The Unwanted Pitter Patter of Tiny Feet; are Squirrels Living in Your Loft?
Hearing noises in your loft space is always a concern and may be a sign that squirrels have moved into your attic. The Grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is not native to the UK, and is listed in the top worst invasive species on https://www.iucn.org/, causing damage to trees by stripping bark and contributing to the local extinction of the native Red squirrel through disease and competition.
Due to this it is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019 to release a Grey squirrel back into the wild once caught.
Should you choose to undertake DIY Grey squirrel control, you will need to destroy the squirrel humanely. As these animals tend to bite and scratch when they feel threatened, and disposing of animals can be distressing, Avon Pest Control recommend contacting a professional pest control company to manage your Grey squirrel pest problem for you.
WARNING! Red Squirrels are a Protected Species. They MUST be released into the wild if caught.
Why Control Grey Squirrels?
In addition to causing damage to UK trees and threatening the survival of the Red squirrel, Grey squirrels can also cause significant damage to your home should they choose your loft to nest in, including:
- Gnawing on wood, including beams
- Gnawing on electric cabling, causing potential fire hazards
- Destroy fibreglass insulation by tearing it into pieces to use for nesting material
- Contaminate loft spaces and cold-water tanks with urine and faeces
- Invite further infestations into your home, e.g., insects attracted by nesting materials and droppings
- Wake you up, disturbing much needed sleep! – Grey squirrels can cause loud noises and are most active around four to five hours before daybreak
Signs of Infestation
As well as hearing scratching and scurrying noises from your loft space, look out for the following signs of Grey squirrel infestation
- If squirrels have inhabited your loft space for some time, the smell of urine may emanate from your attic into the body of your house
- Gnaw marks on wood and cabling
- Damage to loft insulation
- Bark stripped from trees on your property
- An increase in sited squirrel activity around your property
Preventing Loft Invaders
Grey squirrels are fairly persistent creatures, but there are some steps you can take to help reduce the chances of them gaining access to your property
- Cut back any tree branches, climbing plants etc., that overhang your property to limit access to your roof
- Seal entry points to your loft, e.g., put mesh or metal flashing over any holes, and block gaps
- Remove bird feeders from your gardens which may attract squirrels to your property
- Squirrels enjoy a dark quiet place to nest. Installing a bright light and a radio in your loft may help to deter Grey squirrels for the short term whilst more permanent measures are put in place, e.g., proofing
If Grey squirrels are causing you a problem, give Avon Pest Control a call today on 01926 632929 or 01789 293 463 or click here to visit our website. Our qualified technicians will provide expert advice and quickly deal with your pest problem for you.