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 have their nest, and so there will most likely be young in the loft as well. Squirrels wean after about 6 weeks, so the only real option is to wait until they have gone, and then block up the hole.

I have found an injured squirrel, and I can’t get to you. Should I take it to my vet?

Grey squirrels are classed as vermin and only certain organisations will take them in. The Wildlife Aid Foundation has a licence to release a small number of grey squirrels, so ideally try and get the squirrel in to us, where it can be treated and then released back to the wild.

I have found an adult squirrel on ground, injured/collapsed/attacked by dog or cat

The squirrel needs to be eased into a box or carrier but extreme caution is advised, as frightened squirrels will inflict a painful bite. Ensure you are wearing gloves and cover it with an old towel, tuck the ends under the animal gently and ease it into a box or cat basket. Keep fingers out of range of the teeth and do not attempt to pick it up by hand. Make sure that the carrier is secure ‐ having a miraculously revived squirrel running about in the car is not the most enjoyable experience! Once you have the squirrel in a container bring it to The Wildlife Aid Foundation for treatment.

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 touching it very gently on the rump with a long stick or garden cane. This is usually enough to encourage it into movement. If it does not move after 30 minutes, then you should try approaching again to see if it is still breathing.

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

Please observe the nest for 60 minutes see if the mother returns. If there is no sign of her, and the youngsters are becoming distressed (they will make a high‐pitched squeaking noise when they are hungry), then please carefully place the babies (still in the nest if possible), into a box. Wrap a hot water bottle in a towel at the base of the box to keep them warm, and bring to The Wildlife Aid Foundation as soon as possible.

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

Please observe the nest from a distance for no more than 20 minutes to see if the mother returns and carries the baby back to the nest. If there is no sign of her, and the youngster is becoming distressed (it will make a high‐pitched squeaking noise when it is hungry), then please carefully place it into a box. Wrap a hot water bottle in a towel at the base of the box to keep it warm, and bring to The Wildlife Aid Foundation as soon as possible.

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

If the nest can be put back in the tree (please wear gloves so no scent gets onto babies), then please try and do this. Observe the nest for the next 30 minutes see if the mother returns. If there is no sign of her, and the youngsters are becoming distressed (they will make a high‐pitched squeaking noise when they are hungry), then please carefully place the babies (still in the nest if possible), into a box. Wrap a hot water bottle in a towel at the base of the box to keep them warm, and bring to The Wildlife Aid Foundation as soon as possible.

I have found 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 never feed squirrels with cow’s milk. They cannot digest this at all and it can even kill them. Cow’s milk is only designed for cows! Please call The Wildlife Aid Foundation for advice, but here is what you can do if you cannot get the baby to us immediately:

Warm the baby before attempting to feed it. You can do this by using a covered hot water bottle, or microwaving a sock filled with rice. DO NOT MICROWAVE THE ANIMAL!!

Once the baby is warm you can try to give it some fluids as follows:

A homemade rehydration solution can be made by mixing: ¼ teaspoon salt + ¼ tablespoon of sugar + 1 mug of warm water – (pre‐boiled from your kettle and allowed to cool to body temperature).

  • Feed the baby with great care, very slowly as babies can inhale the fluid easily and get pneumonia.
  • You can use a small syringe or pipette to feed the baby.
  • Only small amounts little and often are needed and please only use this homemade solution until you can get the baby in to us, preferably as soon as you can.
  • We will then start feeding a specially made squirrel milk formula.