Grey Squirrel (Sciuris carolinensis)
250mm (10") to 26.5mm (12½"), plus 220mm (11") of tail, and up to 0.5kg (1lb) when fully grown. The fur is grey and squirrels have a distinctively large bushy tail
Breeding season for squirrels runs through the end of winter and occasionally again in early summer. Each pair of squirrels can produce as many as three litters in a year with as many as seven young per litter. Each young squirrel reaches sexual maturity at ten to twelve months of age.
Squirrels are very common in the UK and usually make their home in woodland, particularly where there are deciduous trees in abundance, although they are happy to make their home in parks and large gardens.
A squirrel nest is called a drey and will be compact and spherical, 300mm (11") to 600mm (22") across. The external structure will be mostly twigs and dry leaves, with grass inside.
Squirrels famously eat acorns, although they also feed on any other kind of nut, tree shoots, flowers, fruit, roots and cereal. The eat at ground level and bury spare food for the winter.
Grey squirrels can make their nests in lofts or wall cavities as well as in trees. They can cause damage to both homes and trees by gnawing at the bark. This leaves the tree open to infection.
Grey squirrels are classed as an invading species, which have driven out the native red squirrel down to a few remaining enclaves. Because of this grey squirrels are not protected in the UK and the damage that they can cause has led them to be classed as pests.
When squirrels enter a loft space, they can cause structural damage by tearing up loft insulation for bedding, chewing timbers, pipework and stored items, and posing a fire hazard by stripping insulation from electrical wiring. They may also be noisy, and if they drown in uncovered water storage tanks, may contaminate the water supply. For these reasons, it is important to keep squirrels out of lofts.
Donkill Pest Solutions deal with all Grey Squirrel problems, so if you would like a free survey please contact us on 0843 523 0537 or 07443476749
(Free site surveys are subject to availability and are not to identify if you have a infestation in the first place (this can be mostly be done over the telephone))