Most San Francisco Bay Area residents don’t pay much attention to squirrels as a general rule. Squirrels commonly make appearances in our yards. In fact, you can probably go outside right now and see or hear a squirrel. This familiarity with squirrels, along with their generally docile nature, causes us to pay little mind to them—until they start to become a problem. Here is a quick guide to everything you need to know about squirrel control in San Francisco.
It bears mentioning that, most of the time, squirrels don’t present any problem that you can detect. They come into your yard, looking for nuts, acorns, seeds, grains, flowers, fungi, buds, fruits, berries, bugs, and other stuff. As they go about their business, they steer clear of you, your kids, and your pets. No problem, right? Not quite.
- Squirrels carry ticks, fleas, mites, and other parasites. They can drop these in your yard and your dog, cat, kids, or you can pick them up. These parasites can spread diseases, some of which are pretty scary. Ground squirrels are associated with several diseases that are linked to parasites, not the least of which is the bubonic plague. Yup. That’s still a thing.
Squirrels are rodents and rodents have a compulsion to gnaw on things. This is because they have incisors that never stop growing. A squirrel can use those teeth on the trees and plants in your yard, or it can use them on the building materials of your home.
- Squirrels have sharp claws. While they’re not likely to attack you with them, they can make a nice hole in the screens on your porch, or your sliding glass door, or window screens.
- When a squirrel gets into your home, it isn’t going to be a good houseguest. Squirrels won’t go outside to do their business. This can cause quite a mess in your attic spaces.
- While a squirrel is not likely to ever attack you, it can happen. If a squirrel feels threatened, cornered, or it is protecting its young, you could have some trouble on your hands. Its claws and teeth are nothing to mess around with. This becomes a particular issue if you have a squirrel trapped in your home.
- Squirrels can damage garden plants, ornamentals, and certain trees. They can also dig up your mulch and create holes in your yard.
Inviting A Problem
Most of the time, squirrels will just hang out in your yard and find a place to live in nature. When they aren’t given a reason to be near your home, or on your roof, there is less chance of an infestation. Here are a few ways you could invite a problem.
- If you feed the squirrels nuts, it can have consequences. While it might seem cool to make friends with a wild animal, you really shouldn’t encourage squirrels to come up onto your deck, or to come into outdoor recreation areas. Not only can this increase your exposure to parasites, it can inspire squirrels to damage your property looking for the nuts when you’re not around.
- If you have branches that touch your roofline or hang over your roofline, this can invite squirrels to explore your roof. This could give them the bright idea that it would be pretty cool to live inside your attic.
- If you have bird feeders near your home, you should know that squirrels love seeds as much as birds do. They’ll go to great lengths to get into a bird feeder if they can.
There are many ways to manage squirrels and reduce squirrel activity near your home. These are just a few.
- Refrain from feeding them.
- Move bird feeders away from your exterior walls.
- Clean nuts and acorns up as quickly as possible.
- Apply fencing and netting to keep squirrels from using voids under structures as harborage.
- Protect key food sources by covering them.
- Get a dog. They love to chase squirrels.
- Consider investing in a flashing light with a motion detector, or motion-activated sprinklers. Those are fun!
- Use sheet metal, hardware cloth, and other materials to bolster vulnerable spots that squirrels are chewing.
If a squirrel has gotten into your home, it is best to contact an expert trapper to have the squirrel(s) removed. If you live in San Francisco, contact Smith’s Pest Management. We are the right choice for squirrel problems because we started our business as a trapping company. Our technicians are familiar with the most advanced methods and products used to capture and remove squirrels. You’ll be in good hands. Hop over to our contact page and tell us a little bit about your squirrel problem. We’ll schedule to have an experienced trapper come over and have a look.