They Might be Cute, but Flying Squirrels can Cause a lot of Damage
Even though their title suggests otherwise, flying squirrels don’t actually fly; they glide using the parachute-like membrane that stretches from their waist to their ankles. Flying squirrels are also smaller than other types of squirrels, the critter is almost the same size as a chipmunk.
But they’re not just cute-looking and gravity-defying. They also potentially carry some baggage.
Flying squirrels are inquisitive and playful by nature. The wildlife critter is very social and tends to live in colonies. So, if you have spotted one, it’s likely that there are more.
In addition to spreading diseases, they can be a nuisance for your home or business, causing a substantial amount of damage in a variety of ways.
There are two different types of flying squirrels: northern flying squirrels and southern flying squirrels.
The northern flying squirrel mates in late winter, while the southern flying squirrel mates in early spring.
These time periods are important because the critters will be searching for a safe space to keep warm and raise their young.
Like other pests and wildlife, flying squirrels will find homes, businesses, and other structures appealing.
Damage Caused by Flying Squirrels
Most frequently, flying squirrels enter homes and businesses in search of warmth, a safe place to raise their young, and in search of a source of food.
Flying squirrels will enter through attics and crawl spaces, using preexisting cracks as a means to create a larger access point. Using their teeth, they gnaw on wires, damage insulation, roof intersections, gaps in fascia/soffit, roof ridge vents, and chimney flashing.
If they’re gaining entry through a wall, there is an extreme likelihood that this nuisance pest has made a large hole in your home’s siding. Not only does this create easier access points, it also causes severe monetary damages.
Once they are inside, they leave behind urine and fecal matter, in addition to spreading unpleasant odors. Much like other woodland creatures, flying squirrels can carry and spread diseases to humans. Most commonly, they can carry mange, a disease which can cause an animal’s healthy fur to fall out. While it’s less common, flying squirrels can also carry rabies.
Signs of a Flying Squirrel Infestation
Aside from actual sightings, there are a few ways to know if your home or business has an infestation of flying squirrels.
Scratching Noises & Chirping
Scratching noises, particularly at night (flying squirrels are nocturnal), and soft chirp-like sounds could mean your attic has been turned into a home for the rodent’s colony.
If you have found, or heard, one flying squirrel, it’s likely that you will have more. They tend to live in large groups, sometimes in the dozens!
Flying squirrels can sometimes seem quiet. So quiet you might not be aware of an infestation, unless you notice a few signs around your home or business.
Track Marks, Droppings & Urine Stains
Additional evidence may include droppings, stains from urine, and track marks from their feet.
Their droppings can be easy to spot, if you know what to look for. They are pellet-shaped and are left in piles, as opposed to other pests that may only leave a few behind.
These pellet-shaped droppings will often clump together as their droppings and urine mix together.
Preventing Flying Squirrels from Taking Over
Like many rodents, flying squirrels will hang around if there is a supply of food available to them.
If you suspect you have an infestation, or you have spotted the rodent, you should remove something they would consider a source of food.
Bird feeders, for example, are a big culprit when it comes to feeding flying squirrels. Consider removing the feeders, especially if they are prone to spilling seeds. Installing a fence, or protective border, around your garden can prevent them from feasting on your foliage and will encourage them to seek shelter elsewhere.
It is also beneficial to keep tree branches trimmed back from your roofline as this can make it more difficult for them to access your attic.
Removing nut-producing trees and moving bird feeders away from the home, business, or other structures can help keep flying squirrels away.
The best way to prevent an infestation of flying squirrels from taking over your attic is to leave it in the hands of a pest management professional. They have the knowledge and equipment necessary to address the situation.
Sealing possible entry points through exclusion systems is an ideal and permanent solution to keep flying squirrels out of your home or business.
Providing expertise allows them to identify the root of the issue and the best course of action so that the issue can be resolved. For a thorough inspection, and to protect your home from future invasions, contact our experts.