What About Pest Control Strobe Lights?
Will they really get rid of grey squirrels in my attic or rats, mice, bats, pigeons and raccoons?
How about a skunk under my house?
Well, Seeing is Believing:
The Grey Squirrel's latin name is Sciurus Carolinensis. The average squirrel lives for 3-5 years. Grey squirrels mate twice a year - in the early spring or late winter and in the summer. Adult female squirrels have two litters a year with 1-6 infants per litter. The mother squirrel will give birth to her young about 45 days after mating. A typical litter has 4 to 6 baby squirrels. The squirrel offspring are called "kittens". Baby squirrels are hairless when born and are blind for the first 10 weeks of their lives. Each litter does not leave its mother's nest for the first 10 to 12 weeks of its life. It is totally dependant on its mother's milk to live. A pair of healthy squirrels could produce a dozen offspring each year. In twelve months the offspring become breeding adults. If you have squirrels in the attic there most likely are baby squirrels in your attic 40% of the year. Squirrel trapping or poisoning could leave baby squirrels up in your attic in a nesting site to die of starvation. A mother squirrel will nest in the safest place she can find to protect her young. A squirrel nest is called a "drey". A mother squirrel will construct a nest with up to two rooms and a nursery. Attics are ideal places for a mother squirrel to build a nest. The cavities in the your home's walls are many times chosen by nesting squirrels - the radiant heat in the winter and the cool air from air conditioning make the interior house walls good nesting sites for mother squirrels. These cavities are accessed by the squirrel through top of the wall openings in your attic. If you use rat poison or a squirrel trap to try to get rid of squirrels in the attic, then you could be smelling dead, baby squirrels rotting in your attic or walls for weeks. And if you use a rat poison to kill the squirrels, the squirrel will often retreat to its nest in your attic to die and you will be smelling its rotting body for weeks. Often interior walls have to be cut into to remove the dead squirrels. An attic squirrel may nest under attic flooring and the flooring will have to be removed to remove the dead squirrel in the attic. AND PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT, IF YOU HEAR SQUIRRELS IN YOUR ATTIC THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, YOU MOST LIKELY HAVE 4 TO 6 BABIES PER EACH MOTHER SQUIRREL IN THE ATTIC 40-50% OF THE YEAR. A MOTHER SQUIRREL IN A SQUIRREL TRAP, WHETHER CAUGHT IN A SNAP TYPE SQUIRREL TRAP OR A LIVE SQUIRREL TRAP AND CARRIED AWAY - OR - A POISONED MOTHER SQUIRREL - OR - A MOTHER SQUIRREL SHOT WITH A PELLET GUN COULD RESULT IN DEAD YOUNG SQUIRRELS IN YOUR ATTIC OR INTERIOR HOUSE WALLS LEFT TO DECAY AND SMELL.
Squirrels’ teeth are continually growing. Squirrels have 22 teeth. They gnaw and chew on just about anything. They even grind their teeth in their sleep. City officials of New York City attribute at least one power outage each day to squirrels. Squirrels actually cause more power outages than lightning in some states. In Georgia in 2006 there were 16,750 power outages caused by squirrels. Not all of these outages were caused by the squirrels’ chewing on the wires – some were just contact electrocutions but many were via contact with the metal wire after the squirrel chewed through the soft plastic wire jacket covering and the squirrel was electrocuted.
Squirrels like to chew on wiring in particular. They do not chew on the wiring to sharpen their teeth. They chew on wiring to clean their teeth. Squirrels are the cleanest of the rodent family. A male grey squirrel will groom itself twice as much as a female squirrel. Squirrels use the bark of trees to keep their teeth clean. Squirrels use a back and forth motion when chewing on the tree bark. This serves as a sort of squirrel dental floss. And squirrels floss very regularly. The soft plastic outer jacket on home wiring is a perfect teeth cleaning material for a squirrel in the attic. Every attic with squirrels I have inspected has had wire damage. Every single one has had wires that an attic squirrel has chewed through to the copper wire center. If a squirrel in the attic chews through the wire outer jacket and exposes both the positive and the negative copper wires then the squirrel in the attic becomes a dead squirrel in the attic by means of electrocution. A squirrel in the attic that makes "contact" while chewing on attic wiring will often catch on fire as the electric currents cook the squirrel. Also, the "contact" made by a squirrel in the attic chewing on wiring can cause an electrical "short" in the wiring. An eclectic short caused by a squirrel in the attic or other wire chewing rodent in an attic causes an estimated 15,000 residential fires per year in the US.
Squirrel Control - How to get rid of squirrels in the attic without additional problems.
How to get rid of squirrels in the attic? - House sealing, squirrel trapping and removal, live traps, animal removal, squirrel removal, squirrel traps, rat traps, mice traps - what’s best?
The scent glands of squirrels are located in their feet. As they run they leave little scent road maps for other squirrels to follow. The pheromones in rodent urine (squirrels are rodents) can last up to two years. Tree squirrels love to live in attics. It’s warmer, drier and safer from predators. Unfortunately most attics are not equipped with squirrel toilets. But this is not a problem for the squirrels - they will just urinate and defecate all over the attic. And I do mean all over. It is amazing to see an attic where squirrels have been residing. Raisin sized dung all over the place and matted down insulation which is stained with and smells of urine. It is truly nasty – but not to the squirrels. The urine and glands in the squirrels’ feet leave pheromone trails which are like a welcome mat or “attic for rent” sign for future squirrels. This is why squirrel trapping, poisoning, or house sealing has to be done over and over and over by homeowners at great cost each time and most definitely accumulatively. I know from experience and so does my pocketbook. I am in the pest control industry. I am, and have to be, familiar with many aspects of the industry. In one of the pest control classes I attended, taught by a pest control inspector, the inspector informed us that integrity was a big part of keeping our state license. As part of ensuring this, the inspectors would “shadow”/observe unawares a pest control operator and before an inspector does a site, chemical, equipment, paper work, and service vehicle inspection he/she would often watch the pest professional from a distance without the pest control operator’s knowledge he/she was being watched/inspected. The inspector teaching the class said that in the vast majority of the times an animal was live trapped at a customer’s residence or business the animal pest was unethically released within two blocks of where it was caught. In this case the pest would just return to the capture site. Pest control operators in most states are required to take the pest at least two miles away from the capture site before releasing it. The inspector told the class that our license would be in jeopardy if we were caught doing this unethical practice.
So if you hire a pest control company to live trap and/or seal your home or business - what certainty do you have that the pest control employee won’t just let the squirrel, mouse, or rat out of the live trap just down the street? Again this was not the exception but the majority according to the inspector’s class. And if you snap trap the pest, or glue trap the pest, or zap trap the pest – What keeps other animal pest from following the scent trail to your home or property?
Rat traps are designed for rats - not for squirrels! I am speaking of the snap trap variety of rat traps. I have seen a squirrel that was trapped in one of these rat traps and it did not kill the squirrel. The rat trap used as a squirrel trap was placed in an attic by a well meaning husband trying to get rid of his squirrels in the attic. He had placed about a dozen rat traps in a 2,000 square foot attic space. The traps had been up in the attic for seven years! A squirrel ran past one and tripped the rat trap trigger. The rat trap snapped shut on the attic squirrel's foot. Where do you think this injured squirrel with a rat trap attached to its broke leg ran to? It ran to a interior house wall where its nest was. There's no place like home. The squirrel managed to force its broken leg through the wall opening in the attic with the rat trap still attached. But as it tried to leave the interior wall space to go back up into the attic the rat trap used as a squirrel trap became stuck and so was the injured squirrel. Unfortunately the squirrel had to be put down.
If you use a rat trap as a squirrel trap the squirrel will usually not face an immediate death being as the rat traps are not designed to be used as a squirrel trap. The squirrel will definitely suffer and if it is able to move it will often retreat to its squirrel nest in your attic to die and rot and smell.
If you use a rat poison to poison a squirrel, besides the risk of it or its young dying in your attic or home's wall, is the risk of a sickened or dead family pet.
Every year there a hundreds of cases of secondary poisonings from a dog or cat chewing on or partially ingesting poisoned rat, mouse or squirrel. If a dog or cat finds a dead rodent - and they can smell them out, they find what to them is a chew toy and/or an extra meal. As they carry around the dead rodent in their mouths, as some kind of trophy, they are ingesting the very poisons that killed the rat. At least, your pet could get sick and sometimes they die. This death will occur some times because there is often, over time, more than one dead rat or squirrel that they find and the poisons accumulate in the pet's blood stream until it becomes sick and dies, or at least runs up a considerable veterinary bill.
With the Rodent Strobe line of pest control strobe lights these problems are addressed. First, we have found that if a squirrel or rat is living in a house wall that it accesses through a space that is protected by a high intensity strobe that the squirrel or rat will give up going to its nesting area in the wall. It just is not worth it - see our How It Works page.
Second, Attic squirrels and rats are good mothers. If their young are in what the rodent mother deems an "unsafe" area she will move them to another place that she sees as safe. We recommend that a person using our pest control strobe lights simply turn off the strobes for a few hours at a time during the first few days to allow the mothers to move their young. Then when all the attic squirrels, rats, raccoons, etc., are gone - turn on the strobes and leave them on. Problem solved! No dead, rotting squirrels or rats. No dead or sick family pets. No repeating and repeating the squirrel trapping, or rat trapping nightmare.
Squirrels will migrate – in mass. In 1791 in Ohio the squirrel population exploded and squirrels in mass migrated to the town of Belpre and consumed the entire area’s corn crop. They then in mass swam across the Ohio River into West Virginia and began devouring the corn crops there.
Squirrels are solitary creatures. Each squirrel usually lives alone in its nest. In the cold winter they will share a nesting area to keep warmer. Squirrels usually cluster in loose groups up to about twelve. So, if you hear squirrels in your attic you may have a migrating population that will stay in numbers of one to a full dozen in your attic. An acre of area may contain multiple groups of squirrels. If you get rid of some – well, if you’ve built it they will come.
There are about three hundred varieties of squirrels.
A squirrel has a brain about the size of a walnut.
Squirrels communicate with each other through different chirps.
Squirrels can run fast. Squirrels can run up to a speed of about twenty miles per hour.
Squirrels eat up to 2 pounds of food each week. A squirrel's diet consists of nuts, acorns, bird seed, bird eggs, mushrooms, corn, wheat, insects, garbage, and berries. Squirrels scent mark their food before they hide it for the winter.
Squirrels have double-jointed hind legs. This aids squirrels in their ability to run up and down trees quickly.
A squirrel can fall up to 100 feet without injury.
Squirrels have 4 toes on their front feet. The nails on their front feet are very sharp which helps them hold onto surfaces they are climbing.
Squirrels have 5 toes on their back feet.
The Eastern Grey Squirrel can also be found in Western states as well as in Ireland, England and South Africa.
The name "Squirrel" comes from a Greek word meaning "shadow tail".
A male squirrel can "scent" a female squirrel in heat a mile away.
Squirrels can jump a distance of approximately 20 feet.
Squirrels are found on almost every continent.
Squirrels have eyes on the sides of their head which allows them to see behind themselves.
Squirrel predators include snakes, cats, owls, hawks, foxes, bobcats and raccoons to name a few.
A Squirrel will clean a nut before burying it. The squirrel will first crack the nut open with its sharp teeth. The squirrel will then lick the nut clean. The squirrel will also rub the nut on its face to clean the nut. Both the licking and the rubbing of a nut by a squirrel will mark the nut with the squirrel's scent and make the nut easier to find after it is buried. The squirrel can find the nut even under a foot of snow. If you have squirrels in the attic they will also hide nuts in the attic. I have been in a attic where multiple squirrels lived and it was littered with peanuts and peanut shells that a neighbor threw out in his yard to feed the squirrels. The squirrels in the attic had done extensive wire damage - with multiple chewed through and copper exposed wire. Attic squirrels may be cute in the yard but they are a fire hazard in an attic. This is why it is so important to get rid of squirrels in the attic.
When a squirrel senses danger its first instinct is to stand perfectly still. I remember a particular squirrel in an attic that upon seeing me "froze" and stood still for a minute or two looking straight at me without so much as a twitch. The squirrel in the attic did not run away until I moved towards the "frozen" squirrel.
A squirrel's meandering path while crossing a road is its way of confusing an on-coming car. This very squirrel behavior causes the death of thousands of squirrels each year as this squirrel behavior causes them to run right back in front of the car they are attempting to evade. Many a homeowner has had to call a pest control professional to "fish out" dead baby squirrels in the attic - squirrels that have been orphaned by a neighbor's car.
When a squirrel's nest becomes infested with parasites and fleas it will move to a different nest.
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