Flying squirrels are adorable. When their legs are outstretched, they look a little bit like a miniature bear rug. Only they don't look like a bear. They look like downy soft, big-eyed, sweet, huggable little critters. They are so cute! But when flying squirrels get into attic spaces and begin chewing on everything in sight and spreading parasites and waste everywhere, they're not so cute anymore.
Flying Squirrel Appearance
Male and female flying squirrels look alike, with brown to grey fur on their backs and white fur on their bellies. They have large, flattened tails which they use as rudders when they "fly" through the air. Flying squirrels grow to be around 12 inches in length.
Although called "flying" squirrels, these animals don't really fly. They glide. They have a special type of furry membrane called a patagia stretched between their wrists and ankles. This membrane acts as a parachute which allows them to glide when they jump from tree to tree. The longest recorded flying squirrel "flight" was 300 feet! But they usually only go about 20-30 feet.
The Problems These Squirrels Present Inside Homes
While these are fascinating creatures to learn about, they aren't so great when they break into attics. Here is a list of some of the problems flying squirrels can cause when they get into homes.
- They chew things: Like all rodents, squirrels have the need to chew on things so they can wear down their front incisors. Because of this need, squirrels can chew on anything and everything when they get inside. If they chew on the wrong items or materials, such as wiring or water pipes, it can lead to extensive damage.
- They chew holes: If there are areas around your roof that are compromised with small holes or water-damaged wood, squirrels can chew on these areas and make holes that they can get in through. These holes will allow other pests to get in, pests such as insects, mice, bats, and more. And the holes can also let rainwater in, which can cause wood rot, mold, mildew, etc.
- Flying Squirrels have babies: If a squirrel decides to nest in your attic, it may build a nest, and soon you will have more than just one flying squirrel to deal with.
- Flying squirrels can bring in parasites: Some parasites flying squirrels can bring into a home include lice, mites, fleas and ticks.
How Flying Squirrels Get Into Homes
- They chew their way in through soffits and eaves.
- They chew through the seals around roof penetrations.
- They squeeze in through gaps between chimney stacks and exterior walls.
- They scratch holes in screens and chew through window frames.
How To Keep Flying Squirrels Out
- To keep these animals from getting into your attic:
- Check over your roof area and seal up any entry points you notice.
- Repair any wood that is water damaged.
- Repair/replace broken screens.
- Apply metal flashing to strengthen vulnerable areas.
When You Need Help, Call The Professionals At Parkway
If you discover that flying squirrels have found their way into your attic, the safest course of action is to call professional wildlife control. When any wild animal is cornered, especially if they are protecting their young, they can become aggressive and bite or scratch, possibly causing injury or transferring disease.
If you need help getting rid of flying squirrels in your attic, reach out to us. We'll help you get them back outside where they can start being cute again.