Squirrel Removal, Gloucestershire 

Have you heard something rustling in your attic or loft and suspect squirrels? As cute as squirrels might appear to be, they can be an incredibly destructive and distressing pest to have in your home or work. 
Pest controllers get thousands of call-outs for squirrels every year, and this is in part due to the damage they cause to your home and the noises squirrels make at night – which can be very distressing. 
Whether you’re thinking about doing some DIY squirrel pest control, or you’re looking to get a professional pest controller to come out to you, the information below is for you. 
Grey squirrels Sciurus carolinensis are invasive pests, not native to the UK. 
They were first introduced to the UK from North America in the 1870's, as ornamental additions to high-class estates and country homes. Introductions continued until the 1930’s, when the damage they can cause was finally acknowledged and it became illegal to release grey squirrels into the wild. 
The grey squirrel is recognised as being in the top worst 100 invasive pest species in the world by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Here in Britain and Europe, they are classed as an Invasive Alien Species (IAS), which is any animal that is not native to the UK. 

Why we control grey squirrels 

Even though the grey squirrel is widely appreciated for its grace and ‘cuteness’ by much of the UK – the pest management industry knows that there are times when the lethal control of grey squirrels is necessary. 
Because grey squirrels are an invasive pest species, it is against the law to re-release a grey squirrel if it’s been caught alive, per the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019. 
That means that any person who catches a grey squirrel alive is legally obliged to humanely dispatch it. 
As their numbers have increased in the UK, so has the damage they cause. This is where professional pest control comes in. 
There are three reasons we control grey squirrels: 
Their potential to damage to your home, business and health 
The destruction of UK forests 
The impact on our native wildlife, in particular the red squirrel. 
Grey squirrels can cause damage when they enter roof spaces of houses and buildings. For example, they can: 
Gnaw on woodwork and ceilings 
Strip insulation from electrical wires (see photos below!) 
Tear up fibreglass insulation 
Contaminate cold water tanks and attic space with urine and droppings. 
People also report sleep issues due to the loud noises they make at night while they’re scuttling around your attic. 
Squirrels are most active before sunrise, especially in winter. Their peak activity is activity is four-five hours before daybreak. 
Grey squirrels often associate humans with food, meaning they sometime approach people. Some people fear being attacked, however it’s very rare for a squirrel to actually attack! 
In gardens and allotments, they can take fruit, raid nests of small birds and dig holes in lawns to bury food. 

Preventing squirrels getting into your property or damaging your trees 

Prevention is always better than cure! 
Habitat management, like cutting back trees or branches that are overhanging a building or trimming dense ivy, can help prevent squirrels gaining access to a roof in the first place. 
Next consider proofing entry points to your roof. For example, block the gaps and entrances holes with tightly wedged mesh or metal plates, wherever possible. 
We here at Gooch Pest Control can help you with this. 
Squirrels are fairly strong for their size and also persistent. If the proofing is not secure, then the squirrels may be able to pull it out! 
For tree protection, close fitting metal sleeves can protect them from a squirrel's strong rodent incisors. This should be at least 0.75m deep, and the bottom edge should be at least 1.5m from the ground. The metal should be a smooth surface to assist in preventing the squirrel from gaining a toehold. 

Professional grey squirrel control 

It’s important with squirrels (as with all pest species) that a pest control professional assesses whether lethal control is necessary. 
In the first instance, proofing such as the guidance in the previous section should be put into place. If this is unsuccessful, try giving us a call for a discussion, even if it’s just for advice, we're here to help. 
To control squirrels, we may use: 
Spring traps 
Live capture traps 
Use of poison (Warfarin only) 
Drey poking 
Other shooting methods. 
It’s important to know the law surrounding control of any pest species, which is where Gooch Pest Control comes in. 
For example, it is an offence to use or permit the use of a spring trap, other than an approved spring trap, for the purpose of killing or taking animals, as per the Spring Traps Approval Order. 
Similaly, live capture trapping is what it sounds like - capturing an animal live. This may be used where it would be impractical or against best practice to use another control method, for example where placing rodenticide would put non-target species at risk. 
There are several reasons why this should only be done by a qualified pest technician: 
Live capture trapping needs to be humane, legal and carried out with sensitivity. It is an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to any animal, as stated in the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996. 
Traps need to be inspected regularly and must contain a food source, water source and be suitably sheltered from extremes of weather, as per the Animal Welfare Act 2006. 
Non-target species should be released unharmed, which means you must be able to correctly identify the animal that has been caught. 
Target species need to be dispatched humanely by a competent person. 
You also cannot use live capture traps to remove a grey squirrel from your property in order to release it elsewhere. As an invasive species, it is against the law to release a grey squirrel once caught. 
Our Effective Squirrrel Control Services 
Never allow a squirrel problem to grow out of control. Squirrels are known for breeding quickly. So, if you see them in or around your property, you can almost guarantee that the pest will not be alone.  
Our squirrel removal experts can attend your address to assess the problem to provide the best recommendation for your needs. Our fully trained and insured professionals can offer a variety of effective methods for squirrel control, such as specialist surveys, eradication and proofing.  
Not only will we successfully eliminate the pests from your property, but we will also remove all squirrel carcasses from your domestic or commercial space if required.  
Why Gooch Pest Control? 
We can provide a professional solution. 
We are a family run company with more than 30 years’ experience, so rest assured we will provide a discreet, professional and dependable squirrel control and removal service. 
Simply give us a call on 01242 528 564 to arrange for a local expert to visit your property and provide a tailored treatment. You can trust that we will endeavour to eradicate the problem from your home or business as soon as possible. 
For an initial no obligation consultation and site survey, please get in touch. 
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