Pests and Nuisance
- The grey squirrel has been a resident in Britain since the last century, when it was introduced deliberately. It is now found in most of mainland Britain and is a common resident of parks, gardens and places where there are trees.
- The will usually build their nests in the forks of trees and tree hollows and sometimes in lofts. There are two breeding seasons - first litters are born in February and March and the second in June and July. They eat nuts, fruit, buds, shoots and fungi, and in the suburban garden their diet comes from food put out for the birds or squirrels.
Squirrel populations appear to be on the increase and they are more prevalent now in residential areas. Squirrels can be a nuisance in the garden by disturbing plants and eating bird food. However, the major concern is when they enter roof spaces of buildings. They can do this by climbing walls or jumping from nearby trees and then gaining access to the roof through gaps in the roof. Once inside the roof they can cause serious damage by chewing woodwork and ceilings, stripping insulation from electrical wiring and from pipes and may contaminate water storage tanks.
a) Food - If there is food for squirrels then they are likely to remain in the area and breed productively. A deterrent to them is for you and your neighbours not to put out food which squirrels can gain access to. Special bird feeders are available which deter squirrels eating bird food.
b) Proofing - This may be one of the most effective methods of dealing with the squirrel at individual premises. The expense may be justified when offset against the potential damage they could cause.
All holes or entrances to the roof space should be blocked, this may be done by wedging wire tightly into any gaps or by sealing these with a strong mortar. This work should be done so as to make the roof space as secure as possible. Attempts may be made by the squirrel to re-enter the roof space by trying to remove or bite through proofing materials.
Where it may appear that a squirrel has made a nest within a roof space the services of a private Pest Control Contractor may need to be sought.
c) Trapping/Poisoning/Shooting - The Borough Council does not carry out eradication of squirrels. These are private pest control companies who carry out treatments and should be contacted if necessary to remove squirrels from a roof space. It is a specialist job to carry out the work safely and comply with legislative requirements.
A selection of private Pest Control Companies may be found in telephone directories or local newspapers.