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Flying Squirrel Removal in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia

Flying squirrel droppings and urine in an attic

Flying squirrel droppings and urine in an attic

Flying squirrels are one of the two squirrel species in Georgia (the other is the gray squirrel) that account for most of our residential and commercial squirrel-removal work in and around Athens.

The term "flying squirrel" is a bit inaccurate. 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.

Being much smaller than gray squirrels, flying squirrels can also 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 cavities in any kind of trees, unlike their Northern cousins who only live in conifer forests. As human development has reduced the size of forests, however, they have adapted to living in buildings, usually in attics and soffits. Keeping flying squirrels out of those attics and soffits is very challenging because of their small size and ability to glide.

A flying squirrel's diet is a lot like that of mice. They eat 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 to prevent flying squirrels from getting in 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 to keep flying squirrels out, 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 relocated, not killed. Anyone who offers to set poisons or lethal traps for flying squirrels is breaking both federal and Georgia law.

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 keep flying squirrels out of any home or business, so please call us today.

 

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We have two technicians setting traps to remove flying squirrels from the attic of a house in Hoschton, Georgia. Once we're sure all the flying squirrels have been relocated, we'll seal up the roof to make it animal-proof.
by Webmaster
Jul 16, 2020 10:54:13 am.

Jason and Justin Deodorizing an Attic After Animal Removal
by Webmaster
Jun 24, 2020 10:10:29 am.

News: CDC Warns that COVID-19 Lockdowns are Making Rats and Mice More Desperate
by Webmaster
May 27, 2020 09:43:37 am.

Video of Justin Sealing Rats and Mice Out of a Loading Dock
by Webmaster
Apr 30, 2020 10:02:16 am.

Noises in your attic? We can help in certain case we can seal and remove animals from your home with no personal contact.
by Dean Scott
Apr 02, 2020 11:16:28 am.

From our family to yours we wish you good health and safety. During this uncertain time related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we want to assure you as a approved business for essential Services. Rid-A-Critter remains open. Thanks
by Jason Arruda
Mar 27, 2020 03:07:31 pm.

Here's Dan Humanely Removing Animals from a Glue Trap
by Webmaster
Mar 10, 2020 10:05:57 am.

This Video Shows How to Humanely Remove an Animal from a Glue Trap
by Webmaster
Mar 10, 2020 09:57:33 am.

Just enjoying this Georgia weather this weekend. At my parents house fishing and noticed the wildlife out here where they belong. They can become a nuisance though when they find their way inside your home. In that case give us a call.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 01, 2020 12:24:17 pm.

Well it’s North Ga today. Seeing clients in Buford, Gainesville, Blue Ridge, Blairsville and Hiawassee Ga.
by Jason Arruda
Feb 27, 2020 11:30:35 am.

Rainy days mean animals like to stay in. If you are hearing noises in your attic on this rainy day it could be more than rain.
by Dean Scott
Feb 13, 2020 09:27:56 am.

A Flying Squirrel Gnawed a Hole into the Attic of this House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Feb 12, 2020 10:12:00 am.

Going to Bainbridge Ga today for quotes for exclusions. Bats, rats and gray squirrels.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 23, 2020 11:05:03 am.

Excited to be at the Athens pest control conference this week. Let’s talk about wildlife and what services we provide to help.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 06, 2020 11:57:03 am.

New Blog Post: Happy New Year!
by Webmaster
Dec 31, 2019 11:39:15 am.

Want to put a stop to those pesky critters getting in your home for good? We can do that!!
by Jason Arruda
Dec 30, 2019 12:14:14 pm.

Heard it all. Squirrels in my attic, scratching noises in my attic, attic noises, animals partying in my attic, then there’s the crawlspace. Rats in my crawlspace, opossum in my crawlspace and there’s something dead in my crawlspace/attic.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 30, 2019 12:07:59 pm.

New Blog Post: Merry Christmas!
by Webmaster
Dec 24, 2019 11:07:00 am.

Just want to say. I’m so grateful for the relationships we have with the pest control companies in Georgia and Alabama and Tennessee. Thank you all for the referrals.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 19, 2019 01:01:20 pm.

It’s definitely flying squirrel weather today. Have a flying squirrel inspection and quote in Statham then some squirrel trapping in Bogart, before finishing my day with a flying squirrel exclusion in Athens.
by Jason McFarland
Dec 19, 2019 10:15:21 am.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Squirrels are busy this season as usual. I’m headed south to take a look at a commercial job in Macon for Bats. Yep bats their still hanging around with us despite the cooler temps. Have a good day.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 05, 2019 10:27:19 am.

New Blog Post: What Software Do We Use to Maintain this Site?
by Webmaster
Dec 04, 2019 06:29:03 pm.

New Blog Post: Happy Thanksgiving!
by Webmaster
Nov 27, 2019 11:45:10 am.

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.

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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