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Flying Squirrel Removal

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

Dean on a ladder removing flying squirrels from a home

Dean on a ladder removing flying squirrels from a home

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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Yet Another 1:19:59 New Macbook Pro ONLY WORKS WITH $70 DONGLE!(no third party dongles) Louis Rossmann Recomm
by Webmaster
May 08, 2018 10:11:12 am.

These Flying Squirrels Got in Through a Gap by the Chimney
by Webmaster
May 01, 2018 09:19:03 am.

A Flying Squirrel Got Into this House through the Gable Vent
by Webmaster
May 01, 2018 09:12:56 am.

Here's a Video of a Flying Squirrel Hiding in an Attic
by Webmaster
Apr 23, 2018 10:24:20 am.

Brad Found Flying Squirrel Damage to a Roof Ridge Vent
by Webmaster
Apr 23, 2018 10:21:39 am.

Another Failed DIY Flying Squirrel Control Attempt
by Webmaster
Apr 18, 2018 10:48:20 am.

Here's One Reason Why We Sometimes Run Behind Schedule
by Webmaster
Apr 17, 2018 10:41:14 am.

Here's Carl Finding a Well-Hidden Animal Entry Hole in a House
by Webmaster
Apr 16, 2018 10:38:26 am.

New YouTube Video: To Catch the Critter, You Must Become the Critter
by Webmaster
Apr 11, 2018 09:51:07 am.

Matt Found the Flying Squirrel Entry Point into a House in Bogart, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jan 25, 2018 11:08:26 am.

These Pictures Prove that Carl Obviously Needs More Animal-Removal Work to Do
by Webmaster
Jan 18, 2018 11:22:59 am.

Carl Explains Why Flying Squirrels Need Only Tiny Openings to Get Into Houses
by Webmaster
Jan 18, 2018 11:12:55 am.

The Folks Up North May Laugh, but This is a Blizzard in These Parts
by Webmaster
Jan 17, 2018 12:02:41 pm.

The Management and Staff of Rid-A-Critter Wish All of our Customers and Friends a Happy New Year
by Webmaster
Dec 31, 2017 10:16:42 am.

The management, staff, and logo animals of Rid-A-Critter wish all of our customers, suppliers, friends, and site visitors a Merry Christmas
by Webmaster
Dec 22, 2017 11:46:48 am.

Based on This Picture, I Think Justin Has Too Much Time on his Hands
by Webmaster
Dec 12, 2017 09:46:14 am.

New Google+ Post: Hey, How About That Weather?
by Webmaster
Dec 11, 2017 09:56:53 am.

A Loose Ridge Vent Allowed Flying Squirrels into a House
by Webmaster
Dec 04, 2017 10:51:16 am.

The management and staff of Rid-A-Critter wish all of our customers, suppliers, and site visitors a Happy Thanksgiving!
by Webmaster
Nov 22, 2017 11:01:57 am.

Here are Tim and Jason at the Georgia Certified Pest Control Operators Convention
by Webmaster
Nov 02, 2017 10:17:29 am.

Just a little Halloween Silliness
by Webmaster
Oct 31, 2017 10:45:32 am.

These Flying Squirrels Got Into a House Through a Turbine Vent
by Webmaster
Oct 13, 2017 11:00:43 am.

Here's a Video of Carl and Chad Watching the Eclipse
by Webmaster
Aug 31, 2017 12:00:44 pm.

Chris Found Flying Squirrel Damage to a Quilt in an Attic in Mansfield, Georgia
by Webmaster
Aug 10, 2017 11:20:06 am.

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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