A Squirrel in the Attic

Squirrels access your attic through the roof in Springfield VA - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor'sThe first sign of a squirrel problem is the sound of scampering overhead, especially early in the morning or at sundown. When you go up into the attic to check it out, you are treated to the distinctive smell that indicates an animal has moved into your home. You catch sight of a bushy tail and realize you have a squirrel in the attic.

Once inside, squirrels can cause a lot of damage to your home with their nesting, hoarding, and chewing habits. Attics provide a warm and safe environment for squirrels to build their nests without fear from predators or the elements. Because of the dangers they can bring in, it’s important to learn how to prevent squirrels in the first place.

What Are the Dangers of a Squirrel Infestation?

While searching for entry points to your attic, squirrels may damage siding, soffits, fascia boards, chimney flashing and even various types of exhaust fans.  pon gaining entry, they will often build nests and therefore create a mess of droppings and urine when they make it their permanent residence. Worst of all, they can chew through wires, creating potential fire hazards.

Squirrels can also harbor pathogens, such as salmonella and rabies, which can be harmful to humans, although transmission is rare. Damage to property is a much more likely outcome of a squirrel infestation. They can destroy furniture and other important household items, especially if they venture out into main living areas.

Squirrel Control For My Home

Squirrel removal is a difficult process to accomplish both humanely and legally. Many states have laws against trapping and relocating squirrels without a permit. It is best to call a professional to remove a squirrel in the attic or any other area of your home.  Trained professionals can humanely and legally relocate unwitting intruders. A professional can also help identify and seal up possible points of entry to prevent future wildlife problems. Here’s how they can help you learn how to prevent squirrels in the attic for good:

  1. The first step is identifying any opening that allows the squirrel access to the attic and sealing these gaps with metal flashing or wire mesh.
  2. Cutting back overhanging tree branches can reduce squirrel’s access to the roof, while chimney caps can keep raccoons and squirrels out of the chimney.
  3. Squirrels may be attracted to the house by bird feeders in the yard. If squirrels are frequenting your bird feeders, try spraying your bird feed with cayenne pepper. Birds have no sense of taste, but as mammals, squirrels do.
  4. Never leave food outdoors, and keep trash cans sealed securely. Resist the temptation to feed squirrels, as this will encourage them to return.

Preventing Squirrels in the Attic

Nuisance wildlife problems, including squirrel infestations, can be distressing for any homeowner. The best option is to work with your local wildlife control experts who can help with exclusion services to keep your family safe. Contact the wildlife control team at Ehrlich today to learn more!

6 Signs You May Have Termites

Mud tubes are a common sign of termites in Virginia - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor'sThe key to preventing a termite infestation is knowing how to recognize termite activity. By knowing the signs of termites, you can help stop a small termite problem from turning into a full-blown infestation. Because termites work within the very structure of a property, it is rare to see the pests themselves. However, there are a few signs of their activity to always watch for. With termite season revving up here in Virginia, the team at Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s is here to share the most common signs you may have termites.

Most Common Signs of Termites

1. Mud tubes

Made from and used by subterranean termites, mud tubes are pencil-sized tunnels through which termites travel. True to their name, subterranean termites nest underground. In order to leave the nest and forage for food, they will build mud tubs out of their feces. This protects the termites from outdoor elements as it blocks out cool, dry air. Seeing mud tubes along the outside of your property is likely the number one sign of termites.

2. Drywood Termite Droppings

Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites nest within wood. As they tunnel through dry wood as well as when they swarm, drywood termites create kick-out holes in the wood. This is when their droppings, also known as frass, can be found. Termite frass most closely resembles sawdust or coffee grounds, and can appear in piles. Seeing this sign of termites makes it important to call a professional for closer inspection.

3. Swarming termites

In the springtime, reproductive termites will leave their colony to mate and form new ones. Swarming happens when a mature termite colony releases a number of swarmers from their existing nest. Reproductive termites, also known as alates or swarmers, can often be mistaken for other flying insects, especially carpenter ants. Seeing winged termites in the spring months is a sign of termites spreading.

4. Piles of Termite Wings

After alates swarm and land in their new location, they will literally twist their wings off to discard them. This is because after flight, they will no longer need to fly. Termite wings are all the same size and translucent in color. These wings can often be seen in piles, which is indicative of termites forming their new colony nearby.

5. Tight-Fitting Doors and Windows

Termite activity can result in damage to your property. One of the most common signs of termite infestations is noticing your windows and doors are sticking or appear more tight-fitting than usual. Subterranean termites output a lot of moisture with their eating and tunneling habits. When they target door or window frames, the wood there will warp and make them more difficult to open.

6. Damaged wood

Termites are infamous for damaging wood. This can appear in several ways. Typically, termite damage can cause unexplained cracks on walls, beams, and rafters. It can cause sagging wood in your floors, as well as hollow-sounding wood. Sometimes wood damage can lead to weakened baseboards and floorboards. In general, wood damage of any kind can be a major sign of a termite problem.

You’ve Seen the Signs You May Have Termites—Now What?

As soon as you spot any of the above signs of termites, it’s time to call your termite exterminators at Ehrlich. Termites can frequently be mistaken for other insects, which is why it’s so important to get the expert eye of a termite exterminator. To learn about our termite inspections, contact us today.