof shingles and soffits to gain entry into homes, while raccoons, being larger and stronger, can tear off shingles and fascia boards. This can lead to water leaks and structural issues.
  • Garden and Landscaping Damage: Squirrels often dig up gardens and lawns in search of food or to bury their caches, while raccoons can destroy plants and rip up sod looking for insects and grubs.

Health Risks

Beyond property damage, squirrels and raccoons can pose several health risks:

  • Disease Transmission: Both animals can carry and transmit diseases to humans and pets. Raccoons are known carriers of rabies and leptospirosis, while squirrels can transmit diseases like tularemia and typhus. Additionally, their droppings can harbor harmful bacteria and parasites, including roundworms from raccoons.
  • Allergies and Asthma: The presence of these animals in attics or basements can lead to the accumulation of urine and droppings, which can exacerbate allergies and asthma in sensitive individuals.
  • Parasites: Fleas, ticks, and mites can hitch a ride on squirrels and raccoons, infesting homes and pets and leading to further health issues.

Increased Stress

Dealing with a wildlife invasion can be incredibly stressful for homeowners:

  • Noises: The sounds of squirrels scurrying or raccoons rummaging around in the attic can be disturbing and disrupt sleep.
  • Constant Vigilance: Once you have an infestation, it can feel like a constant battle to keep these animals out, leading to increased anxiety and frustration.
  • Cleanup and Repairs: Addressing the damage caused by these animals can be costly and time-consuming, adding to the stress of dealing with the infestation itself.

The Role of Pest Control Services

Given the significant issues that squirrels and raccoons can cause, professional pest control services play a vital role in prevention and remediation. Here’s how these services can help:

Inspection and Assessment

A thorough inspection by a pest control professional is the first step in addressing a squirrel or raccoon problem. This involves identifying entry points, nesting sites, and the extent of the infestation. Pest control experts can assess the situation accurately and develop a tailored plan to address the issue effectively.

Exclusion Techniques

Preventing squirrels and raccoons from entering your home is crucial. Pest control professionals use exclusion techniques to seal entry points and secure vulnerable areas. This might include:

  • Repairing Roofs and Eaves: Fixing damaged shingles, soffits, and fascia boards to prevent access.
  • Installing Chimney Caps: Preventing animals from entering through chimneys.
  • Securing Vents and Openings: Installing mesh screens over vents and other openings to keep animals out.
  • Trimming Trees and Vegetation: Cutting back tree branches that provide easy access to rooftops.

Humane Trapping and Removal

If squirrels or raccoons have already invaded your home, humane trapping and removal are essential. Pest control professionals are trained to handle wildlife safely and humanely. They use traps that capture the animals without harming them, allowing for relocation away from residential areas.

Sanitization and Damage Repair

After the animals have been removed, it’s important to clean and repair the affected areas. Pest control services can sanitize areas contaminated by droppings and urine, reducing the risk of disease transmission. They can also help with repairing insulation, wiring, and structural damage caused by the animals.

Preventive Measures and Ongoing Monitoring

To prevent future infestations, pest control professionals can implement preventive measures and provide ongoing monitoring. This might include:

  • Routine Inspections: Regular checks to ensure no new entry points have been created.
  • Wildlife Deterrents: Installing deterrents such as motion-activated lights or noise devices to keep animals away.
  • Homeowner Education: Providing tips and advice on how to keep your property less attractive to wildlife, such as securing trash bins and not leaving pet food outside.

Conclusion

Squirrels and raccoons may be fascinating to observe in the wild, but their presence in residential areas can lead to significant problems for homeowners. From property damage and health risks to increased stress, these animals can disrupt the peace and safety of your home. Professional pest control services offer essential solutions, including inspection, exclusion, humane removal, sanitization, and ongoing prevention. By partnering with Raven Termite & Pest Control, you can protect your home from the issues caused by squirrels and raccoons and ensure a safe, healthy, and stress-free living environment.

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