What Is The Difference Between A Flying Squirrel And A Grey Squirrel?◀ Back To Blog
October 19, 2016
Squirrels are fun. Aren't they? It is fun to watch them scamper across your fence, chase each other through the trees, and flick their fluffy little tails. But they cease to be fun when they chew their way in through your eaves and build nests in your walls. Two squirrels that are known for invading homes in New York are flying squirrels and gray squirrels. Here are a few things you should know about these potential pests.
A gray squirrel has predominantly gray fur over the top of its body and light gray or white fur on its belly. A full-grown adult squirrel can weigh up to 1 ¼ pounds and is about 18-20 inches long. Its bushy tail, which is a handy tool used for balance, can also be used as an umbrella, a sun shade, a rudder for swimming, or a blanket for keeping warm.
Like other rodents, gray squirrels have four front teeth that never stop growing. Because of this, they have a need to constantly gnaw on wood and other things to wear them down. If they manage to find a hole in the outside of your house, they can chew at that hole until it is large enough to squeeze through. And, if they get inside, they can do considerable damage by spreading their urine and feces everywhere they go. And they will keep right on chewing while inside your home. They will make more holes, which will cause you to lose heat, and they will chew on walls, insulation, and even wires, which can potentially lead to a house fire.
In case you are wondering, yes, we do have flying squirrels in New York. But you probably won't ever see one, because they are nocturnal creatures. That means they are active at night. Most flying squirrels only weigh 1 to 4 ounces full grown, and they come equipped with everything they need to fly at night: bulging eyes, so that they can see in low light conditions, and long whiskers, so they are able to sense what is in close proximity. And, to fly (which is actually more of a glide) a flying squirrel uses a furry membrane between its front and back legs. This membrane, called a paganism, acts as a kind of parachute that allows the animal to glide and steer through the air.
These squirrels are also known to make their way into attics and when they do, they do the same type of damage as their gray squirrel cousins. However, the biggest difference between these two types of squirrels is "when" they do the damage. Gray squirrels do most of their damage during the day because they are diurnal, instead of at night, like those nocturnal flying squirrels.
Regardless of what type of squirrel you may have infesting your attic, it is not a good idea to let them stay there. And it is never a good idea to try to remove wild animals from your home on your own. They can be unpredictable and dangerous. If you need assistance removing squirrels, or any other pest animal or insect, Thomas Pest Services can help. Our wildlife division specializes in the safe and humane removal of a wide variety of wildlife. Reach out to us for immediate assistance.