Squirrels are arguably the most common form of wildlife living in and around our homes and businesses, especially in Upstate New York and other rural areas. They tend to avoid big city life but can be found in smaller urban cities.
Let’s talk about squirrels.
According to the BBC, squirrels live on every continent except in Australia and Antarctica. Squirrels are nimble, bushy-tailed rodents found all over the world. They belong to the Sciuridae family, including prairie dogs, chipmunks, and marmots.
There are more than 200 species, according to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), and they are categorized into three types: tree squirrels, ground squirrels, and flying squirrels. These three categories are further broken down into many squirrel types, such as Albino, Mountain Tree, Antelope, Spotted, Grey, American Red, Douglas, Fox, Pygmy, Northern Flying, Southern, Arizona Gray, Idaho, Arctic Ground, Albert’s, Franklin, Richardson, Rock, White and Black squirrel.
On average, they eat about one pound of food per week. Many people think that squirrels only eat nuts, but this isn’t true. Squirrels are omnivores, which means they like to eat plants and meat. Squirrels mainly eat fungi, seeds, nuts, and fruits, but they will also munch on eggs, small insects, caterpillars, small animals, and even young snakes.
Are squirrels dangerous to humans?
Squirrels are believed to be carriers of rabies, but the CDC, Center for Disease Control states,
Small rodents (like squirrels, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, chipmunks, rats, and mice) and lagomorphs (including rabbits and hares) are almost never found to be infected with rabies and have not been known to transmit rabies to humans.
Are your domestic pets in danger?
Typically, no. Squirrels can get aggressive with other wildlife, especially birds, as they forage for food. Domestic pets are not usually on their radar.
Four ways to protect your home from damage
Preventing squirrel damage to your home begins outside. The Spruce offers three tried and true suggestions to protect your home, plus one suggestion from our technicians that is sure to help:
- Trim branches that touch the house or reach within 6 feet of any exterior portion of the house.
- Prevent squirrels from traveling along utility lines by asking the utility company to place pieces of PVC pipe over the line. The pipe will rotate if any animal tries to run across it. This should be done only by professionals.
- Cover chimneys and vents with a mesh screen to prevent squirrels, or other wildlife, from climbing in.
Our technicians find that most households feed wildlife and birds perilously close to their homes or garage. Birdfeeders lure squirrels and some other wildlife to feed near your home. Couple the feeder with low-hanging branches or a trellis covered in vines, and those cute little squirrels will soon be in your attic. Prevention is the best medicine, and if you need help is taking a good examination of your home, we can help!
Squirrels love commercial property too!
Commercial property offers more possibilities for pests and nuisance wildlife to take residence.
- Pest Control Services provides property management companies and tenants with a safe and healthy environment. However, when large numbers of people live or work in a building or on campus, the opportunity for pest infestation increases, and transmission between the buildings or units is expected. An infestation can be costly and can damage your reputation.
- Commercial property such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and restaurants provides an ongoing source of food along with doors propped open and rooftop HVAC units with gaps giving access to the structure.
- Commercial rental properties and apartments can be safe harbors for squirrels and other pests and nuisance wildlife to gain access through ground floor windows left open and again structural problems such as carports, garage doors, and gaps in siding, windows, soffits, and eaves.
Generally, it is the landlord’s responsibility to provide pest control services. However, in many cases, the service falls under the definition of typical property maintenance.
Don’t let squirrels damage your home or commercial property
Please do not be fooled by winter and snow, thinking nuisance wildlife are taking the winter off! Be vigilant and look closely at your home or commercial property for signs of wildlife entry or damage.
Do you need help looking at your home or commercial property for signs of nuisance pests and wildlife? Contact us for a free inspection. Our technicians will review your property from top to bottom and review solutions to keep your family or business safe and healthy.