Squirrels in loft and garden.

I've a job where gray squirrels have been into a loft, causing much damage to wiring, joists, insulation. What is the best time to find them "at home" to put paid to them, or is it better to use Warfarin?
J.B.
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Couldn't you just find out how they are getting in and block up the holes? Then they would have to go and find somewhere else to go!
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In fact, unless confident of killing all the squirrels in the locality, and keeping it 'squirrel free' indefinitely, getting rid of the current culprits without denying future access would seem at best a short term fix.
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Because that is too sensible and easy to perform. Some idiots will spend fortunes killing pests, sometimes becoming an obsession, when in fact if they just look after and maintained their property these so called pests would not be a problem.
Never underestimate the stupidity of man.
To avoid grizzlies, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game advises hikers to wear noisy little bells on clothes and carry pepper spray. Also watch for signs of activity: Black bear scat is smaller and contains berries; grizzly scat has little bells in it and smells like pepper.
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Jerry Built wrote:

I suspect this might be a troll, especially noting the pseudonym, but what the heck...
Squirrels are active in the daytime, so the direct answer to the first question is obvious. Instead of bumping them off, why not just block their access, and they'll stay in the garden. There is evidence of previous squirrel damage on our house, ie neatly chewed hole in the plastic facia just above the gutter and under the tiles, plus loads of half eaten peanuts in the loft, presumably raided from bird feeders. After that, the starlings moved in and made quite a mess - took me ages to get it all out when the chicks had fledged. No problems since I blocked the hole, and I like watching the little blighters do squirrely things in the garden when I'm in the kitchen. They might be only rats with good PR, but I think they're kinda cute.
I am beginning to move away from this "if it shouldn't be there then kill it" mentality. I learned my lesson last summer, when I became concerned at a wasps nest under a low eve close to the patio door. The wasps didn't come into the house, and they didn't bother me in the garden, but I thought they might. I sprayed wasp killer foam under the eves, and ended up with a house full of dying wasps! This year, they can't nest in the same place as the facias have been redone and there is no longer access for them. However, there are two nests under the tiles on the other side of the house, away from windows and doors, and as long as I am not plagued by them in the house and garden, I intend to leave them well alone. Live and let live.
Rick
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On Mon, 21 Jun 2004 13:05:55 +0100, "Richard Sterry"

Here, here. You could always get rid of the nests in the winter, in fact I would strongly advise it, especially if you have children close by.
When we moved to this house many years ago there were mice under the floorboards upstairs and seemed to be everywhere. It took two weeks to trap the buggers (16 in all) sealed a few holes here and there around the house and have no trouble since. We released the mice in the same spot in the garden.
It's just as easy to catch a live animal as it is to kill it. I think we have been conditioned that killing is acceptable for too many years.
To avoid grizzlies, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game advises hikers to wear noisy little bells on clothes and carry pepper spray. Also watch for signs of activity: Black bear scat is smaller and contains berries; grizzly scat has little bells in it and smells like pepper.
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Soup popped his head over the parapet,saw what was going on and said

Were these specially breed house mice that could survive outdoors or were they just prey for other animals or did they go back into your house/another house via an incredibly small gap. You only caught 16, would imagine there are a lot more than that . Something like 90% of human dwellings have rodents in the walls all you can do is keep them in check by limiting the size of entrances (you will NOT get every "gap" the smallest can use) to the house and by not letting them get any 'food' in living areas.
--
Yours S. addy not usable (not that you would try it) ( )
Non plaudite. Modo pecuniam jacite / \
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Hi JB, It sounds like you need to get the professionals in. They will be able to move your residents out of the roof safely and give you advice about sealing them out. Since they will have dealt with similar problems, they may be better able to survey your damage and advise you about repairs. Your local council should have a department that deals with this kind of thing. Whoever you approach, they may not be able to eradicate squirrels from your garden. Spider
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Richard Sterry wrote:

Thank you for your reply - this is not a "troll" (although I see that a troll has replied, YKWIM).

When it gets dark, then... I've a feeling that Warfarin might be the easier option, though (and far less cost).

Difficult access. I hope that when a purge is carried out it will be a while before other individuals find the way in.

I will have to remove all the insulation, re-wire, and brace two joists that have been partially gnawed through. A lot of junk will have to be removed, too, it looks as if the old gal there has had a lot of childrens toys and stuff nibbled to bits.

Yes, but they do a lot of damage in lofts (and to trees, birds and so on).

I'd do the same, if they aren't a nuisance. I know a keeper who had a hornets nest nearby. For some reason they loved crawling up and down his conservatory glazing. Made a cosy cuppa quite interesting! Wuzz Z Z Z Z Z!
J.B.
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Jerry Built wrote: [snip]

Well, the lofts you can solve by blocking, but as for the trees and birds, that's just nature for you. We have squirrels aplenty in our smalll garden, ditto birdies, and there are oodles of healthy trees just over the fence.
Rick
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On Mon, 21 Jun 2004 05:43:51 -0700 (PDT), Jerry Built

It will be neither the easiest nor less costly option. The hydroxiycoumarins (Warfarin) kill by causing haemorrhage, mainly in the eyes, nose, mouth and gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. The toxicity of anticoagulant rodenticides depends on repeated exposure to relatively small doses. The animal takes quite a long time to die (about 3 to 10 days) and the process is painful. They therefore seek out somewhere dark safe and quiet to hide from the pain (a simplistic survival mechanism - pain is usually caused by a predator eating you so quiet and dark is good).
In doing so they tend to get their revenge because quiet safe and dark place to die is your loft, particularly inaccessible secluded parts of it (such as between the cavity walls and under insulation etc).
The carcass often remains un-noticed, it is surprising the number of people who think Warfarin makes bodies disappear. The first you know about it is the smell and the flies. Getting the rotted remains out can be enormously difficult - some years ago I saw this happen and eventually the family moved out as the house was uninhabitable because of the stench and blowflies. A large part of the outer wall had to be taken down to get the remains of several squirrels out (they had fallen down the cavity about 8ft as they had rotted).
Even after all that the smell of a decomposing animal will never fully go away especially if you have loft and cavity wall insulation.
Secondly,

No - about a week or two usually. Squirrels are ubiquitous and if a vacancy occurs in the locality are very quick to move into it. The simplest, cheapest and only long term solution is to block access.
If you insist on using Warfarin you need to use a pest control company and a formulation approved for this specific purpose.
Under the Grey Squirrels Warfarin Order 1973 (revised 1997) squirrels may only be poisoned with a bait of plain wheat containing 0.002% Warfarin liquid. This not available for amateur use. Normal Rat/Mouse Warfarin will simply make squirrels very ill, it will kill hardly any.
--
Peter Parry.
http://www.wpp.ltd.uk/
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When you use warfarin if the access is so difficult that you cannot trap them, you will also not be able to get in to remove the rotting bodies up there which will be stinking your home out and releasing body fluids to stain your ceilings. I recommend you chuck a load of mothballs up there, then seal the entrances when they clear out. If you simply kill what you have, another troop will move into the vacated territory.
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wrote:

The same can be said for rats, mice and even birds who have ingested it through whatever means. Some people are just too gullible to see it only benefits the pest control companies who actually earn billions from scaring us. It was estimated that some 75% of UK pest control was completely unnecessary, let alone ineffective. ( Radio London May 2001)
I would never touch any pest control measure except for humane traps for release, and I have only had to use these a few times in 30 years.
It's all in the mind.
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Most wildlife, and humans are perfectly adaptable to many habitats without problem. Yet another myth of the loons dispelled.

Your figures are no doubt from a pest control company. Most of us DONT have rodents in our houses, in actual fact. Problem pests are quite rare in reality.
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Borrow a cat or a ferret??
A friend's cat recently brought a squirrel into their kitchen, unfortunately it was very much alive and kicking & chaos ensued....
Another friend is actually licensed as a squirrel catcher/transporter in Holland (mostly for red squirrel conservation work). He's a scary looking strapping 6ft-odd skinhead, well able to look after himself. He treats squirrels with huge respect and has many stories about wrestles with the beasties, donning large gauntlets before even going near one.
Whatever you do, make sure you don't end up in a position in the loft trying to block entrance/put posion down/whatever where you have a live, cornered squirrel in there with you. They can be ferocious b?*!ers.
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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wrote:

They make look like cutesy little critters, but get one wet and it looks like a rat and if cornered will defend itself.
.andy
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
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Andy Hall wrote:

Yes, I picked a friendly one up once, and discovered what sort of level of muscular strength, sharp claws and general fitness it takes to run vertically up a tree trunk and leap 15 feet across to an adjacent one.
These are tough critters. And leave deep claw marks.

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<snip>
wouldn't bother pursuing this any further - from a look at the headers, and given the fact that uk.rec.gardening is virtually unusable now due to trolls, bots and name thefts, I don't think that this is the real Nick MacLaren. Not to mention the posting style is completely at odds with Nick's normal style.
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RichardS wrote:

I agree - it's unfortunate that so much useless crap comes from just one troll, really, + a number of people who persist in blindly retaining all cross-posts in reply. uk.e.c. is similarly blighted (OT for u.r.g.!) by similar posts. Shame. Killing articles cross-psoted to three or more groups is very helpful.
Anyway, thanks (various) for the useful contributions - will see how things go.
J.B.
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