Grey squirrel: (Sciurus carolinensis)
Native to North America. Introduced to Great Britain, Ireland and South Africa.Winter fur is dense and silvery grey with a brown tinge along the middle of the back. Summer fur is yellowish-brown. White underparts. Bushy, grey tail. Ears without tufts.The grey squirrel was introduced to Great Britain in the mid-19th century and after many releases it began to increase dramatically at the beginning of this century, mainly spreading from Woburn Park, Bedfordshire. It is now one of Britain's most well-known and frequently seen mammals, being much more common than the native red squirrel.The grey squirrel is diurnal (active during the day) and most active at dawn and dusk.Man is the main predator of grey squirrels in Britain. Foresters, gamekeepers, park keepers and many conservationists regard grey squirrels as pests, mainly because they damage trees. Young saplings are destroyed and they gnaw the bark of hardwood trees, such as beech and sycamore, to get at the nutritious sapwood below. The raw scar left on the trunk encourages fungal attack and may lead to distorted growth.In many forest areas, the grey squirrel population is controlled by trapping and shooting. Gamekeepers shoot the squirrels on private estates. The Forestry Commission and National Trust also trap and shoot grey squirrels. It is illegal to keep, import and release grey squirrels in Britain, unless you have a special licence from the Ministry of Agriculture or Secretary of State for Scotland. Although the grey squirrel is a pretty, appealing and entertaining little animal, it can be a great nuisance in a garden, especially to a bird lover. It is very bold and soon learns to take food from bird tables and chew through baskets of peanuts. It will also destroy birds' nests to eat eggs and nestlings.Squirrels can easily find their way into domestic and commercial loft spaces or voids and knaw at wooden beams, insulation and electric cables which in turn creates a serious fire hazard.
Control - Generally we set 2 cage traps in the loft space itself to catch the squirrels then look for entry points and proof to stop any future problems. If the squirrel is wise to the cage traps we use a spring trap which humanely kills the squirrel or use poison. Shooting is another control method we use which is extremely humane way of control.