The grey squirrel, AKA “tree rat” has predominantly gray fur with a brownish color and usually a white underbelly. The squirrel is known for his bushy tail that is 6”-10” long. The bushy tail has many important functions. It helps with balance when the acrobatic squirrel jumps from place to place and it provides warmth. It sends warning signals to other squirrels, expresses mood, and is also a distraction for predators. The squirrels body length is 6”-10” long and they weigh about 14 -21 ounces. The grey squirrel is active during the day all year round and will travel 1-2 miles in search of food. Squirrels are territorial of their home range. The squirrel is the most problematic critter to home owners in the Cincinnati area.
Squirrels have a home range where they make their nest and forage for food. Male squirrels have a larger home range than female squirrels. Squirrels normally live in mature or hollow trees. They build a hardy nest constructed of twigs, leaves, grass, pine needles, scraps of paper and cloth. The nest is approximately 1-2 feet in diameter and appears to look like a large ball of leaves. In the cities and our neighborhoods, squirrels have adapted to the warmth of residential and commercial buildings. Squirrels often build nest in attics, soffits, and chimney tops. Hearing scratching or scampering noises in the attic or at the roof line during daytime hours can sometimes be the first indication of a squirrel problem. Several squirrels may share the same den. Female squirrels will commonly give birth to 2-5 young per litter.
The squirrels diet consists of sunflower seeds, corn, all types of bird seeds, insects, bird eggs, baby birds, and all types of nuts. In spring squirrels feast on the buds of maple and elm trees along with a wide variety of seeds and nuts. In the fall, the squirrel enjoys hard nuts such as acorns, walnuts, and hickory nuts. They become hoarders at this time of year. They collect and bury nuts and seeds for the winter when other food sources are relatively scarce. Squirrels will hunt for these buried nuts and seeds with its keen sense of smell throughout winter. They also take advantage of bird feeders throughout the year.
Squirrels breed two times a year, December – January and May – June. The mating season last about 3 weeks. Female squirrels begin making mating calls from the tree tops. Several males will gather and fighting may occur to determine dominance. The female begins to race around the tree closely followed by the males. She eventually stops and allows the dominant male to mate with her. The gestation period is 42-45 days. Litters are born February – April and late July – September. Litter sizes vary from 2-5 with an average of 3 young per litter. Baby squirrels are weaned between 8-10 weeks of age and begin leaving the nest at 10-12 weeks. Male squirrels have no role in raising the young. The mother squirrel forces the male away from the nest prior to giving birth. He may return after he is no longer a threat to her young.
Grey squirrels are vulnerable to numerous parasites and disease. Ticks, mites, fleas and internal parasites are common. Squirrel dander, urine and droppings can harbor pathogens and allergens which may affect people with low immune systems. Use caution when cleaning up any animal nesting or latrine areas.
The most effective method of squirrel control is to trap and remove your problem squirrels. Keep trees trimmed 8’-10’ from your home to help reduce animal access to your roof. Squirrels generally don’t leave on their own and noise or odor deterrents have little or no lasting effect. As the ASAP Critter People say…If you want to get rid of your critter problem…you have to get rid of the problem critter. Our professionally trained technicians will evaluate your critter issue and determine the best method of removal to safely and humanely remove your problem critter. Quality repairs are a must to avoid future problems. Repairs and prevention services are an important part of the control methods we offer and back with a warranty. For prompt, professional, and courteous service, call family owned and operated ASAP Critter People at 513-941-0258 today! THE LEADER OF THE PACK!