The grey squirrel was brought over from America and has all but displaced our lovely native red squirrel.
If they’re in the attic, they’ll quickly start to build a drey (nest) using both materials in your loft – usually your insulation – and sticks or other materials brought in from outside. One good indication that you might have a squirrel problem is the noise: nesting squirrels make quite a racket! It’s often likened to having someone in hob-nailed boots running about above the ceiling – although, unlike other pests, they generally get a lot quieter at night time!
The harm they do
Aside from a pox that grey squirrels can carry, the most serious problem they’re likely to cause is a fire – in that respect, they’re by far the worst pest to have in the loft. While all rodents need to gnaw to keep their teeth in good condition, squirrels just seem to love chewing through the PVC that protect mains cables! Aside from that, their enlarged entrance hole will often allow rain in, causing further damage to the property, possibly leading to water damage or rotting.
As with most rodents, the point of entry needs to be located and sealed – squirrels will show very determined effort trying to get back into a loft or roof void so the materials have to be suitable for the job. Once entry has been denied, any squirrels that are then trapped in the building have to be removed and this is a job that is best left to a professional; not only is a trapped squirrel a very unpredictable thing indeed, it is illegal to release a grey squirrel into the wild because they are not classed as a native species in the UK.