How To Keep Squirrels Off The Roof (4 Ways To Do It!)

Kirstin Harrington
by Kirstin Harrington

If you struggle with squirrels running all over your roof, you know how annoying and distracting it can be. With the risk of squirrels chewing through your roof, there are steps you’ll need to take to keep the little critters at bay. Though their fluffy tails may be cute, we don’t want them gnawing their way into our attics.

Trim surrounding trees and fix gaps in the fascia to keep squirrels off of your roof. Put slim sections of PVC pipes over the wires leading to your roof so that squirrels can’t easily run on them. Install squirrel guards or remove surrounding food sources such as nut trees and bird feeders to keep them off of the roof.

Below we’ll dive into the easiest ways to set up deterrents to keep squirrels off of your roof. Using these tips and tricks will keep these cute little critters in the trees and off your house. Let’s jump into how to tell if the sounds your hearing are actually squirrels.

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Signs You Have Squirrels on Your Roof or In Your Attic

Hearing Strange Noises

The easiest tell of squirrels running around your roof is to hear unique sounds. They’re fairly large rodents and make a lot of noise when they move. Listen for loud scampering in the early morning hours and around dusk.

Squirrels have similar sleep schedules to humans. They sleep at night and are most active during the day.

Unpleasant Smells

One easy way to tell whether or not these little critters are on your roof is by taking a whiff of the air in your home. Squirrel urine is known to become incredibly potent and can seep its way through the walls and cooling vents of your home.

Another smell to consider is whether or not a squirrel has died in your home. They can get stuck inside chimneys, vents, and on rooftops. If you start to smell something less than pleasant, it could be a squirrel.

Damage on Your Roof

If you can, get up to your roof and look around for damage. Squirrels are known to chew through just about anything that could be considered shelter. Inspect the molding, beams, wiring, chimney, and any entrances to your attic.

Finding remnants of chewed wires or small holes is a telltale sign of squirrels.

Squirrel Nests

The penultimate sign that you have a squirrel problem is squirrel nests. They tend to build these in crawl spaces and attics. You’ll want to look out for destroyed insulation that has materials like leaves and sticks stuffed inside.

These rodents are known for carrying parts of nature into their habitat. They use households as the nest and outside materials to build inside of a space.


Lastly, squirrel droppings are a sign of infestation on your roof or in your home. Their droppings tend to be scattered around. If you find any, be aware that their feces are dangerous to humans due to the bacteria in it.

Easy Squirrel Deterrent Tips and Tricks

I’ve included four easy ways to keep squirrels off your roof and away from your home. These are all safe for the animal and won’t hurt them if that’s a concern to you. Let’s check out what your options are!

PVC Pipe Deterrent

You can install your very own rolling system that stops squirrels from getting onto your roof. The first thing you need to do to make this work is to trim any trees around your house. Since squirrels can jump, you want to make sure they don’t have a way to surpass the PVC pipe system you’re creating.

Making a Base

The next thing you need to do is install squirrel guards to the base of poles and trees. To do this, you need to use a metal sheet and wrap it around the base of trees and poles. The metal is too slippery for squirrels to climb, and it prevents them from climbing up and jumping onto your roof.

Cutting the Pipe

The last step to ensure these critters stay away from your home is to get several two-foot sections of slim PVC pipes. Then, saw them lengthwise and gently open up the cut area to put the pipe over any wires or cables on your roof.

Whenever a squirrel tries to get on your roof, it will cause the PVC pipe to spin. It won’t be able to gain enough footing to get onto the roof, thus acting as a deterrent. It can also be quite entertaining to watch and offers laughs to anyone nearby.

Keep Food Away

I know you might be thinking, “I don’t eat on my roof; what are you talking about?” Well, removing food sources for the squirrel will keep them away from your home. This usually means any bird feeders or nut trees.

If you plant a tree that produces acorns closer to your property line, they’re less likely to crawl on your roof. If you have a tree that drops nuts onto your roof, consider hiring a professional to trim the branches.

Hang bird feeders a safe distance from your home. This way, squirrels can still enjoy the delicious seeds without causing you any disruption. If you want the seed solely for the birds, you can install a squirrel deterrent to the feeder.

Fix Any Gaps

As you now know, one of the main reasons squirrels are on your roof is to build a nest. They may see the area as the perfect nesting spot, especially if there are gaps in your fascia. This is the wood board behind your gutter system.

They can then make their way into your attic, which can lead to a whole slew of other issues. To ensure this doesn’t happen, fix any gaps in your fascia. This includes replacing any rotting boards and putting a cap on your chimney.

Trim Surrounding Trees

Another way to keep squirrels off your roof is to trim the vegetation in the area. A common reason squirrels will jump onto your house in the first place is to escape from predators. Trimming tree branches allow the squirrels to stay safe without causing you a bother in the first place.

Squirrels can jump about ten feet, meaning the tree branches should be around 11 feet from your roof or more. Despite popular belief, squirrels don’t fly and won’t be able to jump much further than that.

Something else to consider is where your fence is on your property. Squirrels like using fences as a leaping off point to reach your roof. While you can’t scale back your fence, you could install a squirrel guard that will block their path.

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Related Questions

Can squirrels chew through the roof?

If you have squirrels on your roof, it’s understandable that you’d be nervous about them chewing through the roof. They’re known to gnaw and scratch at rooftops and are more than capable of chewing through shingles. If you already have tears in your roof, a squirrel will find it. They can easily chew and eat away at shingles. This is one of the main reasons why it’s so essential to prevent them from getting on the roof in the first place. Roofs are expensive to repair, and it’s best to keep the squirrels away.

What food is poisonous to squirrels?

When using food to deter squirrels, it’s important to use ones that aren’t poisonous to them. While you want to get rid of the pesky critters, there are plenty of ways to do it without killing them. Squirrels have a short digestive tract, allowing them to eat many foods. Because of the shorter digestive tract, food isn’t in their body for long enough to make a difference. There are poisonous properties in acorns and mushrooms, but not enough to actually affect the animal. 

How do I get rid of squirrels in my attic walls?

Having squirrels in your attic walls can be quite annoying. The easiest way to get rid of them is by live-trapping them. It can be difficult to try to get them out in other ways, and live trapping them is safe for you and the animal.After you’ve released the animal, be sure to patch up wherever they got in. If you don’t, they’re bound to return, causing more stress and repetition of live trapping. 

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Kirstin Harrington
Kirstin Harrington

Kirstin is a passionate writer who loves helping people learn new things when it comes to home improvement. When she's not behind a keyboard, she enjoys DIY projects, crafts, spending time with her pets, and making videos. She hopes that with all she writes, someone is finding a solution to their home improvement needs.

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