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gozer
Premium
join:2010-08-09
Rochester, NY
reply to TheSMJ

Re: How to locate squirrel's entrance into roof?

You could use sand to look for tracks under the eaves. Two favorite entry's are the crotch where an eave terminates at the roof like a dormer and the one I have seen the most is they chew the top on the facial under the drip edge above the back of the gutters or if you have the square roof vents the screening can fail you will have to feel with your hand because its hard to see.
You can rent or borrow traps from animal service or rent from a rental store


KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

1 edit
reply to TheSMJ
In my case, there was an areas where low hanging tree limbs afforded them access to the back corner of the house.

When I got up and looked closely, they had chewed wood and pushed up flashing in a corner area where guttering came together, they had displaced edge flashing and actually pushed shingles upwards while damaging the soffit wood by chewing or clawing it. It wasn't a large hole, but then they don't need a large hole to get in. Proper repairs, as well as trimming back tree limbs, ended the problem.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini


Raphion

join:2000-10-14
Samsara
reply to TheSMJ
It probably doesn't make a huge difference in your problem, but the fact that you hear them "a few hours after dusk" leads me to think that these are rats or mice, not squirrels. Squirrels go to sleep at dusk, they wouldn't be active at night.

KirkyInCT

join:2008-11-04
Higganum, CT
kudos:1
reply to TheSMJ
Flying squirrels are active at night... And they can get in anywhere. We had a guy come out and sealed up the house, put up one way doors and haven't had an issue since.

Our egress problem was about a 1/2 inch gap between the soffit vent under a dormer roof overhang and the roof. It was strange, they somehow fell into a wall cavity and couldn't climb out. Go figure! We needed to open the wall,... You DO NOT want them dying inside.

Tig

join:2006-06-29
Carrying Place, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to Raphion
said by Raphion:

It probably doesn't make a huge difference in your problem, but the fact that you hear them "a few hours after dusk" leads me to think that these are rats or mice, not squirrels. Squirrels go to sleep at dusk, they wouldn't be active at night.

Squirrels aftervdarkbdoesn't make sense to me.
Although when we had critters at our old place, I referred to them as squirrels or kittens.
If it's a real squirrel it will exit the roof when the daytime heat builds. Hope for an early summer.

TheSMJ

join:2009-08-19
Farmington, MI
They're squirrels. No question about it. I've seen the mother/juveniles running around on the roof many times, and when I do hear them at night, it's for a very short duration, like they're getting up to take a dump or something.

Anyways, I figured out how they're getting in! I found a couple of holes in the gables which had about an inch/inch and a half clearance in them. I shoved a couple of pine cones in each one and checked back the next day to see if they were removed. Not only were they removed, but the tree rats were nice enough to gnaw the holes a few times larger so pine cones wouldn't jam them up anymore.

Now I'm wondering if I should trap them first, or just seal up the holes with expansion foam and hardware cloth during the day while they're out. Some say close up the holes while they're gone and if you do a good enough job, they'll leave. Others have said that they'll spend days running around your roof looking for a new way in, gnawing at anything\everything until they can find a weak point they can exploit, and cause a lot of damage in the process.

The problem with trapping them is I only have access to a 5"x5"x24" Havahart cage (nothing larger is available in stores) and the city's animal control department doesn't rent them out. Plus I'd also have to drive each one 10-15 miles away so they don't return.

Or I could spend ~$250 on an exterminator, which is becoming a more tempting option every day.

Spensergig
Past my Prime
Premium,MVM
join:2000-03-26
Bradenton, FL
Victor Rat Traps - about $2 each at Home Depot.
Bait with Orange candy slices (1 slice does 4-5 traps.)

Use grocery bags to handle the remains.
Replace trap if blood is spilled, else just replace teh bait and reset.

Check every couple of days for about two weeks.


StillLearn
Premium
join:2002-03-21
Streamwood, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T Midwest

1 edit
reply to TheSMJ
said by TheSMJ:

Now I'm wondering if I should trap them first, or just seal up the holes with expansion foam and hardware cloth during the day while they're out. Some say close up the holes while they're gone and if you do a good enough job, they'll leave. Others have said that they'll spend days running around your roof looking for a new way in, gnawing at anything\everything until they can find a weak point they can exploit, and cause a lot of damage in the process.

On TV I have seen an exterminator deal with bats by hanging a net over the opening. The bats could find their way out by pushing behind the net, but they could not find their way back in. I wonder if an exterminator has a way to do the equivalent for squirrels.

said by TheSMJ:

Plus I'd also have to drive each one 10-15 miles away so they don't return.

While you are at it, dump your trash and yard waste at the same time. It would be just if somebody reciprocates by dumping rodents in your neighborhood.

Seriously, if you could use car exhaust to the cage under a tarp or other humane method, that would be better. »www.havahart.com/store/live-anim···squirrel shows traps that Havahart thinks are suitable for squirrels.

TheSMJ

join:2009-08-19
Farmington, MI
said by Spensergig:

Victor Rat Traps - about $2 each at Home Depot.
Bait with Orange candy slices (1 slice does 4-5 traps.)

Use grocery bags to handle the remains.
Replace trap if blood is spilled, else just replace teh bait and reset.

Check every couple of days for about two weeks.

Originally I didn't want to kill them, but my patients is wearing thin.

said by StillLearn:

said by TheSMJ:

Now I'm wondering if I should trap them first, or just seal up the holes with expansion foam and hardware cloth during the day while they're out. Some say close up the holes while they're gone and if you do a good enough job, they'll leave. Others have said that they'll spend days running around your roof looking for a new way in, gnawing at anything\everything until they can find a weak point they can exploit, and cause a lot of damage in the process.

On TV I have seen an exterminator deal with bats by hanging a net over the opening. The bats could find their way out by pushing behind the net, but they could not find their way back in. I wonder if an exterminator has a way to do the equivalent for squirrels.

There is such a thing, but they don't seem to sell them in stores around here.

said by StillLearn:

said by TheSMJ:

Plus I'd also have to drive each one 10-15 miles away so they don't return.

While you are at it, dump your trash and yard waste at the same time. It would be just if somebody reciprocates by dumping rodents in your neighborhood.

I don't see the connection, unless I drop them off at a location entirely uninhabited by squirrels. I don't think such a location exists in the United States so I doubt I'll just stumble upon one.


StillLearn
Premium
join:2002-03-21
Streamwood, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T Midwest
said by TheSMJ:

said by StillLearn:

said by TheSMJ:

Plus I'd also have to drive each one 10-15 miles away so they don't return.

While you are at it, dump your trash and yard waste at the same time. It would be just if somebody reciprocates by dumping rodents in your neighborhood.

I don't see the connection, unless I drop them off at a location entirely uninhabited by squirrels. I don't think such a location exists in the United States so I doubt I'll just stumble upon one.

You find the squirrels with a penchant for nesting in houses to be unwelcome in your neighborhood. You propose to dump them into somebody else's neighborhood.

TheSMJ

join:2009-08-19
Farmington, MI
You realize any squirrel would prefer to nest inside a home given the chance, don't you?

Tig

join:2006-06-29
Carrying Place, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms

1 edit
reply to TheSMJ
When I've had critters abuse my hospitality, I let them out at their regular time and then block their return. Kind of like your pinecone idea, I use an exit indicator that they can easily remove. After they have left, I make it impossible for them to access the entrance. Repeat for a couple days and then seal permanently. I had a red squirrel last year. He moved on without finding the other very obvious opening. Previously evicted skunks and racoons with the same strategy. Just don't underestimate them.
They will move on and they don't seem to take it personaly. No need to force relocation with a car ride if you fix the access issue.

8744675

join:2000-10-10
Decatur, GA
reply to TheSMJ
Squirrels are very had to get rid of once they take up residence. I've had up to 5 in my attic. The were getting in through a gap in the fascia and the roof decking, where the gutters were attached. The gap was too small, so they chewed a bigger opening right through the sheet metal gutter to widen the opening.

I tried all kinds of commercial and home made repellent sprays, high frequency sound emitters and rat traps. I put a plastic owl in the gutter near the entrance and they chewed it up. I put a giant frog in the attic with a motion sensor that made it croak when it detected motion, and they attacked it. I found it upside down with the batteries knocked out of it a week later. Then I bought a BB gun and when I heard them gnawing up there just before dawn, I'd go up the attic stairs and shoot the dumb ones that stuck around. That seemed to work best. They do the "happy dance of death" and run outside before they die.

Once they were out, I put up metal flashing over the gap all around the house, which worked until a neighbors tree fell on my power lines and ripped them off the house, opening a new hole in the fascia. I patched that with wood, and they chewed through it. I replaced a 2' section of fascia board to close it up, and they chewed a new hole through the middle of the 3/4" board! I then covered the hole with wire mesh.

I finally had new fascia, soffit and gutters installed that closed up the gaps all around the house. That worked for the squirrels, but now I'm dealing with roof rats at night.

The trick with squirrels is to make life miserable for them so they'll find an easier place to nest, and they will eventually leave and they also warn others to stay away with their clicking sounds.


StillLearn
Premium
join:2002-03-21
Streamwood, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T Midwest
reply to TheSMJ
said by TheSMJ:

You realize any squirrel would prefer to nest inside a home given the chance, don't you?

No. What is the source of your claim?

TheSMJ

join:2009-08-19
Farmington, MI
said by Tig:

When I've had critters abuse my hospitality, I let them out at their regular time and then block their return. Kind of like your pinecone idea, I use an exit indicator that they can easily remove. After they have left, I make it impossible for them to access the entrance. Repeat for a couple days and then seal permanently. I had a red squirrel last year. He moved on without finding the other very obvious opening. Previously evicted skunks and racoons with the same strategy. Just don't underestimate them.
They will move on and they don't seem to take it personaly. No need to force relocation with a car ride if you fix the access issue.

I'm considering just sealing up the holes tonight and then waiting to see what happens. If a week goes by without any more signs of unwanted tenants, I'll return the traps to Home Depot. This is the easiest option since I'd need to close up the holes anyways.

said by 8744675:

Squirrels are very had to get rid of once they take up residence. I've had up to 5 in my attic. The were getting in through a gap in the fascia and the roof decking, where the gutters were attached. The gap was too small, so they chewed a bigger opening right through the sheet metal gutter to widen the opening.

...

I'd love it if they were in a part of the attic that I could just sit in and pop them off as they walk in, but no such luck. I'd do it from the outside, but I could be left waiting a long time, and my aim isn't that great.

If they manage to get back in again after sealing the holes, the gloves come off and the rat traps come out. It's not as though these squirrels are an endangered species.

said by StillLearn See Profile
No. What is the source of your claim?

As it so happens, I have a roof full of squirrels! I made a thread about it if you want to check it out.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
What I've done in the past to evict them is seal up all of the holes really good but give them a way to get out that they can't get back in through. For instance, I took the screen out of a soffit vent and created a chute out of sheetmetal about a foot long hanging down. They were able to jump out but had no way to climb back up it. Be diligent watching for them trying to get back in. Close and repair any new holes they make. They will give up after a few days and find someplace else to live.


StillLearn
Premium
join:2002-03-21
Streamwood, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T Midwest
said by robbin:

What I've done in the past to evict them is seal up all of the holes really good but give them a way to get out that they can't get back in through. For instance, I took the screen out of a soffit vent and created a chute out of sheetmetal about a foot long hanging down. They were able to jump out but had no way to climb back up it. Be diligent watching for them trying to get back in. Close and repair any new holes they make. They will give up after a few days and find someplace else to live.

That's brilliant. Did you happen to keep a picture?

Tig

join:2006-06-29
Carrying Place, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to TheSMJ
While we're waiting for today's squirrel update, I though I'd ask what kind of squirrels are these? Around here we have the large grey or black (rarely brown) squirrels and also red squirrels. And of course chipmunks.
Predators seem to maintain them all at a reasonable ballance.

TheSMJ

join:2009-08-19
Farmington, MI

1 edit
reply to robbin
said by robbin:

What I've done in the past to evict them is seal up all of the holes really good but give them a way to get out that they can't get back in through. For instance, I took the screen out of a soffit vent and created a chute out of sheetmetal about a foot long hanging down. They were able to jump out but had no way to climb back up it. Be diligent watching for them trying to get back in. Close and repair any new holes they make. They will give up after a few days and find someplace else to live.

This might work, but I'm not sure if I'd have enough room to attach sheet metal around the holes. Even if I did, it would have the same effect when they come back - they'll find they're unable to get back in, so they'll try to make new holes elsewhere, gnawing on everything until they locate a weakness.

I'd rather not have to chase them around fixing new holes like 8744675 had to deal with until they eventually give up. The only way to prevent that is by removing the offenders from the property, dead or alive.

said by Tig:

While we're waiting for today's squirrel update, I though I'd ask what kind of squirrels are these? Around here we have the large grey or black (rarely brown) squirrels and also red squirrels. And of course chipmunks.
Predators seem to maintain them all at a reasonable ballance.

They're grey squirrels. Eastern grey squirrels to be exact. I'm waiting to see if the Michigan Humane Society will loan me live traps (we've been playing phone tag all day) otherwise I'm using the rat sized snap traps since I can't bring myself to spend $40-$80 on what is far from an endangered species.

EDIT: Nope. No traps available from the Humane Society. Might have to go the rat trap route.

I don't want to kill them, but ultimately I need them out of the house. Lucky for them it'll be raining all day so I can't leave traps out w/o the bait washing away. Might have to wait until tomorrow or this weekend at the latest.


StillLearn
Premium
join:2002-03-21
Streamwood, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T Midwest
said by TheSMJ:

Lucky for them it'll be raining all day so I can't leave traps out w/o the bait washing away. Might have to wait until tomorrow or this weekend at the latest.

Unshelled peanuts don't wash away. Maybe put a couple near the trap, and tie one to the trap trigger with thread.


stev32k
Premium
join:2000-04-27
Mobile, AL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Mediacom
·DIRECTV
·AT&T Southeast
reply to TheSMJ
If you use a rat trap for a squirrel you need to tie the trap down. The spring is not strong enough to kill it outright and they will drag the trap all over. You can drill a hole in one corner of the trap and use fishing line to tie it off to something like a nail or screw.

The only problem is you will have a live squirrel with it's head in a trap that is running around like crazy. Then what do you do?

TheSMJ

join:2009-08-19
Farmington, MI
said by stev32k:

If you use a rat trap for a squirrel you need to tie the trap down. The spring is not strong enough to kill it outright and they will drag the trap all over. You can drill a hole in one corner of the trap and use fishing line to tie it off to something like a nail or screw.

The only problem is you will have a live squirrel with it's head in a trap that is running around like crazy. Then what do you do?

After reading this, I took the traps off the roof, put a screw in the back, and tied one end of a piece of twine to the screw and the other to one of the gutter support screws, reset and put each back (there are two)

If nothing happens by the time I get back from work tomorrow, I'll come up with another plan. If I have to kill the things, I'd rather it be quick. Leaving them up on the roof to wait for me to come home and finish the job (not sure how I'd do it yet at this point) seems cruel.

As much as I want to call the exterminator, a $110 upfront cost + $75 for each animal caught feels like a rip off. Maybe I'll just buy the damn $40 live trap.

*grumble*


PoloDude
Premium,VIP
join:2006-03-29
Northport, NY
kudos:3
$110 upfront + $75 for each one caught?! Dam - break out the pellet gun

Beezel

join:2008-12-15
Las Vegas, NV
said by PoloDude:

$110 upfront + $75 for each one caught?! Dam - break out the pellet gun

Also you can have 'em for dinner afterwords.

Critsmcgee

join:2011-12-02
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to TheSMJ
For me trapping is a death sentence as it's illegal to transport/relocate them. They might carry a disease or parasites and the state doesn't want people spreading that stuff. All we can do is trap then kill so the best option here is a 5 gallon bucket filled about half way up with water and a layer of sunflower seeds on the water with a ramp up to the top so they can eat seeds and go for a swim.
Expand your moderator at work

HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to TheSMJ

Re: How to locate squirrel's entrance into roof?

Click for full size
Ready for action
The squirrel has to approach the trap from the business end or it just sends the critter flying when they trip it. I found that putting the trap in a box forces them to approach it properly and then it had no problem dispatching them with extreme prejudice...


Snakeoil
Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Premium
join:2000-08-05
Mentor, OH
kudos:1
reply to TheSMJ
A couple of rat snakes might help get rid of the squirrels.

Though I'm sure you wouldn't want the snakes to get into the living areas of the house.

Beezel

join:2008-12-15
Las Vegas, NV
I have no problems with snakes but the ol'lady would.

TheSMJ

join:2009-08-19
Farmington, MI
reply to Snakeoil
I'd take snakes over squirrels any day!