Things that Go Bump in the Loft … have Squirrels Moved In?
Squirrels in loft spaces can be a major problem, as they can cause damage to the structure of your building and create a mess with their nesting materials. Additionally, squirrels can carry diseases and parasites, which may pose a health risk to humans.
If you have a squirrel problem in your loft, it is important to address it as soon as possible to prevent further damage and potential health risks.
What Health Risks are Associated with Squirrels?
Squirrels, like all wild animals, can carry a variety of diseases and parasites that can pose a health risk to humans and pets if you come into contact with an infected squirrel. Some of the bacterial infections that squirrels in the UK may carry include:
- Tularemia: can be transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected squirrel, or via ticks or fleas which suck blood from an infected squirrel and then bite a human. Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes.
- Leptospirosis: can be transmitted to humans through contact with the urine, or blood of infected squirrels. It can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fever, headache, muscle pain, and vomiting.
- Salmonellosis: can be transmitted to humans through contact with the faeces of infected squirrels. Symptoms include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, and fever.
- Lyme disease: squirrels can carry ticks that are infected with the bacteria, which may then be transmitted to humans via an infected tick bite. Symptoms include fever, rash, and headache.
If you have been in contact with a squirrel or have been bitten by a tick, it is important to monitor your health and seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms of these diseases.
Prevention is Better than Cure…
There are several steps you can take to help prevent squirrels from getting into your loft space.
Avon Pest Control recommend that you:
- Inspect the outside of your property for any potential entry points and seal them off with sturdy materials, such as metal flashing or wire mesh. Pay particular attention to areas where utility lines or pipes enter the building, as these are common points of entry for squirrels.
- Trim tree branches that are near or overhanging your roof, as squirrels can use these to access your loft.
- If you are bird lover, install a squirrel-proof bird feeder in your garden.
- Keep food waste securely stored in a container with a tight-fitting lid, as squirrels are attracted to sources of food.
What Do I Do if I already have Squirrels in My Loft?
Removing squirrels from loft spaces can be dangerous, therefore Avon Pest Control recommend you contact a professional pest control company to assist you. They will have the experience and expertise to effectively remove the squirrels from your loft and help prevent them from returning.
Whilst the red squirrel is a protected species in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981,
The grey squirrel is considered an Invasive Alien Species. Under Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, it is illegal to release, or allow to escape, any captive grey squirrel.
Additionally, under the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996, it is illegal to subject grey squirrels to wilful acts of cruelty or abuse. This means if you catch a grey squirrel you must dispose of it humanely.