Are you noticing strange noises coming from your walls? Are there any chewed holes, droppings, or musty odors? Do you see more squirrels around your home than usual? If so, you may have a squirrel infestation on your hands! Don’t panic—in this blog post, we’ll discuss 9 common signs of squirrels in the walls and what you can do to prevent further damage to your home. You’ll learn how to identify squirrels, identify their nesting materials, and spot chew marks on electrical wiring or piping. You’ll also learn how to protect your stored items from squirrel damage. Don’t let nuisance squirrels ruin your home—read on for the signs you need to watch out for!
Table of Contents
Sign 1: Scratching or Gnawing Noises
Description of what the noise sounds like: If you hear scratching, gnawing, squeaking, or chirping noises from inside your walls, chances are you have uninvited house guests in the form of squirrels. These sounds may appear louder and more persistent during the night or early morning hours and can be heard throughout various home parts, such as walls, attics, or ceilings.
Explanation of why squirrels make these noises: They make them while trying to create holes or tunnels to move and access food or nesting material. Additionally, they may be gnawing on electrical wiring, which can be a potential fire hazard. Squirrels have sharp teeth that allow them to chew not only wood and plastic but also metal, which is why it can be difficult for folks to combat the problem once it is present.
Tips for identifying the noise source: The first step is pinpointing the location. Listen carefully, mark where the sound is coming from, or look into crevices and dark corners with a flashlight or mirror. Recording the noise can also help you identify whether it’s a squirrel or another animal causing the disturbance. Additionally, note the time of day. You may be able to narrow it down as squirrels typically tend to be most active during early morning hours and at night.
Sign 2: Chewed Holes
Description of what the holes look like: Squirrels gnawing can cause small, distinct round or oval-shaped holes with frayed or jagged edges. These openings will usually be small but can get larger and may appear anywhere on the roof, soffits, walls, corners of rooms, and even floors if left untreated. Pay extra attention to any suspicious-looking hole in your home, as it might indicate a squirrel infestation.
Explanation of how squirrels create these holes: Their sharp teeth and claws enable them to chew through various materials, including wood, plastic, and metal. This means they can gnaw a hole through your walls or roofing to enter or exit the building. In some cases, squirrels may even create tunnels using their jaws and claws inside the walls, allowing them to move around unseen. It is important to be aware of these destructive abilities that squirrels possess to protect your home from their intrusions.
Tips for identifying the location of the holes: To effectively deal with a squirrel infestation, you must identify where the animals have made their entry points. The most obvious sign of squirrel activity is any gnawing or chewing found on the walls or roof. To ensure you find all possible entry points, it’s also a good idea to use a small mirror and flashlight to look inside the walls and attic for any holes or tunnels. Areas exposed to the outdoors, such as your roof and soffit, are common access routes for squirrels.
Sign 3: Droppings and Urine Stains
Description of what the droppings and urine stains look like: Squirrel droppings are small and dark, typically around 1/4 to 3/8 inches long, and cylindrical. They may be found clustered together or scattered about walls or the attic. Urine stains left by these rodents often appear yellow or brown and have a distinct odor.
Explanation of where these signs are typically found: Squirrel droppings and urine stains are very common signs of their presence in the home. Typically, droppings can be found near holes or nests located in the attic, on the floor, or even on walls around the house. Moreover, urine stains can be found inside insulation or surfaces where the squirrels have been active.
Tips for identifying and cleaning up these stains: Cleaning up rodent droppings and urine stains can be difficult and hazardous, but it’s important. Tips for identifying these stains include looking for small, dark, oblong shapes similar in size and shape. Once you’ve identified the offending areas, use gloves and a mask as proper personal protective equipment when tackling the mess – droppings and urine can carry harmful bacteria and diseases that you don’t want to spread around your home. To clean up, use a damp cloth or disinfectant to wipe away any residue.
Sign 4: Strong, Musty Odor
Description of the odor: The musty, slightly sweet odor associated with squirrels in walls is unmistakable and can sometimes be quite strong. This smell often comes from the droppings, urine, and nesting materials left behind by these critters. It can linger long after they have gone and can be difficult to eliminate without the help of a professional.
Explanation of why squirrels create this odor: They can do this because nesting in the wall leaves urine and droppings behind, combined with nesting materials like leaves and twigs, which can all add to the musty smell. It’s an odor that can be hard to eliminate, so it’s best to take action early if you suspect a potential squirrel problem!
Tips for identifying the odor source: Check for signs of infestation, such as gnawed holes or droppings. If the smell is strong and persistent, it may indicate a trapped squirrel in the wall, so act fast and contact a professional to remove it safely. Once the squirrel is removed, if the smell persists, it may be necessary to hire a professional cleaner to disinfect the affected area.
Sign 5: Nesting Materials
Description of what the materials look like: If squirrels have taken up residence within your walls or attic, pay special attention to the presence of nesting materials. These materials include twigs, leaves, and insulation, which generally appear dry and easy to crumble. It’s also likely that some of them may be gnawed or chewed due to the squirrels’ activities.
Explanation of where these materials are typically found: Squirrels often use nesting materials from their surroundings to build their nests. They are usually found near the squirrel’s entry point into the space or in areas where they have been active. Nesting materials can be hidden away in attics, tucked into walls or corners of rooms, and sometimes even seen on the ground if these critters bravely make their way around your home.
Tips for identifying the nest location: Locating a squirrel’s nest is the first step toward resolving an infestation. Tips for identifying the location of the nest include checking for gnawed holes and droppings, looking for piles of materials that have been used to build the nest, using a flashlight or mirror to inspect dark corners in your walls or attic, and paying attention to any areas that are exposed to the outside.
Sign 6: Squirrels Running or Jumping Inside Walls
Description of what this looks like: If squirrels have found their way into your walls, you may experience some unusual activity. The sound of them running and jumping can be quite distinct, often likened to a scurrying or thumping noise. Similarly, movement or shadows can sometimes be seen through small holes or cracks in the walls, likely resulting from the squirrels making their home within your wall space. These shadows can range from the full shape of the animal to just small parts of its body moving behind the wall.
Explanation of why squirrels do this: Squirrels are incredibly active animals, and they may move through the walls of a house for several reasons. In particular, squirrels may use the walls to access food or nesting materials to build a home inside a house. Additionally, they may use the walls as passageways from one area to another because it is an easy and quick way to travel. This behavior can often leave homeowners surprised when they catch glimpses of these creatures scurrying through the wall spaces and into other parts of their houses.
Tips for identifying the location of the squirrels: If you suspect squirrels are living inside your walls, there are a few tips for helping to identify their location. Listen for scratching or gnawing noises that might indicate the presence of these rodents, as well as look for movement or shadows through holes or cracks in the exterior of your home. A flashlight or small mirror may be helpful, too, as it will enable you to see further into the walls and attics. Exposed areas such as the roof and soffit should also be inspected because these are known to be a point of entry into homes.
Sign 7: Sightings of Squirrels Entering or Exiting Holes
Description of what this looks like: If you notice squirrels entering and exiting your walls, you may see telltale signs around the perimeter of your home. Look for small or large openings in the roof, walls, or corners of rooms. Such entries and exits can be difficult to notice, so use a flashlight and closely inspect any potential entry points for the presence of dirt, hairs, and other debris to confirm if it’s an active area.
Explanation of why squirrels do this: Squirrels are often observed moving around houses and entering or exiting walls, which can be concerning for homeowners. This behavior is a normal part of these animals’ lifestyles; however: squirrels may be trying to access food sources, nesting materials, or simply relocating from one area to another. As active animals with a wide variety of needs, it’s not surprising that squirrels undertake frequent forays between the outdoors and indoors to best satisfy their individual needs.
Tips for identifying the location of the holes: To identify the location of the holes left by squirrels, pay close attention to any areas exposed to the outside and check for large enough gaps or holes where a squirrel can enter or exit. These holes could be located on walls, roofs, or floors. Look out for damaged insulation or chewed wires; these are telltale signs of a squirrel infestation.
Sign 8: Chew Marks on Electrical Wiring or Piping
Description of what the chew marks look like: Squirrels can cause damage to electrical wiring or piping by gnawing on the insulation or the wires themselves. Chew marks may be visible on the wiring or piping. They can appear as teeth marks or as frayed or chewed insulation areas.
Explanation of why squirrels chew on these materials: Squirrels may chew on electrical wiring or piping to taste the insulation or create holes or tunnels to move through. Squirrels gnaw on various materials, including wood, plastic, and insulation. They may chew on electrical wiring or piping to access food or nesting materials or to move from one area to another.
Tips for identifying the location of the chew marks: Identifying chew marks on electrical wiring or piping can be tricky, but there are a few tell-tale signs to look for. Begin by checking for exposed wires or damaged insulation. It’s also good to check the walls and roof surfaces for any tell-tale signs of gnawing or chewing damage. Suppose you spot any evidence that squirrels have chewed through the electrical wiring or piping. In that case, it is essential to contact a qualified electrician or plumber immediately to identify and repair the damage safely.
Sign 9: Damage to Stored Items
Description of the types of damage caused by squirrels: While their cute, fuzzy appearance may be inviting, squirrels can present a variety of serious and costly damages to residential properties. Their sharp incisors allow them to gnaw on food containers and fabric items such as wooden furniture, cardboard boxes, clothing, and other household goods. Additionally, squirrels can compromise and damage food packaging or even eat its contents.
Explanation of why squirrels cause this damage: Squirrels may cause damage to stored items while searching for food or nesting materials. Squirrels chew on various materials to access food or create nesting sites. They may also chew on stored items out of curiosity or boredom.
Tips for identifying and preventing this type of damage: To identify damage caused by squirrels, check for gnaw marks or other signs of damage on stored items. To prevent this damage, store food in sealed containers and keep stored items in areas inaccessible to squirrels. Keeping all trash and food waste properly sealed and disposed of.
Summary of the 9 signs of squirrels in the walls: Understanding the signs of squirrel infestation, including scratching and gnawing noises, chewed holes, droppings, urine stains, musty odors, nesting materials, sightings of squirrels, chew marks on electrical wiring or piping, and damage to stored items, is crucial in identifying and dealing with a squirrel problem in your home. These signs can help homeowners detect the presence of squirrels in the walls and take appropriate action.
Recommendations for dealing with a squirrel infestation: To deal with a squirrel infestation, it’s recommended to contact a professional wildlife control service to safely remove the squirrels and repair any damage they have caused. This can include sealing holes and entry points in the walls and roof and removing food sources and nesting materials around the house. These actions can help prevent future infestations.
Information on where to find additional resources and help: If you’re dealing with a squirrel infestation in your walls, it is important to turn to the right people for help. Professional wildlife control services or your local wildlife agency are likely best equipped to provide comprehensive information on addressing the issue. This includes local laws and regulations that must also be considered – some areas make it strictly illegal to trap and relocate wildlife. Therefore, always check in with the local wildlife agency before attempting such actions to avoid legal penalties.