Michigan Flying Squirrels

Introduction

The flying squirrel has many distinct qualities that differentiate it from other squirrels. In North America, there are two species of flying squirrels—the Northern Flying Squirrel, Glaucomys sabrinus, and the Southern Flying Squirrel, Glaucomys volans. The term “flying” is a misnomer in describing one of this animal’s unique means of mobility. (Bats are the only mammals capable of true flight.)  Flying squirrels can control their “glide” and speed, by direction, angle and destination, and have been reorded to glide as far as the length of a football field.  
 

Biology and Habits

Flying squirrels are extremely small in size compared to other squirrel members, such as the gray and fox squirrels. They have a broad flattened tail, enlarged eyes, and a patagium. The patagium is extended folds of skin from the wrist to ankle that enables it to fly.  The flying squirrel has two litters per year, one in early spring, the other in mid-summer. Each litter producing from one to six young.  The young are blind, naked and helpless.   Flying squirrels usually live in medium (4-10) or large (10-20) communal families with one or two breeding males while the rest are breeding females or immature squirrels.

Flying squirrels are nocturnal and feed mostly on insects, nuts, fruits, seeds and berries. They do not hibernate, but may stay in the nest during bad weather.  Known predators of this species include large mammals, owls, and cats. The Northern flying squirrel prefers conifer forests and the Southern flying squirrel prefers deciduous forests. The habitat ranges of these two species vary, but cover most of North America.
 

Damage and Concerns

Flying squirrels may cause damage when they enter buildings via construction gaps, dormer and louver vents, chimneys, fascia boards and soffits. Their entrance hole is often times the size of a quarter. Squirrels have been responsible for starting fires by chewing on electrical wires.  Other damages include accumulated droppings, urine stains, chewing and gnawing on wood, and degradation of insulation. 

Outside the home they are known to denude bark on trees and shrubs, dig holes in turf, and raid bird feeders and gardens. There are few health concerns associated with flying squirrels.  They are, on rare occasions, carriers of rabies and typhus, but these squirrels pose little, if any, significant threat to humans.
 

Control

There are various approaches for controlling flying squirrels. Prevention of the flying squirrel entry, or excluding the site, is of extreme importance in solving this situation. Another technique is humanely live-trapping the flying squirrels from the space.  Cage trapping flying squirrels can be utilized, using nuts and vegetables. Tree trimming around the building will discourage use by these squirrels, along with other birds and animals. We also recommended installing chimney caps on any uncovered chimney, to prevent unwanted flying squirrel entry.


Management

To successfully manage a flying squirrel population, you must have an integrated pest management plan. Critter Control uses multiple approaches to eradicate and exclude these and other nuisance animals from your home and property.
 
Call 1-800-CRITTER for your local Critter Control office and all of your flying squirrel removal and control needs.

Our local Michigan offices offer Flying Squirrels services in the following cities: Acme, Ada, Akron, Alger, Allen Park, Allendale, Alma, Ann Arbor, Armada, Auburn Hills, Bad Axe, Barton Hills, Battle Creek, Bay City, Bellaire, Belleville, Bellevue, Benzonia, Berkley, Beulah, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms, Birmingham, Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Twp., Brighton, Brighton, Brooklyn, Caledonia, Canadian Lakes, Canton, Carleton, Caro, Carrollton, Cascade, Casnovia, Cedar, Cedar Springs, Center Line, Central Lake, Charlotte, Chelsea, Clare, Clarkston, Clawson, Commerce Twp., Comstock Park, Concord, Coopersville, Dansville, Davison, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Detroit, Dewitt, Dexter, Dimondale, Drayton Plains, Dundee, East Grand Rapids, East Lansing, East Tawas, Eastpointe, Eaton Rapids, Ecorse, Edenville, Edmore, Elberta, Elk Rapids, Elkton, Ellsworth, Empire, Erie, Estral Beach, Evart, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Farwell, Ferndale, Ferrysburg, Fife Lake, Flat Rock, Flint, Fowler, Fowlerville, Frankenmuth, Frankfort, Franklin, Fraser, Galesburg, Garden City, Genesee, Gibraltar, Gladwin, Grand Haven, Grand Ledge, Grand Rapids, Grandville, Grass Lake, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe Woods, Hamtramck, Hanover, Harbor Beach, Harper Woods, Harrison, Harrison Township, Haslett, Hazel Park, Higgins Lake, Highland Park, Holland, Holly, Holt, Honor, Howell, Howell, Hudsonville, Huntington Woods, Ida, Inkster, Interlochen, Jackson, Jamestown, Kalamazoo, Kalkaska, Kawkawlin, Keego Harbor, Kent City, Kentwood, Kinde, Kingsley, La Salle, Laingsburg, Lake Ann, Lake Orion, Lansing, Lathrup Village, Leonard, Leslie, Lincoln Park, Linwood, Livonia, Lowell, Luna Pier, Macomb, Madison Heights, Mancelona, Manchester, Marlette, Mason, Mattawan, Maybee, Melvindale, Memphis, Midland, Milan, Milford, Monroe, Mount Clemens, Mt. Pleasant, National City, New Baltimore, New Boston, New Haven, New Lothrop, Northport, Northville, Novi, Oak Park, Oakland, Okemos, Old Mission, Olivet, Onondaga, Orchard Lake, Ortonville, Oscoda, Otsego, Ottawa Lake, Ovid, Owosso, Oxford, Parma, Paw Paw, Perry, Petersburg, Pinckney, Pinconning, Plainwell, Pleasant Ridge, Plymouth, Plymouth Township, Pontiac, Portage, Potterville, Rapid City, Redford, Reese, Remus, Richland, Richmond, River Rouge, River Rouge, Riverview, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Rockford, Rockwood, Romeo, Romulus, Roscommon, Rosebush, Roseville, Royal Oak, Saginaw, Saint Clair Shores, Saint Johns, Saint Louis, Saline, Samaria, Sand Lake, Schoolcraft, Shepherd, South Boardman, South Branch, South Lyon, South Rockwood, Southfield, Southgate, Sparta, Spring Lake, Springport, Stanwood, Sterling Heights, Stockbridge, Suttons Bay, Swartz Creek, Sylvan Lake, Tawas City, Taylor, Thompsonville, Traverse City, Trenton, Troy, Tuscola, Ubly, Union Lake, University Center, Utica, Vassar, Vicksburg, Walker, Walled Lake, Warren, Waterford, Wayne, Weidman, West Bloomfield, West Branch, West Olive, Westland, White Lake, Whitmore Lake, Williamsburg, Williamston, Wixom, Wolverine Lake, Woodhaven, Wyandotte, Wyoming, Ypsilanti, Zeeland

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