American Animal Control
American Animal Control

Squirrel Removal and Control Experts
General Squirrel Biology
Squirrels are one of the most successful mammals in accommodating to human-altered environments. They are among the top vote-getters for presenting problems to people. They are also among the best-loved animals. There is something about their big eyes, bushy tails and silly antics that tugs at the heart-strings of many.

There are several species of squirrels in North America, but the gray squirrel is usually the one involved in homeowner conflicts. They are about 8 to 10 inches long with a tail that is almost the same length. Their color can vary from a reddish tint to almost pure white. There is even an all black form.

Gray squirrels traditionally depend on trees, especially oak trees, as places to bear and raise young, take shelter from the weather, find food and escape from predators. However, anything that looks like a tree can be used, including the pilings around marinas, nest boxes set out for woodpeckers and kestrels and many places on and in houses.

The diet of squirrels varies with the season and the availability of the plant material that is the basis of their diet. It includes nuts, acorns in fall and winter, flowers and buds in spring, fruits in summer. Summer can be the hardest time for squirrels. Occasionally they will take bird eggs or nestlings and have even been known to pounce on and kill small birds at feeders.

Squirrels have two litters a year, the first between February and April and the second in August or September. After mating the female drives the males away and raises the two to five young by herself. The babies are born naked and helpless and do not venture out of the nest for seven or eight weeks. They are weaned at ten to twelve weeks. The spring litter is usually driven away by the mother shortly after weaning and as the next breeding cycle begins. The fall litter may stay with the mother in the nest through the winter until well after the winter courtship season.

Squirrels use two basic types of natural dens tree cavities and leaf nests and they take liberal advantage of shelter provided by humans in attics and other crawl spaces. They become active at first light, rest in the middle of the day and become active again later in the afternoon. They have a home range of less than four acres.