Facts About Gray Squirrels
Gray squirrels are found all across North America and are the most common species of squirrel. Mating occurs from December through January. Gray squirrels typically live for 12 months, though some have been know to live up to 10 years. Unlike some of their hoarding cousins, Gray squirrels are opportunistic feeders and will take whatever they can get. They love nuts like acorns, walnuts and hickory nuts, along with fruit and bird seed. They might also feed on insects, bird eggs, mushrooms and other crops.
Damage Caused By Gray Squirrels
If these rodents are inside your home, barn, or garage, the noises and odors they create can become annoying. If they are nesting in vents, the blockage may create a fire hazard. It also becomes dangerous when they chew through electrical wires, as electrical appliances may short-circuit. They will also help themselves to crops in vegetable gardens, as well as freshly planted seeds. If a Gray Squirrel has a sweet tooth, it’ll strip the bark off of trees to taste the sap.
Squirrels can potentially carry diseases. Some of these include: mange, a disease caused by parasitic mites that leads to the deterioration of their coat; cat scratch fever, a disease that affects the lymph nodes; typhus, a condition that causes rashes and delirium; and rabies (although rare), a disease that causes severe damage to the nervous system.
Signs of Gray Squirrel Infestations
You might hear a chucking sound in your attic as they chase each other around during the mating season. Chewing, scampering, scratching -- you name it. These are common sounds you might hear. Droppings can be found where they enter and exit structures like your house, barn or shed.
Gray squirrel nests are made of leaves they find in trees during the summer and fall. They also nest with gnawed nuts, discarded shells, nipped twigs and sticks. Gray squirrels can cause damage to crops and vegetation as they are opportunistic feeders and will resort to eating anything they can get their hands on. Look for claw marks on siding, tunnels in insulation, or damage to stored goods from their urine or feces.
Identifying Gray Squirrels
Gray Squirrel Identification
A gray squirrel measures between 18 and 20 inches long with gray, white, or even black bodies.
Gray Squirrels In The Walls & The House
Most likely. You’ll not only find these rodents scurrying from tree to tree, but you’ll also find them hiding in rock crevices, burrows, brush piles, deserted buildings, chimneys, attics, and barns. This is an adaptable species, so it has become accustomed to living close to people. It’s not uncommon to find them strolling the suburbs or hitting city streets.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do gray squirrel droppings look like?
Gray squirrel droppings look very similar to red squirrel droppings. Though they have the same shape, grey squirrels are larger in size, and so are their droppings. Both resemble grains of rice and are similar in size.
How do you control a gray squirrel infestation?
If you’ve got a family member who loves to feed the squirrels, ask them to stop. The squirrels may be expecting free meals, so taking away their fast food is a quick way of getting them to stop coming around. Eliminating or controlling artificial food sources like bird seed and pet food will also help. If you don’t want to get rid of them, making these feeders squirrel-proof will help.
Crops are favorites of squirrels, so protecting gardens with fences, wire, or electricity will help deter them.
When trying to keep the gray squirrels out of your home, garage, or other structures, first make sure no young are present. Seal any openings that may serve as points of entry for these rodents like chimneys, foundation gaps, or holes in siding. Trim tree branches that fall close to your home so they can’t jump on top of your roof.
You can also install a variety of different traps, both live and lethal, that will help you catch and dispose of squirrels. If your problem persists, it may be best to consult a professional pest management company to further direct you.
What are the Benefits of Professional Gray Squirrel Pest Control?
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a gray squirrel problem. Finding and treating the gray squirrels can be challenging, especially if they are spread throughout your yard. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the gray squirrel infestation.