Identification and Description
Known for their amazing climbing abilities, squirrels are rodents with large, bushy tails that vary in size and color depending on the species. Of the many species of squirrel most have natural habitats in all areas of the United States.
Squirrels prefer wooded areas where food is plentiful and easy to find. While they typically make nests in tree cavities, they also nest in leaves, twigs, bark and corn husks. As housing and commercial developments come closer to natural squirrel habitat, the animals take up residence in manmade living spaces and thrive as a result of readily available food sources.
Diet and Feeding Tendencies
Typically squirrels eat nuts, fruits and seeds, but in the event those foods are limited, they will also seek out bugs, bird eggs and even animal carcass. Squirrels are known to store nuts for later feedings in attics, wall cavities and chimneys. If they are living close to humans, dumpsters and garbage cans provide an easy and abundant form of food.
Damage and Control
When squirrels move into human territory, they make their way into homes, sheds, and businesses, under porches, decks, woodpiles and crawlspaces in order to nest. Squirrels will enter foundation openings to find nesting areas or even chew holes in foundations on their own. Damage occurs to chimneys, roofing vents and soffit areas when squirrels enter in order to have their young.
Squirrels often travel power lines in residential areas and end up shorting out transformers. They will gnaw through wires, and will occasionally damage lawns by burying and digging up nuts. They chew bark and clip twigs on trees and shrubbery. Squirrels are notorious for taking food placed in feeders that is intended for birds. Sometimes they will chew larger openings in bird houses in order to prey on songbirds.
Squirrels are known to create power outages, and cause economic losses to homeowners forest managers and nut growers. There are squirrels that are vulnerable to numerous parasites and diseases. Ticks, mange mites, fleas, and internal parasites are common.
When squirrels become a pest control problem on your property, they can be both difficult to extract, and to discourage from returning even with repellent and traps. Professionals in your area that are trained with removal and deterrence techniques can help you to control squirrel populations and take steps so that they won't come back.
Animal Control - Interesting Facts
Latest industry estimates place the annual cost of damage and treatment of termites at $5 billion worldwide.