One common mistake that many homeowners make is blocking off a hole in the roof or roofline of a house that is actively being used by squirrels. When an active squirrel hole is blocked off one of two things happen:
1. The squirrels are inside the house and become trapped in the attic, ceilings and walls.
When squirrels get trapped inside a house they frantically attempt to get out by chewing on anything and everything in their way. This includes the material that was used to block their hole, sheetrock, wiring and anything else that they think might help them get out. Once the squirrels have been trapped inside for a number of days it is not uncommon for them to chew their way into the living space of the house. We have seen squirrels that are trapped inside a house chew through living room ceilings in an effort to get out. Finally if they are not able to get out or get into the living space they end up dying inside walls or ceilings. This creates a very difficult situation. It takes 2 weeks or so for an odor to develop. Trying to trace the odor to it's origin can be very difficult if not impossible. Most of the time ceilings have to be cut open to remove dead squirrels and the question is always "where do you start cutting?". This can all be avoided by NOT blocking off a squirrel's hole.
The vent in the picture above was brand new just one day earlier. The homeowner removed the old gable vent that had been chewed up by squirrels. He then installed the brand new vent and put a heavy duty screen over the brand new vent. What he didn't realize was there was 3 squirrels inside his attic when he did this. In the course of 24 hours the 3 squirrels ate the entire new gable vent.
2. The squirrels are outside feeding when their hole is blocked and now cannot get back into the space they call home.
Squirrels get very angry when they return home after a long day of feeding to find that the hole that leads into the attic or roofline that they reside in has been blocked off. When squirrels can't get back in their usual hole they do what comes natural - they make a new hole. If you did a really good job at sealing the hole they were using they will go to the other corner of the house and create a new hole over there. They will chew various areas of the roof and gutters until they find a weak spot that they can exploit to get back in. In this case squirrels are often seen scurrying around on roofs for DAYS as they look for a new way in. Usually they homeowner ends up with a new hole in an area where there wasn't a hole before and an attic that is still full of squirrels.
Another BIG reason that you don't want to block off a squirrel's hole is the presence of immobile juvenile squirrels. If you seal off a hole that is being used by squirrels while the adult female is outside foraging for food you then separate her from her young. The young will remain inside and are unable to get out. When the female squirrel return to the house to go back inside the attic and feed her young she will not be able to do so. This is when you will see a VERY angry female squirrel. The damage that a single female squirrel can do to the exterior of a house is staggering. Female squirrels are second to only a female raccoons in terms of the amount of damage they can do. Not only will you have a savage female squirrel tearing your house apart but you'll also have dead juvenile squirrels to deal with inside the house. Not a pleasant situation.
Removing Squirrels the correct way
Most homeowners block off squirrel holes in an effort to take care of the problem themselves and save some money. As a homeowner I can certainly understand the do-it-yourself mentality.
Having a family of squirrels removed from your home can cost a few hundred dollars. This includes everything from trapping and removing all squirrels and properly sealing their entry-point once all squirrels have been removed from the house. Blocking off a squirrel hole on your own, trapping squirrels inside the walls, cutting holes in sheetrock to remove dead squirrels, treating the odor from the dead squirrel carcasses etc can cost a few thousand dollars. Never mind the headaches that accompany this situation.
The way to properly deal with a squirrel infestation is to remove the offending squirrels from the area and be 100% certain that all the squirrels are gone. We have a method (a series of steps) that we use on every single squirrel removal service that we perform that allows us to know for sure when all squirrels have been removed from a house. Using this method we can solve 99% of squirrel problems in 3 days and we never have to worry about trapping squirrels inside house.
Visit our squirrel removal if you want to have your squirrel problem handled by professionals. We are the best squirrel wranglers in the Northern Hemisphere.