Squirrels in the attic will cause serious damage. To think these cute, little creatures cause thousands of dollars in damage is hard to believe but true. On average, “squirrel in attic” damage will cost anywhere from $300 to $2000, but that is just the cost of squirrel removal and cleanup. When electrical or structural damage is present, the costs can skyrocket. That is because squirrel removal typically includes squirrel removal, sanitation, fur and parasite removal, finding and blocking the point of entry, and an inspection to check for damage to wiring and the structure of your home.
Your homeowner’s insurance policy may not cover the damage squirrels do.
If you happen to discover squirrels in the attic soon after they gnaw their way in, you will probably be covered. But, if the infestation has gone undetected for months, you will find yourself underinsured. This is because most insurance policies are written with the understanding that the homeowner is responsible for regular inspections and maintenance of the property. Simply having sneaky, silent squirrels will not change the fine print of your policy. If you live in a heavily squirrel-ed area contact your insurance agent to review your coverage.
So, what damage will squirrels in the attic do? Let’s look at each sinister part of a squirrel’s anatomy.
Squirrel Teeth—Incisors of doom
Squirrels have razor sharp teeth. They chew on anything and everything in order to keep them strong and pointed. First, they will chew through the roof or any vulnerable point in siding, near gutters, and beside vents or flashing. That’s how they gain access. When the gnawing and chewing job is done, they throw up their paws and yell, “Time for a squirrels in attic party!”
Next, a chewing free-for-all ensues. Your attic and all its contents are now home to a squirrel all-you-can-eat buffet. The squirrels will chew through wires causing dangerous conditions including risk of outages, fire, and electrocution if a live wire is exposed and touched. When the wires are all sliced, they will turn to PVC piping and chew right through them wondering with their tiny brains why on earth their suddenly wet. No, your water lines are not safe from these voracious chewers. If the wiring and piping is not enough, then all of your personal belongings are free game.
Squirrel claws—weapons of mass destruction
Squirrels in the attic typically result from a need for a primo hibernation spot. And, who wants to hibernate without a nice bed. For squirrels, this means building a nest in your attic. With their sharp claws, squirrels will tear up insulation to build a warm, cozy nest. When the insulation isn’t enough, any other soft fabrics will do. So, please do not think grandma’s hand stitched quilt will be safe because you packed it in a vacuum-sealed storage bag. Squirrels will claw and chew their way through the plastic then shred the quilt. Squirrels don’t care about your grandma.
For more squirrely details of this rodent-in-a-cute-suit, click here.
Lastly, when nature calls the squirrels in the attic…
They will poop all over the place. They will urinate on your rafters and insulation and Christmas decorations. Poop stinks. Urine stinks. Disease resides in their feces. Those diseases can be airborne. That is why once a squirrel enters your attic he is no longer cute. His act of B&E has permanently moved him from cute to rodent. Any creature that requires the removal technician to wear a HAZMAT suit in order to clean up its mess is not cute. (Notice the lack of insulation in this attic photo below. That’s right, it all had to be removed!)
So, if you have the squirrels in attic problem, take care of it now! Click here to learn what to do.