In their natural habitat grey squirrels build nests or dreys in the forks of trees or in hollow trunks. In urban areas they will enter roof spaces by climbing walls or jumping from nearby trees. If they get into your property they can cause serious damage. They chew woodwork and ceilings, strip the insulation from electrical wiring, tear up loft insulation to form a nest and sometimes drown in cold water tanks.
The noise they make, particularly at night, scratching and running about can be very disturbing.
They also cause environmental damage, stripping bark off trees causing young trees to die, and can destroy many garden plants with their activities.
Various types of trap are available as is a poison based on warfarin, but only for use inside and by professional pest control operatives. Release of grey squirrels caught in cage traps is illegal.
From 25 January 2018 we will not be able to use poison to deal with squirrels. This will be a temporary situation whilst a new product is licensed, but means that we will need to offer an alternative service. We will be able to use a cage for live capture but that will mean that we need to visit (to check the cage) every day whilst it is deployed.
The service will be:
A morning or afternoon visit, every day, Monday to Friday. The charge for the service is £198. Partial refunds are available if the cage is removed early.
Dealing with the problem yourself
There are two things you can do to help yourself:
- Don't feed or encourage squirrels into your garden. If you put out food for the birds, use squirrel-proof feeders.
- Keep your home in a good state of repair so that squirrels can not gain access. If they have already got in and they haven’t yet had any babies you may be able to scare them out and seal any holes where they were getting in.