Learn How to Keep Your Home Free from Flying Squirrels & Prevent Damage Caused by the Rodent
Flying squirrels look unassuming, but they can pose a destructive problem.
Despite their name, flying squirrels don’t actually fly. Instead of wings, they have a furry membrane called a patagium that lets the rodent soar through the air like hang gliders. The patagium acts like a parachute and stretches from the ankles to the wrists, allowing these small animals to “fly” up to 100 feet between treetops to evade predators.
The southern flying squirrel is most common in the northeast while the northern flying squirrel is a bit rarer.
Unfortunately, flying squirrels aren’t just cute and gravity-defying. They can also damage the interior and exterior of buildings. To make matters worse, this wildlife critter is very social and tends to live in colonies. If you spot one, it’s likely that even more flying squirrels are in the attic or building.
In addition to spreading diseases, flying squirrels can be a nuisance for homes and businesses. To permanently eliminate flying squirrels, it’s essential to work with expert professionals like Catseye Pest Control.
Trapping and removing just one or two of these pests may not solve the problem. Experts can take all the necessary steps to remove and prevent colonies of pests from creeping back in.
What are Flying Squirrels?
Smaller than many other types of squirrels, flying squirrels can grow from three to 24 inches in length. Species in the northern region of the United States can grow up to 11.5 inches at most and are usually comparable to chipmunks in size.
In addition to their patagium, which allows them to glide, flying squirrels also have a unique piece of cartilage that helps them steer. This cartilage enables flying squirrels to make turns as they glide through the air, which makes them unique among the species of gliding mammals.
Flying squirrels are nocturnal, with large, dark eyes, flattened tails, and fur that’s grayish-brown in color with white on the underside.
North America is home to approximately 50 species of flying squirrels, but only two types call Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire home: the northern flying squirrel and the southern flying squirrel.
The northern flying squirrel mates in late winter, while the southern flying squirrel mates in early spring.
These periods are significant as it indicates when this type of nuisance wildlife will be searching for a safe space to keep warm and raise their young. Like many other pests, flying squirrels find attics, homes, businesses, and other structures appealing as nesting sites.
Damage Flying Squirrels May Create
Flying squirrels commonly enter structures with specific goals in mind. They need a warm spot to make a nest, a safe area to raise their young, and a readily available food source. They get into houses and other buildings through attics and crawl spaces, using preexisting cracks to create larger access points to gain entry.
Once inside, flying squirrels damage attics and other interior spaces in several ways. Damage often results from the following activities:
- Gnawing on wires, which can cause shorts and increase the risk of electrical fires.
- Enlarging cracks and creating new holes in roofing, walls, and siding, which leads to expensive repairs.
- Bringing other pests, including lice, fleas, parasites, and mites, inside.
Like other critters, flying squirrels can carry and spread diseases to humans. Most commonly, they carry mange, a disease that causes an animal’s healthy fur to fall out. Additionally, it’s less common, but flying squirrels can also carry rabies.
Signs of Flying Squirrels in Houses
Aside from actual sightings, a few common clues can help you figure out your home or business has an infestation of flying squirrels. Possible signs include:
Flying squirrels can create a lot of damage by gnawing on wires, insulation, roof intersections, ridge vents, chimney flashing, and gaps in fascia and/or soffits.
Cracks that Grow
Flying squirrels typically exploit existing cracks and crevices and enlarge them for easier entry and exit.
New Holes or Damage
To make it easier to get inside, flying squirrels may create entirely new holes, causing damage to the building’s exterior walls and siding, which can lead to expensive repairs.
Like any other animal, flying squirrels in attics and crawl spaces leave fecal matter and urine in their wake. You might see droppings, track marks from their feet, or stains from urine. It is also possible to notice unpleasant odors.
Flying squirrels often nest in walls and insulation. You may hear scratching, chirping, or clicking sounds at night, particularly if there is a colony of flying squirrels living in your home.
How to Get Rid of Flying Squirrels
As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If you’re concerned that your home, business, or structure may attract flying squirrels, there are ways to make the area less appealing. Preventive measures include:
- Removing bird feeders and other easy-to-access food sources
- Installing borders or fencing around gardens
- Trimming tree branches back to keep the roofline clear
- Avoiding planting nut-producing trees near buildings
If you have already seen signs of flying squirrels, contacting a pest management professional like Catseye is the most effective way to prevent them from taking over.
Experts have the knowledge and necessary equipment to effectively address, manage the situation, and remove the flying squirrels. Even better, tools like exclusion systems seal potential entry points, providing a permanent solution.
The Cat-Guard Wildlife Exclusion System
Catching and removing flying squirrels are just the start of wildlife control. With an effective exclusion system, property owners can feel rest assured that the same problem won’t happen again.
The Cat-Guard system offers three ways to protect homes or businesses:
- Upper Cat-Guard: Flying squirrels can gain entry through the attic, roof, and areas in the upper part of a building. This barrier protects everything from the roof’s peak to the top of the first-floor windows.
- Lower Cat-Guard: Think of this as your first floor’s version of Fort Knox. This barrier protects everything from the first-floor windows to ground level to prevent flying squirrels and other critters from gaining entry.
- Trench-Guard: Prevent flying squirrels and other wildlife from burrowing under structures with this system, which uses a rigid permanent barrier to protect buildings.
Contact Catseye for a Free Inspection
For maximum effectiveness, every removal plan and exclusion system should be customized to the home or business being protected.
The experts at Catseye will walk through the property and make a full assessment before creating a treatment plan that is tailored to meet the needs of the exact situation.
Contact us today for a free inspection to not only resolve the problem, but also to protect the property from future invasions.
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