Grey squirrel | The Wildlife Trusts

UK Squirrels:

Here in the UK, we have three breeds of squirrel:

  • Red squirrel – our native squirrel
  • Grey squirrel – also called the Eastern Gray, is an invasive breed coming from North America
  • Black squirrel – technically either an Eastern Gray or Fox Squirrel with a faulty gene that gives it its black coat

(Information from


Although adorable, there is an overpopulation of Grey and Black squirrels – both considered invasive species due to their dominance over our native reds.

  • There are about 160,000 red squirrels in the UK, compared to 2.5 million greys
  • Most of these greys live in England
  • Reds are two-thirds the size of greys or blacks
  • Because greys are bigger, they eat more food more quickly, leaving too little for reds
  • And greys carry a pox that is deadly to reds

(Information from

Greys out-compete the reds in terms of feeding and are overpopulating the UK. They also carry a deadly virus that although poses no risk to them or us, is known to kill reds.

If reds became extinct in the UK due to this virus, it could have a negative impact on our woodlands, particularly woodlands, which are also home to many other wildlife.

Greys fill an already occupied niche, and as well as damaging trees, they directly compete with other inhabitants of woodlands.

Why we control Greys:

Because grey squirrels are an invasive pest species, it is against the law to re-release if it’s been caught alive, per the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

That means that any person who catches greys alive is legally obliged to humanely dispatch it.

As their numbers have increased in the UK, so has the damage they cause. This is where professional pest control comes in.

There are three reasons we control greys:

  • Their potential to damage to your home, business, and health
  • The destruction of UK forests
  • The impact on our native wildlife, the red squirrel

Signs to look out for:

These are the seven signs easiest signs to spot when looking for evidence of squirrels in your home or loft.

  1. Scratching and rustling sound from your loft or a wall cavity
  2. Spotting droppings in the loft – although you might need a pest controller to identify these droppings
  3. The smell of urine in the loft area
  4. Spotting them around your property, particularly near your roof or on high fences
  5. Fruit and nuts being stolen from bird feeders, or the feeders being disturbed/knocked over
  6. Bark being stripped from trees in your garden
  7. Holes in vents or damage to your insulation foam.
  8. If you’ve noticed a few of these signs, then it might be time to find a pest control company.

How MIDS take care of squirrel problems:

To control these pests, professionals, like us, might use:

  • Spring traps
  • Live capture traps
  • Use of poison (Warfarin only)
  • Dray poking
  • Other shooting methods.

(Information from

Red squirrels:

Reds are protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 – we are therefore not allowed to trap, kill, or remove them from your property without professional and humane capture and release.

Here at MIDS, you can count on us being professional and humane in all our pest services.

(Video from )

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