Grey squirrel control is necessary because like any other rodent squirrels are a cause for concern when they make your home theirs.
The largest concern is their destructive habit of gnawing to keep continuously growing teeth sharp and in check, which when on pipes and wires can cause considerable damage and loss of life.
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Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
Call 02920 552243 for pest squirrel control
There are two breeding seasons for Grey Squirrels, January to March & June to August. A normal litter consists of 3-4 young and gestation is about six weeks.
Generally squirrels are not considered pests until they occupy your property. We commonly attend squirrel problems where they have located their drey in the space above a dormer, usually with very limited access, other times the squirrels have taken up residence in the attic, loft or some other more accessible part of the roof space.
Generally when we are called out there is more than one squirrel, which indicates that there is a mother and offspring, no more than four usually.
Grey Squirrel Control – Reasons For
- Squirrels given the opportunity will build dreys (effectively a nest for squirrels) in an attic, loft, space between a dormer and the roof, or any other part of a roof space that they can gain access to. During this process they will often strip roof insulation to make up the drey.
- Squirrels are rodents and one of the defining attributes of a rodent is the constant growth of their teeth and their need to gnaw on hard materials to both sharpen their teeth and keep the growth in check. Because of this factor squirrels in attics can present quite a danger. Often when a squirrel has been present in an attic there will be evidence of gnawed electric cables and wires, which could lead to a house fire either during the process of gnawing as a result of an electric short or some period of time after because of the reduced insulation on the wires.
- May take a swim in your cold water tank and drown there.
- A squirrel can make a large amount of noise which can be quite stressful to some. Not only do you hear them scampering about, tearing the place up but you may well hear them snoring too.
- In addition to residential properties squirrels can take up residence in commercial spacers such as warehouses, where they can cause a large amount of damage to stock.
- They strip bark from trees in order to lick the sap, this kills of young saplings and causes irreparable damage to older trees.
Squirrels in the loft or attic
As long as a squirrel can gain access a loft space is an ideal location for a squirrel to set up its drey. It offers a warm, waterproof cosy environment with all the materials it needs to make up a very comfortable drey. Even better for the squirrel is that it is out of reach of its natural predators in a location that they will be very unwilling to enter.
To make up there drey they will pull up the loft insulation into a large mound, which they can then burrow into and raise their young in. As rodents they have a propensity to gnaw anything hard, and will cause damage to electrical wiring, stripping of the insulation, chew on structural timbers, rip up plasterboard and in fact destroy pretty much anything they can get at.
If you have squirrels in the attic or loft then look to remove anything of value from the area if you don’t intend to call a pest controller in to resolve your squirrel problem. Most importantly for you and your family’s safety do look to get rid of them, otherwise you will over time have an expensive repair bill, or possibly even worse a burnt out property.
If you suspect that you have a pest squirrel problem then we can conduct a loft survey to establish if squirrels have moved in and can advise you on the best solution for your squirrel problem if they have taken up residence.
Grey Squirrel Control Methods
Control methods available for squirrels include cage or spring trapping, and shooting.
Squirrels in loft spaces should either be cage or spring trapped. The law is very specific on the type of poison that can be used on squirrels. The only legal poison that can be used on squirrels is Warfarin at a 0.02% concentrate on a wholegrain bait. If poisoning inside this can be presented in plastic trays throughout the year. If poisoning outside there is a restricted period of time in which this can be carried out – from 15th March to 15th August. In this situation the bait must be presented in a specially designed hopper.
For several reasons Vale Pest Control prefers not to poison when dealing with squirrel problems in a building .
Firstly squirrels need to consume bait over a few days to build up a sufficiently high level to provide a lethal dose, so there must be sufficient bait laid down for this to happen. In the meantime squirrels are free to travel to wherever they want. if at some point they succumb to the effects of the rodenticide outside they may be consumed by a non target species such as a hawk, falcon or buzzard, who may then take it back to its offspring with consequent results of secondary poisoning.
Secondly if a squirrel stays in the roof space or dormer area and it can not be found or reached easily, not only will it give off a very unpleasant odour that could last for several weeks, but will likely cause a secondary infestation from other pests such as blue bottles, and maggots.
It is a legal requirement of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 that any squirrels captured must be humanely dispatched and not released back into the environment or allowed to escape back into the wild. If we live trap a squirrel it is a legal requirement that it be humanely dispatched – it can not be taken down to the nearest woodland and released there. Nor can it be kept captive without a licence under the Destructive Imported Animals Act 1932.
For these reasons we prefer to trap using BMI Bodygrip 110/116 traps and Fenn Mark IV & VI traps, and dependent upon the situation possibly a Kania or WCS Tube trap. By not live trapping them they are being dispatched quickly and humanely with no stress. The traps are designed for instantaneous death and are placed in such a manor as to provide that with no miss hits, that may otherwise cause pain and distress.
If you find yourself with a Grey squirrel problem then contact us for assistance on 02920 552243, we offer a pest squirrel removal service with a fixed pricing structure.
As part of this service we ensure that the squirrel is humanely and discreetly removed from your property with minimal fuss. once we have gotten rid of the pest squirrels we will offer advice on how best to prevent further pest squirrels from entering your loft or attic roof space.
Legislation Appropriate to Grey Squirrel Control
• Animal Welfare Act 2006 : requires all captive animals to be treated humanely
• Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 : it is an offence to inflict unnecessary suffering – this needs to be considered when destroying occupied warrens and burrows.
• Spring Traps Approval Order 1995 : lists spring traps approved for killing squirrels.
• Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 : further restrictions on the use of bait
• Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 : ban on self locking snares and for snares to be visited at least once a day
• Grey Squirrel (warfarin order) 1973 : conditions for the use of poison bait
• Destructive Imported Animals Act 1932 : grey squirrels not to be kept in captivity without a licence
• Protection of Animals Act 1911 : requires spring traps to be inspected at least once a day between sunrise and sunset
For FAST, Friendly Service, Call 02920 552243
speak to a local professional pest controller NOT a National call centre
Back to Wildlife Management
For rats and mice please see Commensal Rodent Control
For other pests please see Common Pests
For bird problems please see Bird Control
For insects please see Insect Control
For pricing see Service and Prices