Keep Flying Squirrels Out: Effective Exclusion Methods

Flying Squirrel Exclusion

Flying squirrels have made their way into this attic by chewing into the sill plate for the gable vent.  The hardware cloth was not covering well enough and the squirrels exposed that weakness.  We removed and replaced the bottom sill and then secured hardware cloth to the new piece.  Now the squirrels would have to chew thru metal to get inside.

Flying squirrels belong to the family Sciuridae, and contrary to their name, they are not true flyers but are remarkable gliders. There are around 50 species of flying squirrels found worldwide, distributed across Asia, Europe, and North America. Among them, the northern and southern flying squirrels are the most commonly known.

The most distinctive feature of flying squirrels is their patagium, a specialized membrane of skin that extends between their forelimbs and hindlimbs. This patagium acts as a parachute, allowing them to glide effortlessly through the air. When they stretch their limbs out, the patagium expands, creating a larger surface area to catch air currents.

Flying squirrels are predominantly nocturnal creatures, well adapted to their nighttime habitat. They possess large, forward-facing eyes that enhance their depth perception and night vision. Their keen eyesight enables them to spot potential predators and navigate through dense forests in the dark.

These agile gliders make their homes in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and sometimes even urban areas. Their diet primarily consists of nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, and tree sap. They have sharp incisors that help them gnaw through hard shells and bark to access their preferred food sources.

Flying squirrels are generally solitary animals, but some species exhibit social behavior and live in small groups. They communicate through vocalizations, scent marking, and visual displays. Breeding season varies among different species, but typically occurs during spring or summer. Female flying squirrels give birth to litters of two to five young ones, which are blind and hairless at birth.

Preventing squirrels from entering your home is crucial for several reasons. While squirrels may appear cute and harmless, their presence inside residential spaces can lead to various problems and potential hazards. Here are some key reasons why it is important to keep squirrels out of your home:

Property Damage: Squirrels have strong and sharp teeth that they use for gnawing. Once inside your home, they can cause significant damage to electrical wiring, insulation, wooden structures, and personal belongings. Chewed wires can pose a fire hazard, and structural damage can compromise the integrity of your home.

Nesting and Chewing Habits: Squirrels are known to create nests within attics, crawlspaces, and wall voids. They will tear up insulation, shred materials, and use these items to build their nests. Their constant chewing can lead to costly repairs and potential safety hazards.

Health Risks: Squirrels can carry various parasites, including fleas, ticks, and mites, which can transmit diseases to humans and pets. Their droppings can also contaminate the environment with bacteria and fungi, potentially causing respiratory issues and other health problems.

Noise and Disturbance: Once inside your home, squirrels can be noisy, especially during their active periods, which can disrupt your sleep and daily routines. Their scratching, running, and gnawing sounds can be quite bothersome.

Increased Pest Activity: Squirrels can attract other pests such as rats and mice, as they leave behind food debris and create entry points that these smaller pests can exploit. This can lead to infestations and further property damage.

Mice vs. Rats: Understanding the Difference

Rat Droppings Near Bait Station

Lets play “Is it mice or rats?”

Spoiler alert…it’s rats. What might look like dirt or debris are actually rat droppings all around this bait station on the ground.  Mice and rats are two common household pests that can cause havoc and discomfort when they invade our living spaces. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are distinct differences between these rodents.

Physical Appearance:

One of the primary ways to differentiate mice from rats is through their physical attributes. Mice are generally smaller, measuring around 2 to 4 inches in length, with slender bodies, pointed noses, and relatively large ears. In contrast, rats are larger, ranging from 6 to 9 inches in length, with more robust bodies, blunt noses, and smaller ears compared to their body size.


Tail Length:

Another noticeable distinction between mice and rats lies in their tails. Mice have thin, long, and slightly hairy tails that are typically equal to or longer than their body length. On the other hand, rats possess thick, hairless, and scaly tails that are shorter than their body length.


Behavior and Habits:

While both mice and rats are nocturnal creatures, they exhibit different behaviors and habits. Mice are known for their agility and ability to climb, jump, and squeeze through tiny openings. They are fast breeders and tend to build nests in hidden areas using materials like paper, fabric, or insulation. Mice are generally curious and cautious creatures, avoiding human contact whenever possible.


Rats, on the other hand, are excellent swimmers and burrowers. They are more cautious and exhibit neophobic tendencies, meaning they’re wary of new objects or changes in their environment. Rats often create complex burrow systems and tend to nest in dark, secluded areas such as basements or crawl spaces. Due to their larger size and stronger gnawing capabilities, rats can cause more structural damage than mice.


Dietary Preferences:

Both mice and rats are opportunistic eaters, but they differ in their dietary preferences. Mice are omnivorous and consume a variety of foods, including grains, seeds, fruits, and even small insects. They can survive on very little water, deriving most of their moisture from their food. Rats, on the other hand, are more flexible in their diet and can consume a wider range of foods, including grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, and even pet food. Rats require a regular source of water to survive.


Health Risks:

While both mice and rats can carry diseases and transmit them to humans through their urine, droppings, or bites, rats are generally considered more of a health concern due to their larger size and potential for more severe bites. Common diseases associated with these rodents include salmonellosis, hantavirus, leptospirosis, and rat-bite fever.


Understanding the differences between mice and rats is essential for effective pest management. By recognizing their distinct physical characteristics, behaviors, habits, dietary preferences, and health risks, you can better identify the type of rodent infestation you may be dealing with. Whether it’s mice or rats, it’s important to address the issue promptly and seek professional pest control assistance to eliminate the problem and prevent further damage to your home or business.

Larder Beetles

Larder beetle

I’m always a little hesitant to show some pics out of concern for the squeamish…but if you’re following this page it can’t be that bad. 😅

So, here we have an expired mouse and accompanying this little guy is a couple of Larder Beetles.  If you are seeing these occasional invaders it could be an indication of another pest problem, in this case a mouse infestation.

Nice ootheca.

Oriental Cockroach

These Oriental cockroaches are BIG. Second picture shows a roach with an egg case (ootheca) still attached.  These roaches tend to be found areas of high moisture outside but sometimes, like in this case will come up thru sewer systems.  You can find these in sinks and around floor drains, much like you would American Roaches.