If you require further advice on controlling pests,
particularly buying or using a
squirrel trap, after reading this
article, Owen can be contacted using any of the methods below:
Internet Site: www.greenpestco.com
Telephone: 01729 830133
Pest Control expert Owen W of The
GREEN PEST CONTROL Co
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Watching a grey squirrel (Sciurus
caroliniensis) eating the nuts in the "squirrel proof" bird feeder
got me thinking about these acrobatic rodents, I was amazed when
it lifted a cage to get at the food.
Needless to say the proofing
cage has now been removed, if the tree rat is so keen to get at my
nuts let him, so to speak!
It is now December and raining hard with a strong northerly blowing,
with every gust of wind the feeder on the pole sways at an alarming
angle, I keep waiting for the squirrel to fall off, but no, it seems
glued to the thin post.
Rat Squirrel News
Half rat, half squirrel, has a new pest been discovered in the
jungle of Laos? Click above to find out.
There seems to be more squirrels about now than ever before, I have
always enjoyed watching wildlife and can remember telling my Dad when I
was a lad that I had seen a squirrel. Perhaps conditions are getting
better, in the 60s and 70s we did not have so many bird feeders we fed
the birds stale bread on an old home made bird table and that was it,
and the birds had to like it or lump it! Now we have all manner of bird
feeders hanging from every tree in every suburban garden. By the way
this is a major cause of rat infestation in gardens, I get at least 10
calls a week about rats in gardens, my first comment is to remove the
bird feeder for a couple of months.
All the items in red
mentioned in this article are available at the
Green Pest Control Company website.
Owen has tried each of them personally and they work.
The prices on the website are the price you pay - there is no
If you order by phone or e-mail, quote GARDENACTION and you will
The grey squirrel was brought in to this country to Woburn Abbey in
1867, what a success story. As with the brown rat and rabbit, if they
are not indigenous to our country they seem to thrive, perhaps there is
a lesson to be learnt.
Squirrels breed twice a year in January/February and mid summer, they
have litters that average 3 young which are variously known as kits,
kittens, pups it all depends on where you live. I like to call them
pups. The pups are born in a dray, which contrary to popular belief is
not a collective noun for a group of squirrels. I don�t know what is, as
you very rarely see a group of squirrels, as they are a solitary animal
except when mating so I suppose there is no need for a collective noun?
The main diet of the greys is seeds and berries but they will
occasionally eat vegetation especially in spring. They will also
take the occasional bird�s egg or small chick, but they are not
classed as a threat to our song bird population.
Although they do not hibernate there are days when we don�t see them,
if the weather is cold, snowy or wet they tend to stay curled up in a
fork between branches keeping warm. Don�t worry, as soon as it warms up
a bit they will be back. Because they are rodents they have to gnaw
continually or their teeth would become pointed which would prevent them
from eating and they would starve to death, hence the damage to the bark
on some trees, although rabbits do more damage to young trees than
squirrels, but that�s another story.
There are various reasons the greys need to be controlled. As we all
know they have been attributed with the rapid decline in the native Red.
There are a few places where we can still see Red�s, the nearest for me
in Yorkshire is Kilnsey Park in the shadow of the famous Kilnsey crag in
what I think is one of the nicest parts of the Dales, but being from
Skipton, I would!
There are approximately 160,000 red squirrels in the UK and only
about 28,000 in England but this number is falling rapidly. The deadly
Parapox virus is the main killer with the reds, when they contract this
virus it prevents them from digesting hazel nuts, one of the main food
sources for the lovely red, and it�s the greys that spread it!
We must do all we can to protect our indigenous squirrel species.
When we consider the control of squirrels we should first think if
the damage they are doing is so serious that they need to be controlled.
They can and do remove bulbs from the garden and as I said they have no
problem eating the nuts in a bird feeder, but can we put up with it?
There are various methods of control available to the amateur, but
poisoning is not one of them, this is restricted to the professional
pest controller. I can, if I want to, use liquid concentrate containing
Warfarin baited whole wheat grain. This can only be used between mid
March and mid August and the bait must be in a hopper designed for the
purpose, there are other regulations that apply that I won't bore you
The most popular method of control squirrel control
available to the professional and amateur alike is the live catch
trap, I use these almost daily with fantastic results.
Please make sure the trap you use is big enough to trap the Squirrel
without trapping the tail. A lot of the cheaper traps are, in my
opinion, far too short in length. Remember the caught animal has to
be disposed of humanly, and the traps have to be inspected every 24
hours, I inspect mine every 12 hours and can get rid of 2 a day.
When I sell traps I always ensure the person appreciates that the
squirrel is a fierce animal when captured and a pair of stout gloves
should be worn at all times when handling a trap with a caught squirrel.
Always be aware that you could also capture non target species, I have
had all manner of animal from young badger to old mink so take care !
Squirrel and mink trap
There are also
sonic methods of control, these days this method
works very well. The devices in days past were rather hit and miss to
say the least but I have been testing one for the past 3 months in 3
different properties and found them to work very well.
I recently got called to a house that had a squirrel in the loft, the
first the occupants knew about it was when there was a trickle, then a
torrent of water coming into the living room, yes you guessed it, the
squirrel had chewed through the water pipes in the loft.
Although people say loud noise will get them out of a house I have
not found that to be the case. Another method I have seen has been moth
balls, they DON�T work. I put a live catch trap in there and took a
squirrel out, but low and behold 3 weeks later we had another in the
same loft, luckily this one was seen entering so we got it before it
could be the reason for another insurance claim.
When you find a squirrel in your loft get rid of it as soon as
possible, don�t wait, it will not leave a nice warm billet on its own
accord it will need help. Lofts can be squirrel proof but make sure you
have got rid of it first; there is nothing worse than a trapped rodent
in a confined space!
These are the only methods I would suggest for the amateur user,
there are kill traps available but these need to be in false tunnels to
comply with various regulations to do with non target species and I
would respectfully suggest this be carried out by a professional.
When you use the live catch trap outside make sure the neighbours
don�t mind, a few people take exception to trapping any animal and
damage the traps.
18" in length including tail
1-1.5 lbs in weight
Seeds and berries main food source
2-4 young per litter twice a year
Tan colour with white belly
Females live between 4-6 years
Males live between 2-3 years
Up to 7 per acre if conditions are right.
Article Written by:
Pest Control expert Owen W of The
GREEN PEST CONTROL Co
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