Flying Squirrels

Flying Squirrel in Air

The term “flying squirrel” is a misnomer. They don’t fly; they glide from tree to tree or other higher structures. Flying squirrels also create a lot of noise, especially inside attics.

How are they different?

Flying squirrels are very different compared to other squirrels. They have a patagium which is basically a furry-like parachute that allows them to glide. Moreover, the membrane extends from their wrists to their ankles. Their broad, flattened tail provides stability, while the limbs allow them to steer during flight.

They are much smaller than a typical squirrel. Additionally, their fur ranges from a tan to rust color and their bellies feature white fur. Because of their smaller size, their eyes appear to be more prominent.

What Do They Do?

Their diet is very similar to other squirrels. They munch on acorns, seeds, and bird eggs. At only five weeks old, gliding is practiced. By ten weeks, they are ready to explore their surroundings.

Flying squirrels launch themselves from a high branch and spread their limbs to catch air. Furthermore, their slight movements are what allow them to steer. The wide tail is used for braking during landing. Surprisingly, they glide up to 150 feet in a single launch!

As nocturnal rodents, they are also active throughout the year. They prefer to live in colonies, which can contain up to 30 squirrels! Big hollow trees shield their colonies from extreme weather. Furthermore, mature trees that provide nuts and seeds are also ideal.

Common Damage Caused by Flying Squirrels

The smallest entry points are as big as a quarter. Often, entry is found through construction gaps, dormer and louver vents, chimneys, and fascia boards. Like most rodents, they will also chew through electrical wiring and cause fires.

Flying squirrels are some of the messiest rodents. They leave black stains on walls, ceilings, and soffit panels. Moreover, droppings are a noticeable sign of entry. Furthermore, their chewing and rustling creates a lot of noise. Outdoors, they strip bark from trees, dig holes, raid bird feeders and gardens.

Removal and Exclusion

Trapping is the most effective way to get rid of flying squirrels. Due to their communal living habits, it takes time and patience of an experienced wildlife professional. In some instances, we use one-way doors so the squirrels leave, but are unable to return.

After removal is complete, we seal all entry points and offer methods of safe clean up. Droppings can contain a wide variety of bacteria and should be handled by a wildlife technician.

If you believe flying squirrels are living in your attic, feel free to call us at 717-419-0781 or use our contact form.

Moles in Lancaster, PA

Eastern Mole on Molehill

Moles and Your Yard

Although you pay the most attention to lawn damage in the warmer months, moles are active year round. During winter, they burrow further into the soil. Meanwhile, mating season spans from March to June.

We typically see two types of moles in Central Pennsylvania; the star-nosed and the eastern. Star-nosed prefer to live near water and damp areas; they are semi-aquatic. Eastern moles like well-drained soil including your lawn and garden. Moreover, they are categorized as insectivores; mainly eating earth worms, grubs, and other underground arthropods.

Their Appearance

Their cylindrical-shaped bodies are covered by brown or gray fur. They range from four to nine inches including their tail length. The feet, nose, and tail are all pink, flesh-like features. While the eastern has a conventional snout, the star nosed has tentacle-like appendages. In short, they use their noses as a touch organ to identify their dinner and other moles.

front view of star nosed mole
Star Nosed Mole

Lawn and Garden Damage

In ideal conditions, moles can tunnel up to eighteen feet per hour. That’s a lot of tunneling even with a moderately sized yard! When soil is pushed forward ahead of the mole, it creates mounds or mole hills. These mounds are a telltale sign of your new resident. As they create their expansive system of tunneling, they disconnect roots and uproot new plants. They don’t actually eat the roots, but these are often in the way of their dinner!

Common Mole Myths

“Moles are Blind” – Although their eyes aren’t always visible, they are not blind! They do have poorly developed eyesight.

“Poisons are Effective” – We haven’t seen any successful mole poisons. Trapping assures that they stay away.

“Flattening their tunnels will make them leave” – They will keep digging regardless. It’s what they’re born to do!

Mole Removal Process

First, we assess the area using our knowledge and experience. Once we form a plan, we can then begin trapping. All traps we use are approved by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. In order to be effective, traps must be placed in their tunneling systems. Once we have caught the offenders, you may implement repair. Depending on the damage, flattening the tunnels is an ideal solution. If damage is extensive, we will recommend other solutions for lawn aftercare.

If you believe you have unwanted lawn residents, don’t hesitate to call 717-419-0781 or contact us.

Backyard Wildlife Solutions performs mole removal in Lancaster, Lebanon, Harrisburg, Carlisle, Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg, York, Reading, and surrounding areas.