Squirrels and Your Trees: What You Need to Know from Your Local Tree Service


April 30, 2020

When you think of the wildlife in your yard, what comes to mind? For most Denver area homeowners, the first animals that come to mind are rabbits, birds, and the occasional deer that makes its way into the suburbs. While the Front Range doesn’t get a ton of squirrel activity, at least not compared to the surrounding states, squirrels can still be a bit of a problem even for mature landscaping and trees. If you see them scampering along your fence line, it might be a good idea to chase them away. This is why your trusted tree trimming service recommends you keep squirrels away whenever possible.

They Carry Ringworm
Squirrels travel everywhere throughout the city. This means they get exposed to a lot of different contaminants and diseases throughout their lives with the most common being ringworm. As they settle into your trees and on your property, they can pass those diseases onto anything that comes into contact with them. Though the risk of transmission of ringworm to you and your family from squirrels is still relatively low, it can happen. The best thing you can do is teach your kids not to approach squirrels in your yard, even if they seem cute and cuddly. By staying away from them, your kids will find it easier to stay healthy.

They Damage Your Trees
Squirrels aren’t large and it might seem like they won’t do much serious damage to your home’s landscaping if they’re allowed to nest and stay in your yard. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In fact, squirrels can hurt your trees in just a few days. They scratch at the bark and strip it back, exposing portions of the tree to the elements. Over time and as those damaged spots spread, the tree will become vulnerable to disease and worse damage. 

Further, squirrels’ activities invite other pests and insects to nest nearby. This increases the risk posed to your trees significantly. Remember, once pests and insects start nesting inside a tree, their activity will make it more likely for the trees to develop rot, mold, and other conditions that reduce their ability to grow. Keeping squirrels away from your yard and out of your trees is a great way to reduce the impact they have on your landscaping’s overall health.

They’re Thieves
You go to the trouble to plant a beautiful garden every spring and actively work to keep it growing during the warmer months. Squirrels love your garden more than you do. It’s like an open buffet to them and they’re not shy about raiding it whenever they’re hungry, just like rabbits. While the occasional nibble won’t hurt your plants too badly, repeat rodent raids can seriously damage your plants’ growth. Keeping the squirrels away will help you keep your yard and garden growing strong and will make it easier to keep your landscaping looking pristine throughout the growing season.

They Hurt Your Lawn
Squirrels are foragers by nature. This means they’re constantly searching for food both in the trees and on the ground. Unfortunately, much of the food they eat doesn’t sit directly on top of the soil. Instead, it gets embedded in the grass and dirt. While you may not be able to see it with your naked eye, squirrels can easily smell it out. And once they do, their only option to access that food is to dig.

While the occasional hole and torn up bit of grass won’t hurt your lawn’s performance, repeat actions from the same squirrel or others that come to your yard can leave it looking torn-up. Not only will your lawn look less pristine, but it could end up hurting the roots of the turf itself. When this happens, your yard will end up looking like a patchwork quilt of healthy growth and dead or brown splotches. Keeping squirrels away will help you keep your lawn looking great throughout the year while also making it easier to reestablish new and healthy growth the following spring. 

They Can Damage Your Roof
Squirrels don’t always nest in trees. Sometimes, they want a place to curl up that’s well-insulated and sheltered from the elements. This often leads them to work their way into your attic and the walls of your house. Unfortunately, squirrels damage the roofing materials on their way in and can increase your home’s risk of mold, mildew, and water leaks. Keeping squirrels away is the best way to protect the safety and integrity of your house.

What You Can Do
Though squirrels are persistent and determined, they’re relatively easy to get rid of. You just need to be stubborn and get rid of the things that tempt them most. Start by taking a walk around your house and look for problem areas. 

Things like low-hanging limbs that make it easy for squirrels to access your roofline, clogged gutters that can provide warm nesting materials, and even leaf debris on the ground all need to get taken care of. Hire a Denver tree trimming company and let them take care of any overgrowth that could put your home at risk. Work with your roofer to keep your gutters free and clear of debris and rake up any leaves and debris around your yard.

Once you take care of those main concerns, turn your attention to your garden. Spray rodent deterrent around the perimeter of the garden as an added layer of protection. Install a fake owl near the garden bed to scare off rodents and consider investing in a noise deterrent system that will scare pests off anytime they trip the sensor. These systems emit noise at a high enough pitch human ears can’t detect it, so you won’t have to worry about annoying hums or noises interrupting your peace and quiet.

Keeping Your Trees In Good Shape Is Easy
Squirrels can do serious damage to your trees if you’re not careful, but with regular care and maintenance, your yard will be able to thrive even with the occasional furry visitor. Contact our team to schedule an inspection and let us keep your trees growing strong for years to come. 
 
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