Posted on 10th May 2018 at 18:04
Known to some as tree rats the grey squirrel has a mixed reception, however bird feeding stations are fueling a dramatic rise in numbers.
Grey squirrels are in the news again and for good reason, although loveable these ‘super species’ are classed as vermin and have pushed our native wildlife to the brink. Reading University have carried out extensive research into their feed habits and seems that the innocent act of putting food out for the birds is leading to an increase in numbers of the North American Grey Squirrel.
We’re seeing a rise in callouts to squirrels in the lofts of houses throughout Reading, Wokingham and Maidenhead and for some reason a higher level of calls to squirrels in Lower Earley. The act of putting bird food; particularly peanuts in non-squirrel proof feeders is giving these crafty animals a welcome boost.
As Professor Fellows says about these animals – “Grey squirrels are loved by many but at the same time they are a leading threat to our native red squirrels, can be a major pest in orchards and forestry and they raid birds’ nests”. We agree and they’re also a major pest in your loft where they will drag the insulation out of the roof space into the soffits, clogging the ventilation grills and leaving you with no thermal insulation in winter.
The University has evidence that grey squirrels feed from your bird feeders for 44% of the time meaning that nearly half of the bird food that you put out fuels these rodents – not so much as tree rats but tree hogs!
The best way to combat these greedy grey guzzlers is to put the food in a caged or squirrel proof feeding station.
Our approach is to humanely trap the squirrels then proof up any access points into your loft, by law you cannot live catch and release these animals as they are non-native to the UK and classed as vermin. As unfortunate as that sounds we use approved traps which are capable of delivering a fast clean kill.
Grey squirrels are classed as vermin due to the damage that they cause and the demise of our red squirrel population..
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