Squirrel Fact Sheet

Infestation Identification: Grey squirrels have silvery-grey fur, with usually light brown feet and faces, the fur has different flecks of colour.  The long bushy tail is more often than not fringed with white fur at the ends. They are between 24cm and 30cm long and their tails are between 19cm to 24cm. Red Squirrels which are much less common, are described the same, however they are smaller and have reddish-brown fur.

The main signs of squirrels in the garden are; broken eggs shells, holes being dug in lawns, gnawed hose pipes and other plastic items.

If squirrels are in your premises, they will usually be in your loft space, causing a lot of damage. You will notice their droppings which are similar to rat droppings but are slightly more rounded, they are black or dark brown and approximately 8mm to 12mm long. You will be able to hear the squirrels running around looking for nesting materials and gnawing on wood, wiring, plastics and anything else they can chew through.

 

Common Names: Sciurus Carolinensis

 

Diet: The main types of foods squirrels seek out are; nuts, fruits, vegetables, seeds, flower buds, bulbs. They will usually store food underground until the winter.

Habitat: Squirrels will mainly be seen in gardens and outdoors, however they will nest if loft spaces if they find an opening. This can cause a lot of damage, costing thousands of pounds to repair.

 

Prevention: It is impossible to stop squirrels from entering gardens, although there are ways to make your garden less appealing to them. Netting can be used to prevent them from eating fruits, vegetables, bulbs, seeds and flower buds. It is more than likely that more squirrels will occupy your garden once the current occupiers have been removed.

 

Life Cycle: Female grey squirrels can produce two litters per year when they are 10 to 12 months old, consisting of 3 or 4 young, which are born into dreys, which are their nest. Litters will be born in spring and summer, with a gestation period of approximately 44 days.

 

General Information: Squirrels are territorial when they have young and can become aggressive if they feel they or their young are being threatened or are disturbed. Because of the squirrels constant gnawing can cause electrical fires.

 

Treatments: Devices which are designed to frightened the squirrels away will only work for a short while because they soon become aware that there is no danger. If they are causing a lot of damage it is permissible to eradicate grey squirrels by trapping and shooting them, providing it is done in a humane way, although this is not possible in gardens which have houses backing onto them for safety and legal reasons. If you decide to trap squirrels we would suggest that you bait them with peanuts in the shells, the traps must be checked on a regular basis but at least once a day. It is important to remember that any grey squirrel which has been trapped cannot be released into the wild again. Poisons to eradicate squirrels are not permitted in gardens. 

If you have squirrels inside your property, we would not suggest that you try to remove them yourself as they will become aggressive. We recommend that you do not block off any access holes, this is because if there are young inside, the adult squirrels will cause more damage trying to get in to get to their young.

 

Quick Facts:

  •  Squirrels will dig holes in the ground to bury their food.

  • They will take eggs from birds nest.

  • Red squirrels are very rare and are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

  • Squirrels are territorial when they have young and can be aggressive if they feel threatened.

  • Devices which are designed to frightened squirrels away will only work for a short while because they soon become aware that there is no danger.

  • Squirrels have very sharp teeth and claws.

  • Poisons to eradicate squirrels are not permitted in gardens. 

  • Their gnawing causes a lot of damage, costing thousands of pounds to repair.

  • Grey squirrel which has been trapped cannot be released into the wild again.

  • Female grey squirrels can produce two litters per year.

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