Flying squirrels are one of several squirrel species that are common in Georgia. The other one that keeps us busy is the gray squirrel. We also have chipmunks, which are ground squirrels; but we usually don't do much work with them unless they've gotten into homes, which is unusual.
Smaller and lighter than their earth-bound cousins, flying squirrels get their name from the fact that they can fly -- sort of. Really, what they can do is glide. They can't take off and gain altitude like bats or birds, nor can they perform complex maneuvers in flight. What they can do is glide rather impressively -- certainly better than any other mammal can without the help of machinery. But "gliding squirrels" didn't have quite the ring to it that "flying squirrels" does.
Flying squirrels can glide from higher areas to lower areas with considerable accuracy provided that the landing spot is more of less a straight shot from their starting point. They can't dramatically change course in flight, but they can maneuver well enough to hit their landing spot if they can see it from their launch point. This gives them the ability to get into buildings without having to climb from the ground, thus avoiding cats and other predators.
Once they're inside a home or other building, flying squirrels cause the same kind of problems as gray squirrels do. They tear up insulation; gnaw on anything that's handy (including stored items and electrical wiring); and contaminate the area with their droppings, urine, shed fur, and disease-carrying parasites. In short, they make a mess, damage your property, and cause health and fire hazards.
Flying squirrels, like all squirrels, are rodents. They're in the family, Sciuridae, which includes all squirrel species. The ones that we get in Georgia are, appropriately enough, Southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans). They're pretty similar-looking to their cousins the Northern flying squirrels, but you can tell them apart by their accents. Those Northern ones talk too fast.
Like other squirrels, flying squirrels usually are born in the spring. There can be anywhere from one to six babies in a litter. They're born hairless, with their eyes closed, and are completely dependent on their mothers. They grow quickly, however: Their eyes open at about two weeks of age; they start exploring outside their nests and eating solid food at about five weeks; they're fully weaned by two months; and they bid their mamas goodbye and leave home at about six months.
Groups of young flying squirrels (especially siblings) usually spend their first winters sharing a bachelor pad, whether it's a hollow tree or your attic, before beginning life as real grown-ups the following spring and starting families of their own in late fall of that year. Some of them will jump the gun a bit on that last activity, however, which is one of the reasons why we sometimes encounter baby flying squirrels in the fall.
Flying squirrels will eat pretty much anything if they have to, but they prefer plant-based foods like seeds, nuts, fruits, mushrooms, and other fungi. They'll also eat insects, grubs, earthworms, other invertebrates, eggs, and very small mammals on occasion. Like other rodents, they're hoarders who store away food to consume during the cooler months; and like other rodents, this hoarding often creates fire hazards and insect problems when they do it in the attics of people's homes.
Flying squirrel control can be quite challenging. Because of their gliding abilities, excellent balance, and small size, they can get into houses and other buildings that are quite difficult to get to using ladders and scaffolding, and can get in through openings too small for any other animals except for bats and mice. Sealing a building against flying squirrels therefore requires painstaking attention to detail.
Flying squirrel exclusion also requires specialized equipment most of the time, most of it of the elevation variety such as ladders, scaffolding, and lift trucks. Because of the heights, specialized skills, and equipment needed, flying squirrel control is a poor choice for a DIY project. DIY flying squirrel removal jobs almost always fail.
Rid-A-Critter uses safe, humane, non-chemical methods to control flying squirrels. We basically remove them, seal them out, and clean up after them. We don't use poisons of any kind to kill them. That's both illegal and would be ineffective. Without sealing up the entry points, "new" flying squirrels would quickly move in to replace the "old" ones. There also would be the risk of the animals dying inside your home and causing quite a stink -- literally. Long story short, any exterminator who tries to sell you a flying squirrel control job that uses poisons is both breaking the law and wasting your money.
Here are some pictures of flying squirrel removal jobs in the Augusta area.
Flying squirrel hole in a baseboard in Augusta
A flying squirrel caught in an attic by our tech
Sealing flying squirrels out of a house in Augusta
Baby flying squirrel removed from Augusta home
Flying squirrel droppings and urine in an attic
Flying squirrel removed from a house in Augusta
Flying squirrel nest in an attic in Augusta
Flying squirrel trying to hide from our tech
Juvenile flying squirrels
Baby flying squirrels in after being released
Rid-A-Critter has the tools and personnel to handle any flying squirrel control job, so please call us today.