|Animal Hazards : Squirrels
There are several species of squirrels, we will cover the tree squirrels that inhabit the attics causing damage and noise.
Squirrels are abundant in the wilds because their natural predators are less abundant. Because of this population increase and a decreasing natural habitat due to construction, we start to see them in our attics. They seek warm, safe shelter during the fall and winter months in particular.
- Smaller than the grey squirrel,entering the smallest of cracks and holes. They are about 9 inches long, which includes a 3-4 inch tail, weighing about 3 ounces as an adult. Dense soft brown fur, white belly.
- They don't really fly..but glide from trees. They do this by means of a thin skin that extends out from the sides of the body and connects the front and hind legs as shown in the above picture. In "flying," the squirrels leap spread-eagled and use their outstretched gliding membranes for gliding and their bushy tails for guidance. Glides of 60 meters (almost 200 feet) or more have been recorded.
- Nocturnal-major activity at night, they
normally have 2 litters a year, 2-4 young per litter.
Their diet consists mostly of Seeds,nuts, insects,bird eggs,fruits.
- They can by commonly heard, making a great deal of noise at night between sunset and sunrise. They may be heard flying from trees and landing on the roof or the sides of the house.
They tend to seek shelter or hiding places in the insulation. They can enter the attics through the eaves and soffits.
- Gray squirrels are about 18 inches long, including their 9 inch tails ..larger than the flying squirrels. They weigh about 1-1.5 lbs. as an adult. Their coloration is usually gray, salt and pepper, but can have tan hairs in the fur as well, white belly.
- The winter coat is grey above with a white underside; the suxnmer coat is shorter, sleeker and brownish grey above. Red squirrels have red/brown upper parts in summer but may show some grey on the back in winter, leading to some confusion. Red squirrels are smaller, lighter, have ear tufts, prominent in the winter coat and brown on the legs and tail.
- Natural habitats are wooded areas in tree cavities, can be found near hardwoods like oaks and hickory trees. They will construct feeding shelters out of leafs.
Generally have 2 litters a year,2-4 young per litter. They normally breed in midwinter and late spring. Gestation is about 44 days.
- Diet consists of bird eggs, insects, berries, fruit,vegetables, nuts and nestling birds. They like to hoard their food.
Gray squirrels are active during the day, expecting to hear them during the daytime.
- Gray Squirrels can inhabit the attic areas as well as crawl spaces. They like to enter the attic areas from your gutters and nearby trees and bushes.
- Flying Squirrels will chew on ornamental and potted plants. They damage screens and may gnaw on wood, electrical wiring and insulation, in some cases causing fires.
- Baby Gray Squirrels can do the same damage similar to a puppy when it is first born, chewing on everything they can get to including wiring, wood, etc. causing costly damage , in some cases causing fires.
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