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Squirrels can cause damage to a building that you might not even have thought were possible. Property owners often associate chewing with rodents, but squirrels can be just as bad for it. Electrical cables can be chewed through in almost no time at all, and if those cables are power lines, blackouts can happen, which then require a trained electrician to repair the damage. As you may well know, emergency callouts for electricians aren't known for being cheap …
Squirrels don't even need to chew through power lines in order to damage them. There are cases where these animals have run or jumped along them, electrocuting themselves and causing power outages in the process.
If the cables weren't bad enough, the damage that squirrels can do to your actual building would surely encourage you to evict them immediately. Chewing through wood, floors, ceilings, walls, drywall, and other materials in a building can cause structural damage. If the problem is a large one, involving rats as well as squirrels or a large number of squirrels, walls and floors/ceilings can collapse, putting the safety of those inside the building in jeopardy.
Just when you thought the news was already pretty bad, there's worse ahead. Chewing and getting into the building isn't the only mess and destruction these creatures are going to cause. All wild animals are messy, although, squirrels are actually known for being some of the cleanest of the bunch. Believe it or not, there are actually messier and worse animals to have on the property. Rats and mice are two easy examples.
Squirrels will continue to take food from a stash that they can take advantage of, until someone removes that source of food — that's you. They are messy eaters, dropping food as they eat, as well as on the run to the stash-spot. Sometimes, they will even forget where that stash-spot is, but they do have pretty good memories.
If squirrels forget where they have buried seeds, nuts, or berries, those seeds can start to sprout and other animals will be attracted by the smell of food. Any leftover food is an attractant to pests, including rats, mice, birds and plenty others, and a tree that starts to sprout in the wrong place can easily uproot and disturb footpaths, outbuildings, or even the building you're trying to live in. All because a squirrel dropped a seed!
Squirrels cause damage and mess when they get in, hang around (feces and urine), and then get back out again, meaning they're not an animal you would want to encourage hanging out on your property. There are a number of ways in which you make your home and back garden less attractive to animals just like squirrels, and we definitely recommend putting modifications in place to keep them at bay.
Sadly, as with most pest or wild animal control problems, you won't usually see the problem until it is too late. By that point, the animal — whichever animal it is — could have already caused a serious amount of damage and mess.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does squirrel removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of squirrels - my main squirrel removal info guide.
Example squirrel trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Squirrel job blog - learn from great examples of squirrel jobs I've done.
Squirrels in the attic - what to do to solve the problem.