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The Grey Squirrel
The most humane form of squirrel control is, and will always remain exclusion. If squirrels cannot enter a property, they cannot inflict damage within it.
Why Are Grey Squirrels A Problem?
Grey Squirrels (tree rats) are regular features of many modern urban areas, and numbers are rising. The grey squirrel is an invasive, verminous pest that has thrived since being introduction to the UK during the 1800s.
For many, the Grey Squirrel is just a fleeting, flash of grey outside their home and office windows, but for others, the story is very different.
For years, a trend to feed birds and support urban wildlife has proved beneficial to squirrels. Grey Squirrels now find themselves at the forefront of an increasing toll, on open nesting birds and residential property.
Grey Squirrels are a common feature of modern urban areas and their populations continue to steadily rise. For many, the Grey Squirrel is nothing more than a fleeting, flash of grey outside home and office windows. For others, the story couldn't be more different.
Grey Squirrels feed on a wide variety of resources that include bird eggs and fledgelings. Studies reported by the BBC on The impact of grey Squirrels, reveals how grey squirrels are having a negative impact on some bird species.
The report does balance this by saying bird numbers were able to recover.
In many areas, squirrel populations are kept artificially high by people who leave food out for them. In these areas the likelihood of recovery in the affected bird species may prove to be grim.
Damage Squirrels Cause To Property
Grey Squirrels are masters of climbing and entry. They easily climb textured surfaces and scale most buildings. Once on the roof they exploit critical points of weakness and enter.
These include gaps around dormer windows, rotten fascia and soffit boards, missing roof tiles and entry points under roof tiles.
Once inside, the damage caused by these pests varies from a small to severe.
Loft insulation gets shredded, electrical and fibre optic cables, lead pipes and plastic pipes are all gnawed through. It's little wonder we encounter more potential and alleged fire incidents caused by squirrels than any other UK pest.
Yes, we do, have customers who have had fires as a result of grey squirrels chewing through cables - It's Not An Urban Myth!!
Methods of Grey Squirrel Control
Rodent Proofing is the first line of defence against Grey Squirrels. Many people try in vain to exclude grey squirrels because they think the squirrels are stupid. Squirrels are actually smarter than most people realise.
A recent study showed how grey squirrels had a memory of at least two years. Improved memory makes helps grey squirrels thrive in urban environments because it improves resilience and resourcefulness.
Grey squirrels often find clever ways around poorly installed proofing measures. Squirrels often resort to a bevvy acrobatics to secure both food and shelter. Well applied physical barriers such as concrete, cement and steel mesh offer a robust defence.
We see lots of DIY proofing gone wrong and our customers are delighted when we show and explain how to do it effectively. We regularly work alongside roofers and other trades to ensure it's done correctly.
Another critical measure is removing any overhanging branches or shrubbery and ivy resting against or on the roof.
Ideally, you should have at least 1-meter clearance between the property and any shrubs and trees etc. Climbing plants are another major issue and sometimes requires complete removal.
Trapping needs to be carried out with an approved trap. If cage traps are involved, it is illegal for professional pest control operators to release squirrels. Trapped squirrels must be humanely dispatched - usually with air weapons.
We commonly hear customers tell us that they drown the squirrels in the water butt or pond. Drowning is an illegal method of dispatch.
We rarely use cage traps because of the suffering and distress that is often caused by them. People try to dispatch with air pistols that are utterly inappropriate for this task, due to the low velocity.
It can take 20 or more shots to kill a grey squirrel with an air-pistol in the hands of an amateur.
Fenn traps and Kania traps are by far the most effective method of dispatch in many situations. Traps of this size can easily brake hands, deglove fingers and shatter bones. Amateurs beware!
There are some excellent alternatives, but professional preferences rage as to which is best and which is the most humane.
Poisoning squirrels is not as simple as it might sound. For a start, we only have one poison we are allowed to use on Grey Squirrels in the UK, and this is just available to professionals.
The professional squirrel bait is not nut based because nuts contain Vitamin K, the antidote to the Warfarin based poison.
Poisons can be beneficial in eliminating squirrels, but leave you with a relatively large animal rotting and stinking in your property, that you might not be able to find.
Squirrels rotting in your loft in the middle of winter will leave your home smelling foul for months. The best time to use this kind of poison is in the warmer months. An abundance flies and other insects will also be more available to consume the carcass.
Question: What other Ways Can Your Bristol Pest Control Service Help Me?
The Bristol Rat Company helps qualified electricians inspect and test your entire electrical system for faults and damage caused by rodent activity.
We can also update older style electrical systems. Our aim is to reducing fire risks and the dangers of electrical accidents. Accidents are caused by electrocution from wires stripped bare by rats, squirrels and mice.
Damaged pipes, including underfloor heating systems are a significant hazard to both your properties structural integrity and electrical injury. We have qualified Plumbers that will quickly inspect and if required, replace or repair damaged pipes and equipment.
Drain Repairs and Digital Camera Inspections
Very often the rodent problems we see in Bristol are a result of rats getting into property through damaged, faulty or badly designed sewer systems.
Very often the rodent problems we see in Bristol are a result of rats getting into the property through damaged, faulty or wrongly designed sewer systems.
When required we have the facilities and expertise to carry out a full inspection of both the sewer system and the property's drainage.
Where damage is found, we can carry out remediation work to protect the property.
Loft Insulation Treatments
Insulation is one of the most significant areas of contamination risk and is regularly overlooked. Rodents nest and live between layers, depositing vast quantities of droppings, urine and nesting material infested with insect pests.
We can undertake a highly efficient decontamination process. Insulation is quickly and effectively replaced. Surrounding surfaces are then disinfected with a sophisticated product that kills, viruses, bacteria and many other types of microorganism.
We also use the Bristol Pest Control Services of WaspKill UK, who are experts in insect control. WaspKill UK quickly handle the fumigation of properties affected by flea, bedbug and lice infestations.
We have healthcare trained operatives, formally qualified in infection control to decontaminate an infested or contaminated environment. We understand infection control and how to achieve an intensive clean more than many other organisations.
Our head of infection control operations has fifteen years experience in clinical healthcare services as well as many years experience in the pest control industry - in short we are the best at what we do.
Bristol Squirrel Proofing
Proofing is where we put in place effective barriers preventing rodents from accessing property or sensitive areas. We have experience in sealing cavity walls, cellars, attics, store rooms, kitchens and the list goes on. If you have rodents and don't want them getting in - then we have the expertise to help.