FAQS - Squirrels

There are squirrels running about in my loft, and I want them removed.

Try to identify where the squirrels are getting in. They have probably found a safe place to build their nest, and so there will most likely be young in the loft as well. Squirrels wean at about 6-8 weeks, so the only real option is to wait until they have gone, and then block up the hole.  If it is not breeding season, one option is to install a one-way flap at the hole, so they can get out, but not return.  This must not be done if there are babies present.  For further advice, you can contact Humane Wildlife Solutions on 07771 361226.

I have found an injured squirrel, what should I do?

Please contact us and take a photo/video, so the vet team can advise on the severity of the injuries.  In some cases, it will be in the best interests of the squirrel to take its chances in the wild, as the only option a vet will have is to euthanise.  However, it is important our vet team try to remotely assess the squirrel to avoid unnecessary suffering.  If the injuries are deemed too severe, we would advise it is taken to a vet or brought to us to be euthanised.

I have found a collapsed adult squirrel, but it is clearly still breathing.

Squirrels, both young and adult, often freeze in shock after being chased or traumatised.  They can stay on bird tables, trees or houses, unmoving and unblinking, for a long time.  The squirrel is best left alone to recover, but if it seems to be in danger, try nudging it very gently on the rump with a long stick or garden cane.  This is usually enough to encourage it into movement.  If the squirrel does not move, (take great care in case it bites, wear thick gloves and use a thick towel) place it in an open box, on something warm, such as a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel.  Leave it somewhere sheltered, away from the road and hopefully, it will come to and leave the box.  If it is still there 30  minutes later, it may not recover and will need to be taken to a vet or brought to us to be euthanised.  However, please call us again first BEFORE doing so.

I have found a nest of baby squirrels, and no adult is nearby.

Please do not interfere with the nest in any way and the mother should return.  Please DO NOT remove the nest and bring it in as our only option is to euthanise the babies. 

I have found a baby squirrel on the ground underneath a tree.

Wearing gloves so your scent is not transferred, place the squirrel in an open box on something warm, such as a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel.  Place it in a tree/bush/low roof as near as possible to its original location.  The mother should return and take it back to the nest.  Please do not bring it in as our only option is to euthanise. 

A baby squirrel has run up to me in a park, and seems to want to be picked up. Is this usual behaviour?

In April/May and August/September, they will start to emerge from their nests and explore the world.  We will most likely get a number of calls from people who are concerned at seeing small squirrels out of the nest, but this is perfectly natural.  They may well approach people for food.  They must NOT be brought in as our only option is to euthanise, they have a better chance if they are left in the wild.  This also applies to those who have been caught by a cat, unless the injuries are severe and the animal is suffering.  Please contact us and take a photo, so the vet team can advise on the severity of the injuries.

I can hear a very high-pitched squeak from a squirrel drey.

Baby squirrels make this noise when calling for their mother, please do not interfere with the nest in any way and the mother should return.  Please DO NOT remove the nest and bring it in as our only option is to euthanise the babies.

I have just had some trees cut back and have disturbed a nest of squirrels.

Wearing gloves so your scent is not transferred, place the nest in another tree/bush/low roof as near as possible to its original location.  If the nest has been destroyed, again wearing gloves, place the babies in an open box, on something warm, such as a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel.  Place the box in another tree/bush/low roof as near as possible to its original location.  Squirrels usually have two dreys, so the mother should come back and move them to the second nest.  It is important that work stops for as long as possible and the area is quiet and free of people, so the mother feels safe enough to return.  Please DO NOT remove the nest and bring it in as our only option is to euthanise the babies. 

I have found a baby squirrel, and I want to bring it in to you, but I can’t get there for a few hours. Can I feed it anything in the meantime?

Please do not bring the squirrel in as our only option is to euthanise.  Place the squirrel in an open box on something warm, such as a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel.  Place it in a tree/bush/low roof as near as possible to its original location.  The mother should return and take it back to the nest.

My cat has brought in a baby squirrel, what should I do?

Our usual advice when any animal has been caught by a cat, is to bring it in.  However, this is not the case with squirrels, as the only option available to us is to euthanise.  Please contact us and take a photo/video, so the vet team can advise on the severity of the injuries.  In some cases, it will be in the best interests of the squirrel to take its chances in the wild, as the only option a vet will have is to euthanise.  If the advice is to leave the squirrel, place the squirrel in an open box on something warm, such as a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel.  Place it in a tree/bush/low roof as near as possible to its original location or a likely place you believe it has come from.  The mother should hear it calling and return to take it back to the nest.

Regrettably, as of 1st December 2019, we can no longer treat and release grey squirrels, the only option open to us is to euthanise.

Grey squirrels are classified as an invasive species. Under new DEFRA rules, all licences that formerly allowed rescue centres to treat and release grey squirrels have been revoked.

Wildlife Aid does not believe that wild animals should be kept in captivity; additionally, working wildlife hospitals do not have capacity or resources to keep patients, long-term.  As of 1st December 2019 it is illegal for us to release grey squirrels back into the wild and any contravention of the regulations could lead to the permanent closure of the Wildlife Aid Foundation.

We are vehemently opposed to these changes and have rigorously campaigned against them for over a year. We continue to fight them.