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Squirrels

General Facts

The Gray Squirrel is from 1 3/8 to 1 2/3 feet (.4 to .5m) long and weighs from 15 to 25 ounces (425 to 710g). The fur is a dark gray color above and a paler gray on the underside. The tail is covered with bushy gray silver tipped fur. Black and albino squirrels exist in some parts of the distribution area.

A squirrel’s diets consists of nuts, such as walnuts, acorns, beechnuts, hickory nuts and chestnuts, as well as various soft fruits, maple tree seeds and other seeds and corn.

In all probability, the most frequently seen wild mammal in the eastern United States is the Gray Squirrel. It is found in all states east of the Mississippi River except extreme northern Maine and a small area in western Florida.

Squirrels sometimes nest in the eaves of homes and commercial buildings. They can also cause structural damage. Squirrels are avid chewers and will gnaw electrical wires. Gray squirrels are not considered important vectors of humane diseases.

 

Control

Prevention goes a long way in the control of squirrels. Limiting food sources such as bird feeders and cleaning up fallen nuts and seeds is helpful. Trimming trees and shrubs off the perimeters of the structure especially at the roofline level will discourage the squirrels from climbing onto the house. Installing chimney caps will prevent squirrels and other animals from falling into the chimney flue. Finally the roof and gable vents should be inspected for structural integrity as well as the fascia boards and overhangs. Once the squirrels have breached the structure and have entered the attic or overhangs it is necessary to remove the squirrels using box traps. Baits such as peanuts, peanut butter and seeds work well with squirrels.