The grey squirrel was first introduced to this country from the USA in 1870's. It is now very common throughout Britain and research has shown that since its introduction our native red squirrel numbers have declined so much that within 20 years they could be extinct on mainland Britain. Three quarters of the estimated population of 145,000 red squirrels live in Scotland.
What do they look like?
The winter coat is grey above with white underside; the summer coat is shorter, sleeker and brownish grey above. It is more heavily built than our native red squirrel.
And is seen more often foraging on the ground. Droppings vary in shape and colour depending on diet, though they are usually spherical or elongated similar to those of rats.
Where do they live?
In their natural habitat grey squirrels build nests or dreys in the forks of trees or in hollow trunks. In urban areas they will enter roof spaces by climbing walls or jumping from nearby trees.
What do they eat?
They eat a wide range of items from nuts, fruit buds and shoots to fungi, birds' eggs and nestlings. In suburban gardens much of their diet comes from food put out for birds or deliberately put out for squirrels.
If they get into our property they can cause serious damage. They chew woodwork and ceilings, strip the insulation from electrical wiring, tear up fibreglass insulation to form nests and sometimes drown in cold water tanks.
The noise they make, particularly at night, scratching and running about can be very disturbing.
They cause environmental damage, stripping bark off trees, causing young trees to die, eat strawberries, apples and plums and can destroy many garden plants with their activities.
Don't feed or encourage squirrels into your garden. If you put out food for the birds, use squirrel-proof feeders. Do not put food on the ground, as this may attract other pests such as rats.
Keep our home in a good state of repair so that squirrels cannot gain access. Repair gaps at eaves and any slates or roof tiles that are broken. Make sure all air vent covers are intact.
If you have them already in your loft then you really need to call HERDpestcontrol ASAP. Delaying treatment could be expensive and dangerous.