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What are the Symptoms of Flying Squirrels In a House
A colony of flying squirrels may contain as many as 20 creatures, all looking for food to eat and things to chew on in order to keep their teeth from overgrowing.
If this colony of flying squirrels happens to have taken up residence in your attic, you can imagine that you are going to have quite a problem on your hands. Flying squirrels can cause vast amounts of damage to your home –
they will chew their way in and continue chewing the whole time they are there, they will chew wiring, wood, furniture, floors, doors, windows etc etc. They may well chew their way from the attic into the ceiling space below!
They also have a unique odor that quickly permeates the attic and home, as they use the attic as a latrine.
If you have a colony of flying squirrels resident in your home, you have no time for sentiment or feelings of guilt – you must get them out as quickly as possible before they cause huge amounts of damage to your home.
The only sure-fire way of removing flying squirrels is by trapping them and removing them – or killing them if your local state regulations allow. Trapping does take time and patience, you must be sure to get the whole
colony out, and once you have done that take some time to seal your home – every nook and cranny, every hole and gap – in order to prevent the flying squirrels coming back.
Important Steps to Take
The first and probably the most important thing to do is to cut out as much of their food supply as possible. Food supplies for flying squirrels include waste materials and pet food as well. Garbage cans are an excellent way for squirrels to get their food; therefore, if you are using garbage cans outside the home be sure they are metal cans with lids that cannot be easily opened or chewed through by the flying squirrels. If you have the ability to place the garbage cans in a secured area, this would be a better choice. Removing the bird feeders for the time being is also a good option as you cannot stop the access by using squirrel baffles.
Cutting of the branches of trees around the house also helps as it will restrict their flight to some extent. Try to block their entry in the house through various openings by closing them temporarily. Once they are trapped, you can open these again. There are also sticky materials available in the market that can be applied to various surfaces used by flying squirrels to climb. This sticky material does not allow them to crawl up easily.
Naphthalene or moth balls are sometimes used as repellents to try to drive away flying squirrels from the home. However, repeated field testing has shown that no repellents work to keep out or drive away Flying Squirrels. People try to look for the possible opening used by them to enter or exit the house and place moth balls on all of these
excluding one. The one area left opened would be their way to escape and move out of your home. People also put the moth balls in and around the area where they are residing such as the attic. I've been to attics loaded with cancer-causing
mothballs, but the squirrels don't care in the slightest. However, people can get sick, headaches or even cancer from too much mothball exposure.
Also, there are a number of taste repellents available in the market which can be sprayed on the plants, trees, fruits, fences and poles. According to the advertisements, these repellents will discourage the squirrels by making your vegetation taste ‘wrong’ to them and they will look elsewhere for food.
While repellents sound like a good idea, they really are not all that effective in actually getting rid of flying squirrels. The majority of the repellents on the market will not work as they claim and will usually just end up costing you money and time. Repellents can also have the undesired effects on your plants and pets and could even end up attracting other types of animals that are not repelled by the squirrel repellents.
Trapping Flying Squirrels
Trapping the flying squirrels is easily the best way to get rid of them. However, trapping them is by no means an easy task and getting an expert to do the job is always the better option. There are a number of cage options
in the market that you can find. Remember to buy one that has small mesh so that the squirrels will not be able to escape. Squirrels can be ‘squirrely’ which means you might want to start by placing the ‘bait’ somewhere near
the trap and keep moving it closer each day until you are able to put the bait inside the trap to lure the squirrel into believing it is safe. Close and secure the openings
once they are gone.
Commercial live traps and repeater traps can both be used to catch the flying squirrels. Commercial traps can hold only one squirrel while repeater traps can catch more than one. You would need to carefully observe the path they follow and find out all the entry and exit points from the house. Once you’ve figured out their paths, place the traps strategically in order to catch them. An important thing to note here is that if the traps are placed at the wrong places, you would never be able to catch a flying squirrel. This is where a professional help might be useful as it can increase the chances of catching one many fold.