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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Flying Squirrel removal

Flying Squirrel on a house Chester CT

Flying Squirrel on a house in Chester CT

Flying Squirrel Removal

 We have as many flying squirrel removal jobs as gray squirrel removal jobs, even though most people believe there are no flying squirrels in Connecticut. Flying squirrels are actually as common as gray squirrels, though they are rarely seen. Flying squirrels are nocturnal. During the colder months fall through winter flying squirrels may take up residence in human structures. Most the time they’re found in attics, soffits and in walls. Flying squirrels or flyers as we call them usually get in from the roofline. Rarely do we see just one squirrel. Flying squirrels tend to live in colonies of 10 to 30 squirrels. Most of the time. The whole colony is not found in the attic, wall or soffit at the same time. One day there may be three or four, the next 15 to 20. Many homeowners get extremely frustrated when removing flying squirrels. Just when they think they got rid of them, they come back. RF Wildlife has the knowledge and expertise to remove flying squirrels, and seal off their entrances so they do not come back.

How to identify flying squirrels over mice or other attic, soffit or wall dwelling rodents.

Flying squirrels tend to be active between the hours of 10 PM to 4 AM. And the hours between 1 AM and 3 AM they seem to be the most active. Gray squirrels on the other hand, tend to be active morning just before dawn, and evening just before dark. Mice can be active at any time, usually when it’s quiet. If you can locate where the sounds come from a simple test to tell you if it is mice flying squirrels is to bang on the wall. Flying squirrels will run whereas mice will freeze. They can be as quiet as a mouse. Though this is not very common. Most of the time they will wake you out of a sound sleep. Flying squirrels also store food and you may hear them drop acorns and other such nuts. Mice in gray squirrels do not store as much food in their den site, with the exception of dear or white footed mice. Dear and white footed mice are fairly easy to identify their brown on top and white underneath.

Why should flying squirrels be removed?

Flying squirrel should be removed not only because are noisy, or that they store food. Flying squirrels will also chew on wiring, and have the uncanny knack of removing wire insulation without getting electrocuted. Besides being a fire hazard. They also are one of the few animals that make the latrine. The other two animals that make latrines are raccoons and otter. Flying squirrel latrine (where they defecate and urinate) can seep through walls or ceilings. If you find it latrine in the attic. It will typically look like a lot of mouse droppings black and syrupy. This is because they drink a lot of tree sap.
You’ll sometimes see the black staining underneath soffit venting typically with vynal soffits.

Hopefully some of this basic information will help. If you need professional help give RF Wildlife a call 860-510-6313 or e-mail