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Question and Answer ArticleFlying Squirrels

Published: April 16, 2010
Photo by © Brian E Kushner
Q:   Our Kentucky A-frame cabin has been invaded by flying squirrels. Do you have any suggestions on eradicating the ones inside and keeping the others outside?
– Jack Knecht, via e-mail

A:  Getting the flying squirrels out and keeping them out is actually fairly easy.
Trapping is the best method for getting the squirrels out. There are a number of live traps on the market for an animal this size. Just take care in how you treat the squirrels, as they are generally a protected species.

Flying squirrels are quite gentle, and you could also try to catch them with a net. But stalk them during the day, when you know they’ll be taking up residence in and around your cabin. Because they’re nocturnal, they’re likely out and about during the night.

If you’ve netted or trapped them, you’ll want to relocate them to a hardwood forest several miles away. But to complicate things: They’re best relocated in small groups. Why? Group relocation is best because they’re social, accustomed to living in small communities. Also, they don’t hibernate, so they typically nest together to keep warm (explaining why they end up in attics – and why you have multiple squirrels).
After the squirrels are out for sure, make sure any entrances to your cabin are blocked. Flying squirrels are like mice in that they can fit through very small holes. So treat the problem like a mouse problem: examine your place closely, trying to locate a main entry point. Common entry points for squirrels are in dormer areas and alongside chimneys. Any holes the size of a dime or bigger should be covered. Heavy-duty ½-inch wire mesh will do the trick.
If all this sounds a little scary to you, and you’re willing to lay down some dollars, contact a local animal control agency. They can get squirrels out, and you can focus on buttoning up your cabin. Good luck!

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