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Squirrel Poop Identification – Health Risks, Diseases & Dangers of Squirrel Feces

Squirrels are unique animals in that they eat their own poop for nutrients. Therefore, they only poop at night and in isolation, since they do not want anyone to know about the position of their food. In fact, squirrels are so good at hiding their poop that it gave birth to a myth that they do not poop at all. Urban Dictionary describes it as ‘something which does not exist. As the waste travels down the large intestine, it comes to its end where magic causes it to disappear.’ As much as the latter statement can be laughed off, the reality is that most of us have not seen, stepped on or smelled any squirrel poop. This makes finding and knowing about squirrel poop extremely rare for the general public. However, squirrels do poop and we are going to discuss about it in this article.

Squirrel Feces Identification

• Squirrel poop is usually very small in size (approximately 5 millimeter)
• It is elongated in shape and has rounded edges, giving it the appearance of raisin.
• The poop is red or brown in color and does not vary, since the diet of the squirrels is quite consistent. The poop gets lighter in shade with the age of the squirrel.
• Squirrel poop can easily be confused with rat poop, if a person does not know the difference between them. Squirrel poop is generally larger in size and found near the edges of the room / house, while rat poop is usually smaller in size and found randomly.

Why Is Squirrel Poop So Hard To Find?

As aforementioned, the fact that squirrels poop in isolation plays an important part in its lack of appearance. They usually dump in hard to reach places like a hole in the tree or an attic (if it is in house). Another major factor is that squirrels are mobile animals and rarely stay at one position. They are able to relieve themselves while on the run, which scatters their droppings and prevents any substantial accumulation of poop to alert us. Lastly, the color of the squirrel poop makes it a very effective camouflage in the soil and will ensure that it is never spotted.
If you have in fact spotted squirrel poop before, consider yourself as lucky as spotting the lottery ticket correctly.

What Can You Learn From Squirrel Poop?

Squirrel poop can give you certain information regarding the infestation in your house, if you come across it, such as:
• The amount of poop reflect on the severity of the infestation. More poop is a sign of many squirrels in the house.
• The age of poop is also a sign of the infestation. If the poop looks fresh and soft, then chances are that the squirrel is still in the house and you should search for it. You can block the squirrel’s exits by covering any holes or passage ways and then trap the squirrel once it shows up. If the poop is old and dry, then the squirrel is probably not in that area any more, but you should search for any opening, through which the squirrel can enter the area again, and close it.

How To Get Rid Of The Poop And The Urine?

If your house has been the victim of a squirrel infestation, you are going to find yourself in a very bothersome situation. Squirrels are notorious for causing severe damage to household items and furniture, which can prove very expensive. There are two steps in getting rid of a squirrel infestation, unlike other pests, and these include:
1. Getting rid of the squirrels
2. Getting rid of the poop and the urine
Remember that you cannot successfully get rid of the squirrel droppings, unless you complete banish the squirrels from your house. Once you have managed to exterminate the infestation complete from your home and have taken action to prevent any squirrels from coming again, you can start paying heed to the second step mentioned above. You may utilize the services of a professional pest cleaner for removal of the infestation and the poop, or may do it yourself, but beware that it can be a very strenuous and tiring process.
Upon investigation, you would have probably discovered that there is a large amount of squirrel poop and urine in hard to reach places of the house. Since the squirrels scatter their  poop and urinate as they run around, they create a mess in the whole area. If you thought that was wicked and unpleasant, squirrel urine is considered to contain pheromones. These pheromones act like natural signals for other squirrels and attract them towards the sources. Therefore, you should double check that there is no way any squirrels can enter your property. In extreme cases, you may have to completely dismantle and reinstall your loft insulation to make sure that there are no remains of the squirrel droppings in the area.
Note: Please take precaution while cleaning the squirrel pool and urine. You should wear protective attire, including gloves and mask, to withstand any smell and avoid direct contact with the waste.

Potential Threats From Squirrel Waste For Humans

It is common sense to understand that like any other organism’s waste, the squirrel’s waste can also contain dangerous microbes and diseases. These can possibly be detrimental for the health of humans, especially the very young and aged ones. However in most cases, if you dispose the waste in a hygienic and organized way, you are safe from any of these threats. The diseases that can affect you include: salmonella infection, typhus, tularemia, leptospirosis, rabies (although more evidence is required and the researchers are not on the same page regarding the transition of rabies via squirrels.) and other zoonotic diseases.
If they effect, most diseases will cause flu, diarrhea and vomiting but disease like leptospirosis can cause respiratory problems and even death.
Unlike the diseases which are rarely a problem for most humans, squirrels are transmitters of pests. These pests include fleas and ticks. Even when the squirrel infestation has been successful exterminated, there can be chances of having ticks or fleas in your home. These pests require a totally different extermination process to remove them and are generally very hard to kill independently.

How To Remove Squirrel Waste

After the removal of squirrels from your property, you need to make sure that there are no remains of the infestation. Otherwise, other squirrels will naturally be attracted towards your house and will try to come inside. Moreover, you should also get rid of any pests which might take the shape of an infestation. The cleaning involves getting rid of the waste itself and any smell of it. If you are thinking about going with the removal manually, you are in for a long and hard job as the feces are everywhere and in a large quantity: basically small pieces scattered all over the premise.
It is much better to use a vacuum to remove the squirrel poop. You should use a filter vacuum in this process. This will allow you to complete the job at a faster rate and also not come in any contact with the poop itself, making the process more hygienic overall. If the infestation is very severe, home vacuum may not work efficiently and you may require an industrial vaccum cleaner instead. However, instead of buying a new industrial vacuum, you can just call upon professional exterminators, who will make a spotless finish and charge much less than the cost of a new machine.

Squirrels Are Not Always Cute – Keep Them Out of Your Home Before the Problem Grows Worse

Everybody whose house has ever been affected by a squirrel infestation will be exceptionally acquainted with squirrel poop, and the scope of various issues that can be brought on by this little and generally harmless looking waste. There are an array of various sicknesses and conditions that squirrels are known to transmit as mentioned above, and a large portion of the most problematic ailments that are found in the squirrel populace are transmitted through poop and waste.
In the event that you are considering to get rid of a squirrel infestation, or you are wanting to go up into a loft since you think there might be squirrels present, it is essential that you have a solid plan of actions regarding the different circumstances that might occur.
To know more about squirrels, their behavior and methods of getting rid of them, you can visit the relevant section on our website by clicking here: http://neverpest.com/squirrels/

Further Squirrel Dropping Resources:

  1. Wildlife Diseases and Humans – Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management
  2. Ultimate Guide to Animal Droppings – NeverPest.com
  3. How to Identify the Wildlife Species Responsible for Damage in Your Yard – University of Florida

Do Squirrels Come Out at Night? – Can They See at Night?

You have probably watched the movie, “Ice Age,” where the squirrel is always trying to get a nut back to his home for feasting on later, but never seems to manage too. There are scenes where the squirrel is working hard to do this job during the day and even at nighttime. This probably leaves you wonder do squirrels in nature work hard during all hours of the day collecting nuts and nesting materials for winter as well? The answer to the question is it depends on the breed of squirrels.

What types of squirrels come out at nighttime?

The breeds of squirrels that come out after dusk are the, “Northern Flying Squirrels” and the “Southern Flying Squirrels.” There is also a tiny breed of squirrels known as Sugar Gliders that are nocturnal as well and you can find them up playing underneath the starry skies of the Amazon Forest. Other than that, all other squirrels sleep during the night, and work hard and play underneath the warm sunny skies of the day. However, there are a few exceptions.

What are the few exceptions?

Some squirrels such as grey squirrels are attracted to warmth and light. If these squirrels have warmth and light at nighttime, they will come out and explore. This is especially true if you have squirrels living within the walls of your home or inside your garage or attic. One sure way of keeping these creatures away from attics, garages, crawlspaces and from building inside the walls of your home is by sealing off any cracks or craves that are visible. Making sure cracked windows and doors are replaced and fixed as well can keep the squirrels out of your home and sleeping fast away in a hollow tree or burrow beneath the ground where they belong during the nighttime hours.

Reasons non-flying squirrels might be out at night

If you see squirrels exploring the nighttime, it is most likely a flying squirrel breed. However, if you do catch other breeds exploring the nighttime it is mainly because there is some warmth or light or both attracting them. Sometimes even warmer temperatures can awaken squirrels from their nighttime slumber and cause them to want to go out and forage for food, water, and nesting materials. It all depends upon the atmosphere, and what the squirrels are feeling from their surroundings. Otherwise, the only time you will see squirrels out playing, hunting for food, drinking water, and building homes is during the day where they can see all that is upon the earth.

Additional Nocturnal Squirrel Resources

  1. Flying squirrels’ flight evolved at night – Daily Collegian by Penn State
  2. Tree Squirrels – Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management
  3. Hairless Squirrels? – Purdue University
  4. Tree Squirrels by Kansas State Extension of Wildlife Managment

 

When Do Squirrels Have Babies & Typical Squirrel Nesting Behavior

What exactly are squirrels?

Medium size rodents you find climbing up trees, picking acorns up off the lawn, snacking on bird seeds from feeders and chasing each other around from time to time are Squirrels. You can find these creatures in most parts of the world, but mainly in North and South America, Eurasia and Africa. Their family includes all variety of creatures such as:

What do squirrels eat?

Squirrels have a diet that consist of lots of nuts, seeds, fruits such as berries, and mushrooms, insects, larva and green vegetation. Some will even go as far as eating small birds and snake eggs when they are starving and have nothing else to eat since these foods are rich in protein. When these furry tree dwelling rodents cannot get enough to eat in the wild they will snack on birdseeds and berries bushes in gardens.

When do squirrels breed?

Breeding season occurs each year between the months of February and April and between August and September. After the mother is done with her male mate she will drive him from the nest using aggressive behavior. Each litter a mother squirrel has contains two to five young babies. Once the babies are born in a snuggly warm nest made from leaves the mother makes inside a hollow tree, borrows beneath the ground or even in people’s attics and walls when no other place in their surroundings feels suitable to them, the mother nurtures the babies until they are twelve weeks old. This is because when baby squirrels are born they are born naked without fur and cannot fend for themselves. It takes weeks to grow a warm coat of fur, climb trees, hunt for food and defend themselves from harm.

Are squirrels nocturnal animals? 

No, squirrels are not nocturnal. In fact, squirrels sleep during the night in their cozy nests and wake up in the early morning as sun as the sun comes up, but they go in for a rest until mid afternoon. When mid afternoon arrives the squirrels are back up and doing whatever it is they need to do to survive such as build new nest, hunt for food,  and eat and drink water.

Some people believe squirrels are nocturnal because sometimes they can hear these creatures in their wall at nighttime running around. This is only because these creatures are building a nest before winter hits and gathering food. If you feel you have a squirrel infestation in the walls of your home, call in rodent control to help you safely and carefully remove these passive creatures out of it. While these creatures mean no harm to you, they can do damage to your home by chewing away at structural beams, electrical wires and plastic plumbing pipes. Leaving these creatures inside the walls of your home or attics can cause electrical fires that can burn down and entire house in minutes or cause water damage that leaves you rebuilding and redoing the inside of your home.

What to do if you find baby squirrels?

If you find a squirrels nest without a mother and live babies still inside of it, it is best to leave it be and call in Fish and Game services, or a wild life rescue service to come handle the matter properly. If you find a baby squirrel that has fallen out of the nest, the best thing you can do is carefully place it back into the nest. However, if the baby squirrel doesn’t have any other siblings or mother left in the nest some people have been known to nurse them until they are adults and keep them as pets. Although, keeping squirrels as pets is probably not the best options. After all, all creatures that come from the wild as rescues should be return back into it once they become healthy again.

One Way Squirrel Door – Exclusion Tunnels & Exit Doors

When you are performing an exclusion to get rid of squirrels, you will eventually need some kind of one way squirrel door to let the pests out without allowing them back in. Although it should only be used as part of a broader plan, a one way door is a must-have. These devices are the only way to ensure your home is completely emptied of squirrels before sealing up their main entrance.

Purchasing a One Way Door

There are a variety of one way squirrel doors sold commercially. You may have to order one from an online supplier. There are a lot of one-way animal traps on the market, but a squirrel door is different. These contraptions are open on both ends and designed so the end opposite the door can be attached to the squirrels’ primary exit from your house. When fastened properly to the side of your house, the squirrels can scurry down the trap and out the door. The door closes behind the squirrel and leaves them unable to get back in.

Most commercial doors resemble wire traps but some are even simpler. Many homeowners have success with simple wooden boxes that screw onto the side of the house, a small hinged door cover the box. Squirrels hop down and can’t lift the lid to get back in. Squirrels are adept at squeezing into small spaces, which is why you have this problem to begin with, so make sure whatever trap you use is vetted and approved by other consumers before you take the time to install it.

Making A Homemade Squirrel Door

The internet is full of different types of instructions on how to make your own squirrel doors. Most suggest using either a wire mesh or plastic netting, similar to the kind used in construction fencing. The wire mesh can be fixed up into a trap similar to those sold in stores. The problem with this is you may not be able to construct an effective door; squirrels could become caught in the mechanism or break back in if it isn’t made properly.

A netted “door” might be the best way to make your own squirrel exclusion device. The net is simply secured into a funnel shape that is big enough at the end for the squirrels to exit but small enough that the material closes back on itself after a squirrel passes through. The end are then attached securely around the squirrels’ exit/entrance opening. This is a great option if you find the squirrel colony is trespassing through an awkward part of your house’s architecture, like at the corner of your eaves. If you are having trouble figuring out how to attach a large wire cage to the opening, a netted door might be your best choice.

One Part of the Exclusion Process

The North Carolina State University Extension program shares a basic guide to squirrel exclusion, and they recommend a one way squirrel door as a one method in a more comprehensive plan of action for expelling squirrels. It will take more than just a one way squirrel door to take care of your squirrel infestation. By reading up on squirrel control you can find out how to properly seal your home to prevent them returning and learn more about humane ways to chase the colony out of your house.

Hopefully you can now implement the door portion of squirrel exclusion. Whether you make your own door, purchase a door, or use the equipment recommended by your pest control expert, may you have the best of luck ridding your home of squirrels.

Squirrel Chewing on House, Siding, Roof, or Deck – Squirrel Prevention Tips

If you live in an area that has a lot of squirrels you might want to take some preventive action before you run into trouble with them chewing on your house. It may not be an easy task; but there is one consolation and that is it will be easier to keep them out of your house than it is from your garden or birdfeeder.

The red and gray squirrels are rodents whose teeth continuously grow. To keep their teeth worn down and control the growth they have to gnaw on something. That “something” shouldn’t be your house. They chew all the time on lots of things including nuts and wood. They will chew up sticks for their homes and chew holes in trees to get inside and then there is your roof they could chew a hole in to get into your attic. A mother squirrel would like nothing better than to get in your attic to provide a warm, protected nest for her young.

If you hear any unusual sounds coming from your roof such as the squirrel scampering around on your roof or especially chewing sounds; investigate the sounds immediately. Make sure they have not chewed a hole into your attic and then take some preventive steps to ensure they don’t.

To prevent squirrels from chewing on your house:

– Take some of the hottest pepper sauce you can find and with a paintbrush apply it to any area you suspect the squirrel has been chewing on. Ghost Chili Pepper sauce is one of the hottest on the market if you can find it. The squirrels will not want to chew on that.

Recipe for a homemade squirrel repellent:

  1. One bottle of cayenne pepper sauce or the Ghost Chili Pepper sauce
  2. One gallon of water
  3. One teaspoon mild liquid dish washing detergent

Mix together and either spray or paint on areas where the squirrels have been chewing.

  • Mace works well if sprayed on the area they are chewing on.
  • Ropel, a product you can purchase in local hardware stores, will also work to deter the squirrel from chewing.

These products will wash off in a rain and may need to be re-applied.

  1. Remove food sources so the squirrel is not attracted to your home. Squirrels are attracted to your birdfeeders. If you can; remove them from your yard for a time so the squirrel loses interest in your house. Moving them further away from the house may work also, keeping them off your deck or too close to your home.
  2. Provide them with alternatives to chew on. Since the squirrels need to chew on things is constant; provide them with alternative objects to chew on so they are not interested in your house. Dog bones, downed branches or soup bones will attract squirrels and satisfy their need to chew. Start out close to your home and then begin moving them further and further out and away from your house. This will be encouraging the squirrel to move away from your home. As you move the chewing objects away, apply hot sauce to the deck or house where you’ve noticed chewing. You will then be encouraging the chew toys while discouraging the house.
  3. Don’t make it easy

If you have edging on any part of your house or deck it will be an invitation for the squirrel to chew. Make it less inviting by wrapping deck edging made of aluminum flashing or hardware cloth. The squirrel can still chew through these, but will prefer to chew on a tree. It will encourage them to leave your deck or house alone and find chewing material in trees instead.

  • Keep tree branches cut back so the squirrel cannot access your house from the trees. The branches should be cut back at least six to eight feet between the tree and the house. Squirrels are very good jumpers and you need to prevent this; so make sure you are cutting branches back far enough to prevent them from reaching your roof or siding from a tree.
  • Block any possible entries into home with hardware cloth. If the squirrel cannot find an easy entry they may be discouraged and look elsewhere to build their home. Back this blocking of vents up with the pepper sauce application.
  • There is a taste repellent on the market, Capsaicin whose main ingredient is peppers. This can be applied to parts of your house that show signs of being chewed on. Animals tend to avoid this product and will encourage the squirrel to leave your house alone.
  • Another product is called, Polybutene and can be applied to your downspouts, railings and other areas you see the squirrel climbing on your house. It is an extremely sticky substance and may be hard to apply; but the squirrel will also find it uncomfortable to climb through and won’t attempt going up the side of your house. Reapply frequently to make sure it remains sticky and tacky.
  • Trap the squirrels and remove them from your property. The squirrel needs a 24 inch long wire trap and at least nine inches wide so they are not inhibited from entering it. The traps with openings on both ends work best so the squirrel can see through it. Place the traps where they have been chewing on your house with preferred bait of walnuts, pecans or peanut butter so they are encouraged to enter and trip it.
  • Place bait in the trap for a couple of days so the squirrels become accustom to it and begin to see it as a food source. Other items they will go for are; apples, orange slices and peanuts. Keep the doors tied up about two days and then begin trapping them. Make sure to check the traps a couple times during the day.
  • Take the trapped squirrels to an uninhibited area away from your house and release. Remember these are wild animals and can bite. The squirrel also can carry disease, if unsure on how to transport and release, contact a control professional for advice or help.

The squirrel loves to climb on houses and by doing this will cause you a lot of damage. They will chew on everything from lead roof flanges, attic vents to wood shutters and siding. You want to do whatever you can to prevent them from chewing on your house and definitely do not want to allow them to get inside. Follow these tips to keep the squirrel from chewing on your house and making it their home too.

 

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