We all love our homes. “There’s no place like home”. Such a true saying. But sometimes uninvited guests arrive and refuse to leave. I’m talking about squirrels, grey squirrels. In Richmond, as with the rest of the country, they are a common pest nowadays. And with all the greenery Richmond has, although it’s a quite busy part of London, there are plenty of grey squirrels around if you keep your eyes open for them.
Sure their cute and furry and fun to watch when there running around the parks looking for nuts to store and jumping around from branch to branch, but what if their a little closer to home, like in your loft. Suddenly they are not so cute are they? Running amok and tearing up anything that you have in your loft. From Christmas decorations to cherished family photos, or memento’s of special occasions and wedding presents, even the kids Christmas prezzies for the coming Xmas. The amount of carnage they can cause is endless.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg. There is also the property damage they can cause sometimes without you noticing. The insulation in your loft doesn’t just keep you warm it helps to keep their nests (dreys) warm. Squirrels will chew practically anything to keep their teeth sharp and down in size. Squirrels, like rats and mice, have ever growing teeth, much the same way that humans have ever growing nails. Because of this it is important to stop their teeth from over growing making the ability eat difficult, eventually leading to starvation. In your loft, as well as all the personal stored items, there are roof beams and electrical cables. The roof beams over a period of time, become weak through their constant gnawing and the chewing of the electrical wiring can lead to fires.
Of coarse there are ways of deterring squirrels from making your attic their home in the first place. Making sure there is no available access by getting any holes in the eaves blocked and repaired, and repairing or replacing any broken and missing roof tiles is always good. But there are other ways into your loft that don’t spring to mind. Holes around vents and pipes it the wall, gaps around the satellite cables that go through the wall. All of these lead in to the insulation in the walls, where the squirrels can the find a way up to the loft.
There are some things you can do in the loft itself also to deter them from settling. Some people have the cables and some rafters lightly coated in chilli pepper paste to stop them from chewing and making it an unpleasant place for a squirrel to settle. If in doubt, or if squirrels are already in your attic, the best thing to do is call in pest control who can help to rid you of the pest and recommend what to do next.