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POOLE DORSET-SQUIRREL CONTROLGrey Squirrels were originally introduced from America during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and since then have spread widely and today they are a well-known feature of parks, gardens and woodland especially in Poole, Bournemouth and surrounding areas, producing different reactions amongst the general public and while many people enjoy seeing and feeding them, others see them as nothing more than tree rats. They are certainly very entertaining by their very nature of being extremely agile, but they remain a serious pest, not only to forestry but to homes and buildings too, causing considerable damage each year, especially to young trees.

They can become a nuisance very quickly with their bold and inquisitive nature, raiding bird tables and then digging holes to hide the food they have stolen or even digging up bulbs out of planters or borders. A More serious problem is when they find their way into lofts or roof spaces either by climbing a building or leaping across from a nearby tree or foliage, then they can be very destructive, removing or displacing roof tiles, chewing holes in fascias or soffits and even removing air vents and once inside, chewing the timbers and ripping up insulation to use as nest material. They can also strip electric cables which in turn could be a major fire risk. Pipework can fall victim to gnawing causing water damage and they also make a mess very quickly with their droppings and smell. It is not uncommon to find mice living alongside squirrels in a property, taking advantage of food brought in by squirrels.     Grey Squirrel 2

The Grey Squirrel is active during daylight hours, especially at dawn and at dusk and due to its size, it can be quite disturbing for any householder to be awoken by intense activity inside their properties at early or late hours of the day!

The diet consists of fruit, nuts, fungi, eggs and even young birds. They will normally breed twice a year, spring and late summer are favourite, when three or four young are produced and these will be able to breed after a year and the nest is called a drey and is usually constructed from twigs or sticks and lined with dry grass, moss, or feathers and can be found either in the hollow of a tree or high up in the top foliage in the forks of branches, sometimes old birds nests can be utilised and several dreys can be constructed by one individual squirrel. It is when a loft space is selected that problems arise.

Being a rodent means that a squirrels teeth, like other rodents (rats and mice), are continually growing so constant gnawing is required to keep this in check. Because of this any holes that are blocked up in a property must be able to withstand an attack from a determine squirrel! Any overhanging trees or branches should be cut back to stop easy access. If you are unable to prevent them entering your property then other means will have to be employed. This can involve culling or live trapping and in the latter case the animal cannot be released, (by law) and would have to be humanely destroyed. All these methods would be governed by local conditions and suitability and if there were any native red squirrels in the area, then further limitations would apply. Any property can be vulnerable, not just those that back onto parks or forests like West Moors, Poole, Ferndown or Ringwood. Even areas that do not boast large numbers of trees are at risk ie. Winton and Boscombe as squirrels are very quick to adapt to the local geography if a food source exists.

As grey squirrels seem to have been able to dominate the red squirrels, many areas now lack the native red but it may well be that by a twist of fate, nature is getting revenge! Black squirrels are gaining a bigger foothold in the UK and already can be seen from Hertfordshire to Cambridgeshire and even small pockets further south and in Wales. The black squirrel may well have the same effect on the grey squirrel, as the grey has had on the red.GREY SQUIRREL

Squirrel Facts

Latin Name: Sciurius carolinensis

Active all year – They do not hibernate.

They will bite if provoked or cornered or defending young.

They can pass on fleas or ticks to domestic pets.

Young squirrels are called kittens and are born without teeth or hair.

The male and female are called a buck and doe.

They moult twice a year

They can live between 5-7 years.

They can swim.

They will look for new homes all year round but hot spots are December and early summer.

Bird feeders provide an easy meal and they may end up staying.

Squirrels are very agile and can easily negotiate cables and wires.

Common access points include: fascias, soffits, roof tiles, chimneys, vents, ducting, airbricks.

Mice are often found living in lofts with squirrels. (attracted by food bought in)

If you have  a problem with Ants, Rats, Mice, Squirrels, Birds, Moles, Rabbits, Wasps or you need help with pest prevention or have a pest control problem in and around Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Ringwood, Verwood or any BH postcode area call no-nonsense pest control :

01202 523469 or 07708 944620

or  e-mail    nononsensepestcontrol@yahoo.co.uk