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Squirrel Control & Management in Devon

ACE provide effective squirrel control solutions for woodland owners & home owners in Devon.  Squirrel control can be challenging, especially in woodland environments where squirrels are causing damage to trees and wildlife threatening the future of the woodland. Employing a range of approved methods to control and manage grey squirrels on your property, ACE Pest Management are here to meet all your needs. Using only approved humane squirrel control and management methods, we can offer effective squirrel control and management services to protect your property or woodland.

Grey Squirrel Facts

Grey Squirrel Facts

  • Introduced from the USA between 1876 - 1929

  • The Grey Squirrel is a member of the Rodent family

  • Squirrels are diurnal - Active during the day

  • Lifespan: Up to 5 years

  • Body Length: 24 – 28.5cm

  • Tail Length: 19.5 – 24cm

  • Weight: 400g - 720g

 

Squirrel Habitat 

The Grey Squirrel naturally favours deciduous and mixed woodlands & is now common place in gardens, hedgerows and parks, typically anywhere with trees. Squirrels will also venture into conifer woodlands to feed on the seed bearing cones that these woodlands produce.

 

Squirrel Behaviour

Grey Squirrels are often active from before dawn until after dusk. The activity period varies seasonally, from a full day in autumn to as little as an hour a day in winter. Grey squirrels will frequently travel between trees or forage at ground level.
Grey Squirrel nests (dreys) are constructed from hardwood twigs and leaves, and lined by dry leaves and grass, usually tucked in a fork against the trunk of the tree,  drays can also be in large holes in the trees . Squirrels may also use multiple dreys as resting sites.

Grey squirrels are largely animals of deciduous woodland, and are dependant upon the large seeds of such trees as oak, beech, hazel, sweet chestnut and walnut. In the Autumn, when abundant, these seeds will often be stored underground. 

 

Squirrel Diet

The squirrels diet consists of large seeds of trees such as oak, beech, hazel, sweet chestnut, walnut & conifers. When this food supply runs out in early summer, grey squirrels turn to a variety of flowers, buds, shoots, pine cones, fungi, peanuts from bird feeders, birds’ eggs and young. Squirrels strip bark from certain trees to gain access to the nutrients below the bark which can cause severe damage or even death of the tree.

 

Squirrel Predators

The main predators of grey squirrels include stoats, pine martins, goshawks and foxes.

 

Why Control Squirrels?

In Woodlands - Classed as an invasive, non-native species, the grey squirrel is a significant factor for the almost complete extinction of the red squirrel on the British mainland. They can also carry the squirrel pox virus, which is fatal to the native red squirrel population. Grey squirrels are identified as having a wide range of impacts from reduction in wood production to an adverse effect on woodland biodiversity. 

 

Grey squirrels eat a large variety of food including tree bark, buds, flowers, nuts, berries, seeds and fruit from many different species, they will also eat insects and fungi. In spring, the taking of eggs and young chicks by grey squirrels has a devastating effect on songbird and ground-nesting populations. Squirrels are known for collecting and storing nuts in the ground, they do not remember where they have buried them, they rely on scent to find the stored nuts, but there are many that they are not found and so aiding the dispersal of seeds from the parent trees. A broadleaved woodland is able to support 8 to 18 squirrels per hectare, but the grey squirrel density is far less in coniferous woodland.

 

Grey squirrels are serious pests of forestry, they strip bark from thin-barked tree species during early summer to get to the sweet, sap filled layers  just beneath the bark. This layer is responsible for the movement of sugars around the tree, if this gnawing extends around the stem of the tree then the movement of sugars around the tree will stop and the tree will die. Removal of any bark and associated tissue will check or restrict the growth of trees and open the tree to fungal infection. Branches in the canopy of the tree can also be stripped of bark which can kill the top of trees or distort their growth. Susceptible tree species

include sycamore, beech, oak, sweet chestnut, pine, larch and Norway Spruce that are aged between 10 and 40 years old.


In Properties - grey squirrels can enter roof spaces of properties to build a nest for their young. If left unattended, they can cause damage to woodwork, electrical wiring, and water pipes, as well as tearing up roof space insulation. They have also been known to enter into the lower level of the property through the ceiling and cause havoc within the property.


Squirrels & the Law

It has been illegal to keep grey squirrels (without a licence) since 1937. Because grey squirrels are an invasive pest species, it is against the law to re-release a grey squirrel back into the wild if it's been caught alive. 


Squirrel Control

The control methods used by ACE Pest Management for grey squirrels is by use of approved trapping methods and PCP air gun only. A trapping program can carried out internally if squirrels are entering the roof space of a property.  If squirrel control is required externally in wooded areas or gardens we can employ a mix of approved squirrel trapping and a shooting program depending on the situation.



How We Work

The Next Step

  • Get in touch with ACE to discuss the pest problem at your property. We can then schedule an inspection visit to your property at a time that suits you

  • We will carry out an inspection of your property for pest activity and recommend the best course of action and treatment to remove the pests from your property

  • We will then carry out the treatments required to remove the pests from your property and will provide pest prevention & proofing recommendations where necessary



All treatments carried out by ACE Pest Management comply with current health and safety legislation and COSSH.

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