The grey squirrel is becoming more common in Northern Ireland. Its natural home is the oak, hickory and walnut forests of Eastern and North America where its numbers are controlled by owls, foxes and bobcats. It feeds on seeds and nuts (approximately 80g a day) and also eggs, young birds and insects. Two litters are produced each year in early spring and summer. There are up to seven in a litter, but usually only three or four survive.
A problem in your house?
The grey squirrel can become a pest if it comes into your home.Squirrels can gain access by swinging from nearby trees, or climbing up foliage growing up the side of the house. They often come into the loft space through holes in the soffit boards. and can cause damage by gnawing electrical cables. It is advisable therefore to cut back all trees and foliage close to your house and repair any holes in the soffit. Do wait however until the squirrels have gone outside to feed before blocking any holes.
It is advisable to repair these holes by nailing a piece of tin over the hole, a biscuit tin lid can often be utilised as the squirrels cannot gnaw through this. It may be necessary to employ the services of a builder to carry out these works.
Never poison squirrels in your loft space as they die and cause problems with smells and attract blowflies.
Do not put out bird food or scraps close to your house as this encourages the squirrels to come into your property.
Although we do not provide a pest control service for this animal, contact us if you require more advice.