Will a Squirrel in the Attic Have a Nest of Babies?
Squirrels like to make their nests in dens that are usually in hollow tree. This is for a few reasons. It is safe, secure from predators, relatively warm and out of the weather. Because there are only a limited number of these types of trees, the other option is making a leaf nest high in a tree or making a nest in your attic. The attic is preferred over the leaf nest, because the survival rates for newborn squirrels are very low.
So, yes, female squirrels will make their nest in your attic. It’s warm, safe and there is all that wonderful insulation to make a comfortable bed to sleep in. Not only that, if steps are not taken to prevent it, the same female squirrel will keep coming back to your attic every time she needs to give birth.
The best way to prevent this is by keeping your roof in good repair and taking steps to keep squirrels away in the first place. Squirrels are rodents and rodents have to chew to keep their incisors in check. This means they chew on wood, drywall, wire insulation (can anyone say fire hazard,) and even the insulation around the water pipes that run through the attic. If they start in on the ductwork, the airflow in your house will be affected and that can cause serious damage to your HVAC system.
So the first order of business is to keep your home in good repair and have annual inspections to identify any potential problems before they become real ones. If the damage is already done, hire a professional to come and get the squirrels out. Not only will a good one do this humanely, he or she will also know how to decontaminate your attic. Because squirrels are rodents, they can carry the same diseases that other rodents carry. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Decontamination will also keep other animals, such as raccoons away, because squirrels leave a scent. Other animals, and other squirrels, will know this is a safe place to be and want to make it their home, too.
If you are determined to remove the animals yourself, research it thoroughly and be sure you know what you are doing. Many places sell traps and one-way doors. Just be sure to make repairs as soon as the squirrels are gone.
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