Squirrels are small to medium-sized rodents widely distributed across various habitats. While they can be delightful to observe in nature, squirrels can become pests when they invade homes or damage property. This guide will explore different squirrel species, their identification, and effective control methods.
Squirrels are characterized by their bushy tails, sharp incisors, and agile movements. They typically have a slender body with four legs, sharp claws for climbing, and large, expressive eyes. Squirrels come in various colors and patterns, depending on the species.
The Eastern Gray Squirrel is one of North America’s most common squirrel species. They have a grayish coat with a white underside, and their tails are bushy with a mix of gray and white fur.
The American Red Squirrel is smaller than the Eastern Gray Squirrel. They have a reddish-brown coat, a white belly, and a bushy tail, known for their high-pitched vocalizations.
The Fox Squirrel is larger than the Eastern Gray Squirrel and is known for its striking color variations, and their fur can range from gray to brownish-red, and they often have a rust-colored belly.
Abert’s Squirrels are native to the southwestern United States and appear distinct. They have a gray coat with a black underbelly and tufted ears. Their tails are long and bushy.
The Western Gray Squirrel is a larger species with a grayish-brown coat. They have a creamy white underside and long, bushy tails. They are native to the western parts of North America.
The Arizona Gray Squirrel is a subspecies of the Western Gray Squirrel found in Arizona. They have a grayish-brown coat with a white belly and a bushy tail.
The Douglas Squirrel, also known as the Pine Squirrel, has a reddish-brown coat with a white belly native to the western parts of North America and are commonly found in coniferous forests.
Flying Squirrels belong to the family Sciuridae but possess a unique adaptation that allows them to glide through the air using a patagium, a membrane between their forelimbs and hindlimbs.
The Northern Flying Squirrel has a grayish-brown coat with large eyes and a flat, broad tail. They are excellent gliders and are active at night.
The Southern Flying Squirrel is similar in appearance to the Northern Flying Squirrel but has a lighter brown coat and is smaller in size.
Humboldt’s Flying Squirrel, also known as the Western Flying Squirrel, is native to the western parts of North America. They have a grayish-brown coat and are skilled gliders.
Common Extermination Techniques
It is essential to approach squirrel control carefully and consider humane methods. Here are some standard techniques:
- Exclusion: Seal entry points into your home or property to prevent squirrels from gaining access.
- Trapping and relocation: Live traps can capture squirrels, allowing for their safe relocation to a suitable habitat away from human dwellings.
- Repellents: Natural deterrents such as predator urine or strong scents can be used to discourage squirrels from frequenting certain areas.
- Habitat modification: Trim tree branches that provide easy access to your property. Remove potential food sources, such as bird feeders or fallen fruits.
- Professional pest control: For severe infestations or persistent problems, we recommend seeking assistance from professional pest control services.
Squirrels are generally not aggressive towards humans but may bite if they feel threatened, but they can cause property damage and chew on electrical wires, creating fire hazards.
Squirrels can carry diseases like leptospirosis and tick-borne illnesses, although the risk of transmission to humans is relatively low.
Squirrels are drawn to easily accessible food sources, including bird feeders, garbage bins, and fruit-bearing trees.
Most squirrel species do not hibernate but may become less active during winter.
While DIY methods can be effective for minor squirrel issues, it is advisable to consult professionals for comprehensive and humane removal when dealing with larger infestations.
If you’re dealing with a squirrel infestation or require assistance with other pest control matters, our expert team is ready to help. Contact us today for professional pest control services tailored to your specific needs!