Squirrels

Identification

  • Colour Red, brown, grey, or black
  • Size From 10 cm to 70 cm long
  • Description Squirrels have slender bodies with bushy tails and large eyes. Hind limbs are longer than their front limbs, and they four or five toes on each paw.
  • Notes There are more than 20 species of squirrel in Canada.

General Facts

Why do I have squirrels?

More than 20 species of tree, flying, and ground squirrels can be found throughout Canada. Ground squirrels prefer grassy habitats, such as open fields, pastures, and parks, and typically burrow into the ground to build dens. Squirrels are mostly herbivorous and feed on seeds, nuts, berries, acorns, fungus, sap, and tree bark. Some ground squirrels also eat farm crops, while tree and flying squirrels also feed on insects, moths, small amphibians, bird eggs, and young hatchlings. However, realizing they can get a constant supply of food and shelter near humans, most squirrel species also nest and forage in and around residential neighbourhoods. Since they can scale buildings with ease, squirrels often enter houses, barns, and attics through vents or openings around roofs. Once inside, the pests make their way in between walls to build nests and raise their young.

How worried should I be about squirrels?

Ground squirrels are major agricultural pests and devastate crop yields. In gardens, they will leave behind girdled trees and holes around lawns that serve as entrances to burrows. Tree and flying squirrels regularly enter homes, where they chew on electrical wiring, rip insulation from walls, and keep residents up by being noisy. All species of squirrels can carry parasites that spread diseases, including tularemia, typhus, plague, ringworm, Lyme disease, Encephalitis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Squirrels will also leave droppings, chew marks, and nesting materials around the home. When cornered, squirrels can quickly become aggressive, so trying to trap them is extremely dangerous. To safely and humanely have a squirrel removed, you'll need a professional pest control service.

How can I prevent squirrels invading?

Build fences above and below ground, Seal any entry points into homes, Remove all overhanging branches

Other pests related to Squirrels

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