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Flying Squirrel Removal

Athens-Clarke County, Georgia Regional Office of Rid-A-Critter

RAC technician holding baby flying squirrels

RAC technician holding baby flying squirrels

Flying squirrels are one of the two squirrels in Georgia and South Carolina (the other is the gray squirrel) that account for most of our squirrel-removal work.

First of all, let's clarify something: Flying squirrels like to think that they can fly, but they really can't. They can't take off, climb, or gain altitude; nor can they perform complex maneuvers in the air. What they can do is glide from a high place to a lower place and land with great accuracy exactly where they want to, enabling them to get into houses even when there's no easy way to climb up.

Flying squirrels have this ability because of a part of their bodies called the patagium, which is a membrane between their front and rear legs. It provides a rudimentary "wing" that enables them to glide. Their tails are also adapted to flying, being shaped in such a way as to form a "rudder" that helps them to steer in flight. Their feet are also adapted to landing on vertical surfaces -- something even most birds can't do.

On average, flying squirrels can achieve glide ratios of almost two to one, meaning that the average flying squirrel can travel almost twice as far horizontally as it loses altitude vertically. But because they don't have real wings nor the ability to flap them rapidly enough to generate enough lift to overcome their relatively heavy body mass, they can't take off from the ground nor gain altitude.

Nonetheless, the ability to glide gracefully and accurately gives flying squirrels a big advantage. It enables them to travel from high places like tree tops without having to worry about cats and other predators who might consider them a tasty snack if they had to scamper along on the ground. Instead, flying squirrels can spend most of their lives aloft, easily evading both terrestrial and arboreal predators.

Another thing that flying squirrels can do is fly onto buildings and enter them through very small holes or openings. Once they're inside, flying squirrels cause similar sorts of problems as their earthbound cousins. They poop and pee all over the place, tear up and damage stored products, damage insulation and HVAC ducts, and create fire hazards by gnawing through the insulation on electrical wiring. They also carry parasites, some of which can transmit diseases; and their droppings can serve as a breeding medium for disease-causing fungi. Obviously they're not the kind of guests you want living in your home.

Flying Squirrel Biology

Flying squirrels got into roof through narrow construction gap

Flying squirrels got into this home through this small gap

Flying squirrels are rodents in the squirrel family, Sciuridae. There actually are are two species of flying squirrels in the United States: the Northern Flying Squirrel and the Southern flying squirrels. The two species are very similar, and some scientists wonder whether they should be considered two different species at all rather than strains of the same specie.

In any event, the flying squirrels we get in Athens and most of the South are, appropriately enough, Southern flying squirrels, Glaucomys volans. Southern flying squirrels in the wild live in any kind of trees, unlike their Northern cousins who only live in conifer forests. In nature, flying squirrels nest in tree cavities; but as human development has reduced the size of forests, they have adapted to living in buildings, usually in attics and soffits.

A flying squirrel's diet is a lot like that of mice. Most of their diet consists of nuts, seeds, fruits, and fungi. On occasion, however, they'll also eat meat such as insects, slugs, snails, and small birds, as well as eggs. Like rodents in general, they hoard food (mainly nuts and seeds) during the warm season and store it away for the winter.

Baby flying squirrels are born in the spring. Their litters range from one to six individuals. Like rodents in general, they are born pink and hairless, with their eyes closed, and are totally dependent on their mothers. Their eyes open in two to three weeks, they start venturing out of the nest at about five or six weeks, are weaned in about two months, and are fully independent at six months. They usually spend their first winters as bachelors sharing a pad with others their own age, and then start their new lives as adults the following spring.

Flying Squirrel Removal

Flying squirrel control can be quite a challenge. Because flying squirrels can glide impressively, they can get into any house that's within range of a higher perch like a tree or a taller building. They can also climb very well when needed, have excellent balance (enabling them to walk along utility wires like other squirrels), and can squeeze through very small openings.

What all this means is that sealing up a house against flying squirrels is much more difficult that sealing out gray squirrels. Making a house flying squirrel-proof is more similar to a bat-proofing job. That means it requires a very skilled, knowledgeable technician with just enough of a tendency toward OCD to find and seal even the tiniest cracks, holes, and other entry points.

Flying squirrel control also requires specialized equipment, most of it of the elevation sort, such as ladders, scaffolding, and cherry pickers. This is one of the reasons why DIY flying squirrel control almost never works. Without the ability to safely inspect and seal every part of a home, a flying squirrel exclusion job is almost certainly doomed to fail.

By the way: There's no such thing as a "flying squirrel exterminator." Flying squirrels are classified as "nuisance animals," not "pests," and it is illegal to set poison or lethal traps for flying squirrels. They must be humanely removed and sealed out of a home, not killed. Anyone who offers to set poisons or lethal traps for flying squirrels is breaking both federal and Georgia law.

Luckily for us, at Rid-A-Critter, we've always used humane, non-chemical control methods. Our flying squirrel control methods rely on humane removal and exclusion for long-lasting, environmentally-friendly control.

Flying Squirrel Control Gallery

Here are some pictures of flying squirrel removal jobs we've done in the Athens area.

Rid-A-Critter has the tools and personnel to handle any flying squirrel control job, so please call us today.

 

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Norway Rat Entry Hole into a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Oct 23, 2019 11:59:32 am.

Havoc in you attic. Call us
by Jason Arruda
Oct 10, 2019 02:29:13 pm.

Having a blast down here in Tifton Ga at the GPCA Fall Conference meeting new clients. Glad to be in great relationships with the pest control industry.
by Jason Arruda
Oct 10, 2019 10:45:32 am.

Been a busy day in South Georgia today with attic noises and scratching noises in walls. Squirrels are here.
by Jason Arruda
Sep 19, 2019 02:34:56 pm.

Squirrel calls are coming in. Is your home protected? Call us for a free quote today.
by Jason Arruda
Sep 04, 2019 12:40:03 pm.

Out seeing clients today in Birmingham, Anniston, Leeds and Center Point Alabama. Having issues with Nuisance animals in your home or business call us for a free quote.
by Jason Arruda
Aug 29, 2019 12:14:08 pm.

Headed south to Vidalia,Ga for a bat exclusion quote. Nice day today with cooler temps. Going to be a busy fall.
by Jason Arruda
Aug 26, 2019 11:29:27 am.

Tiny Flying Squirrel Entry Gap in a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Aug 02, 2019 10:49:35 am.

Getting a little squirrelly in Georgia. We’ve seen babies already.
by Jason Arruda
Aug 01, 2019 09:54:09 am.

Well-Hidden Flying Squirrel Entry Gap into a House in Statham, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jul 31, 2019 10:44:51 am.

In Warner Robins this morning and sold a exclusion. Gonna be another happy customer. Now headed to Valdosta to see some clients.
by Jason Arruda
Jul 25, 2019 01:42:30 pm.

Down here on Lake Blackshear quoting a home with what was thought to be bats. After evaluating the home it turns out to be Chimney Swifts which can’t be relocated due to being a migratory bird. We’ll be back to cap flue when they’re gone.
by Jason Arruda
Jul 22, 2019 01:37:32 pm.

Here's How Flying Squirrels Made this Attic in Bethlehem, Georgia their Hangar
by Webmaster
Jul 16, 2019 10:48:07 am.

Typical Flying Squirrel Hole in a House in Arnoldsville, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jul 10, 2019 11:30:18 am.

Here's the Flying Squirrel Entry Gap into a House in Bishop, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jun 19, 2019 11:43:21 am.

Here's How Flying Squirrels Got Into a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jun 03, 2019 10:55:00 am.

Love it when a really good song comes on the radio in between stops. Gets me a little squirrelly. Lol Have a Good Friday everyone.
by Jason Arruda
May 31, 2019 11:48:33 am.

Out seeing our wonderful clients in the pest control industry that refers us for wildlife (rats, bats, snakes, squirrels , bees, etc. Thank you from all of us!!
by Jason Arruda
May 30, 2019 01:45:40 pm.

Great day in Valdosta. I helped one of my clients customer with a honey bee problem and set them up for our technicians to quote extraction.
by Jason Arruda
May 07, 2019 03:13:38 pm.

Squirrels in my attic, rats in my crawl, bats flying in my house to snakes in my yard. Yes we can handle it all from Hiawassee to Valdosta .
by Jason Arruda
Apr 30, 2019 12:37:58 pm.

Awesome day in Macon Ga. visiting clients. South Ga. pest control companies are referring us more and more bat jobs. I explained that now is the season. Thank you for referring us
by Jason Arruda
Apr 04, 2019 02:36:39 pm.

Spending the day in Athens Ga and Lake Oconee with clients. Go Dawgs!
by Jason Arruda
Apr 03, 2019 01:58:31 pm.

Well it was a great day in Alabama seeing my Pest Control clients that refer us. If you don’t know by now majority of Pest Control companies refer us for squirrels, raccoons, rats, bats, bees and more. Now it time to head back to Georgia.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 28, 2019 03:24:50 pm.

Excluding animals is a continuous task. That’s why our Warranty Division is always hard at work keeping those reoccurring, persistent, and pesky Critters out of your home. Have you let your Warranty coverage lapse?? Get caught up today !!
by Tim McDavid
Mar 28, 2019 09:29:04 am.

In Columbus Ga today meeting new clients.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 14, 2019 12:45:31 pm.

Visiting clients in Albany Ga. on this Presidents Day. Be safe!
by Jason Arruda
Feb 18, 2019 11:52:47 am.

Wow, this warm weather has these bat calls on the rise. Bats are gonna be out early with this warm weather and early spring.
by Jason Arruda
Feb 06, 2019 11:57:56 am.

Well it was a good Monday seeing clients in Carrollton, Dallas, Rockmart and Bremen Ga. today. Time to head home. Be safe everyone.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 28, 2019 04:25:42 pm.

Here's How How Flying Squirrels were Getting Into a House in Jefferson, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jan 22, 2019 10:06:42 am.

As always it’s nice to visit with our clients in the Albany Ga area. Thanks to all companies and people who refer us to your friends and family for wildlife needs.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 21, 2019 02:47:07 pm.

News Flash: Our new company blog is live!
by Webmaster
Jan 18, 2019 05:52:35 pm.

Had a good day visiting some of my clients in the Gainesville Ga. area today.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 17, 2019 02:38:57 pm.

The Athens, Georgia office of Rid-A-Critter provides flying squirrel removal in Athens-Clarke, Greene, and parts of Barrow, Gwinnett, Hall, Banks, Jackson, and Oconee Counties in Georgia, including Athens, Auburn, Bogart, Commerce, Good Hope, Greensboro, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Watkinsville, and Winder. Your town not listed? Contact us.

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