Squirrels need little encouragement to seek out a warm, dry environment in the colder months or during the breeding seasons in February/March – and again in June/July. The feeding of squirrel in urban areas can encourage them to reside closer to buildings – and subsequently in them.
The cost of the damage squirrels cause can be expensive, equipped with teeth which continue to grow in length, these ‘cute’ rodents seek out material to gnaw in order to keep their teeth in check. Squirrels invade manmade habitats with little or no trouble but a humane trapping programme and squirrel proofing will protect your business.
Signs of a Squirrel Problem
The most common signs that you have a squirrel problem are:
- Nests (or dreys) of twigs in the forks of trees
- Gnawed or stripped pine cones where the squirrels have extracted the seed
- Buts with holes that have been gnawed in or stripped bark
- Droppings, similar to that of rats
- Tracks in the mud or snow. The forefoot has four long slender toes around a rectangular pad
Squirrels in the UK
There are two types of squirrels in the UK; the red squirrel and the grey squirrels. The Grey Squirrel was introduced to the UK between 1876 and 1929 and thrives in urban areas able to out-compete the Red Squirrel whose habitat is more specific and less flexible. Squirrels
- Invade roof and attic spaces
- Can be a fire hazard as they chew and strip electricity cables, rendering them unsafe and potentially dangerous
- Gnaw phone lines, pipe insulation and roofing timbers
- Damage to gardens and grounds caused by digging, stripping bark and eating flowers, bulbs, fruit etc.
- Fiercely territorial – squirrels have been known to attack people on occasion
If you are experiencing problems with squirrels or require pest control advice call NBC Environment on 0333 567 2020.