Squirrels are one of the most prolific and destructive pests in Western Pennsylvania and around the United States, and virtually every Pittsburgh-area homeowner dreads the thought of finding a squirrel nest in the house. Their front teeth grow, requiring constant chewing to keep them at an acceptable length. While metal roofing discourages them from chewing on the roof itself, they may still find other ways to eat through your home.
Metal Roof vs. Traditional Roof
A traditional roof is an invitation for a squirrel. They can chew right through the roof tiles, creating their own entrance to your attic. This tends to happen on damaged roof tiles or other places with easy access for a squirrel. A metal roof provides more protection. Squirrels have a harder time trying to eat through the metal surface, keeping them out. A metal roof is also designed with a tight fit to your home, decreasing the chance for cracks and entry points.
The Taste of Metal
Copper, lead and aluminum all have a sweet taste to squirrels. No one knows why this is, but squirrels eat the lead coating off of pipes, stack covers and other metal parts of a home. If you see signs of damage, it is important to take action before they eat right through the metal tiles on your roof. Pieces of PVC piping with no purpose left in the area of the chewing can sometimes distract a squirrel from eating the important structures of your home, but nothing is a substitute for removal of the squirrel.
Trap and Remove
The only way to know a squirrel has left your home is by trapping and removing them. There are several devices on the market to help you with this goal. Havahart traps allow you to catch the animal alive and remove it from your home. Once caught, the squirrel needs relocation far away from your home.
When searching your home for evidence of squirrels, be sure to wear the appropriate gear. A face mask and protective eyewear is a good idea. Squirrel feces can create a massive problem for homeowners. It can be toxic and can seep into your drywall, causing a huge problem. Remove feces with a shop vac or with gloves and be sure to sanitize the area after removal. Use either a combination of bleach and water or an enzyme fogging machine designed for this purpose.
The best way to avoid squirrel problems is through prevention. A metal roof helps to protect against squirrels but can’t keep them out without regular inspections. Check for cracks and chew marks on the outside of your home and look for animal feces inside. The first sound of squirrels in the attic is a sign you need to take immediate action.