Flying squirrels can control their glide and speed, by direction, angle and destination, and have been recorded to glide as far as the length of a football field. Description Flying squirrels are small, nocturnal tree squirrels that possess the ability to glide from perch to perch using webbed flaps of skin, which extend along the sides of their bellies between their hands and feet. The omnivorous rodents live in trees and sometimes eat bird eggs and small bugs like moths and beetles in addition to their regular diet of nuts, berries, and fruit. Appearance The two most common species of flying squirrels in the United States are the northern and southern flying squirrels, which have large eyes and soft gray or brown fur on top with lighter fur on their undersides. Flying squirrels are the smallest of all tree squirrels, ranging from 8 to 12 inches including their flat tails, which they use to steer during flight. Because of their attractive appearance and friendly nature, some people value them as pets. Habitat Mature hardwood and conifer forests are the preferred habitat of northern and southern flying squirrels. They are awkward and relatively slow on the ground and prefer to live in areas with dense vegetation, where they can glide among the tree-tops. Holes and cavities in tree trunks, as well as birdhouses, make attractive homes for the small rodents. Entry Are flying squirrels known to enter homes or yards? Occasionally, flying squirrels will make nests in unoccupied attics or within the walls of homes where they gain entrance through cracks, broken windows, or gaps in the siding. Squirrels that take up residence in attics cause destruction by urinating and defecating, as well as pulling up insulation to make nests, chewing through electrical wiring, or gnawing at the structural supports of walls and roofs. Damage Do flying squirrels harm people or property? Flying squirrels typically do not cause as much damage to yards and gardens as their larger squirrel cousins, although they tend to wreak havoc on bird feeders and can cause significant damage if they enter the attics or walls of homes. Squirrels that become trapped in homes often cause damage by gnawing holes in walls and ceilings, shorting out electricity, and chewing at doors or window frames in an attempt to escape. Flying squirrels have a tendency to eat bird eggs and nesting young. Control and Safety Taking steps to secure unoccupied attics can help prevent unwanted flying squirrel activity in the home. Residents should seal up any gaps or cracks and repair broken windows or other points of entry. Attic vents and chimneys can be secured with wire mesh to prevent squirrels from entering. The pests often harbor parasites such as ticks, mites, bot fly larvae, and fleas, although many of these parasites are species-specific and will not pose a danger to humans or pets. Trapping and Removal Flying squirrels are not protected animals in most states and may be trapped or destroyed if they become nuisances. However, the safest method of removal is to contact a qualified professional to take care of the flying squirrel problem. Wildlife control specialists are trained to humanely catch and remove troublesome squirrels from homes and attics. We can help you get rid of flying squirrel problems. Call today: 1.800.274.8837.