The grey squirrel has a body of approximately 25cm (10inches), and a long bushy tail which is approximately 22cm (9 inches) in length. Both males and females are of a similar size and weight, about 500g (1lb). They are a silvery grey colour, and are sometimes tinged with an orange/red colour.
Indoors – Squirrels will tear up insulation and chew woodwork and wiring. You may be able to determine their points of entry by looking for chewed holes in the facia and soffit boards. If they are in a loft, it is likely you will be able to hear them moving around.
Outdoors – Squirrels in your garden can cause substantial damage. They will dig up bulbs and strip bark off of bushes and trees. They will also strip fruit from trees and dig holes in lawns to bury their acorns. Squirrels are inquisitive creatures, and you are likely to see them running around the garden.
No, squirrels do not pose a health risk, although they can cause substantial damage to the environment.
If you think you have squirrels either in your property or your garden, Arun District Council is able to help. We offer a prompt and professional treatment, and may be able to offer advice on future prevention. All services are chargeable, and the charge will cover you until the treatment is complete, with no hidden extras. Please call Arun Direct on 01903 737755 to arrange an appointment. Please note, the fee will be payable at the time of booking, so please have your card details ready. All payments are non-refundable.
We will attend your premises on the agreed date. Our Pest Control Officer will survey your property, and lay traps as appropriate. We will offer advice on prevention of re-infestation, and other contributory factors. After the first visit, a date will be agreed with you for us to return to check on how the treatment is proceeding. During this time, we will move reset traps as necessary. We will continue to visit until the treatment is complete.
Grey squirrels live about two years, although the female tends to live longer than the male. They have two litters a year, each producing between 2-6 young. The gestation period is approximately 44 days. In their natural habitat squirrels create a nest in a hole in a tree trunk called a drey, although they are just as at home in the insulation of an attic. Squirrels are ‘scatter hoarders’ which means they hide their food in temporary, secure sites. They bury their food in the ground, and use their extremely accurate spatial memory and acute sense of smell to pinpoint the exact location of the food upon their return. Their diet consists mainly of nuts, berries, fruit, cereals, seeds, and some types of fungi. It is not unknown for them to kill frogs and chicks. There is increasing evidence to suggest that the grey squirrels are responsible for the recent decline in woodland bird species. This is through competition for food and nesting sites, as wall as through chick and egg predation.
Squirrels are not native to the UK; they were introduced in the mid 19thcentury to satisfy the Victorian curiosity for the unusual. Many believe that they were responsible for ousting our indigenous red squirrel because they are a more dominant species. While there may be an element of truth to this, the main reason was due to the diseases the grey squirrel brought with it.