Wintertime Pests Rodents


squirrel removed Branford CT
squirrel removed Branford CT (southern flying squirrel)

Rodent pests are the majority of pest control calls during winter. Mice, gray squirrel, flying squirrel are the top three.


Many people complain about hearing noises in their attic. When they call one of the first things they asked me is what is living in my attic. The following is a list of questions that need to be answered before I can identify the problem rodent species.

What time are you hearing the animal?

Gray squirrels you will hear them running around from sunup to sunset. Flying squirrels are active. Later at night until early morning. Mice can be active at any time.

How loud are they? Do they wake you from a sound sleep?

Flying squirrels can be very loud their colonies average 10 to 30 squirrels. They will wake you out of a sound sleep. You may hear flying squirrels dropping nuts and other seeds. Flying squirrels store food in their den. Dear mice will also store food. Gray squirrels do not normally do this. Mice you’ll hear chilling and scratching. Gray squirrels are much easier to rule out.

Are you hearing the noise in one location or multiple locations?

Gray squirrels you will hear leaving the nest and going to the entrance hole. Gray squirrels usually do not explore the full attic daily. Flying squirrels will explore the whole attic. Flying squirrels will have a latrine and may have multiple entrances. Flying squirrels do not make a nest like gray squirrels do. Flying squirrels will burro into the insulation. Mice will also burro into the insulation. House mice tend to stick to smaller areas. But you still may hear them. In multiple locations on bigger infestations.

How to determine between mice and flying squirrels?

A simple test is to bang on the wall or ceiling at the spot you hear the noise. Mice will typically freeze, but flying squirrels will run.

The following is a list of commonly asked questions.

Do electronic sonic rodent deterrent devices work?

Some people say they do and some say they don’t. I am undecided on their effectiveness.

Do mothballs work to repel rodents and squirrels?

The simple answer is no. You would need to put so many moth balls that it would be toxic for humans. I have personally seen gray squirrels use a mothball box as nesting material.

Do rodenticides (mouse poisons) work well?

Rodenticides are very effective, but they have a few downfalls. Some pest-control companies mislead  their customers by telling them that the mice are going eat the poison and go outside, looking for water and die.  Most of the time the rodent dies in an attic or wall.

What is the best way to fix this rodent problem?

The best way to fix the problem can only be determined after an inspection. Sometimes there are multiple animals. I have personally been in attics that had raccoons, gray squirrels, flying squirrels, and mice all at the same time. I normally start by trapping, followed by closing off entrance points so other animals do not move in.

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