The grey squirrel was originally introduced to the UK from America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Today, the species has spread widely and is a common sight in woodland and parks. In less than 100 years, it has pushed the native red squirrel close to extinction.
Squirrels reach maturity at about one year old, and have three to four litters a year, with usually three young per litter. They live for about two years.
Despite their cute appearance, squirrels can actually cause more problems in your home than rats, which only usually enter homes by accident and tend to leave just as quickly. Squirrels, however, like to build their nests in warm, secure places – a loft or chimney is perfect. House insulation is an ideal material for making nests, which can have a serious impact on the energy efficiency of your home.
And once they are in, it is very difficult to make them get out and stay out.
Squirrels have constantly growing teeth, and need something to gnaw on. If they get into your home, they will often chew through electric cables and water pipes, causing flooding and even house fires. They have also been known to gnaw at the roof timbers of houses, leading to damage that can cost thousands of pounds to put right.
Getting rid of squirrels
Clearing squirrels from your home is a challenging job, and we need to quite literally tread carefully if they have been in your loft for any length of time, as the roof joists might have been weakened. The last thing you want is a member of our pest control team coming through the ceiling!
Squirrels can be removed by catching them in traps. While DIY traps are available, their use is not recommended as live squirrels are likely to bite and scratch. Our specialist technicians are trained to remove squirrels safely. It is an offence to release grey squirrels back into the wild, so once caught in a cage, they must be destroyed humanely.
The only way to keep them out is by carefully blocking up any holes and gaps. This needs to be done properly, however, or the determined creatures will soon be back. Our professional squirrel removal team in Essex will use the right materials to protect against repeat visits.
Squirrels can also cause problems in the garden, and are known to cause major damage to trees. We can protect individual trees by fitting special metal sleeves.