Wildlife Education - Information, Advice About Flying Squirrel Prevention

Flying Squirrel Prevention

If you regularly inspect your home, you will soon notice when there are areas that require attention. This could be where the chimney meets the roof or wall, for example, or soffits fascias, guttering, around windows, vents, etc. These are all areas that are prone to becoming damaged, and when they become damaged become the prime target for a wild animal who's looking for a comfortable space to call his bed for the night. When you repair these areas, making sure they cannot be used as an entrance by a passing flying squirrel (or other wild critter), they have no way of getting in. Eventually they will get bored of trying and move on, targeting an easier property with more damage and more opportunity to break in. Other areas you should specifically check out for include chimneys - do you have a chimney cap? If you don't, can a wild animal get inside? Could they get stuck inside? If they did, could you get them out? If you live in a state that is prone to animal invasion, you know what is coming, and therefore you should be able to prepare for that. Preparation takes a little maintenance, but what will be a few hours of maintenance now is going to save you a whole bunch of hours, days, and maybe even weeks of maintenance later on, after a small family of flying squirrels have moved in and then multiplied.



Both the Northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus ) and the Southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans)are more than happy to take up residence in your home if there is a lack of trees, hollow logs, or other natural spaces for them to nest. These gray-brown creatures, like most squirrels, sport a white fur on their under-belly. They have large black eyes used to help with night vision. They range 8-12 inches in length with the northern species being a bit smaller. The southern flying squirrel can be found across North America, parts of southern Canada ranging as far as southern Florida. The squirrel has also been seen around Minnesota and parts of eastern Texas. The northern flying squirrel likes to stick to the southern parts of Alaska and northern Canada but has been seen as far south as Tennessee. Flying squirrels actually glide through the air on a membrane that attaches to their bodies from the arms down their sides, to their back legs They aren't really capable of flight like birds or bats do, but it is still pretty impressive. These mammas actually glide mid-jump until they reach a suitable landing site. This trait saves them from having to travel on the ground where they would be more likely to get eaten by a predator.

Flying squirrels unlike most other squirrels are nocturnal. Like their cousins, they remain active throughout the year and do not hibernate. They are more likely to slow their activities in cold weather and spend more time indoors sleeping. They are very sociable creatures and will co-habitat with others in their families. While they prefer to live in forested areas filled with nut bearing deciduous trees, they will literally take any port in a storm- even if that is your home. If you believe that you have an infestation of flying squirrels, you should work to get it under control as soon as possible.

Step one is to be sure the infestation are truly flying squirrels. This is best done by sight. Look for them coming and going at dusk and dawn. You can also listen for the noises in your attic.

Step two is to restrict the squirrel's access by completely sealing off entry points into the attic space or chimney. This can be done with screens, wood, or any impenetrable block. Once their entry has been blocked, choose the most popular entrance and fit it with an exclusion tunnel. This is a one-way door used to evict unwanted animals. It can be attached to a trap (for relocation) or just let them go free to move on.

Step three is to modify your area to make it unattractive to the flying squirrels'. Keep branches cleared at least nine feet away from your home. Don't lean things against the house like ladders or trellis work. Keep sources of water like ponds or birdbaths away from the house as well as food sources.

When implementing a DIY plan for flying squirrel removal please remember:

Do not attempt to remove squirrels through openings into your home like fireplaces, attic doors, or dumbwaiters unless the animal is properly secured. This can lead to their escaping into your home.

Some flying squirrels are on the endangered animals list. Please check and try to follow all local, state and federal wildlife regulations. Failure to do so could result in a fine or worse.

Exposure to southern flying squirrels has been known to spread a type of typhus. They also carry parasites and other things. If you believe you have flying squirrel problem, it is better to contact an animal management professional to take care of the problem.

Go back to the Squirrels in the Attic home page.

Please be kind to squirrels! They are intelligent animals, and believe it or not, they definitely have emotions!
If you have any questions about squirrels in attics, just email me at david@squirrel-attic.com