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Flying Squirrel Removal in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia

A trapped flying squirrel with its front paws on the cage trap door looking like it is pleading to be released.

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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Started off in Rome ga, raccoons in the crawl space, then headed to Atlanta, ga, rats in the attic
by Chris Collender
Jan 05, 2023 11:48:37 am.

Happy New years, back at it, started off in Conyers ga, squirrels, then headed to Stone Mountain ga, rats in the attic, now In Gainesville ga, bats in the house
by Chris Collender
Jan 02, 2023 11:16:26 am.

Here's Wishing All of You a Merry Christmas from Rid-A-Critter!
by Webmaster
Dec 23, 2022 12:56:04 pm.

Rain rain go away, i need to quote some houses today, started off Snellville ga, squirrels have chewed several new holes, paid 2 companies to do patch work , never works long term, why she called us, we will give her a permanent solution
by Chris Collender
Dec 20, 2022 12:54:00 pm.

Beautiful day but Baby, it’s cold outside. Started the day in Athens ga, rats, then headed to Brasselton, ga, rats, then headed over to Oxford, ga, squirrels. Good times
by Chris Collender
Dec 19, 2022 12:42:44 pm.

Back in conyers, ga today, seems to be busy over here, flyers in the attic, headed to Ellenwood, ga, square
by Chris Collender
Dec 16, 2022 09:53:13 am.

Beautiful day, had 2 stops in Dacula, ga. Rats and squirrels, headed to conyers, ga. For another squirrel job.
by Chris Collender
Dec 15, 2022 12:15:22 pm.

Busy day in the rain, had two quotes in Alpharetta ga, flying squirrels in both homes, headed to Athens ga, squirrels in the attic.
by Chris Collender
Dec 14, 2022 12:45:29 pm.

Quoted a rental property In Atlanta ga, rats, them headed to Athens, ga, mice, then off to Snellville ga, squirrels in the attic
by Chris Collender
Dec 13, 2022 12:33:01 pm.

Finally no more rain, headed to Decatur ga, rental property, rats, headed to Monroe, ga, squirrels in a house, then back to Atlanta ga, rats
by Chris Collender
Dec 12, 2022 03:51:16 pm.

Good day yesterday, other then the rain, started off in Dawsonville ga, rats, then headed to Lawrenceville ga, flyers, then headed to Atlanta ga, rats
by Chris Collender
Dec 07, 2022 10:01:04 am.

Rainy day, started out in Duluth, ga, snakes found in the house, then headed to doraville ga, squirrels again, then 2 stops in Atlantic ga, rats. Busy day
by Chris Collender
Dec 05, 2022 03:25:03 pm.

Glad the rain stopped yesterday, we stood in Atlanta, ga. rats and squirrels, then headed to Duluth ga, squirrels again, then to Marietta ga, rats. Another good day
by Chris Collender
Dec 01, 2022 07:20:51 am.

Happy thanksgiving to all, it’s back to work, was in Decatur ga, rats, to off to McDonough ga, rats again, the headed to Douglasville ga, for grey squirrels, then I just left Carrollton ga, bats in attic
by Chris Collender
Nov 28, 2022 12:25:45 pm.

The management, staff, and logo animals of Rid-A-Critter wish all of our customers, suppliers, and Web site visitors a Happy and Save Thanksgiving holiday. Happy Thanksgiving from Rid-A-Critter
by Webmaster
Nov 23, 2022 10:05:14 am.

Cold day yesterday, started in Cedartown ga, squirrels in the soffits, had them last year, he tried to fix it himself last year, didn’t work. Headed to Mableton ga, squirrels again, then 2 stops in Marietta ga
by Chris Collender
Nov 22, 2022 08:21:48 am.

Rainy day, started off in Cleveland ga, bats in the ridge vents, then headed down to Atlanta ga, rats in the basement, then off to Douglasville ga, squirrels chewing holes threw customers shingles
by Chris Collender
Nov 15, 2022 03:36:15 pm.

It’s a cold Monday, was out in Monroe ga this morning, customer has had a constant issue with squirrels, then out 3 jobs in Atlanta ga, rats rats rats.
by Chris Collender
Nov 14, 2022 11:51:04 am.

Busy day yesterday, started off in Hoschton ga, rats, then out to a rental property in Atlanta, rats, then to Jonesboro ga, rats, then up to Athens ga, squirrels, good times.
by Chris Collender
Nov 10, 2022 10:19:13 am.

Was out in ellijay ga today, rats in crawl space, then headed to Hiawasse ga, flyers in attic, in Athens ga now, raccoons in a house
by Chris Collender
Nov 08, 2022 11:38:20 am.

Did a quote yesterday in Watkinsville, ga bats, and a quote for snakes, different houses, then off the Athens, ga snakes in a crawl space, has mice too. Then over to Covington, squirrels in the attic
by Chris Collender
Nov 03, 2022 09:32:16 am.

Was in Sharpsburg ga, squirrels are chewing threw the shingles to get into the attic, then off to Fayetteville ga, bats in the attic. Headed to Duluth ga, squirrels chewing threw the roof junctions and now in Atlanta ga, for rats
by Chris Collender
Oct 31, 2022 01:43:13 pm.

Went to Rome ga, squirrels for years, then off to Stone Mountain ga, previous customer new house, squirrels again. Headed to Bishop ga, guess for what, squirrels. Seems like theme
by Chris Collender
Oct 26, 2022 01:29:38 pm.

Back at in, was in McDonough ga for squirrels and presences of bats, off the Athens ga for squirrels in a metal roof, over to Gainesville ga, previous customer, we sealed his other house, has flyers in his new house, now headed to Atlanta
by Chris Collender
Oct 24, 2022 01:35:08 pm.

Another busy day, Conyers ga for birds, then to peachtree city ga, bats/rats , headed to Atlanta ga and then to Decatur. Good times
by Chris Collender
Oct 21, 2022 03:14:28 pm.

A crew from our Athens office is doing flying squirrel removal in Winder, Georgia today. A cheap plastic roof ridge vent came partially detached from the attic, creating a gap between the vent and the shingles that allowed the flying squirrels into the attic. We're replacing the plastic vent with a Ridge Guard animal barrier that made of steel.
by Webmaster
Oct 19, 2022 09:23:12 am.

Beautiful day today, was in Bremen ga for bats, then off to Fairburn ga for squirrels, up to Atlanta ga for rats, headed to Brookhaven ga for another quote, not sure the animal just yet
by Chris Collender
Oct 11, 2022 12:57:50 pm.

Busy day, quoted rats in doraville, then Cummings, rats and squirrels, then headed to Covington, he has had issues for some time, squirrels with several chewed wires
by Chris Collender
Oct 04, 2022 12:55:50 pm.

We just removed a nest of flying squirrels from the eave of the attic of a house in Athens, Georgia. They're being relocated as a family to their new hangar in the forest while our wildlife-exclusion professionals animal-proof the house to keep pesky critters out of the attic.
by Webmaster
Sep 28, 2022 11:46:13 am.

I was in Big Canoe this morning, rats in the crawl space, then out to Douglasville for flyers in the attic, headed to Forest park for rats in a rental property
by Chris Collender
Sep 27, 2022 11:02:03 am.

Was in hiawassee for Bats, then Suches for rats, Suwannee for squirrels, and then Atlanta for rats again
by Chris Collender
Sep 22, 2022 12:56:25 pm.

Was in winterville this morning for mice, then to blairsvile for flyers, then Cummings ga for rats. Headed to Marietta for some bats, busy day
by Chris Collender
Sep 20, 2022 01:41:02 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. We are fully licensed and insured. Your town not listed? Contact us.

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