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PCT | Going Squirrelly?

Going Squirrelly?

Bill Earl is recognized on many websites and by customers in the Philadelphia area as the leading expert on solving the most difficult squirrel problems.  “Going Squirrelly?” was published by PCT (Pest Control Technology) Magazine in 2007.

 

Squirrels in Attic

The Worst Squirrel Problems

I deal with desperate people. Even the sweet little old ladies tell me, “Mr. Earl I don’t care what you have to do to the squirrels, just get them out of my attic.”

I solve squirrel problems in attics. They are the really tough problems that wildlife control operators and pest management professionals have walked away from. The squirrel problems where shooting, poisoning, electrocuting, and trapping have been tried without success.  When squirrels have lived in the attic for more than 10 years, the homeowners have one of two choices; either learn to live with the squirrels or move. Homeowners will often move out in the summer when the squirrels are nesting in trees. Guess what? In the fall new homeowners are faced with the same old squirrel problem.

Interview: Bill Earl, Wildlife Pro from Pest Tools on Vimeo.

PestTools interviewed Bill Earl, Wildlife Pro, to find out how he solved a 37 year old squirrel problem.

This article covers the method I use to get squirrels out of attics. I am 100% successful. What surprises many people is that my techniques are easy and harmless to squirrels. When I arrive at a customer’s doorstep I tell them they are talking to the right person, and their squirrel problems are coming to an end.

I have my own techniques found over years of work as a handyman and roof repairman.  In 2005 I invented the Evictor Strobe Light that makes permanent squirrel eviction possible on the toughest squirrel problems. The game is over. I win and the squirrels lose.

Understanding Squirrels

Squirrel in Roof

With the biting power of 22,000 pounds per square inch, a squirrel can chew through aluminum fascia capping and louvered aluminum gable vents.

I’ve seen a squirrel climb the brick wall of a four story apartment house in a matter of seconds. Squirrels can climb stucco just as easily.

Also consider how a squirrel deals with obstacles. It can pull apart terra cotta and slate roofs. A squirrel can chew straight through good quality shingles and sturdy wood to gain access to your house. (My own roof is a perfect example.) With the biting power of 22,000 pounds per square inch, a squirrel can chew through aluminum fascia capping and louvered aluminum gable vents. Even brick is not impenetrable. I have seen where several squirrels climbed down a chimney and pushed in a brick to enter an attic crawl space.

Battling squirrel problems is like fighting a miniature army. A squirrel will chew a hole in high hard to reach parts of the roof. A squirrel may work alone or with others in groups. Several squirrels will work in shifts, day and night. At night they are chewing a hole from the inside of the attic to the outside. That is the aggravating sound you hear at 1:30 in the morning.

Ever wonder why you have not actually seen a squirrel chewing a hole in your fascia? Professor James Hare of the University of Manitoba reports; squirrels warn each other of impending danger, in an ultrasonic voice above our hearing range.

Squirrels are also very territorial. They have staked off your attic as their territory . In large attics, one end is the nesting area and the opposite end is the latrine. That unmistakable odor of urine is imbedded in your attic, marking their territory.

Keep in mind the life span of an Eastern Grey Squirrel ranges between three and eight years. In houses with infestations spanning decades, generations of squirrels may have been born in a single house. A squirrel mates in early winter and produce offspring by late spring. The average litter consists of four squirrels. A second litter in mid summer is not uncommon. Usually, there is a food stash of nuts stored in the walls, attracting many more squirrels to your house than you might have previously imagined.

Why Do Squirrels Live in Attics?

Squirrel Chewing into Roof and Attic
Damage Caused by Squirrels Living in an Attic

Attics are warm, dry, friendly places where a family of squirrels can settle down and build a nest, store food, and use the bathroom in relative safety and comfort from the dangers of the natural world.  The biggest reason: to have babies.  The squirrels you are hearing running around in the early dawn hours are most likely young squirrels, if it is the spring or fall.

A Professional Assessment

How Long Have Squirrels really been in your attic?

A long term squirrel problem is embarrassing. Who wants to admit that a family of squirrels is able to live continuously in their home for twenty or thirty years? It is also dangerous. Roughly fifty percent of all the attics I enter have wires chewed by squirrels. Often, wires are chewed down to the bare copper.

I ask my customers for the real story. How long have squirrels really been in your attic? “Okay, you have chewed wires in the attic. It smells real bad up there. I see extensive rafter chewing and there is evidence of multiple nesting areas. Outside on your roof, the shingles show aggressive chewing, and the holes in the fascia are now extended slots, not just holes. With the scenario I have just described the infestation has likely lasted more than twenty years. The solution is the immediate installation of Evictor Strobe Lights. I have complete confidence in the use of these lights. The high intensity strobe light drives squirrels out of an attic 100% of the time. And, it is a permanent eviction.

As an experienced professional, I can quickly assess the damage and determine the seriousness of any squirrel infestation. But what if you don’t work in pest control industry, what if you have little experience repairing your home. What if you have moved into a house in the summer and now in the fall have a squirrel problem? Home inspectors do not always discover the holes before settlement. And even though the previous owners made no mention of it, there is a nagging question in your mind. Is this a new problem or an old problem? How bad is my squirrel problem?

Squirrel Control for Any Problems in your Attic

Squirrels in Attics

With severe squirrel problems your warm attic is their most important nesting site. When it starts getting cold outside, they want to be inside your attic.

Evict Squirrels from the Attic with the Evictor Strobe Light

I had squirrels in my own attic crawl space for 25 years. I was anxious to solve my own problem. Until a few years ago, nothing worked.

How is it possible to evict squirrels from your attic permanently?  Here is the answer in a nut shell. (pun intended)

What they want must be changed! Right now they see your attic as a nice place to live and they want to be there. A nasty environment must be created, an environment so nasty that they will be repelled and not want to be there.

Easier said than done, right? Well technology has caught up with the problem. Years ago pest control professionals were able to drive squirrels, roof rats, and raccoons out of attics with the annoying 500 watt flash of a camera. However, the flash developed so much heat that the technicians were afraid the attic would catch fire.

Today there is a product on the market that does something similar, but does not produce any heat. It is called the Evictor Strobe Light by Pest Tools. It is a high intensity strobe light that pulses 90 times per minute and is very annoying to squirrels, roof rats, and racoons.

I had squirrels in my own attic crawl space for 25 years. I was anxious to solve my own problem.  I installed 3 Evictor Strobe Lights in my own attic and I have been squirrel free ever since! Sometimes it seems like a minor miracle not to hear them running, jumping, and chewing in the middle of the night.

After the strobe light installation, I was sure I had a winner. I saw the squirrels building a new nest in my backyard maple tree, away from my house. I was absolutely convinced when one squirrel descended halfway down the tree and scolded me as I walked by. He seemed to know I was responsible for putting the strobe lights in the attic

Squirrels Hate Strobe Lights. Guaranteed.

Hang the Evictor Strobe Light® in your attic and within a few days Squirrels will Leave.

Features

  • 175,000 Candle Power High Intensity Strobe Light
  • Covers 30×30 Feet (900 sq .ft.)
  • Repels Squirrels from Attics, Crawlspaces, Wall Voids, and other Darkened Areas.
  • Easy Installation – Plugs into standard 120V AC Electrical Outlet
  • Humane, Safe, and 100% Effective
  • Made in USA
  • View More Details
 

Installation Instructions for the Evictor Strobe Light

The Evictor Strobe Light is an important new tool. It can best be described as a repellent.  It annoys an animal’s eyesight and is intolerable. After installation of the strobe light Flying Squirrels and Eastern Grey Squirrels vacate the attic within one or two days.  Occasionally a customer will report an increase in squirrel activity the first night.  Don’t worry, the squirrels are just frustrated.  Generations have lived in the same attic for twenty or thirty years. The strobe light serves them an eviction notice and they are not happy giving up their territory.

1.  Before entering the attic, make noise, then stop and listen.

The absence of noise in the attic usually means that the animals have left the area.  Shine a flash-light into the installation area before entering.  Remember, rodents with young can be aggressive.  I never want to accidentally surprise a squirrel.  If there is a drop staircase I usually slap it against the ceiling a few times before entering the attic. The noise scares them away.

2. Make sure the attic is clear.

In order for the Evictor Strobe Light 10K & 100K strobe light units to work properly, the space must be uncluttered and as dark as possible.  No other light source should be on to interfere with the performance of this product while in use.  If there are windows in the attic I tape cardboard over them to block off any outside light.

3. Plug in The Evictor Strobe Light.

It is highly recommended that a switch be placed near the entrance of the space where the unit can be turned on and off remotely.  I found that for small attics it is convenient to plug the Evictor Strobe Light 10K unit into a nearby light fixture.  For large attics, where multiple strobe light units are used, I use extension cords and plug them into a power strip placed near the attic opening.  Using the on/off switch on the power strip, all the strobes lights can be turned on or off simultaneously.

4. For best results, it is highly recommended that the Evictor operate continuously 24/7 year round.

 

Squirrels Evicted from Attics Leave & Don’t Come Back.

After the strobe installation, I was sure I had a winner when I saw the squirrels building a new nest in my backyard maple tree, away from my house.

I had squirrels in my own attic crawl space for 25 years. I was anxious to solve my own problem. I installed three of the smaller Evictor Strobe Lights and my home has been squirrel free ever since. After the strobe installation, I was sure I had a winner when I saw the squirrels building a new nest in my backyard maple tree, away from my house.

I have my own handyman business that includes minor roof, soffit, and fascia repair. I also repair damage caused by squirrels. With the use of Pest Tools strobe lights, I offer a complete pest control service. I evict the squirrels first, then return later and repair the damage.  My customers are glad that their squirrel problems are finally over. One woman in particular is very grateful. She suffered with squirrels in her attic for almost 40 years.

 

 

Post Installation Exclusion Techniques & Repair

Squirrel Chewed Hole
Typical Hole Made by Squirrels in Wood Fascia Board

Do not have the Entrance/Exit Holes sealed for at least 1 month. Exposure to the strobe light trains squirrels to hate your home and discourages gnawing and further property damage.

Usually I close any holes 30 days after the strobe light installation.  I try to leave a small opening for the squirrels to see inside.  Then later when they venture back to the house, a view of the strobe light is a reminder that this is one place they do not want to go.

With any squirrel problem, you should always do the things that help your situation. Remove any bird feeders, secure the garbage cans, and cut the tree limbs back around the house so squirrels do not have easy access to the roof.  After you are sure that the squirrels have left the attic, and there are no babies present, it is safe to close the holes that squirrels have chewed.  I usually wait at least 30 days before repairing fascia board and in some very bad squirrel infestations I have left the holes alone entirely.  Everytime a squirrel comes to visit the house they will see the light flashing and see that it is not a place they want to be.