The UK may well be divided on its opinion of the grey squirrel (Sciurus Carolinensis). Some people adore these fluffy-tailed cheeky creatures, whereas others, especially gardeners and bird lovers, consider them to be crop destroyers, and bird feed raiders.
Native to North America, grey squirrels were first introduced to the Britain in the 19th century. The species spread rapidly and is now common in Britain, with the exception of north and western Scotland and some islands. … Grey squirrels do not hibernate, but can be less active in winter when food is scarce. They are a threat to our native red squirrel as their numbers or populations will tell you. Their populations are currently estimated at approximately 140,000 red squirrels and 2.5 million grey squirrels.
Love them or hate them, opinion is less divided when they move into your loft. This may be especially distressing if, like many, home is now also your working environment. With the onset of lock down #2, many of us are squirreled away working from home, and are leaving our nest less often for social and leisure pursuits. Therefore now, more than ever, home needs to be a safe and enjoyable space.
Our Legal Obligation to Manage Grey Squirrels
According to the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), the grey squirrel has been listed in the top worst invasive pest species in the world by the International Union for Conversation of Nature (IUCN) and are classed as an Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in the UK and Europe. As such, it is illegal to re-release a captured live grey squirrel under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019.
This is because:
- The grey squirrel threatens our native red squirrel
- They damage UK forestry
- They may damage your home, business, and health
How can Grey Squirrels Damage My Property and/or Health?
Grey squirrels may be heard loudly rustling around in your roof space during the night. This can cause disturbed sleep which negatively impacts on your health. They also pose a health risk by contaminating water tanks and loft spaces with urine and faeces.
Damage to roof spaces can include destruction of fibreglass insultation, gnawing on woodwork and stripping electrical wire insulation.
How do I Know if I have Squirrels in My Attic?
- You will usually hear them! Squirrels can rustle and scratch very loudly in your roof space and/or wall cavities
- Presence of squirrel droppings and/or a smell of urine
- Vent and insulation damage
- An increased sighting of squirrels around your home
- Increased garden damage, e.g. stripped bark on your trees, and dug up plants
How do I Stop Squirrels Invading My Attic Space?
- Squirrels are expert climbers; you can deter them by cutting back ivy and overhanging tree branches which could aid their access to your roof
- Proof roof entry points, sealing up any gaps and holes. This needs to be done professionally as squirrels are persistent and stronger than they look!
There are some options which may aid DIY squirrel control, such as using traps. There are currently no amateur poisoning products available to the public.
Avon Pest Control strongly advise contacting a professional pest control agency if you believe you have grey squirrels living in your loft space.
If you attempt to deal with grey squirrels yourself, you must know the current legislation, or you may accidentally break the law and face prosecution.
If squirrels are driving you nuts, call Avon Pest Control today on 01926 632 929 or 01789 293 463 or click here to request a call back. Our qualified, responsible technicians will happily discuss your pest problem and provide friendly, expert advice.
COVID-19: We are currently operating with Strict PPE Controls on Essential Work for Your Safety.