Maybe you’ve heard of rat, mouse, or even bat infestations. But have you ever heard of a family of flying squirrels in the attic? These fascinating critters are rarely seen, especially compared to common tree squirrels. This is because they are mainly active at night and prefer to live in wooded areas and other natural habitats.
However, flying squirrels continue to become a prevalent issue in people’s homes due to the decline of their ideal environment. When proper shelter for nesting and protection is scarce, like with many wild animals, flying squirrels may choose to settle in your home.
In this blog by Covenant Wildlife Removal, you will learn interesting facts about flying squirrels. Even better, you’ll discover what issues may arise when they enter the home and how to get them out and keep them away.
Continue reading to determine if you have flying squirrels in the attic and what you can do to safely and humanely have them removed.
What are Flying Squirrels?
What are flying squirrels, you ask? Well, they are precisely what the name says they are, but not.
This variety of squirrels grows from 3 inches to approximately 2 feet long. It weighs 3.5 to 5.5 pounds and can live up to 5 years. But that is not what you wanted to know, is it?
Flying squirrels are known to soar at great lengths from tree to tree. They can fly incredible distances, from 150 to 500 feet. However, these highfliers don’t technically fly; instead, they glide. The flying squirrel has a patagium that expands into a square and acts like a parachute.
It’s a flap of fur-covered skin stretching from the flying squirrel’s wrist to its ankle. This unique animal spreads out its arms to form a square that functions like a sail or parachute and glides. The squirrel can control directions and dip its foot or hand to get to a safe spot to land. Pretty impressive, right?
Flying Squirrel Facts
- Because they are nocturnal animals, flying squirrels have large eyes to improve their sight.
- Some flying squirrels are larger than the average house cat.
- A recent discovery of this fascinating mammal is that the American flying squirrel is fluorescent at night.
- They have excellent direction control as they soar and can even make 180-degree turns.
- The majority of flying squirrel species live only in Asia.
- Just three species call the USA home, including those that live in Alabama.
- Baby flying squirrels rely on their mothers for several months before becoming independent.
The flying squirrel looks much like a tree squirrel. They have the same small round face, large eyes, big ears, and long fluffy tails. Some people even keep flying squirrels as pets.
These furry critters are omnivorous and nocturnal. With their highly developed sense of smell, they come out at night to forage for food. This critter will eat seeds, nuts, tree sap, fruit, flowers, fungi, insects, and sometimes eggs.
Are Flying Squirrels Pests?
Flying squirrels are not considered a threat to humans. Therefore, they are not your typical pest. However, even though some keep these incredible animals as furry companions, flying squirrels sometimes make their way into homes. Flying squirrels in the attic is one of the most common ways they cause problems indoors. And in this case, they may be referred to as pests.
As their habitats decrease due to several factors, the flying squirrels search for a new home. Your attic or ceiling may be ideal for shelter and nesting if their proper environment becomes scarce.
Twice a year, flying squirrels will settle and nest to have their litter of pups. There they will have two to seven per litter each season. Naturally, they would build a nest comfortably in a tree. But they have fewer options than their ancestors, meaning they must find other suitable locations, sometimes your home or another human-built structure.
In Your Home
When the temperature begins to drop, or they are ready to nest, the flying squirrel will look for an ideal place to build the nest. They like to use insulation as bedding to keep them warm in the cold months.
You will know they are there soon after they arrive, as their noises give them away. They are the only breed of nocturnal squirrel, and they are incredibly playful little critters. Perhaps that is why some like them as pets. But an invasion or infestation of wild flying squirrels in the attic can bring many issues.
Damage to Your Home
There can be extensive damage if a flying squirrel has nested in your home. They will tear up the insulation and anything soft to make a comfy, cozy nest. They may even chew on wires and cause a short or a house fire.
Worst of all would be the smell of urine and droppings everywhere. No one wants that from a colony of twenty flying squirrels.
Besides the apparent foul ammonia odor and filth from flying squirrels in the attic, these creatures have few known health risks. They are not known to carry rabies. The one disease they may carry does not pass to humans. That said, they do carry lice, fleas, mites, and parasites that could be passed to you or your pets.
Signs of a Flying Squirrel Infestation
If you walk around the home and see chew marks on the roofline and minor entry points, you may have a rodent or flying squirrel problem. Furthermore, you will find evidence of the critters through their tracks, droppings, and scent.
Late at night, you will listen to scratching and scurrying sounds. You may even hear their chatter, which sounds like chirping or clucking. They are very social creatures and will live in a colony of about 20 squirrels. So, if you see one, you most likely have a colony.
Preventing Flying Squirrels in your Home
It’s important to know that specific flying squirrels are protected in some areas. Therefore, you should never attempt to trap or harm one when there are flying squirrels in the attic. The best thing to do is call the professionals to humanely remove the squirrel and return it to its natural habitat. Even better, you can prevent them from entering your home in the first place.
Be proactive and do the following to prevent flying squirrels from getting inside and causing issues. Then, call a wildlife control company to help with further prevention, inspection, and potential removal.
- Cover any small holes and damages to the home’s structure.
- Use a wire mesh over all vent openings so they cannot climb in there.
- Seal any cracks or gaps leading to the attic or inside the home.
Call Covenant Wildlife Removal
You can trust the professionals at Covenant Wildlife Removal to eliminate the flying squirrels causing problems in your home. Our skilled experts will do the patch and prevention work for you. Then, they will trap and remove the animals safely and humanely, locating them to an approved location.
The friendly staff at Covenant will also clean up the mess, disinfect and spray odor remover to get your home back to feeling clean again.
So, what are you waiting for? If you have a flying squirrel or any other wildlife issue in your home or yard, trust the experts at Covenant Wildlife Removal today.