5 Ways To Keep Squirrels Off Your Roof

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Hubert Miles

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Squirrel roof lg

Squirrels are feisty, pretty, and intelligent little creatures classified as pests because of their love for garden fruits and vegetables. I feel entertained watching them play and scurry around, but squirrels can become a nuisance when they access your roof.

To keep squirrels off the roof, trim off tree branches with proximity to the roofline to create at least a 10-foot gap in between to prevent squirrels from leaping to the roof. Employ the use of predator guard on tree trunks and around electric poles, and don’t forget to secure cables and wires.

Squirrels are not necessarily dangerous to humans, but since they are friendly and playful, they remain unwanted guests who can become a significant nuisance and cause a chain of problems in and around the home.

How Do I Stop Squirrels From Jumping On My Roof?

There are a lot of tricks that may stop squirrels from jumping on your roof. Squirrel infestation is sure to cause you damage and less if not swiftly brought under control.

Listed below are five ways to keep squirrels off your roof:

1. Pruning Of Tree Branches

Squirrels are jumpers, and overgrown tree branches allow them to leap from branch to roof. So the surest way to keep squirrels off your roof is to make sure that any tree near your house has its branches cut off so that there is at least a ten-foot distance between the roofline and the nearest tree branch. It will make it impossible for them to leap as the distance will be too far.

2. Covering Electric Cables And Wires

Squirrels are excellent climbers as well. So when they can’t leap to the roof from the nearest tree, they may try to climb up the electric pole and use the electric cable to get to the roof. 

To solve this problem, get at least two PVC pipes and cut them diagonally to enable you to slip them over the electric cable. When the squirrel tries to walk through the cable, the PVC pipes will keep moving, making the cable sway from side to side. The animal will lose its balance and fall off. Over time, squirrels will give up on climbing your roof.

3. Use Of Scare Crows

Squirrels are food to birds of prey, e.g., hawks and owls, so buying several plastic owls and installing them on trees and the roof will scare away squirrels who will try to keep themselves and their young ones safe from any danger.

4. The Use Of Repellents

Every animal has that smell that they can’t stand as it may choke them, make them feel sick, or even spook them. For squirrels, this has got to be predator urine that is parked in spray bottles.

Examples of predator urine include fox and coyote urine, whose smell mimics the real odor of coyote and fox urine.

To be effective, spray the squirrel predator urine around the yard, garden, and even independent trees. The squirrels will get the smell and think there is prey lurking around, and they will scurry away.

5. Clearing Of Shrubs and Bushes

Squirrels do not like being in the open and will hide in shrubs and bushes around the home.

And because squirrels can jump both vertically and horizontally, they become a menace dealing with them. To solve this problem, clear off any plants and shrubs near your wall and perimeter to prevent squirrels from hiding in them before climbing and jumping on your roof.

Why Do Squirrels Love The Roof?

Squirrels love the roof because they spend most of their time above ground, mostly on top of trees where they play and munch on twigs and tree bark as a hobby to keep their teeth sharp.

In residential areas, roofs just like trees present a safe place for squirrels to play and stay safe from predatory animals such as foxes, coyotes, and snakes.

There are different types of squirrels ranging from ground squirrels, flying squirrels to chipmunks. And all these squirrels vary in fur color, but the most popular are the gray squirrels and the fox squirrel.

Squirrels belong in the wild, but they are known to live longer and thrive in captivity, and as much as they are cute and fuzzy, squirrels are known to be restless and can chew just about anything, edible or not.

Here is a list of signs that squirrels are on your roof:

  • Banging and rustling in the roof/attic, especially early in the morning and late in the afternoons.
  • A sudden foul smell of potent urine coming from above that was not there before.
  • Claw marks on shingles that have been chewed.
  • Finding nests in the attic that are bigger than that of a rat.
  • Droppings on the roof or attic that belong to a squirrel etc.

Damages Squirrels Cause To A Roof

Squirrels may appear small and harmless, but the damage they can inflict on your roof fascia boards, eavestrough, shingles, and wood beams can be massive.

  1. Squirrels tend to build their nests in tree hollows in the colder season and on tree branches when the climate is warm, but as they play and linger on your roof, they will also chew through it as they are known for chewing through anything just to get into your attic to make themselves at home where it is warm and safe.
  1.  A destroyed shingle makes your roof susceptible to water and moisture. A bad roof will let in water which may cause your home’s interior to grow molds and mildew.
  1. Squirrels are mostly drawn towards human settlements for food and shelter, but the bad thing about squirrels is that they are restless, and if they access your attic, they will tend to chew on electrical wires, which may lead to accidental electric fires.
  1. As a means of building their nests in the attic to keep them warm and safe, squirrels will tear through the insulations for building material. Not only will they create dirt and debris, but they will also mess with the home’s insulation system.

What You Need To Know About Squirrels

Just like all other rodents, squirrels have four front teeth that do not stop growing, no matter what. The biggest reason squirrels keep munching, chewing, and gnawing is to keep these four teeth sharp and in check.

Here are the 5 most common types of squirrels you can find in the US. Take notes of their behaviors and appearances, so you know what to look out for!

Type of SquirrelDescription
Eastern Gray Squirrelgray or black fur and loves bird seeds, so they often target birdfeeders in backyards,
American Red Squirrelreddish fur with a white belly and usually stay in maple trees, roofs, and attics
Tassel-eared Squirreldark gray coat, pure white underbelly, rusty brown patch of fur on their back
Northern Flying Squirrelslight brown-colored fur, whitish fur on their belly, huge black eyes

As they linger around the home, they will come upon delicate and dangerous things like electric wires and cables. But because they do not know any better, squirrels will destroy them. The greatest reason they are labeled as pests is that they will chew whatever comes across, even when whatever they are chewing is not edible. 

What Can I Use To Keep Squirrels Off My Roof?

In solving squirrel roof infestation, trimming branches and working magic on electric cables is not always enough.

It is always good to take several measures so that when one fails, the other does not.

To further prevent squirrels from climbing up poles and trees, you may want to employ the use of funnel-like squirrel baffle guards, which have wide surface areas and are mounted around the tree trunk/pole. It is to deter squirrels from climbing up trees and poles to get access to the roof. 

How Do You Get Rid Of Squirrels?

To get rid of squirrels, you must first study and understand their habits so that you can employ tactics that work against them.

Squirrels can make your life a living hell as they are difficult to get rid of once they make themselves at home. It is because, aside from being leapers, squirrels can burrow through the fence, climb over, or chew through it.

Here are a few tactics that may help get rid of squirrels:

Do not Feed Them

Every living thing loves food. “We eat to live” is the assumption, and squirrels love the smell and sight of food. They eat practically anything, so to keep away a squirrel infestation around your home, cease from feeding them.

When you feed them, you send a message that they can depend on you for food, so even when you have leftover food that you would not mind having them eat, throw it away instead and make sure to dispose of all garbage as often as you can so that they do not become their leeway.

As a lover of birds, you might have the habit of hanging bird feeders around our compound to attracting more birds, but as you attract birds, you also attracting roaming squirrels who love feeding on seeds. 

Seal All Entry Points

Squirrels have a way of warming up to humans and sneaking into homes through vents and cracks to make their nests in attics and crawl spaces.

To stop them from making your home their home, make sure to mesh and seal all entry points no matter how small space may seem. It is the surest way of preventing them from getting inside your home to cuddle up to the warmth.

Scare Them Away

Dogs and cats make great pets, but they also offer protection from pests and rodents such as squirrels. Your dog may even entertain itself by playing cat and mouse with squirrels who step foot into your compound. 

Pest Control Units

There is a point where you concede defeat and accept that you have done your best. If the above interventions fail in your quest to rid your home of the squirrels, the only remaining option is to call the pest control unit.

These chaps are professionals who have mastered the art of getting rid of animals regarded as a pest and a nuisance safely, and they may even help fix your roof if the squirrels cause damages.

What Smell Do Squirrels Hate The Most?

Squirrels hate the strong smell of peppermint and will try to avoid it as much as possible.

So planting peppermint plants in your garden will not only keep squirrels away from your garden and off your roof but will keep them very far from your home.

What Spray Keeps Squirrels Away?

Aside from plants, some chemical repellents keep squirrels away from your roof and your garden. 

Spraying your flower beds with capsaicin as a measure of keeping squirrels from eating your flowers and plants can help keep them at bay because if their food supply is cut off, then they will have no reason to stick around and will most probably move on to the next home.

When they try eating flower bulbs that have been sprayed, the taste of the chemical repellent will taste awful in their mouth.

The problem is that when it rains, the unpleasant smell tends to wash away, so make sure to reapply the repellent every time it rains to ensure that the smell lasts until there is no more squirrel intrusion on your home.

How To Prevent Squirrels From Damaging Your Roof

When moving into a home situated in an area known to have squirrels, it’s best to arm yourself against these rodents before they come knocking. 

Safety precautions against squirrel infestation go a long way in saving you unplanned bills regarding roof repair and additional utility bills. If the insulation is messed with, heat conservation within the home will prove futile.

And even when you have in the past successfully eliminated squirrels, it is also prudent to put measures in place that will help you just in case your home falls victim to another squirrel infestation.

  1. Prevent future damage on shingles and fascia boards by having a contractor install a drip edge on your roof. Metal edges are pieces of metal installed on the edge of the roof. Drip edges are not only a great way of making your roof waterproof, but they hold the shingles better, making it hard for squirrels to burrow through.
  1. Ensure that trees around the home are always trimmed just in case squirrels happen to be around. It’s good to practice and live up to the measures.
  1. If possible, cut down any tree near the house, and have a long-term plan to never plant trees close to the house because you know first hand the inconvenience it can bring.
  1. Also, make sure to always be on the lookout for squirrels being in touch with your roof and attic to make sure they have not made a home there without your knowledge where they can damage wires and insulations.
  1. It is also a great idea to keep other pets who will scare squirrels away from your home.

Final Thought

Suppose a squirrel infestation is such that you cannot handle it independently. In that case, you can contact a wildlife professional in charge of pest control to come and help you chase away squirrels or safely remove them from your compound.

Some squirrels are listed as a game and others are non-game. Having a squirrel infestation in your home is trouble enough, and so if there is no other way of getting rid of them other than killing these cute little ones, then it is best that you get a special permit so you can stay out of trouble.

On the other hand, if your roof needs attention from possible squirrel damage or any other issues, find a professional service provider to fix it for you.

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Hubert Miles

I've been conducting professional home inspections since 2002. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Professional Inspector (CPI), Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.
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