The grey squirrel is approximately 25 cm long with a 22 cm tail. Both sexes are of similar size and weigh around 500 grams. The body is adapted for climbing and jumping, with sharp claws for gripping and a long bushy tail for balance. Red squirrels are smaller, lighter and have ear tufts. Although predominantly red in appearance red squirrels may, confusingly, show some grey on the back in winter.
Where to find them
Grey squirrels build nests or dreys of twigs/leaves in the forks of trees. The squirrels are most active in the two hours following sunrise and preceding sunset, showing reduced activity during the daytime. Both red and grey squirrels will eat a wide range of items such as nuts, fruit buds, shoots, fungi, birds eggs and nestlings. In urban areas a large amount of food will be derived from bird feeders. Surplus food is buried for retrieval in times of scarcity.
Spread of disease
Squirrels are not normally associated with any diseases which are transmissible to man.
The most serious damage arises once grey squirrels enter the roof spaces of houses and other buildings by climbing walls, gutter downpipes or jumping from trees. Once inside they will chew woodwork and ceilings, strip the insulation from electrical wiring, tear up fibreglass insulation in the construction of dreys and even sometimes drown in cold water storage tanks.
Control of squirrels
The most effective form of control is exclusion. Do not encourage squirrels into your garden by feeding them, and ensure that all roofspaces are secure. Control of squirrels is usually carried out using traps or poison. Only spring or cage traps approved for the purpose may be used and all traps must be inspected at least once daily. Squirrels may also be poisoned with a plain wheat bait containing 0.002% Warfarin liquid.
Squirrels Are Cute, But They’re Still A Nuisance
Every year, getting rid of squirrels is becoming a bigger and bigger part of our rodent removal and exclusion service line. Squirrels are cute and cuddly unless they happen to be in your attic. Just like other rodents, squirrels can be destructive when inside our homes and businesses. Squirrel droppings and chewing ability do not exempt them from removal.
Squirrels have adapted to urban and city life pretty well. there are plenty of trees and food sources for squirrels to live off the land. Squirrels are also extremely beneficial. They help to plant and distribute seeds due to their natural instincts to bury food. However, once inside your attic tearing up the place, it is easy to overlook their beneficial qualities and figure out a plan for relocation.
Squirrels are most active in the morning and afternoon hours. Squirrels tend to hangout in their nests during severe cold and wet weather. Hopefully that nest is not in your attic.
Squirrels have a litter of 2 to 7 young in the early spring. Here in Texas another litter will sometimes arrive in late August. The young will remain in the nest for up to 6 weeks before going out on their own.
Proper Squirrel Control
Inspection. Identify rodent and rodent damage. This requires a deep inspection and find out where the squirrels are nesting and how they have gotten into the structure.
Trapping. Now we trap the rodents. For squirrels, we trap with live traps. Squirrel traps are big cages with trap doors and some food inside as bait. We will set traps and monitor every 1-2 days. Traps can be moved around to focus on the problem areas.
Exclusion. After the trapping is well underway we enclose the structure. We seal all roof vents, roof pipes, gable vents, and any other areas where squirrels can enter. Steel wool, expanding foam, caulk, wire mesh, and some screws go a long way. Then trim back any trees 4 to 6 feet from the structure.
Relocation. Every squirrel we trap is relocated to a park or wooded area.
Rodent & Squirrel Pest Control Services
Keep These Furry Pests Outside Where They Belong
Rodents like mice, rats and squirrels may look furry and cute, but they are not welcome guests in a home. Always in search of food and shelter, these pests can do some real damage to a home and also transmit diseases. Additionally, rodents reproduce very quickly, and one or two can turn into a full-blown infestation in a matter of weeks. Signs that they may have settled in include unusual noises in the attic or walls and/or droppings found in the pantry, along the baseboards or in the attic.
Mice and Rat Control Services
Mice and rats pose many threats to you, your family and your home. When they take up residence, they rarely travel alone, often bringing in fleas, mites, ticks and lice as well. Micro droplets of mouse urine can trigger allergic reactions in children. Rats will chew through just about anything when nesting, including wiring, which can cause fires. Rats are also known to urinate on and eat stored foods. Both mice and rats can transmit numerous diseases. Obviously, mice and rat control is a serious matter.
These crafty creatures can enter structures through very tiny openings. A mouse only needs a space the size of a nickel and a rat can squeeze through one the size of a quarter. Additionally, rats are excellent climbers and can make their way into a home through entry points along the roofline as well.
Squirrel Control Services
Both gray and flying squirrels usually begin to enter homes in the Southeast late in the fall as the evening temperatures drop, looking for a warm place to nest for the winter. They can be found in attics, exterior walls and even between floors, using insulation as nesting material. Their playful nature and early rising times are what give their presence away to homeowners as they hear scurrying in the attic or movement at dawn, making squirrel removal sometimes necessary just to get some sleep.
Squirrels can do considerable damage to the exterior trim and siding of a home as they widen their current hole or make a new one. Once in the home, they can gnaw on just about anything, including electrical wiring, which can cause a short or a fire. Squirrels can also carry fleas and other unwanted hitchhikers that will infest your home after they gain entry.
In their natural habitat grey squirrels build nests or dreys in the forks of trees or in hollow trunks. In urban areas they will enter roof spaces by climbing walls or jumping from nearby trees. If they get into your property they can cause serious damage. They chew woodwork and ceilings, strip the insulation from electrical wiring, tear up loft insulation to form a nest and sometimes drown in cold water tanks.
The noise they make, particularly at night, scratching and running about can be very disturbing. They also cause environmental damage, stripping bark off trees causing young trees to die, and can destroy many garden plants with their activities.
Dealing with the problem yourself
There are two things you can do to help yourself:
Don’t feed or encourage squirrels into your garden. If you put out food for the birds, use squirrel-proof feeders.
Keep your home in a good state of repair so that squirrels can not gain access. If they have already got in and they haven’t yet had any young you may be able to scare them out and seal any holes where they were getting in
Squirrel Chewing Habits: Their Fun Wreaks Havoc on your Home
Those cute little squirrels running around your backyard and playing in your trees might be fun to watch, but they can be pesky critters when they want to be! The most irritating thing about squirrels is their penchant for chewing pretty much anything that gets in their way. Whether it’s wood around your home or yard, wires in your attic, or plastic on your home or car, basically nothing is safe from these backyard critters.
Why do squirrels chew everything?
Unlike humans, a squirrels’ teeth never stop growing. While this is helpful them since their diet mostly consists of nuts, seeds and fruit which are hard on teeth and wear them down, this also means they need to be constantly working to keep them a manageable length. This leads them to chew on pretty much anything they can. From wood to metal or plastic, all of these help to grind down their teeth. Unfortunately, this is bad news for your property!
Squirrels also chew things to gather material to build a nest. Wood especially makes a good base for them, so watch your wood siding, deck, attic beams and any other wood around your yard carefully.
How to prevent squirrels from chewing
When trying to prevent a squirrel from chewing materials around your home, you want to try to use strong and durable materials as much as possible. Things like steel mesh and pvc piping are helpful materials that squirrels will have difficulty chewing through
Sometimes, you just need to call a wildlife removal professional
If your friendly squirrel company has turned the corner into a full on invasion, you might be at the point where you just need to call in a professional. Squirrels don’t give up easily, and once they’ve found some profitable real estate, they’ll settle in for a long stand off. And squirrels are not a rodent you want to mess with (remember those constantly growing and sharpened teeth?!)! A professional can come assess your home and work out a safe plan to remove the squirrels from your home and give you some suggestions of how to squirrel proof the area.