Red and gray squirrels enter buildings for protection, to hide their food, and to build nests. They gain access by using existing openings like uncapped chimneys or gnawing entrance holes under eaves. The can also enter when tree limbs overlap the roof. Once inside, they damage insulation by creating nests. They also chew on wires and create fire hazards. They can sometimes be seen entering and exiting a building and are often heard running in the walls.
The Health Risks
Salmonella bacteria is found in squirrel feces. It causes diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. In some cases, it requires hospitalization.
Leptospirosis bacteria is also found in squirrel feces. Symptoms include fever, headache, vomiting, jaundice, and rash.
Squirrels are commonly infested with fleas. The fleas can infest your home, and also spread to household pets.
Squirrels are also usually infested with ticks. Tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease and tularemia can be spread to humans. Lyme causes nerve pain, stiffness, and inflammation of the brain or spinal cord. Tularemia causes swollen lymph nodes and ulcers.
The Modern Solution for Squirrel Removal and Control
Once a Modern Pest Wildlife Team member deduces that you have a red or gray squirrel issue, he or she will then assess the best way to solve it. This includes installing one-way doors so the squirrels exit your building but cannot reenter. They will then seal up all access points with mesh. Once the squirrels have been excluded, the team member will remediate your attic by surface-cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing the area. They can also replace damaged insulation. They will also provide tips on how to avoid future squirrel infestations, such as trimming trees away from your roofline.
Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover Wildlife Damage?
Since every homeowners insurance policy is different, it’s important to talk with your agent and find out exactly what is covered by yours.
Most standard home and mobile home insurance policies will cover damage to your home by a wild animal if the animal is not a rodent. Some common nuisance rodents are mice, rats, chipmunks, flying and ground squirrels, groundhogs, and porcupines. Bats, birds, raccoons, and weasels are not rodents, and are often covered.
Usually, the damage must have occurred in a single, identifiable event. If it occurred over a gradual period and preventable action could have been taken, it might not be covered.
When you’re shopping for a policy, talk with an agent about possible wildlife damage scenarios you could face. They will be able to inform you on whether the policy offers coverage in each scenario.