Flying Squirrels

Glaucomys sabrinus/volans spp.

Flying Squirrel Identification

Pest Stats


Depending on the species, flying squirrels range in color from white to gray to brown with a pale belly.




Flying squirrels have short, thick fur and a bushy tail.


Usually the head and body is about 5 ½” to 6 3/8” (14 cm – 16.2 cm) and tail is 3 ½” to 4 ½ ” (8.9 cm - 11.4 cm)




Flying squirrels are found throughout the eastern United States and Eastern Canada, west to Alaska, narrowly southward through Utah, and also southward through California.

What Do Flying Squirrels Look Like?

Adult flying squirrels are relatively small, as their head, body and tail length totals around 10 inches. On average, they weigh anywhere from 2 to 6 ounces. Flying squirrels have large black eyes and 22 teeth. They have two loose folds of skin between front and hind legs that helps them glide distances of more than 80 yards.

Northern flying squirrels are covered in very soft, rich brown fur. Their underbellies are white at the tips only with the bases lead colored near the skin. Southern flying squirrels have thick, soft, glossy grayish to olive brown fur with white underbellies.

Signs of an Infestation

Gnaw marks in wires, insulation and walls may indicate a flying squirrel infestation. The presence of droppings or sounds of scurrying in the walls are other signs of a problem.

Flying Squirrel Prevention


There are many important steps to prevent a squirrel infestation inside the home. Homeowners should seal all possible points of entry around the house, paying close attention to small openings and cracks around doors and windows. They should also screen vents and openings to chimneys and keep tree limbs cut back 6-8 feet from the roofline.

How to Get Rid of Flying Squirrels

If a flying squirrel infestation is suspected, it’s important to contact a licensed pest control professional to inspect the home, identify the species, implement exclusion techniques and trap out any resident squirrels. A thorough inspection beginning about an hour before sunset and into the evening is required to observe activity patterns. This is followed by a day inspection to locate potential entry points. Knowing the entry points makes it easier to find any nests.

A licensed pest control professional or wildlife specialist will often seal all holes larger than 6 mm with hardware cloth, metal flashing or other appropriate materialTo more quickly reduce the population or to remove individuals from within the structure, traps may be usedThe professional will be able to recommend the proper course of treatment based on the inspection. Contact a professional for more flying squirrel facts and information.

squirrel in a tree.jpg

Flying Squirrel Education


For the southern flying squirrel, there are usually two litters each year with the young born between April-May and August-September. The gestation period is about 40 days, and they have roughly 2-6 young per litter. Alternatively, the northern flying squirrel has only one litter each year, with roughly 2-5 young born in May-June. Occasionally, there is a second litter in the autumn.

Flying squirrels do not truly fly, but they glide through the air. The southern flying squirrel can glide over 80 yards. They stretch out their legs, spreading out the fold of skin between the front and hind legs to form a glider wing. While gliding, they are very agile and can turn and change their angle of decent. They land very lightly on all four feet. In contrast, however, flying squirrels are relatively clumsy on the ground.

The southern flying squirrel feeds on nuts, acorns, seeds, berries, some insects, and bird eggs, and will even eat meat if it’s available. Some food is stored in the nest chamber and also in tree crotches. The northern flying squirrel feeds primarily on nuts and seeds, but also eats some insects, and probably stores much food for winter use.


Northern flying squirrels are found in eastern Alaska, the western United States through California, Idaho, Montana, Utah and northern Wyoming, and in the eastern United States in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York and New England. They inhabit coniferous and mixed forests, where they prefer dead trees with numerous woodpecker’s holes for nesting, especially in stumps 6-20 feet high and those near the top.

Southern flying squirrels are found throughout the eastern United States, expect for northern New England and the southern tip of Florida, west to Minnesota, eastern Kansas and eastern Texas. They inhabit woodlots and forests of broadleaf and evergreen trees. Southern flying squirrels favor old woodpecker holes as nest sites, but they may build a summer nest of leaves, twigs and bark. They have also been known to use the attics of buildings to build their nests. In the winter, 20 or more southern flying squirrels may even den together.