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Grey squirrels

The adult squirrel is approximately 25 cm long, with a 23 cm tail and weighs about 500 grams.

Squirrels survive in woodland which provides cover (including suburban parks and gardens).

They have long been recognised as a pest in woodland areas but they are also a problem in domestic.

There are two breeding seasons each year:

  • February and March and the young leave the nest (or drey) in April/June
  • June and July and the young leave the nest in August/September

Each litter averages 3 to 4 young. Nests are usually constructed in the fork of a tree between 2 and 15 metres above ground level.

The nest is lined with moss, grass or animal fur.

They are mainly vegetarian and eat the seeds of trees, fruits, berries, buds and young shoots, but on occasion they eat grain, fungi, birds eggs and young nestlings. 

  • Pine cones from which the "wings" have been stripped to obtain the seeds at the base
  • Acorns and nuts which have been split open
  • Large tooth marks found on the caps of fungi and on the bark of trees
  • Shallow troughs dug to search for previously buried food may be seen in lawns and grassed areas
  • Scratching and scuttling noises in roof accompanied by droppings
  • A pest control officer will visit your home or business and carry out a full assessment to identify the extent of the infestation, find out where the squirrels are feeding and identify the best possible treatment and set up a treatment programme
  • Squirrels are usually treated by a trap being set up in the location that they are most active this may be in the loft space or in outside trees where necessary
  • The traps must be checked legally every 24 hours
  • The householder is usually asked to check the trap on a daily basis, once a squirrel is caught the officer will need to be contacted and the trap can be reset or removed depending on the extent of the problem
  • In some circumstances the householder may not be able to check the traps daily and an officer will visit daily and at weekends to check the trap, the fee for this service is calculated on an hourly rate
  • In some circumstances where a trap is not suitable or is being avoided by the squirrels then a rodenticide may be used
  • Serious damage can be caused through gnawing of cables, building structures and insulation - usually they are searching for food or nesting material
  • They are not thought to carry human diseases but can bite if they are frightened
  • If you receive a bite it is wise to seek medical advice in case you need an injection against tetanus
  • They may pass fleas to domestic animals - treat using animal flea products
  • Tree damage caused by gnawing occurs May to July (mainly to hardwoods - especially sycamore and beech
  • They readily inhabit lofts, attics and roof spaces as well as outbuildings
  • Signs of their presence are scratching noises and droppings; however, these can be mistaken for rat droppings
  • Squirrels can be a significant nuisance in a roof or loft space through gnawing and have been known to start house fires if they chew through electrical wires
  • They only need a space the size of their head to gain access
  • If a roof space is infested, deny access by thoroughly searching and sealing of entrance routes using securely fixed chicken wire, but make sure there are no young or adult squirrels in the roof space before carrying out proofing works
  • By carrying out works in November/December the breeding season is avoided

What does it cost?

Concessionary Cost

Householder checks traps

(max 2 weeks treatment)


Pest control officer checks traps

(daily, charged per hour)


Drain CCTV survey

(as part of rodent treatment)

Advisory visit
(no treatment needed)
Appointment cancelled
(on day of appointment or after midday the last working day before)
Missed appointment£40£40

Concessionary cost

The qualifying benefit that is accepted is for those receiving Council Tax Reduction (CTR), this discount does not include Single Persons Council Tax discount.

We reserve the right to check those claiming a discount to ensure they are currently in receipt of CTR.


Per hour£99
Call out fee
(if no treatment necessary)
Appointment cancelled
(on day of appointment or after midday the last working day before)
Missed appointment£52


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Last updated: 1 April 2020 | Last reviewed: 1 April 2020