Pest Control Advice - Grey Squirrels

We can treat squirrels for you. Please contact us to find out how much it will cost and when we can visit.

Habitat and biology

Grey squirrels are found in a wide range of habitats from urban parks and gardens to rural woodland. They spend part of their time foraging on the ground but are always within easy reach of trees. Their diet includes acorns, beech mast, nuts, fruits and bulbs. They usually have their young either in dreys (nests made of twigs and leaves) or in holes in trees. They will also breed in roof spaces where they may build their nests from loft insulation or other available materials. Grey squirrels do not hibernate but are less active during periods of cold weather. They normally have two litters each year; the first in February to March and a second in June to July. The litter size averages three to four, and the young are independent at about three months of age.

Reasons for control

The grey squirrel is classified as a rodent, but is not regarded as vermin. Problems occur mainly where squirrels gain access to roof spaces. In these situations, they may cause damage to electrical wiring, insulation, plastic water pipes or other materials. This can sometimes result in fires or flooding. The noise they make can be very bad and become a real nuisance. Squirrels in the garden, no matter how much damage they may cause, are considered by us to be in their natural environment. We will not, therefore, deal with squirrels outside.

Control

Control can be carried out by private individuals, occupiers of the property, a pest control contractor or the local authority pest control team. One approved method of control is the use of cage traps, in which case the squirrel must be humanely dispatched (drowning is not an approved method). The trap must be inspected at least once a day.

It is illegal to release a trapped squirrel back into the wild. Spring traps can also be used, but only approved types, these will humanely dispatch the squirrel whilst in the loft. Spring traps should be inspected at least once a day, and carcasses removed and disposed of discretely, either by burning, burying or via refuse collections when they should be securely wrapped.

Our primary method of control is to use an anticoagulant poison specifically developed for the control of grey squirrels.

Proofing

Having dealt with squirrels that have gained access to buildings, action should be taken to prevent others from entering these same areas. Crushed wire netting, metal sheeting or other suitable materials can be used to block any entry points. It is important that all access routes are identified but no proofing be done until it can be confirmed that no squirrels remain within the building. Baffles attached to rainwater down pipes or cables and wires may assist in reducing access to roof spaces. However, the climbing abilities and ingenuity of squirrels should not be underestimated.

The removal of tree branches, which are in close proximity to walls and roofs, will eliminate potential access routes. Avoiding the spillage and availability of bird or pet foods will assist in reducing attraction to squirrels. The use of squirrel-proof birdfeeders may help in this respect.