So whatís the problem?
Many people derive great pleasure from urban wildlife and actively encourage them. However, not everyone shares that view, and sometimes squirrels can pose problems, especially if they take up residence in your house.
Squirrels in the loft?
When squirrels enter a loft space, they can cause structural damage by tearing up loft insulation for bedding, chewing timbers, pipework and stored items, and posing a fire hazard by stripping insulation from electrical wiring. They may also be noisy, and if they drown in uncovered water storage tanks, may contaminate the water supply. For these reasons, it is important to keep squirrels out of lofts.
If the squirrels have already gained entry, it is essential to ensure there are no squirrels remaining in the loft before access is blocked. Not only is it cruel to trap them (and illegal to cause suffering to a captive animal), they may do additional damage in their attempt to escape or in a motherís attempt to rescue her young. The decomposition of any squirrels that die may also cause smell and insect infestation. Squirrels can attack when frightened or to defend their young, so take care and make noise to frighten any squirrel out of the loft before you enter.
If young are present, they should be left until they are old enough to leave the nest, and repair work carried out when the family is out foraging.
Problems in the garden
Problems in the garden are more annoying than dangerous. Many squirrel proof feeders are sold to prevent them from raiding the bird feeder, and some bird seed supplements contain pepper additives that are distasteful to squirrels, and harmless to both. Other products based upon the smell deterrence principle are also available.
Bulbs can be protected with wire mesh or an inverted wire basket firmly staked to the ground. The plants can grow up through the mesh but canít be unearthed. (This method works well if you have cats digging up your garden too.)
Lethal control of squirrels is permitted but should only be carried out by qualified professional pest control officers. The use of poisons is strictly regulated for use by professionals only and should never be undertaken by members of the public.