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Pest Control – Grey Squirrel

The grey squirrel was introduced to this country from North America in the late 1800’s. Since its introduction the grey squirrel has spread throughout the country very successfully and has been blamed for the decline of the native red squirrel population.

What to they look like?

Grey Squirrel

The adult grey squirrel weighs approximately 275 grams, has a body height of approximately 25cm and a tail length of approximately 20cm. Their body is adapted for climbing and jumping and they use their tail for balance.

Where do they live?

Grey squirrels live in their nests which are usually built in the forks of hollow trees, using twigs, leaves and grass. Occasionally nests are made in roof spaces of houses and buildings. Squirrels retire to their nests during wet and cold weather but remain active throughout the year

What do they eat?

The grey squirrel will eat food put out for birds, such as millet and sunflower seeds. They also eat nuts, fruit, bird’s eggs and nestlings.

Pest Status

Squirrels can be a nuisance in the garden by disturbing plants and eating bird food. They can be a concern to homeowners when they enter roof spaces of buildings.

They can enter these areas by climbing walls or jumping from nearby trees and gaining access through gaps in roofs and eaves. Once inside they can cause serious damage by chewing woodwork and ceilings, stripping insulation from electrical wiring and from pipes and may contaminate water storage tanks.

Control

Limit access to food that may easily be available to squirrels in the garden, garage or sheds. Special bird feeders can be used which deters squirrels from eating the bird food.

Proof areas that could provide easy access for squirrels, all holes and entrances to roof spaces should be blocked. This can be done using wire or sealing gaps with strong mortar.

Other control methods can be used, such as trapping, poisoning or shooting. For these methods a professional pest contractor must be used otherwise it could be deemed cruelty to animals. If you want to employ a private company to treat the problem for you, you should try to ensure that they are members of the British Pest Control Association. Details of companies can be found in the Yellow Pages or Thomson Directories. These private companies will charge for carrying out any treatment.

Last Updated: 21/02/2013
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