What is a flying squirrel?

Have flying squirrels made a nest in your property in Virginia? Don’t worry; yours is not the only home. Although their ‘flying’ skills are impressive, flying squirrels can be a nuisance and cause damage to your property.

If you need professional squirrel removal to safely and effectively remove these nocturnal nuisances from your property, look no further than Advanced Wildlife Removal.


Flying squirrels can soar between 150 and 500 feet from one tree to another to avoid ground predators. However, they don’t fly, they glide.

Unlike birds and bats that have wings, flying squirrels have a specialized fold of skin between their hind legs and front limbs called a patagium that allows them to glide.

When they leap from trees, they spread their skin flaps to create an aerodynamic shape. They adjust their fluffy tail and limb position to alter their body posture which allows them to steer and control their glide. Overall, they are impressive gliders, and they can make sharp turns and semi-circles in single glides.


Flying squirrels can be found in most parts of the United States. But since they are active at night, few people get to see them. That said, the government has listed two types of northern flying squirrels as endangered because of habitat loss.


In terms of size, gray squirrels are 15-20 inches long and weigh slightly over a pound. Whereas flying squirrels are smaller, being 8-12 inches long and weighing 2 ounces.

Aside from this, below are other notable differences:

  • Flying abilities: Flying squirrels can glide from one tree to another, while gray squirrels lack specialized flying adaptations. Instead, they climb and jump from tree to tree.
  • Color and shape: Gray squirrels are generally pale to dark gray and have a grayish or white belly with a bushy tail. Flying squirrels also have a white or grayish belly but their body color ranges between reddish brown and gray brown. Also, flying squirrels have large eyes to see in the dark and have a flatter body to aid in gliding, while gray squirrels have a more ‘squirrel-like body.’
  • Habitat: Flying squirrels are primarily arboreal (tree-dwelling) and are often found in forests and wooded areas where there are tall trees to glide between. Although gray squirrels are also arboreal, they are more adaptable and can be found in a wider range of habitats, including urban areas and parks.
  • Activity patterns: The flying squirrels are primarily nocturnal, and the gray squirrels are diurnal.
  • Diet: Both squirrels feed on buds, fruit, tree nuts, plants, insects, and bird eggs. However, a large portion of a flying squirrel’s diet includes fungi and lichens, while gray squirrels tend to feed on anything they find.
  • Mating season: Gray squirrels mate in December and January and then in May and June. On the flip side, flying squirrels mate between late winter and early spring and then again in June and August. Both squirrel species care for their young ones for a couple of months until they can fend for themselves.


Flying squirrels have soft and gray-brown fur on the sides and the back and have a white belly. Their tail is large and flat to aid with gliding aerodynamics. Since they’re nocturnal, they have large eyes which help in their vision. The difference between the northern and southern flying squirrel Is that the northern species has slightly darker and redder fur.


There are several ways to rid your property of a flying squirrel. These include excluding them, building a fence to keep them out, killing or catching them with traps, using repellants, or repairing your home to prevent their entry.

You’ll know you have a flying squirrel problem when you hear noises between midnight and six in the morning. At this point, we recommend calling a professional wildlife removal company like Advanced Wildlife Removal to handle the pest removal.

The professional can use the following solutions:

  • Exclusion: This involves placing exclusion traps at the exit and entrance points of any place where flying squirrels nest. They leave their nest (in tree cavities and birdhouses) at night so the trap can be placed at this time, preventing reentry and forcing them to look for an alternate home.
  • Remove attractants: Ensure your property is not attracting flying squirrels with food sources like bird feeders or pet food left outside.
  • Home repairs: Flying squirrels squeeze through openings to enter your property. Over time, this forced entry can result in cracks in your walls. Blocking these openings or repairing them keeps them away.
  • Trapping: Setting live traps at holes where the squirrels enter and leave works like a charm. Removal professionals bait them into the trap using bread dipped in peanut butter, vegetables, fruits, and seeds. The bait is placed inside and outside the trap to lure them inside. It’s recommended to check on the traps regularly for successful trapping. When one gets trapped, call the removal expert to release them at least several miles away from your property to ensure they don’t return.
  • Repellants: There are several repellants created to scare flying squirrels. Unfortunately, they aren’t as effective as they are marketed. And while some work, they are temporary.


When you notice the presence of flying squirrels on your property, contact Advanced Wildlife Removal immediately for professional removal services. We’ll conduct a site visit to ascertain the extent of your problem and make a clear action plan.

We’ll keep you in the loop every step of the way, and you can be sure we’ll stick to removal laws to avoid trouble with the law. Don’t wait, contact us now to schedule your consultation!


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