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Dealing with Squirrels?
Check out these squirrel facts & FAQ’s.
If you live in or around the Greater Toronto Area, you’ve probably seen squirrels scurrying around, darting back and forth and zipping up and down trees and fences. And while squirrels look like cute and adorable bundles of fuzz, they can pose serious problems to home owners. With their sharp teeth and claws they can chew their way through wood and metal to get into an attic, causing costly damage to the home. They drop droppings which can carry harmful diseases, making them cute and fun when they’re running around the park but a nuisance if they build a nest in a house.
Here are some more interesting squirrel facts and FAQ’s to help you understand these pesky critters and protect your home and family from their damaging ways!
What Do Squirrels Eat?
Squirrels are predominantly herbivores, so they like to eat lots of fruits and vegetables in their diet. If you have a vegetable garden, fruit trees or fruit bushes in your back yard, you might find that you also have a higher than normal amount of squirrels. Squirrels also eat seeds and nuts, so don’t be surprised if you see lots of nibble marks in your fruit or vegetable garden.
What Are the Different Types of Squirrels?
There are hundreds of different species of squirrels, but instead of trying to describe them all it’s easier to understand the three different types: tree squirrels, ground squirrels and flying squirrels. The most common type of squirrel that you’ll find in southern Ontario is the North American Grey Squirrel, which can be grey, black or even have a reddish tinge to their fur. There are other types of squirrels in Ontario, too, but they’re less common than the grey squirrels you’ll see in your backyard and local parks.
How Often Do Squirrels Reproduce?
The North American Grey Squirrel will typically breed twice a year, giving birth to litters of kittens (that’s what baby squirrels are called!) in the spring and late summer. Each litter typically contains two to five kittens. The kittens are helpless when they are first born so the mother raises them for the first seven or eight weeks of their lives until they can start fending for themselves.
Where Do Squirrels Make Their Homes?
Squirrels are looking for a safe place to build a nest so they can have their babies. Many homeowners deal with squirrels chewing their way into the attic, but squirrels can also build nests in walls, garages, sheds, or under porches or patios. If there’s a small area that’s protected from the weather and predators, squirrels would be more than happy to nest there.
How Do I Discourage Squirrels from Nesting In or Around My Home?
Prevention is the best approach when trying to keep squirrels out of your home. Like many of these types of animals, they’re looking for a nice cozy place to live and will go for the easiest option possible. So, start by keeping your home in good repair, including regular checks on your roof, gutters and eaves troughs looking for weakness points. If you do have a vegetable garden or grow fruits, try and do it as far away from your home as possible. Squirrels love the nuts and seeds in bird feeders so if you have bird feeders in your back yard then place them as far away from your house as possible.