Squirrels can be cute when they are doing gymnastics in trees, but you don't want them in your attic where they can cause damage. Knowing the signs of a squirrel infestation ensures you catch the problem early.
1. Attic Noises
The first sign of squirrel problems is usually noise. Squirrels are most active during the day, so the sounds of their scuffling about may not be noticed when everyone is active. You may be more aware of them in the early morning or later evening when it's typically quieter. Rustling, scratching, and walking noises indicate squirrels or other rodents are in the attic.
2. Roof Damage
Squirrels have to get into the attic somehow, and roof or eave damage is usually the way. Soffit vents are along the underside of the eaves, but a squirrel can sometimes pop out the vent screen and crawl through. Squirrels may also chew holes into wood eaves, or they may find access by enlarging an existing hole in the eaves or roof. Tearing into rooftop vents is another common way squirrels get inside.
3. Chewed Insulation
A visit to the attic may provide clues to squirrel problems. These rodents tend to chew, a lot. They will chew and tear up the foam insulation. They may push some of it around to create nests. The insulative coating on any wires that run through the attic will also be at risk, as squirrels are notorious for chewing on wires. This can pose a real fire hazard in the home, which is one of the main reasons squirrels need to be removed as soon as you know they've gotten inside.
4. Foul Odors
These rodents aren't housebroken, so they will be defecating and urinating all over the attic. Squirrel feces are small brown pellets, similar to mice feces. Their urine is particularly malodorous, so you will likely be aware that something is wrong before you find any feces or stains. The odor can eventually permeate into other parts of the house, so it is important to have the squirrels removed so the mess can be cleaned up as soon as possible.
5. Food Caches
Not all invading squirrels spend a lot of time in the attic. Some only dash in quickly to stash the nuts and roots they are collecting for winter. You may stumble across these caches tucked between rafters or inside insulation. Finding these types of food caches is usually a sign that you are dealing with squirrels and not another type of rodent.
Contact a squirrel removal service in your area if you suspect that they have made their way into your attic.