Squirrels are generally small animals, ranging in size from 7–10 cm (2.8–3.9 in) in length and just 10 g (0.35 oz) in weight, to 53–73 cm (21–29 in) long and weighs from 5 to 8 kg (11 to 18 lb). Squirrels typically have slender bodies with bushy tails and large eyes. In general, their fur is soft and silky, although much thicker in some species than others.
In general, the hind limbs are longer than the fore limbs, and they have four or five toes on each paw. Their paws include an often poorly developed thumb, and have soft pads on the undersides.
Squirrels often take up residence in attics or garage ceilings. They choose their homes for nest building based on the availability of the feeding sources. Squirrels can chew through many structural materials and are generally unaffected by repellents. Squirrels will commonly enter the home via broken screens, roof tiles and gaps.
The name “squirrel” originates from the ancient Greek word, skiouros, which means “shadow-tailed”, and it is a squirrel’s bushy tail that is its most prominent feature, a multipurpose device for communicating and balancing.
Squirrels have very sharp incisors, which continue to grow throughout their life. The pint-sized rascals keep their pearly whites sharp by gnawing on wood, ducts and pipes. It is also a squirrel’s love of chewing electrical wiring, often found in attics, which poses a huge fire risk. Aside from the scurrying about in the eaves (which may sound more like thumping if you are trying to catch your nightly forty winks), the noise squirrels make should be the least of your concerns. A squirrel has an exceptionally large appetite, consuming almost its body weight in food per week, thereby resulting in countless droppings. This, along with urine-sodden nesting material brought in from the outside presents the same excrement health risks (such as leptospirosis or salmonella) associated with less adorable rats and mice.
Control & Prevention
Controlling tree squirrels is a challenging task. Finding entry points is a mandatory first step. After determining how squirrels are entering the structure, their schedule and habits inside should be noted. Be sure to identify the number of squirrels and if they have young nesting. Often, squirrels will burrow under insulation to nest, so discovery may not be easy.
Proper prevention is important since whatever is done will prevent damage and possibly avoid health-related problems related to the presence of squirrels.
Prevention methods for squirrels include:
- Damage to insulation and wood members of the attic space.
- Noise in the attic.
- Squirrels running along utility lines. Seek the expertise of the power company or your pest management professional before doing anything to prevent squirrels from traveling the wires.
- Gaining entrance to the attic through holes that are about two inches in diameter that you’ve never seen before.
- Squirrels entering a chimney.
- Squirrels eating garden plants and damaging bird feeders.
- Small holes in the yard dug by squirrels
Squirrel droppings. The homeowner needs to seek the opinion of their pest management professional since some other animals have droppings that look similar to squirrels. Also, do not attempt to remove droppings yourself, but get an expert to do this job.
Need help with Squirrels prevention?
Call Nikol Pest Control at 604-364-3201 for a free estimate.