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Wheeler: Control squirrels in your house
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Squirrels around the house can be a blessing or a curse. It all depends on whether or not the squirrel has made it to your attic.

A few years ago, my uncle had a squirrel stuck in his house, and from there on out he referred to squirrels as "rats with good public relations."

A squirrel trapped in an attic can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Many times squirrels will gnaw through the siding, but also chew on wiring, causing a fire hazard.

If all of that were not enough, they also might be considered a health hazard because of the fleas and ticks they carry.

Preventative maintenance of your home is the best way to keep squirrels from becoming roommates. Squirrels are rodent-like, which means they can fit through very small holes.

Look around the house and plug up all the holes you can find, even the smallest ones. If you already have a squirrel in the house, remove the animal before you plug the entrance and exit holes.

The best way to trap a squirrel is to use a cage-trap baited with peanut butter. You might want to continue using a trap after you think all of the visitors have been removed and the holes have been plugged. This will insure that you are rodent-free.

Remove all branches that are close to the roof line of the house. Guards can be placed around trees adjacent to the house, but they are ineffective if nearby trees are unguarded.

Also think about installing 2-foot lengths of plastic pipe on the wires coming to the house. When the squirrels access the wires and walk on the pipes, then will fall off.

Give these tips a try and hopefully you will be free from squirrels becoming unwanted roommates in your home.

Michael Wheeler is county extension coordinator for the UGA Cooperative Extension in Hall County. You can contact him at 770-535-8293. His column appears weekly and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.

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