Advice for Controlling Grey Squirrels
If you’ve heard something rustling in your loft, then there is a chance you may have a pest infestation. There are a few possibilities of what could be causing the rustling, but during spring and autumn, there is a high chance that grey squirrels have moved into your home! While squirrels are a pleasure to see running around your local park they do not make good house guests. In this post, we look at the issues they can cause and measures you can take for controlling grey squirrels.
Why Do We Need to Control Grey Squirrels?
The public perception of grey squirrels is typically that of a cute little woodland creature jumping around trees and burying their nuts for winter. For the vast majority of the time, this is a fair view. However, pest controllers see first hand the extensive damage that grey squirrels can cause. This is why, on occasion, lethal squirrel control measures are needed.
The three main reasons controlling grey squirrels is necessary;
– Damage caused to home and businesses and the threat they pose to public health and safety
– The effect they have on native wildlife, in particular, the red squirrel
– Damaging impact on forests and woodland
How do Grey Squirrels Damage Your Home?
Squirrels, like rats, have strong, powerful teeth that are constantly growing. To file their teeth down they will gnaw on pretty much anything. In the wild, this would generally be trees, wood and bark. However, should they enter your loft they will gnaw on beams, wires, metal pipes and anything else they can.
The safety issues this presents to humans are numerous. Attic floors can become unstable, live wires can be exposed, and water leaking from gnawed pipework can cause extensive damage.
Grey squirrels can also contaminate water tanks with dropping and urine.
As well as the damage they can potentially cause, squirrels can also be noisy. Grey squirrels are most active during the night, typically a few hours before sunrise. It’s not uncommon for grey squirrels to keep people awake at night with their movements.
Signs That You Have Squirrels in Your Loft/Attic
As with most pests, there are several signs to look out for that can tell you whether they are present or not;
Sound – As we’ve mentioned above, squirrels are not quiet when they move into your home. They are larger than rats and mice, and their scampering is easy to hear during their active periods.
Smell – If grey squirrels have set up a nest then over time, you will start to notice a strong smell of urine. The smell can take a while to build up, and hopefully, you will have noticed them before this point.
Track Spotting – It’s often not a simple process due to the points at which squirrels enter a property. However, if you can identify a point of entry, then lay some cardboard down and sprinkle it with flour. When the squirrel walks over the cardboard it should leave behind its tracks. Squirrels don’t walk as a mouse or rat would, instead they “bound” which means their rear paws come up alongside their front paws. Their front paws have four toes and are relatively small whereas the rear paws have five toes and are larger.
Nests – Squirrels will build their nests from soft materials. In the wild, this would be grasses, moss and leaves. In your loft, these may be substituted for insulation, paper or clothes.
Droppings – Squirrel droppings are oblong shaped and dark brown. They look very similar in size and shape to a raisin.
Controlling Grey Squirrels – DIY Methods
When it comes to controlling grey squirrels, the majority of measures you can take for yourself are preventative. Any attempt to capture or kill grey squirrels yourself could be dangerous. Floors could become weak due to the squirrels knawing and wires may have been exposed. Traps should only be operated by trained professionals.
It’s virtually impossible to deter a squirrel if it decides your loft is where it wants to set up home. They are adept problems solvers, excellent climbers and can squeeze their bodies through very small holes. If you do want to take preventative actions we suggest the following;
– Workaround your property filling in any small holes or potential entry points. Loose mortar or brickwork should also be replaced.
– Remove anything near your property that could give the squirrels easy access. For example, if you have ladders leaning against your house, wood stacked up or bins next to the property.
– Cut back trees that overhang or grow near your roof. These provide grey squirrels with an easy jump-off point onto your property.
Hiring a Professional
The simplest and most reliable way of controlling grey squirrels it to hire a professional pest controller. Pest control companies have specialist equipment, and, more importantly, the experience of dealing with all types of pest infestation.
If you are looking for reliable and affordable Pest Control Nottingham then please get in touch with our team. Our experts have over 25 years of experience, and we are members of both NPTA and Prompt. All the work Confirm A Kill carry out is fully guaranteed, and we can provide a free of charge assessment for any work you require.