Like most squirrels, flying squirrels tend to run away and hide from humans and pets. However, they are not shy about taking up residence in your attic if they can find a point of entry, especially during the winter. In 2/3 of the cases of squirrels in the attic, there is a litter of 3-5 babies. Being nimble, they are very hard to catch. Flying squirrels will tear up insulation to use in their nests, defecate, and make obnoxious noises day and night.
They will chew and gnaw on wooden support beams, walls, and electric wiring. They can cause substantial damage as well disturb the peace in your home. Their nesting sites turn into toxic messes. Clean up of squirrel feces presents a big safety concern. Wearing gloves, mask and following safety practices is very important. Note that a dust mask may provide some protection against dust, molds, and insulation fibers, but does not protect against viruses.
Flying squirrel infestations typically occur in the attic or attic crawlspace of the home because flying squirrels prefer to be in lofty areas away from ground level. Flying squirrels are able to quickly and easily gain entry because of their size and climbing capabilities. They only need a hole the size of a quarter to gain entry. Flying squirrels are partial to entering, but are not limited to entry through: open chimney flues, open rooflines, unscreened gable vents, crawlspace vents, roof vents, bath vents, kitchen vents, dryer exhaust vents, rotten fascia or soffits, rotten wood within the roofline, and a number of other potentially open areas within the exterior of a structure.
Flying squirrels will be urinating and defecating in the areas they habituate. Insulation, existing in the attic or crawlspace, will become soiled and an odor is likely to be profound due to the excrement/debris left behind. The “R” value, which dictates thermal resistance, will become declined over time as the flying squirrels disturb and tunnel through the insulation. Their continuous running and tunneling, even without debris left behind, can destroy insulation making it useless.