When we were househunting 15 years ago, one of the nicer houses we looked at was what we now refer to as “The Squirrel House.” Nice home, a “California Split,” with everything in good shape. Understand please that we were at the bottom of the heap for pricing: fixer-uppers were definitely our domain, and solid sheetrock walls and level floors were a rarity in the homes we reviewed!! So the house was in great shape and we were excited. We went to tour the home, and found that every.single.windowframe and every.single.door had been methodically chewed by squirrels. There were trees overhanging the roof, and the squirrels would scoot across the roof, climb down the chimney, and trap themselves in the house. They gnawed at every bit of woodwork within. It was a MESS. When we toured the house a second time, we actually chased a squirrel out of the house by opening a lower-level sliding door and shoo-ing it out the door. We didn’t buy that house but not because of the squirrels; we wanted gardens and kids, and the land was on a steep hillside with little flat area for either gardening or children’s play. The woodwork would have been expensive but judicious trimming would have resolved the issue and the topography really soured the deal for us.
We bought a house with few trees in the immediate vicinity of the structure. Not that we were paranoid BUT. There are three swamp maples near the house that we talked about thinning, but as a group they made one huge, beautifully shaped tree. 15 years later they are getting much too large and we are talking once again about cutting down one or two of them. I hate to give up the South-side shade in the summer, but they are just getting too big! My little flower garden (my back vividly remembers the stone wall I built for it) is now a full-shade garden, much harder to get good colorful plantings to thrive. And we’ve had to limb the nearest tree every year to keep the branches from reaching the roofline.
Saturday morning I heard a nasty scraping sound while I was outside. Woodpecker? Owl? What IS that?!? I found a hole up in the fascia boards. I got my camera and used the zoom to get a better look.
Yup, that's a hole. A BIG hole. In my House! This morning, hubby found the problem. Gasp! A SQUIRREL!
So we need to patch that hole, and FAST, and be certain the squirrel is OUT before we do so; we’ve both seen firsthand the damage a trapped rodent with a cute bushy tail can do. Then we need to limb that tree! There is only one limb near the roof (you can see it in the first pic) at this time, and it doesn't extend past the roofline so the creature must have leapt from there. We actually discussed this earlier this year and decided that the branch was probably too fine to support a squirrel.