Flight of the Squirrel

Due to their common name, people often wonder if flying squirrels can actually fly. The short answer is no. These pests are not capable of true flight like bats or birds, but they do engage in an impressive flight-like gliding. Flying squirrels launch themselves off tree branches and float through the air using a special membrane that extends from their front legs to their back legs. They use their arms and feet to steer and their bushy tails as brakes.


Both the northern and southern flying squirrel can be found in the United States, but the southern species is more common. These pests are gray to brown in color and have large eyes that help them see during the night when they’re most active. Though to say these squirrels can fly is a bit of a misnomer, their special ability does grant them easy access to areas high above the ground like the roofs of homes. It’s not uncommon to find infestations of flying squirrels in chimneys or unoccupied attics.


Once indoors, flying squirrels become pests, leaving behind fecal matter and chattering through the night, disrupting sleeping residents. To make infestations less likely, homeowners should seal attics, cap chimneys, and fix any damaged roof shingles. If the pests do gain entry into homes, it is not recommended to feed or handle them. The best means of control is calling the trained technicians at Critter Control to resolve flying squirrel problems.

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