If you have found poop in your attic or deck and are trying to figure out what animal it could be from, we will help you determine whether it is from a squirrel. Despite the fact that we see many squirrels in our day to day life, many people can go their whole lives without seeing squirrel poop.
Once squirrels get inside a home, they leave behind urine and feces that can cause damage to both your house and health. This is why it's important to deal with a squirrel problem as soon as possible when you notice any signs of infestation.
Squirrels are one of the most common animals found in residential dwellings. In the spring, squirrels will seek out a high location to birth their young, choosing roof lines or trees because of their safety from predators. A female squirrel will have two litters per year with 3-5 kittens in each litter. Once they reach maturity, the young will leave on their own and many times find an empty home such as your attic or deck where they can safely live until winter when they must find food elsewhere (many times this is our homes).
Squirrel droppings will be found alone or in small groups where the squirrel travels frequently--such as between an opening to your home and their entry/exit hole. They will also be found around any areas they use for nesting such as under eaves or within rafters, along fences or on patios where they seek shelter during rain storms.
Parts of Your Home at Risk
Trees near your home are prime real estate for squirrels to build their nests--making them the least of your concerns if you have this problem. The first line of defense is to caulk any openings that lead into your eaves or roof--this includes around vents, fans, soffits, etc., checking it every 1-3 feet along the entire perimeter of your home's exterior. You can find these areas by looking for "spider web" like trails leading up the side of your house. Any holes bigger than a half dollar should be caulked. This procedure takes time but will save you money in the long run.
Don't think that just because you don't see squirrels now that they aren't there--they can squeeze through an opening as small as a pencil! So, if you have a gap between your garage door and the floor or a large hole in the siding of your home but no droppings, this is where you need to be looking.
Once any openings are sealed, wait several weeks before going on to the next step. The goal here is to make it uncomfortable for them to stay so they will leave. You can do this by over-filling their entry holes with steel wool. This will take persistence because squirrels are very determined little animals and will chew from the inside until their way is clear. You can also try hanging up pie tins and washers along the edges of your roof to make noise when they pass; however, if you have a large population this will become nothing more than wasted time and energy for you.
The last resort is trapping and removal. This should only be done by a professional because it requires proper handling and release. If not, you may just create another problem with an older, angrier squirrel looking for revenge. So if in doubt, call a pro!
Squirrel droppings can carry parasites and diseases, and these do present a danger to humans. They may also be a host for other diseases such as leptospirosis, tularemia and others. Sometimes the droppings are home to parasitic worms.
In addition to being unsanitary, any potential disease risk means that you should take care to avoid coming into contact with or ingesting any elements from these droppings.
The best way to avoid this is by having a professional who is trained in removal clear areas with squirrel faeces.
Squirrels prefer a habitat with a lot of food and a place to nest. They usually build nests in trees but will take up residence inside your home if it offers both of these things--especially if there is an easy way for them to get inside.
The best defense against squirrel infestation is prevention. One thing you can do is wrap your trees where they meet your roofline with two layers of chicken wire. This will not only keep them from nesting there but will also protect the trees from being damaged by their sharp claws and teeth when they try to get in.
Another option is to get a cat. The old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" couldn't be more true here--cats can make for great roof-top sentries and will frequently scare squirrels out of the area. Just be sure your cat is well fed because if they're hungry enough, they may end up eating what you're trying to keep out!
You should also contact a pest control service immediately when you notice any signs of infestation. They will come out and check for signs of entry points, droppings and nesting areas so that they can set up traps or deterrents before there's too much damage done.
Squirrel droppings are about roughly double the size of a large grain of rice, and they're dark brown or black in color when fresh. They generally go brown and then fade to white as they age. They usually have rouned ends. Fresh faeces will also be moist and soft because it isn't yet dehydrated at this stage. As they age, the droppings become drier and harder.
Squirrels will often use one area of their home for defecation while another is used as a latrine where they will frequently urinate. If you see a lot of these in a certain place, it's a good indication that this is one of their communal areas and may have been where the infestation began.
Signs of Squirrels In Your Home
If you hear noises in your attic, especially around the chimney area, this is a pretty sure sign that you have a pest problem. You may also see a lot of droppings or damage to wires and parts of your home's structure. If it seems as though something is crawling across your ceiling at night, you will want to take care of this as soon as possible too.
Another sign is the smell of a decaying animal. The smell of a decaying squirrel is very pungent and is a clear sign that a professional pest removal service should be called to remove the infestation.
The key characteristics that differentiate squirrel poop from rat poop is the shape and size. Squirrel poop is normally tubular whereas rat poop may have a slightly more rectangular shape. Rat waste often has ridges running down the sides of each piece while squirrel poop is generally smoother.
Squirrel poop is slightly larger than rat poop; if you find evidence of rat droppings, there is a good chance there could be more than one in the area. Rattling noises in your attic or chewing sounds in your walls can indicate that there are at least 2 to 4 animals inside. Rats breed very quickly and these groups grow quite large pretty fast. It is not uncommon for homeowners to come home to 40 rats running around their living room floor after finding evidence of just four throughout their house!
Squirrel droppings are similar to mice droppings; however they tend to be larger and harder. If you find multiple droppings that are similar in size, shape and color it is likely from the same animal.