Squirrel Control & Removal

The grey squirrel was intro­duced from USA to approximately 30 sites in England and Wales between 1876 and 1929. It is common throughout England and Wales, south of Cumbria and locally in Scotland.

As its name implies, this species has a grey back and tail. The flanks are some­times reddish. They have small ear tufts, which are often unnoticed.

It has a weight of 450 - 650 g.

Vegetation eaten by the grey squirrel includes acorns, beechmast, tree shoots, flowers, nuts; also fruits, roots and cereals. It also strips bark and eats sappy tissue beneath.

Occasionally it feeds on insects and birds' eggs. It eats 40-80 g per day, caches surplus nuts, mast and cones in scattered sites 2-5 cm below soil or in tree hollows.

Control Methods

The grey squirrel is a serious pest of plantations, where it causes serious damage by stripping bark from tree trunks during the months of May, June and July. A number of deciduous tree species of various ages may be attacked; pole­stage beech and sycamore are most often severely damaged. It causes problems to market gar­deners and damages parks and gardens where cereals, vegetables and fruit can be taken. In urban areas squir­rels can gain access to roof spaces via building defects and cause damage to roof timbers, electrical wiring and plumbing.

Control methods available for grey squirrels include: shooting and drey-poking; trapping using cage and spring traps; and the use of poison bait.