Fact File :
There are two types of squirrel in Britain: the Red Squirrel and the (North American) Grey Squirrel. It is the grey squirrel that is the pest.
Adult squirrels are 22-23 cm in length (minus tail) and weigh approx. 450-500g. Sexually mature at 10-12 months they can live for up to 8-9 years, although the average is 1-2 years.
A female squirrel usually has one litter in spring and another late summer, with 3-4 young in each litter.
Male squirrels lead a 'bachelor' life and only pair up with females for mating.
Squirrels are omnivorous. Vegetation eaten includes acorns, tree shoots, flowers and bulbs, nuts, seeds, roots and fruits. They occasionally eat insects and birds eggs.
Where Squirrels live?
Grey squirrels live in drays or nests formed from bark and twigs stripped from trees, or in hollow tree trunks.
They can also enter roof spaces by gnawing holes in fascia boards or getting in through gaps in roof tiling. Once inside they can cause considerable damage. They make nests from loft insulation, destroy articles stored up there and can make an unbelievable racket. They can also chew through wiring and wood.
Why keep them under control?
Squirrels are not considered to be a Public Health Pest. The damage caused by them is to trees by stripping the bark and biting the scions (tips of young trees).
In houses it is their mischievous and wilful destruction of roof insulation and articles stored in lofts, and nuisances from noise and accumulations of bedding materials taken in.
They out compete our native Red Squirrel.
Grey Squirrels are troublesome and destructive animals with an insatiable appetite and curiosity.
As lofts usually have a water cistern the occasional squirrel falls in whilst drinking and will contaminate the house supply.
They dig holes in the garden to bury nuts, pinch fruit from the garden and raid bird tables.
Prevention & Control
Squirrel proof roof spaces by blocking gaps and entrances. Repair damaged areas as squirrels find weak spots to gain access.
A metal sleeve can protect individual mature trees that are no longer growing.
Use squirrel proof bird feeders and avoid putting excess food out.
Prevention is better than a cure as eradicating squirrels can be difficult.
The most effective way of getting rid of these little pests is by live trapping and/or poison baiting..
The use of poison bait to eradicate squirrels may be used. The appropriate treatment method depends on circumstances and is subject to discussion with customer. Dead squirrels in the home will be removed by the operative at the time of their visit only, and only if it can be reached by hand. A revisit is made after treatment up to 5 days. The treatment will be regarded as complete one month after our last revisit.
Surrey Heath will only treat squirrels that have entered a dwelling. We do not treat squirrels outside of a property such as a garden.
For further information please contact:
Neighbourhood Services - Pest Control
Surrey Heath House
Knoll Road, Camberley
Surrey GU15 3HD
Tel: 01276 707125