Grey squirrels are a popular sight in parks, gardens and woodlands. However, when they gain entry into your loft space, they could cause damage to your roof, loft insulation and electricity cables.
Read on to learn more about squirrels and how to deal with a squirrel problem.
Grey Squirrels – Sciurus Carolinensis
Squirrels build nests called dreys and these are constructed out of twigs and leaves in the forks of trees. They will also take advantage of naturally occurring holes in trees and branches called dens.
They breed twice a year, firstly in February/March and the second litters are born in June/July. The young are weaned at 10 weeks old. Their gestation period is 45 days and the litter sizes are usually 3-4 young. Their diet is wide ranging: feeding on leaves and fruits, pine cones, nestlings, bird eggs and food put out for wild birds.
Squirrels also gain entry into loft spaces via climbing walls, jumping from over hanging trees and vegetation, running along walls, hedges etc. They will chew through soffits and fascia boards, dislodge tiles, damage tile felt to gain access to the loft area. Once inside the loft they will pull loft insulation into piles to make a drey, chew electric cables, chew roof timbers, chew plastic water pipes, shred stored cardboard boxes, also urinate and defecate in the loft plus usually make a lot of noise.
Controlling a squirrel problem
The control of squirrels internally can be by poison and or traps. The control of squirrels externally is now only by traps and shooting. The treatment can be discussed at time of survey. They are not a native of this country and it is thought they were deliberately introduced from North America on several occasions between 1870 – 1920 and squirrels have now spread widely.
Photo credit: Attis1979