"Squirrel in the Attic." It seems that almost everyone has had an experience with a
squirrel moving into the house. They will chew their way into the soffit or directly into
the attic space and then happily run around until you are about to lose your mind. They
are a cute nuisance--bushy tail, playful attitude, bright eyes--but many of our customers
are ready to break out the shotgun until we arrive. They can be quite an aggravation.
Copyright Wildlife Ranger 2013
The Eastern Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
population in Central Florida is booming. We
experience issues with squirrels breaking into attics
in every neighborhood in Orange and Seminole
Counties. These guys are well distributed.
They will normally chew a small hole in some fascia,
or simply push through the soffit to roof tile
junction--we call it an eave gap--and once inside will
nest, eat, play, mate, and give birth to young.
Squirrels running through the attic and soffit can be a
major annoyance and they usually choose to do their
running around at sun-up and sun-down.
• Squirrels are primarily herbivores. They eat seeds, acorns, nuts, and love the bird
food in your neighbor's feeder.
• Life span in the wild can be up to 12 years, but estimates that allow for predation
and road hazzards will put the number closer to 2 to 4 years. In captivity they can
live as long as 20 years.
• Home range is within an acre or two of their nesting site.
• Adult squirrels have their litters twice a year. Usually the first litter arrives in
February and a second by late July.
• Baby squirrels are weened at 7 weeks and will typically leave the nest by week
11. They will usually begin making families of their own by about a year old.
Noise: Daily running back and forth through the soffit and attic. They will sometimes
roll nuts at a high rate of speed increasing the runnning sounds to a full cacophony.
Structural Damage: Squirrel damage is mainly a result of chewing. Squirrels, as with
all rodents, have teeth that continue to grow. In order to keep the teeth from growing
through the jaw. Squirrels will chew on everything in your attic, including power lines
and water lines.
Droppings: Squirrel droppings are usually somewhat localized within an attic.
Raccoons, rats, and opossums all tend to distribute their droppings while squirrels
seem to use one of several latrine sites. They can still create quite a mess and a
clean-up is usually a good idea.
Recurrence: We have seen evidence that would indicate that subsequent generations
return to the nest site from which they were raised to start families of their own.
Exlusion: Repairing the entry point and ensuring that the home is properly excluded
is the key to solving the
issue permanently. Squirrel repairs should be made using only industry accepted
materials and procedures
as the persistence and intelligence of the animal will ultimately undo any effort that is
not completed 100% to