Squirrels in Homes

By Chris Williams on January 7, 2014.

Red squirrel in homeJohn Maher:  Hi. My name is John Maher. Today I’m here with Dave Beaulieu, Wildlife Specialist at Colonial Pest, a pest control company serving Eastern Massachusetts, Southern New Hampshire and Maine. Today, we’re talking about squirrels in homes.

Welcome, Dave.

Dave Beaulieu:  Good morning, John. Pleasure to be here.

John:  Great. Dave, what types of squirrels are indigenous to this area? We live in New England. What type of squirrels are around?

Dave:  The ones we deal with on a regular basis would be flying squirrels, red squirrels and gray squirrels, primarily.

John:  What are the differences between those?

Dave:  Flying squirrels is probably a little bit different, being more of a nocturnal species. Red and gray squirrels would be active during the day. That’s how we would differentiate between the main differences between the three, anyway.

John:  That’s why I haven’t noticed flying squirrels soaring around from tree‑to‑tree in my backyard. They tend to be out more at night.

Dave:  Exactly. You would never see them during the day, except for rare instances where they might have been forcefully moved out of a building, but normally active at night. They’re very small. They’d be very hard to see anyway, especially in the dark.

John:  Do squirrels do any damage inside a structure when they get in?

Dave:  Oh, absolutely. We see it all the time. Damage to insulation, electrical wiring, any type of storage you might have up there, they’ll just go to town on it.

John:  Why do they do that? Are they trying to build a nest with my wiring?

Dave:  Electrical wiring, sometimes you look at it and you wonder why in the first place. A lot of times it’s because the wiring is running between where they are and where they want to go. They’ll have to chew on it to make it large enough to squeeze by. If electrical wiring happens to be right there in their way, then they’ll definitely do damage to it.

John:  It seems like there’s just so many gray squirrels out there running around. I see them running up the trees in my backyard all the time. When do gray squirrels produce litters?

Dave:  Twice a year, usually in early spring and late summer.

John:  Are those particularly times when squirrels tend to get into homes?

Dave:  We deal with squirrels more in the colder months of the year. They’ll come in once the leaves have gone on the trees. That’s where they’re going to spend most of their time in the warmer temperatures, but once those leaves are gone, they lose all their sense of security. Being exposed to the elements kind of forces them indoors. We’ll get them in attics and buildings at colder temperatures.

John:  I understand that squirrels can also end up in basements. How does that happen?

Dave:  At times, it’s a furnace flue. It’s an open furnace flue uncapped. Squirrels will sit in the chimney for the warmth and we’ll get them coming down the furnace flue. Furnace systems, usually vented, are open systems where the animal exits into the basement and will become basically trapped there.

John:  Dave, thanks very much for speaking with me.

Dave:  All right. It was a pleasure, John. Thank you very much.

John:  For more information, you can visit the website at or call 1‑800‑525‑8084 for a free quote.



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