Identifying Flying Squirrels
There are two species of flying squirrel in North America, the northern flying squirrel (glaucomus sabrinus) and the southern flying squirrel (glaucomus volans), the latter of which is much more common to the central North Carolina Piedmont area around Raleigh and Durham. Both species have large wing-like flaps between their limbs that help them glide from tree branch to tree branch (or maybe your home). Contrary to their name, flying squirrels do not actually fly or have wings but simply glide on the air resistance created by their bodies (called patagium). And while they can’t actually fly, flying squirrels have been recorded gliding over one hundred yards.
Flying squirrels are extremely small compared to other species of squirrel, such as grey squirrels or fox squirrels. They tend to live in medium to large (4-20) communal families with litters twice per year in sizes ranging from one to six young squirrels.
Feeding mostly on insects, nuts, fruits, seeds and berries, flying squirrels in the South will often eat deciduous trees and plants. They will cause damage when entering buildings, only needing an entrance size about the diameter of a quarter. They can cause fires by chewing on wires, damage by gnawing on wood or health hazards by accumulating urine damage.
The best defense to flying squirrels is properly blocking their entrance to the home or building with chimney caps or other obstacles to unwanted animal entry. They can be humanely removed alive in many cases to be released into the wild later.
Do not hesitate to call Critter Control of the Triangle today at (919) 382-0651 if you are seeing warning signs of flying squirrels around your lawn or home. We work in Durham, Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Apex and the surrounding areas.