What kind of squirrels live in New Jersey and Pennsylvania?
Squirrels are very common pests that homeowners in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have to deal with each year. They start to become a problem when they enter homes in the fall and throughout the winter to build nests in attics. However, squirrels can build nests inside of an attic or soffit at any time of the year. If you're like most homeowners, the attic is more for storage than a heavily trafficked area such as your living room. They live in attics where they are less likely to be disturbed and have shelter from the elements. A safe place to build a nest is one of the main reasons that a quiet, warm attic is ideal for squirrel activity. Squirrels run around during the day so if you have squirrels in your attic, you'll hear them moving around and going in and out of the access point they created. They can also cause substantial damage to your home by gnawing holes, chewing wires, and contaminating surfaces with their urine and feces. The number of squirrels nesting in a structure may be as few as one or two, but often as many as 4-7 squirrels are present. Although fall and winter are the most common times for squirrels to nest in homes, they can nest at any time of year.
Eastern Gray Squirrel
The Eastern gray squirrel is the most common squirrel in our area. They are a mixture of gray and brown with a white underbelly. The diet of an Eastern gray squirrel mainly consists of nuts, primarily hickory nuts, walnuts, acorns, beechnuts, and bird seed when available. Eastern gray squirrels measure 8-10 inches in length with a large, bushy tail that's 7.5-10 inches long. You've probably seen them scurrying up and down trees in your yard or running across your roof. It can be fun to watch these active rodents, but the fun comes to an abrupt end when they choose your home as their nesting spot.
Did know that black squirrels found in Princeton, NJ are actually Eastern gray squirrels? Black Eastern gray squirrels are not unique to Princeton as they live throughout the Northeast.
Pictured Above: Black Eastern Gray Squirrel Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Can I prevent squirrels?
The best way to prevent squirrel infestations is to make sure all areas on your and around your roof are secured and free of any damage and wear and tear. Take a look around your roof and above the highest story of your home. Are there torn screens, broken gable vents, aged gutters
, or other openings? Repairing all of these areas will block off easy access points for squirrel nesting. Keeping trees cut back 6-8 feet away from the home will remove natural bridges they can climb to access your gutters and attic. Do not hang bird feeders from trees. Squirrels can easily break in and steal any food, leaving the bird feeder broken in the process. Do not try to trap and relocate squirrels.
In most cases, they will not survive in unfamiliar surroundings without knowing where to find food water and shelter. They can easily starve or be a hawk's lunch. Relocating squirrels does not guarantee that another squirrel will not move in.
What does squirrel damage look like?
You can identify squirrel damage on the exterior of your home by looking for holes like you can see below. The holes are large enough for a big squirrel to fit through and are along edges where material can be more easily separated.
Flying squirrels are not as common as Eastern Gray Squirrels, but are known to nest within attics in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Gray squirrels are active during the day while flying squirrels are active at night. If you are hearing loud scurrying in the attic space of your home during the day, then you are likely to have gray squirrels nesting in your attic. On the other hand, if the noises you hear occur almost always at night, then mice or flying squirrels are likely to be infested. To prevent flying squirrel infestations, repairing and securing vulnerable and broken parts of your roof, soffit, vents, and other exposed areas will deter their nesting.
Cooper's Exclusion Service
If you experience recurring problems with mice, squirrels, flying squirrels, or other rodents getting into your house, a permanent (and highly recommended) solution is available from Cooper Pest Solutions. Since squirrels have the capability to destroy homes, older home structures often have many gaps that they find very attractive, and this is how they enter your home.
When our Exclusion Experts visit your home, they will perform a thorough inspection to identify the rodent and squirrel issues at your home and then create a customized plan to remove them and keep them out.
We will exclude these pests from entering your home in the future. Our dedicated Exclusion Experts will conduct trapping and wire mesh installation for low-lying areas. They will also perform sealing, capping, and metal flashing installations on the roof and in the crawlspace. Additional programs such as GutterLock are available for even more protection.
To learn more about our Exclusion Service, click here.