Austin is home to three categories of squirrels – ground squirrels, tree squirrels, and flying squirrels. These are all part of the rodent family of creatures, and each can cause damage to your home, out buildings, landscaping, and even to your business.
The Most Common Species of Squirrels around Austin and the Hill Country
Austin is home to several species of squirrels, and perhaps the most common are Eastern Fox squirrels. The greater Austin area also has a large population of Eastern gray squirrels, both of which are tree squirrels. The most populous ground squirrels are the Rock squirrel and the Mexican ground squirrel. You encounter the rock squirrel throughout the greater Austin area, but the Mexican ground squirrel makes its home in the communities that are East of Austin, which is also where Southern Flying Squirrels lives too.
The Damage that Squirrels Cause to Homes around the Austin Area
Squirrels can become very destructive, and the destruction that they cause is not just to homes. Each family of squirrels – tree, ground, and flying – have different habits. The types of damages they cause varies widely.
Tree Squirrels and Flying Squirrels – Like to nest in high places and will happily make your attic or wall space their home. As rodents, they don’t mind chewing an opening to enlarge it so that they can fit it and once inside they will redecorate by digging into the insulation or gnawing through wall studs to make more room. If you have things stored in your attic, they may make those things their home. The like enclosed spaces like old boxes and dresser drawers. They will happily reuse your wedding dress, baby clothes, and other soft items for bedding and why not? Your attic is dry, warm, and full of opportunities.
The damage that tree squirrels cause can be expensive, especially if they destroy valuables. They will also chew holes gutters, enlarge soffit vent holes, and dig up roofing materials to get to the softer wood. The damage from tree squirrels is not just damage to wood. It also includes urine stains, flea infestations, and water damage from gutter and roof damage.
Ground Squirrels – create a network of tunnels and burrows and the damage that they cause is mostly to landscaping. They will, however, move under outbuildings, homes, trailers and then begin to excavate. They are known to cause damage to patios, stonework, and even to disrupt support for stairs. The damage that ground squirrels cause can be extensive and expensive.
Ground squirrels also make their homes under trees, and their burrowing weakens the soil-root support increasing the danger of windfall trees. They also dig large holes to gain access to burrows. Their burrowing can damage landscape plants and kill trees and shrubs.
Beyond the unsightly mess they make of your yard squirrels also carry disease such as bubonic plague and they are a source of flea borne typhus and Colorado tick fever.
There is no doubt that squirrels are cute. You can dissuade tree and flying squirrels from turning your home into their nesting site by making sure that you trim trees and thin branches. You can also install squirrel boxes which they will nest in, but if their population grows too large, they will use your house.
Ground squirrels, on the other hand, are considered a noxious pest and even trapping and relocating them can be a legal mess. Large ground squirrel colonies attract a variety of predators from owls and raptors to coyotes and snakes.
To find out more about how to control squirrels around your Austin home, just reach out to us. We prefer humane options when possible, the use of green chemicals, and the safe use of pesticides when needed.
Do you need pest control? Don't wait. Call Robert's Pest Control now at (512) 444-0132.