04/05/18
Pest Of The Week – Grey Squirrels

The grey squirrel was introduced from the USA into approximately 30 sites across the UK from 1876-1930. Grey squirrels can cause serious damage through their gnawing of cables, building structures and other vulnerable materials such as insulation as they search for food or nesting material.
They will readily inhabit lofts, attics and roof spaces as well as outbuildings. Signs of their presence will be scratching noises and droppings; however, these can be mistaken for rat droppings. They are not thought to carry human diseases but can bite if they are frightened. In addition, grey squirrels may pass fleas to domestic animals which can be treated using animal flea treatments.

Appearance

Adult grey squirrels are between 35-50cm in length and are between 450-650g in weight. They are grey-brown in colour.
Squirrel kittens appear when they are around seven weeks old, and look like smaller versions of their parents.

Life Cycle

Grey squirrels can survive in copses, shrubs, hedgerows and trees, and build their nests from twigs, leaves and moss. They have a varied diet of seeds, buds, flowers, shoots, nuts, berries and fruit from many trees and shrubs, and will also eat fungi and insects.
There are two breeding seasons each year (one in Feb / March and the other in June / July), with 3-7 kittens in each litter. Kittens are born with their eyes closed, without teeth and with no hair. After about seven weeks they look just like small versions of their parents and are ready to leave the drey.

Habits and Habitat

Bed bugs are typically nocturnal emerging just before dawn to feed on their human hosts. Feeding will typically take place every two to three days and will take approximately 10 minutes, at which time the bed bug may ingest 7 times their own body weight in blood. They will also feed on dogs, cats and rodents. Bed bugs hide by day in cracks and crevices in beds, furniture, wallpaper, skirting boards and electrical fittings.
One reason why bed bug infestations are so difficult to eradicate is that they are highly resistant to low temperatures and capable of surviving for up to eighteen months without food.
After feeding the bed bug will evacuate much of the blood ingested. This leads to the characteristic spotting of infested furniture. The spots will smear when rubbed with a finger.

Pest Control

If grey squirrels are infesting your roof space, they can be denied access by sealing up access routes using chicken wire. However, you must ensure that there are no young or adult squirrels in your loft space before carrying out proofing work.
Entrances to loft spaces can often be inaccessible, so you may need to contact a pest control company to carry out the work for you. They will also be able to advise when to carry out pest control so as to avoid the breeding season.

Squirrels

If you suspect you have a Grey Squirrel infestation in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee or Perth, call GRAHAM pest control today and we could help.