Types of Squirrels Most Prevalent Throughout Ontario:
Black Squirrel –common throughout all of Ontario
Eastern Gray Squirrel – common throughout all of Ontario
Red Squirrel – common throughout Eastern Ontario
Southern Flying Squirrel – less common, but do exist in Ontario
Habits & Behaviours
Squirrels are active all year round and are one of the most commonly dealt with nuisance animals. Because food and shelter are plentiful and natural predators are limited, squirrels have adapted well to co-existing amongst humans. They are continually seeking food, safety, and shelter and can become invading, annoying, and troublesome. Squirrels are commonly classified as a pest species because they will seek shelter and establish their dens in attics, chimneys, sheds, crawlspaces, eavesdropping, and walls within homes, recreational/cottage, and business properties. Squirrels must chew constantly to prevent their incisors from growing too long.
Complaints & Destruction
Squirrels are opportunists! If the opportunity to enter your home, recreational/cottage, or business property exists, they will take it. Squirrels will access homes and buildings through chimneys, unscreened vents, existing gaps/holes, and if necessary, they will chew through almost anything including electrical wires, wood, shingles, aluminum fascia, soffit, duct systems, insulation, drywall, vapour barrier, water piping, and plumbing lines to gain access.
Major Risks & Dangers
Fires & power outages
Squirrels will chew electrical wiring, resulting in power outages and costly damages. They will also bring nesting materials into their space which can result in serious risk of fire around the damaged electrical wiring.
Leaking roofs, water damage and flooding
Squirrels will chew and create holes and gaps in exterior roofs, walls, doors, etc. They are also known to chew plumbing lines and pipes resulting in flooding and costly water damage.
Serious structural damages
Because squirrels must chew constantly to prevent their incisors from growing too long, a family can cause costly and dangerous structural damage.
Compromising the efficiency of your home
Squirrels can seriously compromise the efficiency of your home by chewing and destroying exterior and interior walls, roofs, duct systems, and insulation.
Squirrels attract parasites such as ticks and fleas. The droppings of the squirrels can pose health risks such as leptospirosis and salmonella. Dead and decomposing squirrels can attract insects, cause staining and putrid odours that can last for months. Displaced parasites will often look for new hosts and can infest humans or domestic animals.
Squirrels mate twice a year, during the mid winter months and then again in the early to mid summer months. The average gestation period is 44 days and the average litter consists of 3-4 young. The young grow quickly and are weaned at about ten weeks of life.
Squirrels are omnivores, but are primarily vegetarians, living on seeds, nuts, fruits, fungi, lichens, buds, mushrooms, roots, pine cones, leaves, twigs, and bark. They do not normally eat meat, however, if faced with hunger they have been known to eat bird eggs and insects.
To reduce the risk of squirrels entering your home, recreational/cottage, or business property, exclusion is the best prevention.
Greenshield Pest Control Inc. can provide you with many exclusion solutions.
If you are attempting to remove the animal(s) yourself, never grab a squirrel, even if you have gloves on! Squirrels can easily bite through any glove.
Never corner a squirrel or it may become aggressive. Never attempt to remove squirrels by lighting a fire, which will most likely result in serious injury or death and is against the law. If you suspect that a squirrel or a family of squirrels may be dwelling in your home, cottage or business, it is best to let the professionals do the job of safely and humanely removing the animal(s). Please contact us today or see our Wildlife Control Services section for further information on the types of services and solutions we can provide.