South West homeowners urged to squirrel-proof their homes during nesting season

News Desk
Authored by News Desk
Posted Sunday, June 30, 2024 - 10:42pm

An insurance expert is calling on South West residents to protect their homes against damage caused by nesting squirrels - a risk not typically covered by standard home insurance policies.

William McCarter of insurance broker Lycetts has issued his warning during the June and July nesting season.

With animal infestation claims at an all-time high, McCarteremphasised the importance of preventative measures, explaining that most home insurance policies do not cover damage caused by small pests and rodents, as these are issues that are deemed preventable.

“Squirrels are notorious for causing costly damage to electrical wiring, pipes, cables and insulation in attics and converted roof spaces where they make a home for their young,” saidMcCarter.

“They are even capable of moving roof tiles, coming down chimneys or causing damage to guttering and fascia boards.

McCarter pointed out that the law prohibits the relocation of grey squirrels.

“Preventative measures are the best course of action,” he said. “Homeowners should repair any roof damage immediately and trim branches that could provide easy access to their roofs.”

He also recommended using strong wire mesh to block obvious access points once it is established that there are no squirrels inside.

“The best times to do this are mid-morning and mid-afternoon when grey squirrels are typically out foraging,” McCarteradvised.

Furthermore, McCarter pointed out that gardens with decking are particularly vulnerable to squirrel damage.

“It’s crucial to make your garden less attractive to squirrels by removing trees or branches with uninhabited nests, covering bulbs with wire mesh, and using squirrel-resistant bird feeders instead of loose food,” he said.

“I also urge homeowners to purchase approved squirrel repellents to prevent costly damage to their homes and gardens.”

Although it’s not against the law for grey squirrels to be caught and killed using live-catch cage traps or approved spring traps, McCarter suggested that this should be a last resort if preventative alternatives prove ineffective.

“If you proceed with the lethal control of squirrels, I recommend using a reputable pest control contractor who will carry out these measures effectively, legally and humanely,” he concluded.


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