Squirrels in the Loft – What Should You Do?
While they’re not as creepy or crawly as rats and hornets, squirrels in the loft still cause discomfort, damage, and even danger to your home and your family. Squirrels have far more in their locker than burying nuts for the winter and running away from dogs in the park. As squirrel numbers continue to rise across the UK, more invasive grey squirrel species disrupt homes by breaking into lofts and attics. The more you know about squirrel behaviours, risks, and treatment tactics, the better your chances of an efficient, humane resolution.
How to Identify Squirrels in the Loft
Noises in the walls or attic could be anything from the wind to an infestation, and identifying squirrels in the loft helps you step in before they get out of control.
Chewed Wires and Furnishings
The teeth of squirrels and other rodents keep growing throughout their lives, so they nibble on tough materials like wooden furniture and plastic wire casings to keep their teeth in check. Bitemarks in and around your loft are a dead giveaway for unwanted rodents.
Squirrels typically invade your home for warmth and shelter. They use soft, fluffy materials like cloth and insulation to build nests (known as dreys) and birth their babies (known as pups or kits).
Urine and Droppings
Squirrels leave behind smelly urine and droppings that carry toxic bacteria. Their droppings appear similar to rat faeces, but you can distinguish them by their rounded ends and lighter colouring.
Of course, seeing squirrels in and around your house gives you the final confirmation that they’re invading the property. Squirrels move quickly and climb sheer surfaces with extreme agility, so you may spot them crawling up and down your walls or leaping to and from your home between nearby trees and buildings.
The Risks From Squirrels in the Loft
When it comes to pest problems, discomfort and unease quickly escalate into disrupted sleeping patterns and working schedules. Squirrels also bring fleas and ticks into your home that can infect your family and your pets. Considering the damage to infrastructure, furniture, and electrical goods, these infestations demand solutions.
Squirrels choose to live in domestic lofts for their safety and seclusion, so you can repel squirrels by making your space seem busy and unsafe. Pest control experts use strong-smelling chemicals like ammonia and other cleaning products to deter squirrels from entering and multiplying in your loft. However, experimenting with these chemicals is unpleasant and potentially dangerous. It may be too late to apply other preventative measures, like securing food waste and sealing holes in the property with foam, metal, and meshes. However, these tactics can help curb the problem while you prepare for a more effective solution.
DIY shops and pest control specialists offer lethal and non-lethal options for squirrel traps. Don’t use mouse or rat traps to treat squirrels in your loft, as they require specifically designed equipment. Improper traps either don’t work at all or cause cruel, non-lethal injuries.
Bait like seeds, nuts, peanut butter, and chocolate all prove effective for attracting squirrels. However, the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 makes it illegal to release squirrels from captivity, as they’re an invasive species. Killing squirrels yourself and disposing of their bodies raises its own issues, so we recommend calling trained professionals.
Squirrel control experts arrive with the tools and training to identify, treat, and humanely dispose of squirrels in the loft. They can also provide detailed advice on the steps required to make sure an invasion never happens again.