Differences between Flying Squirrels vs Sugar Gliders

Flying squirrels and sugar gliders look almost identical at first glance. Both animals have large eyes, fluffy tails, and are only about six inches long. They also have a thin membrane of skin that allows them to take long, gliding leaps from tree to tree. However, that’s where the similarities end.

Flying Squirrels

  • Live across the Eastern U.S. and in patches along the West Coast
  • Have gray-brown upper bodies and light-colored bellies
  • Care for babies in nests after birth

Sugar Gliders

  • Found wild in Australia or in the exotic pet trade in the U.S.
  • Display a distinctive, dark gray stripe down their backs
  • Keep young in a pouch after birth

In fact, despite their appearance, these pests are actually part of different families. Sugar gliders are marsupials, not rodents, and more closely related to kangaroos than flying squirrels.

Pest Behaviors

When comparing flying squirrel vs sugar glider damage, flying squirrels definitely cause more chaos in yards. These pests often take over birdhouses and feeders, pushing out desirable songbirds and eating their eggs. They also short out transformers, gnaw on wires, and eat bark and fruit.

Squirrel Prevention

Homeowners can use squirrel-proof feeders or put fine wire mesh cages over garden plants to remove easy food sources. Prevent flying squirrels from traveling along power lines by placing two-foot sections of lightweight plastic pipe over the wire. A flying squirrel can glide almost 300 feet from one tree to the next, so control in wooded areas is largely ineffective.

Flying Squirrel vs Sugar Glider Control

In the U.S., one of these creatures is a naturally occurring wild animal and the other is not. Any sugar glider found in the yard are likely someone’s escaped pet and attempts can be made to find the owner. Flying squirrels, however, are native pests that can be excluded from yards. Call the professionals at Trutech for humane removal.