New York State IPM Program

Everything Wants to Prepare for Winter

Squirrels appreciate the protection of an available attic.

Today’s blog post is by Lynn Braband.

COMMUNITY IPM EDUCATOR
NYS IPM Program, 2449 St. Paul Blvd., Rochester, NY
Lynn has major responsibilities in assisting New York State schools and municipalities in the implementation of IPM. Activities have included organizing school IPM implementation workshops throughout the state, surveying schools on the status of their pest management programs, and conducting IPM demonstration projects at schools. Recent projects have included addressing nuisance geese on athletic fields, efficacy testing of yellowjacket container traps, and wildlife damage management outreach such as the revision of the publication Beasts Begone

 

 

Winter is on the horizon (although this year, it seems like it has been here for over a month), and many animals, including tree squirrels, begin preparing for the long, cold months. In addition to their well-known behavior of caching nuts during autumn, squirrels look for protective sites for over-wintering. Often, these locations include the attics and walls of houses and other buildings. It is not unusual to have 8, 10, or more squirrels over-wintering in a building. Structural damage caused by the animals’ chewing can be significant. There is also the possibility of infestations of parasites associated with the animals, and at least the potential risk of disease transmission.

Exclusion is not a quick fix, but work such as this prevents many problems later.

As with the management of any pest situation, prevention is preferred over seeking to rectify a well-established problem. For squirrels, this would include an inspection of the building exterior looking for potential entry sites and routes of access. August and early September are optimum times for inspecting. This is ladder work, so safety is a very important consideration. Consult ladder safety sites such as http://www.americanladderinstitute.org/?page=BasicLadderSafety .

Lynn pulled this oldie-but-goodie photo out of his files–two great examples of chimney inserts that act as exclusion barriers against birds, bats and rodents.

Cage trapping is a common tactic of many homeowners and businesses in seeking to rectify a squirrel or other wild animal problem. The animals are then transported off-site. However, this is illegal in New York State, and many other places, without a state-issued permit. Visit http://www.nysipm.cornell.edu/factsheets/buildings/NY_wildlife_laws.pdf for a synopsis of the legal framework for dealing with nuisance wildlife.

Individuals who operate under such a permit are referred to as Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators or, simply, Wildlife Control Operators. These individuals have passed a comprehensive exam on solving wildlife problems and have the experience and equipment to address nuisance wildlife and wildlife damage situations. For names of permit holders, contact your regional office of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/50230.html . Another source is the NYS Wildlife Management Association, the state trade group for wildlife control operators http://www.nyswma.org/findanwco.php .

 

Author: Debra E. Marvin

Community IPM Program Assistant for Schools, Daycare and Horticulture. New York State Integrated Pest Management Program, Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, 630 W. North Street, Geneva, NY 14456 Email: dem35@cornell.edu

Comments are closed.

Skip to toolbar