The most common squirrel in the area is the eastern grey squirrel and as the name suggests you would think it would have predominantly grey fur. They can be brown, black and have very noticeable white underbellies or hardly noticeable at all. The black fur is a melanistic form which changes in different geographic areas and in certain populations. The head and body length is 23 -30 cm and the tail length is 19 – 25 cm. We also have the eastern red squirrel which is not as common in the city areas, they prefer large tree stands to city living. But you can still find them from time to time. Their colour can vary depending on the time of year and location and can be black to red, but they will always have a cream white underbelly. Head and body length is 19 -23 cm and the tail is 15-20 cm.
What do squirrels like to eat?
Squirrels like to eat anything thing from seeds, to bread and tree bark to berries. They will eat acorns and walnuts and some types of fungi found in the forest. They will eat anything you would put out in your bird feeders and on rare occasions you can find them preying upon insects, frogs and small rodents. They are food hoarders and make small caches of food that they will save up and find at later dates if needed. It is said that in one season a single squirrel can have up to several thousand caches…
Dangers of squirrels in your home?
It is one thing to have squirrels eating the bird food at your feeders, they can make the cost of buying bird food for the winter much higher and they scare the birds away. But the real danger with squirrels is where they go to make caches and sometimes make homes. If they decide to make your house a hiding place and hotel it can be a serious fire threat to you and your family. They can make lots of noise and chew through wood and displace insulation but the big problem is the chewing on electrical wires. All rodents have continuously growing teeth and they have the urge to chew on things to keep them worn down. When they get into your attics they tend to chew on wood but if there is electrical wiring hanging about they will chew on it right down to the wire. This can cause shorts and possibly fires. So it is best to get them taken out of your home and the holes closed up so they can’t get back in at a later date.
What can you do to prevent squirrels from being attracted to your yard?
-buy squirrel proof bird feeders
– don’t leave out bread or food on platforms for the birds
-keep your yard tidy and keep sticks, twigs and leaves cleaned up
-Assess the outside of your home for holes and get them repaired