The age long debate: Are squirrels majestic mammals providing joy to the world? Or are squirrels nothing more than fluffy tailed rodents, no better than vermin? The answer lies somewhere in the middle and, of course, who you happen to be talking to at the time.In a park like setting or in your back yard squirrels can be quite enjoyable to watch, as is the case with most wildlife. Unfortunately, the very same reasons you enjoy your home are the same reason that a squirrel may as well: Food, shelter, warmth, comfort and security. The most common squirrel in Rhode Island is the Eastern Grey Squirrel. Squirrels have become very successful at coexisting with people and actually thrive around humans. Squirrels will take advantage of more available food, a warmer overwintering site and the lack of natural predators. Grey squirrels seem to be more prevalent in Providence than some rural areas like Foster or Exeter. Where ever you find a lot of people, you will also find open trash cans, pet food, bird feeders and buildings closer together allowing squirrel to jump from house to house. There is always that one house with some rotting facia or soffit that allow these animals to easily enter an attic. Squirrels, as with most rodents, are big time chewers and can gnaw their way in to just about any attic. Once inside a home squirrels have been known to destroy insulation by tearing it up to make their nest, especially after mating and during the gestation period. Squirrels will also leave feces and urine behind causing possible health issues as well as a terrible odor. Since they are constantly gnawing, the potential for wiring damage is highly likely.This is the time when the homeowner needs to decide to cohabitate or evict. Although live and humane cage traps sound like the perfect solution, some facts should be considered.
Fact: Trapping causes a great deal of stress to the animal and relocating a squirrel will cause even more stress. Some squirrels will not survive the stress and end up dying anyway. Since relocation is against the law there are only 2 other options when using live animal traps. One is to euthanize the other is to release. One option is very unpleasant, while the other kind of defeats the purpose of trapping in the first place.
Fact: The Rhode Island DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife regulates the trapping of wild animals, types of traps to be used, and disposal of the animal after capture.
Fact: According the the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management state law (RIGL 20-16-2) allows a property owner to kill, by legal means, any furbearer (as defined in RIGL 20-16-1 this includes Eastern Grey Squirrels) that is killing or attempting to kill any livestock or domestic animals, destroying crops, creating a health hazard, or causing economic damage to their property. Also Rhode Island State law does not allow for unlawful methods such as poisons, snares, foothold traps, or discharge of firearms in violation of state or local ordinances. The law states that animals taken must be reported to the DEM within 24 hours. State regulations prohibit the live capture and translocation of squirrels. Captured squirrels can only legally be released on the property on which they were captured. Another consideration would be the breeding, gestation, birthing and weaning seasons. There are 2 per year where a female squirrel could have a litter of 2-9 pups. The problem with trapping the adult squirrel with young in the nest would be committing the pups to a slow death which in turn could cause an odor and quite possibly a fly problem. Generally Cobra Pest Control prefers to wait until after Memorial day to begin any trapping process but we would be happy to give a free inspection. When it comes to removing squirrels from ones home, there are so many variables and laws that the best plan of action would be to hire an experienced Pest Control Operator with the right experience and knowledge.