Squirrels are cute little things. You probably "aww" at them while walking around the park as you spot them munching on acorns and scurrying from tree to tree. But if you knew that squirrels could fundamentally destroy your roof, would you still think they were cute? In the winter months, squirrels love to find a warm place to bed down, and your attic is just the warm and cosy environment they are looking for. But this could be seriously bad news for you and your home. Squirrels will chew through wiring, they will tear up your insulation and use it for nesting, and they will even chew into your roof beams, which could make complete roof replacement a necessity. So how can you keep squirrels out of your attic this winter?

Roof restoration. If there are no holes in your roof, squirrels will have a much harder job making it inside your home, and so your first measure should always be engaging with a roofer to complete regular roof restoration work for you. This is also an essential practice in general, because other wildlife such as birds could next in your attic, and water leaks could damage your attack if holes start to appear. Be aware that squirrels are tougher than they look and they can gnaw through wood that is perfectly healthy so a regular roof inspection is recommended.

Squirrel traps. If you suspect that there are already squirrels inside your attic, you won't want to trap them inside your house by engaging with roof restoration work that will just block them inside your attic. In this instance, you might need to lay down a few squirrel traps, which can be purchased from pest control specialists. Squirrel traps don't actually kill the squirrels - they just trap them so that you can then take the squirrels to another place and release them outside.

Chilli powder. Squirrels have an extreme dislike for the taste and smell of anything spicy, and so one of the cheapest and most powerful squirrel deterrents you can lay your hands on is some extra-hot chilli powder. Of course, this won't do much good on the exterior of your roof – the rain and wind will soon remove it. You can, however, sprinkle chilli powder across your attic, and the squirrels will be very reluctant to make a home out of your attic, potentially saving you a bucket load of money in roof replacement costs.