Grey Squirrel - Sciurms Carolinesis
Introduced from North America on several occasions between 1876 - 1929. Grey squirrels have a body length of about 25 cm and a bushy tail almost as long used for balance. Both sexes are about the same size and around 500 gm in weight. They are well adapted for climbing, their winter coat is grey above a white underside, in summer the coat is shorter and a brownish grey in colour. A very prolific and adaptable species found across England far out numbering our native red squirrel.
Grey squirrels build nests (dreys) of twigs and leaves in trees or in your roof space using loft insulation and paper. Grey squirrels have two litters per year one in March - April and the second in June - July, the litter average being 3-4 young. Everybody knows that squirrels eat nuts and acorns, but in truth they will eat just about anything, fruit from your garden, fungi, eggs and small birds. Grey squirrels cause damage to growing trees by eating buds and stripping bark, often killing the tree in the process.
More damage can be done when they find their way into your loft space, where they can chew at cables and any plastic pipe work. Grey squirrels can be controlled in a number of ways. Drey poking, using long poles to destroy nests, shooting and trapping with spring traps or live traps and poison baits. All control methods are to be undertaken with regard to all relevant legislation inc, Destructive imported animals act 1932, Wildlife and country side act 1981, spring traps approval order 1995, grey squirrel warfarin order 1973, control of pesticides regulations 1986 and wild mammals protection act 1996.