The Grey Squirrel

 

A Pest Controllers guide to The Grey Squirrel

Sciurus carolinensis 

 


 

Introduction to the Grey Squirrel.

 

The Grey Squirrel was introduced into the U.K. during the late 19th Century from America. Squirrels  are one of the largest rodent groups which also include not only tree dwelling forms but flying squirrels, ground living and burrowing squirrels.

 

As you may be aware public opinion on the "Grey" is split. True they are cute and can  be very entertaining to watch, but on the other hand they can be destructive to trees and houses if they gain access, they are also carriers of the Squirrel Pox virus which is deadly to our native Red Squirrel.

 

 

 

 Gnawed wiring

 

Cable gnawed by a Grey Squirrel

 

 Tree bark damage

 

Tree bark stripped by Grey Squirrels

Biology.

 

Grey Squirrels can be surprisingly big and weigh up to 600 grams.

 

Females produce a litter of usually three young in the spring or late summer sometimes both. Gestation takes a period of 42 - 45 days. The young are weaned after about 10 weeks and are independent at 16 weeks. They live in nests called dreys, usually in forks of trees made up of twigs and leaves, sometimes they make their dreys in peoples lofts, using insulation to build a nest.

 

Greys feed on tree shoots, acorns, nuts, fruits, roots, cereals and sometimes on bird eggs. They bury any unwanted  food below the soil and  sometimes in the thatch of roofs !  Together with their ability to eat acorns and also feed at ground level they are more adaptable than Red squirrels and are now wide spread across the U.K.

 

 


 

Squirrel Problems.

 

Squirrels do not carry any diseases that effect Humans. They can be very destructive to trees and are a serious pest in forestry areas and to ornamental garden trees.

 

To domestic householders if they gain access to a roof space they can cause serious damage to cables,insulation and the structure of fascias,soffits and other roof structures. We have dealt with instances of them actually digging through a plasterboard ceiling.

 

 


I have squirrels in my loft what should I do?

 

Firstly try to see if you can tell where they are getting in, if they are using a branch over hanging the house you may be able to just cut the branch off and solve the problem that way.

 

If this type of prevention  is not  possible the best course of action is to call a professional. Give us a call and we can discuss the various options open to you.