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The Grey Squirrel

Image of squirrelIntroduced into Britain around 1900 it has now largely replaced the native red squirrel in most areas of the UK.

Description

Size: The adult is approximately 250 mm long, with a 230 mm tail and weighs about 500 grams.
Colour: As the name suggests - grey.

Pest Control

Elmbridge Borough Council provides a pest control service for the treatment of squirrels (in domestic loft space only). This is a charged service.

What does treatment involve?

This treatment involves three visits. The first visit is to carry out a survey of the loft, place and set two spring loaded traps and the remaining two visits are to check the traps and remove any catches.

At the time of the visit, we will leave with you an |advice sheet. This includes information on your treatment i.e. chemicals/traps used, health and safety precautions and other relevant advice as well as our terms and conditions.

How to book an appointment

If you would like to book a pest control appointment visit our |pest control webpage to arrange a convenient date.

Lifestyle

Squirrels survive in copses, shrubs or hedgerows which provide cover (including suburban parks and gardens). They have long been recognised as a pest in woodland areas but they are also a problem in domestic situations.

There are two breeding seasons each year.Photo of grey squirrel

  • February and March and the young leave the nest (or drey) in April/June
  • June and July and the young leave the drey in August/September.

Each litter averages 3 to 4 young. Dreys are usually constructed in the fork of a tree between 2 and 15 metres above ground level. The drey is lined with moss, grass or animal fur.

They are mainly vegetarian and eat the seeds of trees, fruits, berries, buds and young shoots, but on occasion they eat grain, fungi, birds eggs and young nestlings.

Signs that squirrels are present include:

  • pine cones from which the "wings" have been stripped to obtain the seeds at the base
  • acorns and nuts which have been split open
  • large tooth marks found on the caps of fungi and on the bark of trees
  • shallow troughs dug to search for previously buried food may be seen in lawns and grassed areas
  • Scratching and scuttling noises in roof accompanied by droppings.

Problems squirrels can cause

  • Serious damage can be caused through gnawing of cables, building structures and insulation - usually they are searching for food or nesting material.
  • They are not thought to carry human diseases but can bite if they are frightened. If you receive a bite it is wise to seek medical advice in case you need an injection against tetanus.
  • They may pass fleas to domestic animals - treat using animal flea products.
  • Tree damage caused by gnawing occurs May to July (mainly to hardwoods - especially sycamore and beech).
  • They readily inhabit lofts, attics and roof spaces as well as outbuildings. Signs of their presence are scratching noises and droppings, however, these can be mistaken for rat droppings.


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