What do they look like?
The adult grey squirrel weighs 500g
and is approximately 25cm long, with a tail of similar length. The
winter coat is grey with a white underside, whilst the summer coat
is brownish grey and shorter. The red squirrel is much smaller and
has a distinctive reddish brown coat. The red squirrel is a
Where do they live?
Grey squirrels build their nests in
the forks or hollows of trees, using twigs, leaves and grass.
Occasionally nests are made in the roof spaces of houses. Squirrels
retire to their nests during wet or cold weather, but remain active
throughout the year.
What damage do they cause?
Squirrels usually enter the roof
spaces of buildings by climbing or jumping from nearby trees. Once
inside they will tear up insulating material to build their nests.
They will gnaw woodwork, plastic piping and electric wiring, which
could lead to floods or fires. They also contaminate water tanks
with their droppings.
Squirrels will often gnaw on the
bark of trees causing considerable damage. Squirrels will also take
cultivated fruit and vegetables, dig up plants and bulbs, and dig
holes in lawns. Often they raid the nests of small birds to steal
eggs and young.
How do I control them?
The most effective control method is
to physically prevent entry to the roof space by blocking up gaps
and entrance holes. Loose or damaged soffits should be replaced,
and any remaining gaps should be plugged with tightly wedged wire
mesh. All proofing work should be carried out when squirrels are
out of the roof space.
Warfarin may be used to poison
squirrels in roof spaces, providing the formulation used is
approved for this specific purpose. Other poisons and
warfarin formulations for the control of rats and mice must not be
used. It should be noted that if poisoned, squirrels may die
in inaccessible corners of the roof space. This will make it very
difficult to recover the body and may create a fly nuisance or
Legislation is very specific
regarding this subject. This is to prevent any unnecessary
suffering to the squirrel. This method of dealing with squirrels
should not be undertaken by inexperienced people.
Reposition bird tables and bird
feeders or fit squirrel proof tables and feeders. When using
pesticides always follow the instructions on the label
Last Updated on 6/25/2012