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Squirrel Infestation and the Damage Caused

We have all seen the cute pictures of squirrels and often when we decide to feed birds, more often than not squirrels are attracted to the food source too .

The first sign of a problem in your house or business due to a squirrel infestation is rustling in the attic or loft space.  Unfortunately, for as cute as squirrels may look, they are extremely destructive.  They can also be extremely noisy at night and this along with the damage they cause can be quite distressing to any home or business owner.

Nottingham Pest Control gets many call-outs every year for problems caused by squirrels due to the damage, they cause to homes and businesses.  Even though the grey squirrel is appreciated by many for its grace and cuteness.  The pest control industry is only too aware that there are times when pest control intervention is necessary.

The grey squirrel has been deemed as in the top 100 of invasive pest species in the world by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).  Due to the fact that grey squirrels are an invasive species, it is against the law to trap and then release them or indeed allow the grey squirrel to escape.

As numbers of grey squirrel have increased across the UK, the amount of damaged caused by them has also risen.   On entering roof spaces, lofts and buildings in general, the grey squirrel will gnaw on woodwork and ceilings, strip insulation from electrical wires, tear up fibreglass insulation.  In addition, it is of concern that to know that they can contaminate cold-water tanks and attic/loft spaces with both urine and droppings.

Grey squirrels will see humans and will often approach them, as they associate humans with food.  Whilst many people are fearful that the squirrel may attack them, it is very rare for a squirrel to actually attack a person. However, that said, it is always wise to stay away from squirrels and to call in pest control if an infestation is present.

With respect to trees such as the oak, chestnut and beech squirrels will strip the bark at the base of the tree and this in turn causes the tree to eventually weaken and die. Ancient woodlands are under threat due to the havoc that the grey squirrel causes.

The squirrel will prey on eggs and fledglings; this has an effect on fledgling figures with an estimated reduction of 15% to the fledgling population due to the grey squirrel.  They damage gardens, destroying bulbs and corms, eating recently sowed seeds and damage orchards.

The ESI (European Squirrel Initiative) has stated that over 40 million pounds worth of damage is caused to the forestry industry each year as a direct result of squirrels.  Concerns have been raised that unless something is done, there will be no oak, beech or sweet chestnut mature trees left in the years to come.

During spring and autumn squirrels are looking for food and can be more of a nuisance at these times of the year.

Squirrels eat acorns, pine nuts, hazel nuts, sweet chestnuts, berries fungi, grains, vegetables, buds and shoots together with bark and peanuts from bird feeders.  However, should they be unable to eat from their usual food source and if they experience a scarcity of, they will eat insects such as caterpillars, crickets, smaller rodents, bird eggs and nesting.

The first sign that you may have a squirrel infestation could come from scratching noises in your loft or wall cavity.  Possibly spotting droppings when checking out the loft/attic.  The smell of urine will often give a way an infestation is present and possibly going on for a while.  Seeing squirrels around your property especially on your roof or on high top roof fences.  Food disappearing from bird feeders, with the feeder being knocked over in some cases.  Bark being stripped from trees in your garden.  Possibly holes in vents or damage to your insulation foam.

Prevention is always the first and best option and therefore an overhanging tree branches should be cut back to avoid squirrels getting into the loft space. 

If you should have a problem with a squirrel infestation please contact Nottingham Pest Control. Surveys are undertaken free of charge and without obligation:-

Nottinghamshire 0115 9872968
Derbyshire 0845 0754866
Leicestershire 0116 2867210
National 0115 9872968