Tree squirrels frequently enter attics and become pests, and outdoors, they can cause considerable damage to electrical and telephone cables; they are of minor medical concern. However, a major nuisance to both residential and commercial properties alike and can cause major damage to insulation and wiring.
Depending on the species, adults with head and body length about 6- 15″ (15.2-38.1 cm) and tail length 4-14″ (10.2-36.6 cm); weight 6 oz-3 Ibs (170-1360.8 g). Color white, grayish, yellowish, reddish, or brownish above with belly pale or dark. Head and body covered with short, thick fur and tail bushy, with long hair, and longer than head and body combined. Skull with 20 or 22 teeth.
Tree squirrels usually have 2 litters each year, one in early spring and the other in late summer. The number of young per litter varies from 2-7 (fox 2-4, gray 2-3, red 3-7). The gestation period is 38 days. Adults may live 10 years or longer; the gray has lived 15 years in captivity.
The key to controlling tree squirrels is pest identification, exclusion/squirrel-proofing the structure, and trapping out any resident squirrels.
- A thorough inspection to property and structure to confirm and/or find the entry points where activity was observed and to locate other potential entry points. Tree squirrels are often found tunneling and nesting in/under blown-in fiberglass insulation between attic floor joists.
- Exclusion must be thorough. Seal all holes 1/4″ (6 mm) or larger in size with 1/8″ (3 mm) hardware cloth, metal flashing, or other appropriate material.
- Trapping quickly reduces the population and or removes individuals from within the structure. Trapping is placed along runways between the entrance hole and nesting site. Traps are checked daily to re-bait, reposition, and to remove trapped squirrels.
- Odor Control bags are advised to reduce the smell of the squirrels harboring
- Removal of soiled or damaged insulation is recommended to due squirrels nesting.
- Replace the solid insulation with a Borate Treated Insulation that provides pest-reducing qualities at the same time providing a greater R-Value for your property. The higher R-value insulation will help reduce the cost of your annual utilities. Bug Busters Team members recommend using T.A.P for the new insulation.