How To Get Rid Of Squirrels & Chipmunks
Find out how to get rid of squirrels and chipmunks both using DIY method or by hiring a professional. We included up to 4 free contractor quotes.
Having squirrels and chipmunks in your home and garden can be unsettling. It’s not a pleasant experience to deal with chipmunks and squirrel infestation. These two types of rodents can wreak havoc in your house, garden, and yard. They can cause significant structural damages to your home, eat your garden vegetables, and cost a lot of money in repairs and landscaping. If you suspect you have these two types of pests in your home, you need to act fast and eliminate them.
About Squirrels – Feeding, Breeding and Habitat
Squirrels are part of Sciuridae family that includes small rodents such as chipmunks, prairie dogs, marmots, etc. Squirrels exist in different species, more than 200. They are divided into three different categories: ground squirrels, tree squirrels and flying squirrels.
Since squirrels exist in so many different types, they differ greatly in size. The grey squirrels that are mostly found in North America are considered to be medium sized weighing 1 to 1.5 pounds and are about 15 to 20 inches in length. Their long tails contribute to the extra 6 to 9 inches.
The African pygmy squirrels are known to be the smallest species of squirrels that grow to about 2.8 to 5 inches and weigh 0.35 ounces. On the other hand, the Indian giant squirrel, just as the name suggests, its known to be the largest squirrel in world that weighs almost 4 pounds and its about 36 inches in length.
A scurry or dray is a group of squirrels. They group themselves into territorials, and they are known to fight relentlessly to protect their territories. The tree squirrels can be found in trees where they prefer to live. The ground squirrels dig burrows where they live, build nests and live for long periods of time during winter. The flying squirrels find homes in trees holes where they build nests and nurse their young ones.
Squirrels are omnivores meaning they feed on plants and meat. They will feed on nuts, fruit, nuts, seeds, fungi, small insects, eggs, caterpillars and they can even feed on young snakes and small animals. When the cold season approaches, the squirrels hunt and gather food and bury it in their nests for use when food supplies go low.
Female squirrels have different gestation period depending on species. They mostly carry their young ones for around 29 to 65 days while the smaller ones have a shorter gestation period. The female squirrels gives birth to two to eight kittens (kits). The kits are usually born blind and will depend on their mother for food and protection for around three months. The mothers wean them off after eight weeks.
They have four teeth in front of their mouth that they use to gnaw on food and other objects. These rodents are diurnal meaning they are active during the day, and they do not hibernate during winter. Instead, they spend extended periods of time in their nests but can occasionally come out. They are also vocal and they will purr, bark, scream and chatter as way of communicating among themselves.
About Chipmunks -Feeding, Breeding, and Habitat
Chipmunks are often confused with squirrels. Even though these two belong to the same family of Sciuridae, they have their distinct differences, especially in appearance. Chipmunks are mostly found in North America and are known to exist in almost 25 species according to National Geographic. They have black and white stripes that run down on their backs. These small rodents can also be identified by their furry bodies, with small stubby legs and a bushy tail.
They are considered to be the smallest in the squirrel family. The biggest chipmunk is about 11 inches weighing around 4.4 ounces. However, a typical chipmunk is about four to 7 inches in length and weighs approximately one to five ounces. Their tails grow to a length of 3 to five inches.
With the exception of the Siberian Chipmunk that lives in Asia, the rest of the species as mentioned can be found in North America. They burrow underground tunnels where they create nests using logs and bushes. The tunnels can be 10 to 30 feet long, and they use them as their home.
Chipmunks are known to be most active at dusk and dawn, and this is the time they forage for food. They are also known to hibernate during the winter season. During the warm season, they gather and put foodstuff in their cheek pouches and later store it their homes. They will feed on the stored food during winter for energy. Chipmunks are omnivores, and they are not choosy about their diet. They feed on mushrooms, nuts, seeds, berries, grains, sp, bird eggs, frogs, etc.
Just like the other rodents, chipmunks carry their little ones for a gestation period of 30 days and have live births. Like squirrels, they give birth to about two to eight young chipmunks known as pups at once. They have one to two births per year, i.e., in the late springs and sometimes for the second time in the fall.
The pups are born blind, and they depend on their mothers who are known to be very protective of them. They are weaned off after two months after which they are left to build their homes and forage for food.
Risks of Having Squirrels and Chipmunks in Your Home
Squirrels and chipmunks can cause significant damages if they invade your home. These types of rodents are not only a nuisance in your home, but the can destroy wires, chimneys, vents and many other cause structural damages that could cost you a lot of money to repair or replace.
Here are some of the risks of having squirrels and chipmunks in your home or property:
Cause damages to insulation and wires
Squirrels and chipmunks are classified as rodents, and so, they have front teeth that keep growing. These teeth enable them to gnaw on hard objects and materials. Since they are constantly growing, these pests have to chew on objects to grind the teeth down.
If these rodents are residents in your home, this gnawing business is bad news to you. They will chew and gnaw on the siding of your house, wiring, insulation and cause costly damages to your home. These rodents are known to chew on electrical wires, a situation that has led to hundreds of fires in many homes.
In addition to chewing wires, these destructive rodents can defecate and urinate into your insulation. As a result, these substances can cause adverse effects on your insulation forcing you to replace it.
Damages to Your Home
Both chipmunks and squirrels may appear small, but the presence of these two rodents in your home can cause you costly and unimaginable losses. They will chew holes in the exterior of your house to gain access inside the attic. Once they manage to enter, they will chew on anything including wires and insulation.
These rodents will rummage through the garbage bins, eat your stored food and pet’s food. They will gnaw on furniture and any other valuable object in your home. They will also urinate and defecate in your home creating a foul stench that can lead to unsanitary conditions.
Since they are excellent burrowers, these two rodents can do a lot of damages in your home’s foundation. They can burrow under the retaining walls, under the foundation and even under the deck. This can lead to dangerous structural damages to your home. The tunnels burrowed by the squirrels and chipmunks can eventually lead to cracks in your basement floors and cement. This will, in turn, weaken the foundation of your home together with the structural framework of your house and the deck.
If you have an infestation of squirrels and chipmunks in your home, especially in hard to reach places they can die and decompose inside. Once this happens, it can lead to health hazards in your home. In addition, these rodents come carrying parasites such as fleas, mites, lice ticks, etc. which can quickly be spread to you, your pets and even to the livestock.
Even though they may not spread diseases, their urine and feces in your home especially in the attic create an unsanitary environment, and the foul smell can be unsettling.
Damage Your Vegetation
Squirrels and chipmunks can burrow into your yard and ruin the garden and its vegetation, they can uproot plants, dig unsightly holes in your lawn and destroy expensive landscaping. The burrows can affect the root system of your garden plants, and as a result, they may ultimately wither or fall. If you have a massive infestation of these two rodents, the holes and burrows they create in your yard can make some sections of sidewalks to sink which can be very risky to walk on.
What Attracts Squirrels And Chipmunks To Your Home?
Squirrels and chipmunks come in to your home solely to get food and shelter. Once they gain access to your home, they will nest and start foraging for food. If they find a perfect nesting place, they will settle and live there for a long time.
If your home provides safety for these two rodents, and there is the availability of food such as the presence of nut trees or gardens, pet food, and bird feeders, the rodents will be more attracted to stay. If you have a good source of food for rodents, you will attract not only squirrels and chipmunks but also other animals and pests such as raccoons, skunks, rats, snakes, etc.
How Do Squirrels And Chipmunks Access Your Home?
Squirrels and chipmunks can enter your house through so many entries. They can access the house through the holes that they burrow, unscreened vents, through trees, and any other small gaps in your roof.
Here are some of the most common entry points likely to be used by squirrels and chipmunks to gain access inside your home.
Through Roof Vents
The roof vents in your house are usually installed to allow enough circulation of air inside the attic. In short, they ensure proper ventilation in your attic which is essential. These plastic and aluminum vents tend to attract squirrels and chipmunks due to the warm air escaping from the attic. They will be determined to gain access to the cozy environment inside.
The rodents will start chewing on the vent covers or the screens especially if they are made with weak materials and eventually gain their way inside the attic.
Through The Roof Edge
Squirrels and chipmunks can gain access by chewing on the wooden fascia boards on your roof. The edge is the spot where all the melted snow and rainwater pools. If your roof has clogged gutters, ice dams and some piled up vegetation; they will keep the edge wet for longer than all other areas in your roof. Ultimately, the shingles and roof boards around the edge deteriorate making it easy for chipmunks and squirrels to gnaw and create an entry.
Since the design of rooftop layout makes it hard for squirrels and chipmunks to chew because of the structure of their mouth, the roof edge becomes the easiest angle for them to gnaw and create enough space to access the inside of your home.
Through The Roof-Soffit Intersections
This is the spot where two roofs meet. At this section, the shingles from the lower roof meet with soffit from the upper section of the roof. In some cases, you will find that when soffits are fitted, they may not be even with the shingles from the lower roof. As a result, there is a gap that is left in between that allows the chipmunks and squirrels to enter inside and go straight ahead into your attic.
Through The Gable Vents
Gable vents serve the same purpose as the roof vents: they are made to allow circulation of air in the attic. They are fitted in pairs on each side of your home. They are made of, plastic, aluminum or sometimes wood. However, the slats provide room for the chipmunks and squirrels to easily chew through and create an entry point to your attic.
Through the Wall Vents
If you look keenly at the exterior walls of your home, you will see the drains outlets from bathroom, kitchen and dryer fans. These outlets and openings have plastic covers fitted on top to act as barriers. However, these plastic barriers do nothing much to stop these two types of rodents from getting inside your home.
The vent pipes inside your home provide a perfect tunnel system for the squirrel and chipmunks to build nests and settle. The problem is that they can gnaw on the vents which can easily lead to fires and also, their presence can create unsanitary conditions in your home.
Through The Chimney
If you have uncapped chimneys, you are actually giving squirrels, chipmunks and other pests easy access to your home. However, this depends on the type of materials used in making the chimney. For example, if your chimney is lined up with steel or clay shafts, the rodents will fall at the bottom, and they will not be able to climb back to the chimney.
If the material used to line the chimney is brick, the squires and chipmunks can easily descend and ascend the chimney. This way they will be able to build nests and settle on top of the fireplace.
Through Plumbing Mats
Your roof has cylindrical vents that usually connect to the plumbing system and act as an outlet for sewer fumes. When fitting the plumbing vent, a hole is often drilled through the roof all the way to pipe outside. This particular hole in the roof is usually bigger than the pipe to make it easier to route the plumbing.
As a result, there will be an open space around the base of the roof where the plumbing hole was cut. This space is usually covered with a plastic matting which can easily be chewed by squirrels and chipmunks to gain their access to the attic space below.
Why Squirrels and chipmunks live In the Attic
Squirrels and chipmunks are known to be adaptive animals, and even though they are arboreal, they will still thrive in homes and urban environments. To squirrels and chipmunks, the attic it’s like a tree hollow or cavity that is warm, and completely safe from predators, in this case, you the homeowner.
Attics create the perfect location in your home for these rodents to build nests and settle. The height of the attic as mentioned provides protection for these rodents, and they can stay there for long as long as they are undisturbed. Throughout the cold season, the squirrels and chipmunks will stay in your attic warm and dry. The warm conditions in the attic also act as excellent sites for the female squirrels and chipmunks to raise their young ones.
These two types of rodents gain their access to the attic by gnawing on the plastic, wood and aluminum gaps in the roof and can actually fit in a hoe as small as two inches. Once inside, they will cause havoc in your home by chewing and gnawing on any object including wires and insulation.
Signs That You Have Squirrels and Chipmunks in Your Home
It’s essential for a homeowner to be able to identify the tell-tale signs of the presence of squirrels and chipmunks in their home. These types of rodents can cause significant damages to your home that can disrupt your life and leave you with a big dent in your pocket.
To avoid suffering from effects of having squirrels and chipmunks in your home, read through the signs listed below and familiarize yourself with them.
Strange Noises in Your Home
If you hear scratching, rustling or chewing sounds mostly coming from your walls and attic you could be having these two rodents living in your home. You will also hear them scampering and jumping from one place to another especially in your attic or walls.
The scratching sounds you hear happens when one of them gets stuck in the chimney or the walls as they attempt to ascend or descend. Most of these noises can be heard mostly in the evening or towards dawn when the rodents are in their nests resting.
Sighting Squirrels or Chipmunks Droppings
Squirrels and chipmunks droppings are very similar. They are dark, hard, elongated and they look like rice or beans. They are about half to ¾ inch in size. They can be spotted in piles near the attic, in the garage, on top of the chimney or anywhere in your home.
Since the dropping of these two rodents closely resembles those of other pests such as rats and mouse, it’s essential to seek an experts opinion if you are not sure about the droppings. The droppings should be eliminated as fast as possible since their presence can increase your chances of contracting salmonella due to hygiene issues.
Damages on Suspected Entry Points
Squirrels and chipmunks can chew and gnaw on anything including materials that are used to seal holes in most homes. These types of rodents can squeeze through small holes and gaps that might not even be visible until you carry out a thorough inspection.
They have strong incisors that can chew just about anything to create an entry point. When doing an inspection, you will are likely to notice damage on eavestroughs, shingles, around the fascia boards and on-screen vents and on the outer boards along the roofline. The damages should be a sign of entry points for these two types of rodents, and it’s possible that they already gained entrance into the attic space.
Damages inside Your Home
If you have an infestation of either of these two rodents check for damages in your attic area. They will cause considerable damage by chewing and gnawing on the insulation and as a result, render it less effective or dysfunctional altogether. They will also gnaw on the duct work and shred it into pieces and make it ineffective as well.
The damage will eventually lead to little or circulation of air, and you will start experiencing the foul stench of their urine. However, if a squirrel or chipmunk dies inside the attic, the foul smell that will come out of your attic can drive you crazy. Additionally, the unsanitary conditions that result from the decaying dead rodent could lead to health hazards in your home.
As squirrels or chipmunks burrow their way into your home, they will also be creating access for other pests and insects and at the same time damage your roof and cause to leaking issues. Since they do not spare the electrical wiring in your attic, these two types of rodents will gnaw and chew on it and expose you to fire hazards in your home.
Sometimes these rodents can access your home through other parts other than the roof. If this happens, the may cause damages to your wall-boards, ceilings and in most parts of your house. If an infestation goes unnoticed for some time, the damages will be quite and severe, and the effects will be noticed in no time.
Ripped and Chewed Shingle
One thing that you can never underestimate when it comes to squirrels and chipmunks is their chewing and gnawing capabilities. These two rodents can chew and gnaw on a layer of shingle and gain access to your attic. If a squirrel or chipmunk is determined to get inside your house, it will even chew through the screens that cover vents, chimneys, and plumbing. If you notice some damages around the shingles just know that squirrels or chipmunks happened and they have found their way through the roof into your attic.
Foul Smell Coming From Your Attic or Walls
As mentioned, nothing is nauseating as a smell of a dead squirrel or chipmunk in your attic or inside the walls. As these rodents move around in your home, they often fall and get stuck into the gaps and holes inside your attic and behind the walls, and eventually, they will die. When this happens, you will start smelling the awful smell coming from your attic or your walls. At this point you need to do an inspection to find the dead rodent and also to know if there are several of them in your home.
Urine Stains That Look like Water Damages on Walls and Ceilings
Squirrel and chipmunk infestation can sometimes go unnoticed for a long period before you discover their existence especially if you have a big home. If they manage to build nests and settle in your attic and walls, there will be waste build up with time.
These traces of urine and feces will cause damages on your walls and ceilings. As a result, you will suffer considerable losses as you will have to replace your insulation and also wood for the areas that have been damaged by the rodent’s activity. You will also need cleaning services after a complete elimination to improve the sanitary conditions in your home.
How to Rid Get of Squirrels and Chipmunks in Your Home through DIY Methods
When you watch the movie Alvin and the Chipmunks you might be tempted to think that these little rodents are cute and harmless in your home. But in the real world, these small rodents and squirrels are not the type of guests you should want to entertain anywhere in your home and yard.
In fact, these two rodents are loud, leave behind foul stench from their urine and feces not to mention the structural damages that they cause with their incisors. If you suspect that your home has been invaded by any of these two types of rodents you should look for ways to get rid of them as soon as possible to prevent major damages and losses.
The good news is that there are several effective methods and steps that you can take to get rid of squirrels and chipmunks in your home.
Since these two rodents have same behaviors and habits, the eradication and control methods are similar and will work for both of them.
It is recommended that you use the most humane methods possible to get rid of squirrels and chipmunks. In fact, in some states, the laws do not allow the killing of these two rodents, so it’s essential you check with your local authorities for the recommended treatment and removal methods.
When you discover you have squirrels or chipmunks in your home do not panic or run away from them. As much these two little creatures are destructive, they do not bite human beings. In fact, they will be more scared of you, and they might scamper away. However do not give it reasons to be aggressive, so it’s important to stay calm as you calculate your next move.
The first step towards getting rid of squirrels and chipmunks in your home is by inspecting your home. You need to find out if the rodents have infested and nested in your home. In most cases, the mother squirrel or chipmunk might be having babies nested somewhere in your home. The mothers are usually very protective of the young ones, and they will even attack you as they try to protect them.
As you search, keep a distance of about 6m from the spot where you find a squirrel. In most cases, if it’s a female it could be nesting the young ones somewhere near. If you do not spot a squirrel keep looking for signs of nesting, droppings, urine stains and damages on screens and shingles.
If you happen to find young ones, it’s recommended that you call for professional services to do the removal or wait for a few weeks for them to mature. Moving a squirrel or a chipmunk family be can be disruptive to the young ones, and they might not survive in the outside conditions for long.
Close the Entry Points and Leave an Avenue for Escape
After you have done an inspection, you will discover all the entry points used by the squirrels to gain access to your home. Start by sealing the gaps and holes in the attic that are wide enough for chipmunks or squirrels to pass through. Cover the chimneys by installing the chimney caps and use screens to cover the vents and any other openings.
If there any chewed holes that lead to the exterior of your home patch them up but leave one that will serve as an escape route for the rodents inside. However, make sure you patch the hole a few weeks later after removing the rodents.
If there are openings in the attic that lead to the rest of your house ensure that you secure them. If you live in areas where chipmunks are common, it is best to install chicken mesh and use caulking along the foundation of your house. Similarly, make sure you seal all the gaps and repair damages on the roof vents and shingles. This way you will have gotten rid of their entry routes, and you can concentrate on finding the appropriate ways of getting rid of the ones inside your home.
Use Live Cage Traps
Purchase the right live trap and place peanuts or sunflower seeds inside to entice the squirrels or chipmunks to enter inside. This kind of trap is effective and most preferred since it captures the rodents alive. Once the squirrels or chipmunks step on the trip pan at the back of the cage the trap door closes catching the rodent inside.
Make sure you purchase the right size of a trap as some cage traps are too small to capture squirrels. Also, it’s critical to note that different traps are set differently so make sure you read the instructions on how to set the particular trap you bought.
When setting live traps, it’s also essential to use the right kind of bait that is appetizing to squirrels and chipmunks. Examples of foods that you can use inside the live traps include:
- Soda crackers
- Peanut butter
- Apple slices
- Bread Crusts
When placing the baits, make sure you place them almost at the rear of the trap to ensure that the rodents get inside to get to the food instead of grabbing it from the side.
Once you have captured the squirrels or the chipmunks you can relocate them far away from your home. You can release them about 10 miles away from your home. Make you protect yourself by wearing heavy gloves when releasing the trapped squirrel or chipmunks from the traps.
Some municipalities have rules and regulations on animal relocation, so make sure before you use the trap method you find out about the relocation requirements.
If you are removing squirrels or chipmunks from the attic, you can consider using the one-way exclusion door trap. This kind of trap has one open end, but it works like the repeater trap. Once the rodents are captured, it will let them escape through one way door, but it won’t allow them back in. Once outside, the rodents will be blocked from their way back. The one-way exclusion trap cost about $40.
You can keep the traps around for about a week just to be certain that all the rodents have been captured. Once you are sure that all the rodents have been cleared you can seal the exit hole that had been left during exclusion and clean up your home. The live cage traps cost an average of $13.99.
Use of Repellents and deterrents
There are several methods that you can use to deter and repel squirrels and chipmunks from your home. They include:
Use ultrasonic device repellent inside the attic to scare off the rodents. Alternatively, you can leave a radio on in a talk station in the attic. This way, the squirrels and the chipmunks will keep hearing human voices, and they will keep away. However, it’s vital to note some squirrels or chipmunks might be used to human voices so, in some situations, the radio might not work.
On the other hand, the ultrasonic devices are efficient in scaring off the rodents away. They produce high decibel noise that makes the attic area uncomfortable place to stay for rodents. The noises produced by ultrasonic devices are inaudible to humans. The only problem with this method is that rodents can eventually adapt to the noise and learn to live with it. The ultrasonic devices cost about $14.99 to $99.50.
Use of Flash Lights
Using flashing strobe lights in the attic is another effective way of keeping squirrels and chipmunks away from your attic. Make sure you have sealed off the entry points to prevent the rodents from coming back in after running away from lights. The average cost of strobe lights comes to about $30 to $70.
Use Store-Bought Repellents
Repellents can also be used to get rid of chipmunks and squirrels. The repellents usually have a scent that these rodents don’t like and they will keep off. You can use chemical or natural repellants depending on your preferences. Repellants with predator urine such as fox spray are considered to be more effective and nontoxic. If the rodents smell the natural scent of a predator, they will keep away from that area.
Spray the repellent in the attic especially on the nesting areas. Follow the label’s instructions for better results. Repellents are effective in some situations, but, squirrels and chipmunks tend to get accustomed to them, and they may not keep them away after sometimes. To ensure that repellent products are effective in the long run, keep switching to different types of repellants to prevent the squirrels and chipmunks from getting accustomed to a specific repellent one.
Use Household Ammonia
Even though no sufficient proof supports the use of ammonia as a repellent, some homeowners claim that it worked for them. To use it, wet some rags with the ammonia and place them on spots where the squirrels or chipmunks have nests.
The smell of ammonia drives away squirrels and chipmunks. However, it’s also recommended that you incorporate this method with the exclusion methods to keep the rodents away from your home. Be careful when using ammonia as it can irritate and burn your nose. Ventilate the attic using electric fans and keep children and pets away from the attic when using this repellent method.
Use Moth Balls
The debate about mouth balls and their safety around squirrels and chipmunks is still considered as a grey area. However, even though no scientific proof supports the effectiveness of mothballs in repelling chipmunks and squirrels, some homeowners claim that it works for them.
Anyway, since you are trying your luck in eliminating squirrels or chipmunks in your home, there is no harm in trying out the mothballs together with the exclusion and trap methods. Place the mothballs somewhere near the attic especially on the entrance or areas where the rodents have nests.
Please note that some mothballs notably the older ones may contain naphthalene which is flammable and should be used with caution. Also, it’s essential to keep the mothballs away from children and pets especially if you are using them in the yard.
Once you are have managed to get rid of squirrels and chipmunks away from your home, it’s essential to make sure you don’t face the same situation again. It’s good to be proactive and take the following preventive measures to keep these two types of rodents away from your property.
Inspect your home regularly – make a point of inspecting your home frequently like once a month. Look out for damages in the attic area, and on the roof line especially on the shingles and roof vents. Be keen on holes that were not originally present on your property.
In case you find entry points that are likely to be used by rodents and other animals, make a point of sealing them immediately to prevent an infestation.
Seal holes and replace screens – seal off any holes that can be used by squirrels and chipmunks to gain access to your home. Use chicken wire or hardware cloth to seal the space and to keep the rodents away and apply animal repellent. To seal vents, soffit intersections and any other space on the roof and exterior outlets, use heavy duty steel screens to make it hard for the squirrels and chipmunks to gnaw.
Trim trees – regularly trim your trees to avoid having overhanging branches that can easily be used by squirrels and chipmunks to get to the roof. Still, on the issue of trees, do not let them run from wooden areas towards your home as this might attract squirrels and chipmunks.
Take care of your trash – always empty your trash regularly and do not leave it outside for a long period. Accumulating trash and leaving it to sit in your home for long it will not only attract squirrels and chipmunks but other animals and pests to your home.
Use repellants – use the discussed repellents to keep squirrels and chipmunks away from home. As advised, keep switching the repellents regularly to make them more effective and to prevent the rodents from adjusting to particular ones.
If you have bird feeders, make sure that you place them around 15 to 30 feet away from any structure. If possible, layer the poles of the bird feeders with petroleum jelly to prevent squirrels and chipmunks from climbing up. You can also buy squirrel resistant feeders to make it hard for the rodents to access it.
If you have firewood, keep it away from your house to prevent squirrels and chipmunks from burrowing beneath which might also lead them to burrow under your home’s foundation.
Avoid keeping or storing foodstuff such as bird seed or pet food in the outdoors. If you do, place them in rodent-proof containers to avoid availing food to squirrels and chipmunks.
Cost of Hiring a Professional Removal Services
Some homeowners may find the process of getting rid of squirrels and chipmunks tasking and prefer professional service. Sometimes the infestation might be too severe for you to handle it on your without an expert’s assistance. You might also not know how to dispose of the captured rodents which might prompt you to call a professional for guidance. And in other cases, the DIY methods may fail to yield a complete removal.
Whichever the case, calling a professional is a right step towards getting rid of squirrels and chipmunks. The cost of removal services will depend on the number or chipmunks or squirrels living in your home, yard or garden. In addition, the cost will also be influenced by the size of your home and the number of entry points.
The average cost of initial removal of squirrels or chipmunks ranges from $100 to $300. The services for this cost include inspection of your home and assessing the magnitude of the infestation.
The total cost of removal which includes inspection, identifying the entry points, setting traps, removing and relocating the squirrels, repairing and sealing the entry points, clean up and sanitizing the affected areas comes to about $500 to $1500.
The cost of removal can even go higher than stated if there are extensive damages that require major repairs and replacements. In some cases, the pest control company will offer periodic visits throughout the year depending on the level of infestation.
|Type of visit||Description||Average cost|
|First and initial visit||The professional removal services insects your home and assesses the severity of the infestation. Identifies the entry points and determines the type of removal method to use||$100-$300|
|One time removal services||The professional does an inspection, identifies entry points, assesses the magnitude of the infestation, seals, and repairs the entry points, sets the traps and other removal methods, continually checks the traps for trapped squirrels or chipmunks, removes and relocates them. decontaminate the affected areas and cleans up||$500-$1500|
|Occasional scheduled visits||Monthly routine checks|
Semi-monthly routine checks
Quarterly routine checks
Hiring the Right Removal Services
Before you decide on the professional company to hire its essential to consider the following aspects to ensure that they provide the kind of services you are looking for.
The scope of services – before you hiring, find out if the company offers full services or just the basic removal. Full services include inspection, setting up traps, removing and relocating the rodents, repairs, clean up and decontamination. The basic package involves removal only without clean-up, repair, and prevention work. It’s critical that you find about these details before you commit yourself to the removal company.
Method of removal – when hiring it’s important to find out from the company about their methods of removal. As mentioned in the guide, it’s essential to use more humane methods of removal when dealing with squirrels and chipmunks.
Therefore, find out from the removal company the type of methods they employ to get rid of these critters. Humane methods involve trapping the animals alive and relocating them, while the other discouraged alternatives include the use of poisons that kill the rodents. Find out before hiring and ask for details on how they will eliminate the squirrels or the chipmunks.
Cost – find out about costs of removal before you hire and if possible get multiple quotes for comparison purposes. Some removal companies offer guarantees against chipmunks and squirrel re-entry mostly for one year. Find out from the company you are about to hire about the guarantees and if there are any extra charges. As mentioned, pay attention to the cost and what is included and ask if there are services that are excluded from the package.
Find out about the cost of removing dead squirrels and chipmunks- sometimes these critters may die inside hard to reach places such between the walls and in crawl places. The dead rodents emit foul smell and can bring about health issues in your home.
Removing the dead rodent squirrels or chipmunks can be challenging especially if the professional has to break through the walls. It’s important to find out if the professional offers this kind of service and at what cost. The cost or removing dead squirrel or chipmunk will depend on the location where it died and how complicated it is to get to it.
Always make sure you hire a licensed and insured professional. These two are essential and can help you know if the professional is qualified and cares about you and your property. If possible, ask for references if you don’t have personal referrals. This way, you will be able to gauge their experience, knowledge and how they deliver their services.
Lastly, a written contract will save you a lot of disappointments. A competent professional should do a home inspection, and give you a written estimate detailing everything including the method of removal, and any other services to be offered.
Squirrels and chipmunks can enter your home through several ways to find shelter and nesting place. Once inside, they cause significant damages that can hinder your life and cost you a lot of money. They can chew on ductwork, insulation and electrical wires which can be fatal. Their urine and feces can create unsanitary conditions in your home coupled with unbearable bad odor.
If you discover you have any of these two rodents in your home, you need to incorporate exclusion and removal methods as soon as possible. You can use the discussed DIY methods of removal which include live traps and repellents. If you feel the situation is out of your control, you can hire removal services to get rid of squirrels and chipmunks. Do not let these critters wreak havoc in your home, garden, and backyard.