Are squirrels driving you nuts?
Unlike the endangered red squirrel, grey squirrels are a non-native and invasive species and are a prevalent pest throughout Reading and Berkshire. They are mostly herbivorous but will also eat birds’ eggs and hatchlings if food is scarce.
Grey squirrels can be a destructive and unwelcome guest if they find a way into your home and can cause significant damage to a property if left untreated. Grey squirrels have 2 breeding seasons each year and these are the times when a nice, insulated loft space looks very inviting to a squirrel.
If there is an entry point in your roof a squirrel will quickly gain access whilst foraging for food. They have sharp, strong incisors and will chew around a hole to make it bigger for them to fit through if necessary. Once they have gained access to a loft space squirrels will use the contents of the roof space to build themselves a nest, usually out of the insulation or materials they find stored in the loft. Squirrels are also known to clear the area before nesting and can cause hundred of pounds of damage stripping the insulation from electrical wires and damaging insulation.
It can be difficult to determine whether any droppings found in your home belong to squirrels or rats as they both look similar and rats are another common pest found in Reading and Berkshire. Other signs we use to determine that your unwelcome guests are squirrels are:
- Scratching and rustling in your home during the day as this is when squirrels are most active
- Food disappearing from bird feeders and the feeders being knocked over or disturbed
- Bark stripped from trees near your property
- Noticing squirrels in your garden, particularly close to your home
- Voles in vents and damage to insulation
Whilst squirrels may seem like a harmless, furry visitor simply foraging for nuts; they are in fact a recognised pest and can be very destructive to our native trees and wildlife. They strip the bark from the base of trees such as oak, chestnut and beech trees which weakens them and leaves them susceptible to disease. They also raid the nests of birds and prey on both eggs and fledglings.
Since they were introduced to the UK in the 1870’s; they’ve colonised much of the UK and led to a dramatic decline in the population of our native red squirrel. The grey squirrel is much larger than the red squirrel which helps it compete for food; but the most destructive characteristic of the grey squirrel is its ability to carry the squirrelpox virus.
If you have a problem with Squirrels in Reading, Newbury and throughout Berkshire we can provide you with a cost-effective solution.
Grey squirrels host the virus but are not adversely affected by it; red squirrels on the other hand usually die of dehydration once they have contracted it. As a result there are only around 138,000 red squirrels left throughout the UK, compared to over 2.5million grey squirrels.
It is a criminal offence to release a grey squirrel back into the wild; at Abbey pest control we try hard to find the most humane solution to protect your home, this will involve trapping with purpose built squirrels traps fully up to industry standards, these will usually be housed in a cage to make sure it is a 100% successful trap.
At the end of the treatment any holes found with be sealed to with a wire mesh or metal plate to make sure no other squirrels will be able to gain entry at a later date.
If you have a problem with squirrels don’t hesitate to contact us here at Abbey Pest Control Reading.
Covering: Reading, Tilehurst, Caversham, Wokingham, Shinfield, Arborfield, Woodley, Earley, Newbury, Chieveley, Thatcham, Basingstoke, Hook, Camberley and surrounding areas. Our price includes a full survey, written report, all labour and materials. All of our operatives are fully trained, experienced members of the NPTA and we have comprehensive public liability insurance.