Squirrels in Bracknell - March 2017
Posted on 20th March 2017 at 08:53
With two breeding seasons every year and almost no fear of humans the grey squirrel quickly becomes a serious pest for householders in Bracknell; these animals will gnaw their way in and cause havoc with the noise, tearing up insulation, chewing on stored items, fleas and defecating all over the loft.
At this time of year we see a rise in squirrel call outs all to homes all over the County as the females get ready for the birth of their first litter - we offer same day attendance and proofing to prevent re occurrence.
The grey squirrel was first introduced into Britain in the 1800's from America by the Victorians; who were at that time great gardeners with a liking for redesigning entire landscapes introducing new "fancy" species with out thought for the possible consequences for any native species that may suffer as a result - like our smaller red squirrel.
The grey squirrel was described as a totally charming fellow with friendly disposition; very true as we've all seen these running around in local parks where they are tame enough to feed from an outstretched hand but a totally different character if they happen to be living in YOUR loft - a noisy and destructive fellow with anti-social behaviours like defecating all over the place is how I'd describe him.
The whole of Bracknell has a high population of grey squirrels (well I suppose its not called Bracknell Forest for nothing), and recently we've seen a rise in cases in Hanworth and Great Hollands - due in part to the mild weather but we are now well within their first breeding season so we're seeing females nesting in lofts ready for birthing.
Female squirrels known as does have two breeding seasons; the first from December through to February and the second is later - May to June. She will give birth to between two and six young after around forty days gestation, she will scrape the loft insulation together to form a large round nest called a drey.
This insulation will be gathered together from all over the loft and its common to see it lying in the area of the soffits meaning that come winter you've lost all your insulation allowing the heat out and poor airflow through the roof space meaning that moist air will condensate and you'll have problems with damp to compound the issue.
Squirrels will also gnaw on items and its common that we'll get called out because the householder has tolerated the squirrels because "they're not doing any harm" until they chew through a electrical circuit and plunge the house into darkness; they also find themselves with an expensive repair bill from the electrician.
We choose to use spring traps to humanely dispatch squirrels - we are sometimes asked if we could catch alive and release the animal. It is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to release or allow a squirrel to escape confinement; largely due to their status as a no-native species but also testimony to the fact that they are so destructive.
Squirrels prey on song birds, ring strip bark killing saplings and through their fast breeding and the pox that they carry, they've pushed our native red squirrel to the brink. The traps that we use are all legal for use under the Spring Traps Approval Order and we inspect them daily as part of our commitment to the humane dispatch of any trapped animal.
We don't use poison for squirrels due to the risk of an animal carrying poison being picked up by a raptor - this is known as secondary poisoning meaning that the contaminated animal becomes part of a food chain killing younger or weaker animals of another species; mainly birds like barn owls, kites and buzzards.
Tagged as: Squirrels
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