It’s that time of year again when you may awaken to the thump or scamper of little footsteps on the roof. No, it’s not Santa’s reindeer, but a colony of flying squirrels that have come to seek refuge in your warm house.
Though most people in New Jersey are accustomed to seeing the more familiar gray squirrel, flying squirrels are common throughout the state, but rarely seen since they are nocturnal. While tiny in size (8 to 10 inches) and weighing only a few ounces, they can cause a great deal of noise and destruction if they choose your residence as a home base for the winter.
Flying squirrels have soft, gray-brown fur on the back and sides, with white under parts, a flattened tail and large, dark eyes for night vision. They are active year-round, and usually live in large, multigenerational groups, moving their dens from trees in the summertime to warmer options – such as attics – in the colder months.
Despite their name, these rodents don’t actually fly. Instead, the loose folds of skin between the squirrels’ front and hind legs enable them to glide through the air at distances ranging upwards of 150 feet, using their tail as a rudder. This is why removing nearby trees on your property won’t stop flying squirrels from finding their way into your home. In addition to their impressive gliding ability, they are also capable climbers who can effortlessly scale the walls of a building.
Mating occurs in February and March, and an average of three to four young are born after a 40-day gestation period. A second breeding period occurs in the summer.
Since they are nocturnal creatures, they begin their daily food-storing activities at sundown and continue throughout the night. Although they are small, this can be an extremely noisy and disruptive process when they are residing with you. In addition to noise concerns, the droppings and urine of the animals may cause severe odor issues, and result in damage to an attic’s insulation.
Like all rodents, flying squirrels must chew to maintain sharp teeth. Homes with flyer colonies often have chewed electrical wires, which can be a serious fire hazard.
It only takes a one-inch diameter space for flying squirrels to gain access into your home through a roofline gap or chimney cap. When done properly, removing these unwanted visitors from your home is a multifaceted process, which includes capturing the flying squirrels and then carefully sealing up any gaps to ensure they can’t return.
As always, Wildlife Control Specialist LLC takes pride in performing these services in a humane and environmentally responsible way. We are a green, “no kill” company that demonstrates great care in protecting both your home and the animals that live in our midst.
In the case of flying squirrels, we set up specially designed traps on the outside of the building. They are captured when they exit the building to seek out food, or when returning from such a mission.
Once the squirrels have been removed from the home, it is imperative to seal all entry points to avoid re-infestation. We make our repairs as craftsmen, approaching each project with the understanding that your home is your most valuable asset. Not only will our exclusion barriers last permanently, they will blend in seamlessly with the appearance of the home.
Any squirrels that are taken out of a residence are safely released back into the wild, and mothers are happily reunited with their babies.