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Wildlife Education - A Directory of Qualified Flying Squirrel Removal Professionals

How to Get Rid of Flying Squirrels in the Attic of a House



It is my goal to educate the public about flying squirrels and other wildlife, and provide tips for safe, effective, and responsible wildlife removal.

HUMANE HINTS: In some cases, you don't need to remove flying squirrels at all - just leave them alone! Use one-way exclusion funnels instead of traps, in order to get them out of your house or attic. NEVER attempt to poison flying squirrels. Read below for how-to hints.

Summary of Step-By-Step Instructions:
1) Identify the areas flying squirrels are using to get into and out of the building. This will require a very detailed inspection on a ladder - examine all parts of the roof and house.
2) The best bet is to mount either an exclusion device or repeater trap on the exit hole. Traps, either cage or lethal traps, set inside the attic can work, but aren't as effective.
3) Once all the squirrels are out, remove the exclusion door, and seal the primary hole.
4) Clean and decontaminate the attic if they have left behind a lot of droppings, urine, and odor.

If you need help, click my Nationwide List of Flying Squirrel Removal Experts for a pro near you.

How to Get Rid of Flying Squirrels - The flying squirrel is one of the easiest squirrels to identify and one of the hardest to get rid of. While it is thought that the flying squirrels only exist in exotic locations, they are actually quite common in North America. You can identify them by their extremely small stature (about twice as small as the Gray Squirrel), large eyes and the extra flaps of skin that extend from their wrist to their ankle which gives them the ability to glide from one height to another. However, flying squirrels don’t actually fly, they can glide short distances on the wind, but they cannot fly as bats are the only mammals that have the ability to fly.

Flying squirrels, while entertaining and adorable, are capable of considerable amounts of damage to your home and to your yard. In the yard, flying squirrels have been known to strip a tree of all its bark, dig holes in your lawn and terrorize your bird feeders and gardens. If flying squirrels should get into your home, they can chew on your electrical wires, gnaw on your wood, destroy your insulation and possibly even start a fire in your attic. Not only can flying squirrels cause damage but they pose a biohazard to you, your family and your pets. Flying squirrels often have diseases such as rabies and typhus, and their droppings and urine can cause respiratory problems.

If you have a flying squirrel problem, you probably want to know how to get rid of them. Here are a few suggestions:
  • The easiest way to get rid of your flying squirrel problem is to call a wildlife control operator (not an exterminator). This is not the cheapest route to go, but it will save you the hassle of having to catch them and relocate them. Many of these services will also decontaminate your attics and walls where they were living and replace the insulation.
  • If you decide to deal with the problem yourself, preventing a flying squirrel infestation is the easiest way to resolve the problem. Some ways that you can prevent an infestation is to make sure all the trees around your house are trimmed so that they cannot glide from them onto your roof. Another thing that you can do is to check for any holes, entryways or vents and close them before the squirrels get into them. Chimneys are also a favorite entry point for these critters and you can make this harder to get in for the flying squirrels by putting a chimney cap on it. Information about how to keep flying squirrels away - prevention techniques.
  • If you already have flying squirrels inside your home, it is going to be much more difficult to rid your house and yard of them. The first thing that you have to do is to trap them. There are many different types of live traps that you can buy that will safely and effectively trap them if you bait them with their favorite foods such as fruits, nuts and vegetables. Once you have trapped them, you can then relocate them no less than 25 miles away from your house to discourage them from returning. Information about flying squirrel trapping - analysis and methods for how to trap, types of traps, bait and techniques.
  • It’s important that you keep your yard clear of any food that the flying squirrels will be attracted to. Clean up any fallen fruit, nuts or vegetables that fall on your lawn and invest in a good fence to protect your garden. Make sure that your garbage cans are secure and do not keep your pet’s food outside.
While these methods are not going to keep away the flying squirrels indefinitely, they are just some small steps that you can take to discourage them from coming to your house.

More in-detail how-to flying squirrel removal articles:
Information about how to kill a flying squirrel - with poison or other methods.
Information about how to catch a flying squirrel - remove one stuck in the house.
Information about flying squirrel repellent - analysis of types and effectiveness.

Flying Squirrel Information & Facts

Flying Squirrel Appearance: Smaller than a gray squirrel, though similar in color, the flying squirrel is approximately twelve inches long from head to end of tail, with almost half of that body length consisting of the tail itself. With a brown to gray coat and white underbelly, these animals have an excess of skin between the front and back limbs. This dual flap provides the squirrel with the gliding ability it is named for. Flying squirrels have sparsely covered tails. Large eyes are characteristic of the species. The size of the orbital cavity on this animal is due to the nocturnal adaption of night vision. The lack of tail bulk is also an adaptation, but one that is geared toward aerodynamics.

Flying Squirrel Habitat and Behavior: Like most squirrels, vertical surfaces for climbing are a must. Because of this, most flying squirrels live in or next to wooded areas. Flying squirrels have been known to take over attics and sheds. This species can be communal and, if so, will often live in groups of up to fifteen other adults. Flying squirrels make as many as three different types of nests, each one geared to a specific purpose. Natal nests are created for raising young, and are often built in a safe tree hollow or household eve. When born, infant squirrels are hairless and will remain with the parents until three months of age. Solitary nests are notable smaller than natal nests but are built in the same areas and in the same fashion. Flying squirrels that choose to live in groups create aggregate nests. Communities of flying squirrels generally have a communal bathroom site as well, one of the reasons they can be a nuisance to homeowners. Of all the squirrel species, flying squirrels are the least destructive, gathering nesting materials instead of creating them from insulation or dwelling infrastructure. This species of squirrel is considered relatively docile, with accounts of safe human handling even in the wild.

Flying squirrels do not really fly. Instead of deliberate flexion of the limbs in a controlled pattern like birds, flying squirrels launch themselves from a high point and utilize their extra skin between front and back limbs to create a decreased rate of drop. This action is considered a glide and not a true form of flying, though with proper updrafts, a gliding squirrel can be carried up to two hundred feet away.

Flying Squirrel Diet: Flying squirrels are less particular about their diets than other squirrel species. Consuming seeds, nuts, lichen, buds, fungi, and tree sap, these animals will also eat a variety of slugs and snails, insects, and are willing bird nest raiders.

Flying Squirrel Nuisance Issues: Because they are mostly nocturnal, flying squirrels tend to irritate homeowners when they take up residence in an attic. Not only are these squirrels loud—they often live in large groups—but they also create significant damage when their selected waste area begins to seep into walls and insulation. Most homeowners notice an issue when brown stains begin to appear on the ceiling. Like any other squirrel, flying squirrels will also chew wires and insulation, though this occurrence is less severe than with that of other species. Flying squirrels will be opportunistic when it comes to bird feeders and gardens, though due to their nocturnal habits, homeowners are unlikely to know it was a flying squirrel and not a regular squirrel raiding the bird seed.

Flying Squirrel Diseases: Currently, there is only one major disease associated with flying squirrels. A form of typhus, a disease spread by contact through infected lice, is often carried by these squirrels. Typhus is a potentially serious illness characterized by flu-like symptoms with later complications if left untreated. This disease can also remain asymptomatic for years before reoccurring in more severity. While flying squirrels can get rabies, there have been very few documented cases of the virus in this species. Like all wild mammals, flying squirrels are host to a number of external parasites that can pass secondary infections to people.

You're here to learn how to get rid of flying squirrels in the attic of a house. This site is intended to provide flying squirrel education and information, so that you can make an informed decision if you need to deal with a flying squirrel problem. This site provides many flying squirrel control articles and strategies, if you wish to attempt to solve the problem yourself. If you are unable to do so, which is likely with many cases of flying squirrel removal, please go to the home page and click the USA map, where I have wildlife removal experts listed in over 500 cites and towns, who can properly help you with your nuisance flying squirrel.

© 2001-2014     Website content & photos by Trapper David     Feel free to email me with questions: david@wildlifeanimalcontrol.com