Not many people see squirrels as pests, certainly not as they bounced from branch to branch in woodland.
However, squirrels can become a nuisance very quickly, especially if they find their way in to your home, sheds, outbuildings etc.
Why can squirrels become a problem?
Like all animals, squirrels want to breed and raise their young in places that are sheltered from the weather, safe from predators and harm, as well as being close to a ready food supply. In the vast majority of cases, the local woodland and forests provide perfect settings for this, including urban ‘woods’ and trees.
However, in seeking this place, they may come across a building that, with the smallest of holes or gaps, can lead to a cavernous loft or attic space that is warm, cosy, weather-proof and also very safe to raise their family of young. Knowing they can leave their young in safety, whilst the adults forage for food, is the perfect solution for adult squirrels.
But, urban developments also contribute to squirrels become ‘confused’ or being forced to look for other nesting sites. Large building developments in towns and cities that involved the demolition of woodland, trees and the natural environment generally, can contribute to squirrels needing to find alternative places to nest.
The problem with squirrels
Damage – like many rodents, squirrels have sharp, long teeth that continue to grow through their lifetime. In order to keep these teeth ‘short’, they gnaw on food and other materials, commonly used in their nests.
In their natural habitat, this is not an issue but when they are gnawing through electric cabling in your loft, stripping beams and other supporting structure in a property, you can see how it could quickly become an issue; damaged electrical cables are a fire hazard.
Noisy – squirrels are also animals that are noisy when scrabbling around in the loft! Constantly darting in and out to collect food for their young, as well as additional material for their nests, squirrels in lofts and other parts of the building can mean a less than peaceful home or business.
Bites – squirrels are NOT aggressive animals but, they are a wild animal and, if confronted or challenged, especially with any young in situ, they can bite. If you think you have squirrels in your property, calling a professional pest controller is the answer!
How squirrels are removed
There have been cases in Britain where homeowners have been prosecuted for killing or trapping squirrels – is it illegal to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal, and that includes all pests.
Pest Control companies are adept and trained at dealing with all kinds of pests, squirrels being one of them…
- Trapped and relocated – the majority of squirrels are trapped in humane traps and relocated to their natural habitats that is, local woodlands. This needs to be done by professionals, especially if there are young present.
- Sealing the entry/exit point – once the squirrels have been removed, prevention work needs to begin or another family of squirrels will simply move in! However, this sealing of the entry and exit points needs to be done once the squirrels have left or been removed; do not do this once the adult has left, but the young remain in the loft space. This is considered to be inhumane and you could face prosecution.
If you think you have a nest of squirrels in your property, it is important that you contact a professional, trained pest controller to deal with the problem – and do it quickly!
For an experienced professional, humanely trapping and relocating squirrels is something that takes only a few hours but, if you do not have the problem dealt with quickly, the repair bill could run in to hundreds, possibly thousands of pounds…