Grey Squirrel Pest Control

Grey squirrel pest control for farmers, landowners, homeowners, foresters, native wildlife and gamekeepers for Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire and surrounding areas. 

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Grey Squirrels can cause serious problems for farmers, landowners, homeowners, foresters, native wildlife and gamekeepers.

Grey squirrels were introduced to the UK from America in the 1870’s and since this time have grown to be an overwhelming pest. Greys strip bark from tree trunks between the months of May and June and ring bark young saplings, either killing the tree or seriously affecting the growth for the coming years.

Grey squirrels Sciurus carolinensis are invasive pests, not native to the UK.

The grey squirrel is classed as an Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in Britain (and Europe), which is any animal that is not native to the UK.

Because grey squirrels are an invasive pest species, it is against the law to re-release a grey squirrel if it’s been caught alive, per the Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

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



Grey squirrels also take eggs of young chicks, especially Pheasants, songbirds and ground-nesting populations. Damage is also caused to feeders, feed bins and water pipes, all adding up to high costs for repairs. The grey squirrel is also responsible for the severe decline in the native red squirrel. Greys can carry the squirrel pox virus which rarely affects themselves but has a huge affect on the red populations, invariably causing death to the red squirrel.

A few of the problems caused by grey squirrels:

  • take eggs

  • damage bird feeders

  • damage to feed bins

  • damage to water pipes

  • spread squirrel pox to native red squirrels



I offer professional grey squirrel pest control for Gloucestshire and surrounding areas, having a great deal of experience helping gamekeepers with their pheasant holds.

First and foremost to reduce the eggs and chicks of gamebirds that fall to the likes of the grey squirrel and also provide some benefit to small mammals and songbirds by reducing the numbers of rats and corvids.

I practice the following techniques for humane control of grey squirrels:

  • Use an airgun

  • Airgun use is safe and discreat

  • Airgun is safer than high velocity rifles and shotguns

  • Modern charging airgun used

  • silent and discreet vermin control

  • noise is less likely to upset or annoy neighbours


When considering dealing with pests such as grey squirrels, rats, pigeons, rabbits and corvids within any environment, but more importantly a domestic site, it is vital that a robust backstop is used to eliminate any stray shots.

Using a modern pre-charged air rifle with a moderator provides a quiet tool that allows silent and discreet vermin control, which is what is required if you don’t want to upset your neighbours.

I have a great deal of experience helping gamekeepers with their pheasant holds.

First and foremost to reduce the eggs and chicks of gamebirds that fall to the likes of the grey squirrel and also provide some benefit to small mammals and songbirds by reducing the numbers of rats and corvids.

It is fairly obvious that there is less risk of pellets straying beyond boundaries when shooting a larger area of woodland or farmland, however I like to use techniques that help me to put the pest into an area that I want them. Grey squirrels like to use pheasant feeders as a great source of food until late spring and then they can switch to hunting nests for eggs and small chicks.

My solution is fairly simple, I position feeders into an area that provides me with a good backstop. The feeder will provide a source of food for songbirds, but also allows me to hide discreetly to lure the squirrels to an area that they can be dispatched humanely. This method works successfully and negates wandering around woodland trying to spot a squirrel that probably spotted you before you saw it.

In a new location a feeder provides a few days for the squirrels to become comfortable with their new “on tap” food environment, and allows me to be close to the squirrels inside a hide to act quickly and remove them.



Grey squirrels cause damage to trees such as beech, oak and chestnut. They strip bark at the base of trees which causes them to weaken and eventually to die.

Grey squirrels also:

Raid birds’ nests to prey on eggs and fledglings

Damage orchards and gardens

Reap havoc on historic and ancient woodlands.

The grey squirrel was deliberately introduced to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from North America in the Victorian era. Since then, it’ colonised 90% of England and Wales and is becoming a problem in Scotland.



Even though the grey squirrel is widely appreciated for its grace and ‘cuteness’ by much of the UK – the pest management industry knows that there are times when the lethal control of grey squirrels is necessary.

There are three reasons we control grey squirrels:

Their potential to damage to your home, business and health

The destruction of UK forests

The impact on our native wildlife, in particular the red squirrel.



Grey squirrels can cause damage when they enter roof spaces of houses and buildings. For example, they can:

  • Chew on woodwork and ceilings

  • Strip insulation from electrical wires

  • Tear up fibreglass insulation

  • Contaminate cold water tanks with urine and droppings.

People also report sleep issues due to the loud noises they make at night while they’re scuttling around your attic. Squirrels are most active before sunrise, especially in winter, but ends well before sunset. Their peak activity is activity is four-five hours before daybreak.

Grey squirrels often associate humans with food, meaning they sometime approach people. Some people fear being attacked, however it’s very rare for a squirrel to actually attack!

In gardens and allotments, they can take fruit, raid nests of small birds and dig holes in lawns to bury food.

It’s important with squirrels (as with all pest species) that a pest controller assesses whether lethal control is necessary.

In the first instance, proofing such as the guidance in the previous section should be put into place. If this is unsuccessful, calling a professional should be your next action.



The drey (nest) of grey squirrels may be in a hole in a tree or set against the trunk and branches. Alternatively they can make themselves quite at home in an attic or roof space.

Decline of the Red Squirrel in the UK

Many scientific studies have shown that the major contributing factor for the decline of the UK native red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) numbers was the introduction of its grey squirrel.

As well as outcompeting the red squirrel for shelter and food, grey squirrels can transmit the squirrel pox virus to red squirrels, to which they themselves are immune but red squirrels are not.

Once a red squirrel has squirrel pox, it’ll usually die of dehydration within 2 weeks. The grey squirrel can carry the disease, but their health is unaffected.

More information on the British Red Squirrel



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Squirrel Sniper HQ, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire

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