Flying Squirrel in the Attic of Richmond Homes

Critter Control of Richmond has trained professionals that can safely and humanely remove flying squirrels from your home. We thoroughly inspect your home to detrmine points of entry and can seal holes and repair damage. We have the necessary training and experience to get rid of flying squirrels in the attic, flying squirrel removal, flying squirrels in walls, flying squirrel control of richmond homes.

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SOUTHERN FLYING SQUIRREL

 

Introduction

            Many people are surprised to find they have flying squirrels.  Flying squirrels are small, secretive, and only come out at night, so most people never see them.  They are, however, very common in many area neighborhoods.

Biology and Habits

            Southern flying squirrels are nocturnal (active at night), average 5-6 inches long (about the size of a chipmunk) and weigh 1.5-2.5 ounces.  They do not truly fly, but flaps of skin stretched from their front legs to their back legs allow them to convert their bodies into efficient gliders, capable of covering 50-60 feet in one “flight”.

            Flying squirrels feed on a great variety of seeds, nuts and fruits, plus the occasional bird egg or mushroom.  They hide piles of seeds and nuts in their dens.  They usually breed in February and again in mid-Summer.  Gestation is about 40 days, after which 2-6 young are born.

            While flying squirrels occasionally build open nests in trees, they prefer to live in cavities such as hollow trees, woodpecker holes, birdhouses, and attics.  During the winter months, adults will gather together in communal dens, commonly with 4-8 per den, but sometimes a dozen or more.  Flying squirrels do not hibernate, so are active all year.

           

Damage and Hazards

            Flying squirrels are fond of using attics for dens, especially in winter.  Due to their small size, they may also get down into the walls, especially around brick chimneys.  The biggest problem with flying squirrels is all the noise they make with their scampering and gnawing.  Unfortunately, they are most active in the middle of the night, when most people would like to sleep.  Since they are rodents, they may damage wiring, insulation, and stored items in the attic with their gnawing; however, they are not nearly as destructive as larger rodents such as gray squirrels and rats.  Their small size sometimes allows them to slip past attic doors or through small openings in walls and end up inside the house, although this is fairly uncommon.

Control

            We have found that the most effective method, in most cases, is a combination of exclusion and trapping.  First, all of the possible entry points are closed, except the hole(s) actively in use.  All gaps and holes ½ inch or larger should be covered.  All attic vents should be rescreened with steel mesh since flying squirrels readily chew through the thin screen standard on these vents.  Traps are then secured over the active hole(s).  When the flying squirrels exit for their nightly foraging trips, they are caught.  It may take several nights for all of the flying squirrels to be captured.  This method is not practical in all cases, and at times it is necessary to trap the flying squirrels by placing traps inside the attic. 

            It is illegal to put out poison specifically for flying squirrels, and that seldom works anyway.  Repellants such as mothballs or ultrasonic devices seldom work.  Trimming trees back from the house is not effective since flying squirrels can glide long distances.  Due to their small size they occasionally enter small holes we are unable to find.  Since they are rodents, they occasionally chew new holes to re-enter a previously occupied building.

 

Critter Control of Richmond provides service to the following cities:

Ashland | Chester | Chesterfield | Colonial Heights | Glen Allen | Henrico

Highland Springs | Hopewell | Manakin Sabot | Mechanicsville | Midlothian

Moseley | Petersburg  | Powhatan | Richmond | Sandston | Varina 

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