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Red Squirrel

Category: Squirrels

Description:

The head & body length of the Red Squirrel ranges between 7-8 inches, with the tail measuring approximately 4-6 inches long. They weigh between 0.45-0.55 pounds. Red squirrels will usually birth 2 litters of 3-7 young, per year, one in early spring and then again late in the summer.

Habits:

  • Abundant in any kind of forest, hardwood, coniferous, or mixed, and are common around buildings
  • Active year round, especially in the morning and evening, but are occasionally out after dark.
  • Feed on a great variety of seeds, nuts, berries, bird’s eggs and young, and fungi
  • Nest in tree cavities or branch nests built of leaves, twigs, and bark. They can also nest in fallen trees and ground cavities.
  • Have been found tunneling and nesting in/under blown-in fibreglass insulation between attic floor joists
  • Frequently enter attics and become pests. Outdoors, they can cause considerable damage to electrical and telephone cables. They most often enter structures such as attics and garages for shelter, to store food, and/or to nest, which can result in damage to the structure and/or its contents.

Control:

  1. Exclusion: The access holes used by the squirrels SHOULD NOT be sealed until ALL activity has ceased. Holes can be sealed with metal flashing, steel wool, “Stuff-It”, or ¼ inch galvanized steel mesh. Be proactive and seal holes before they enter.
  2. Trapping
    • Trapping using rat-sized wooden-based snap traps; secure with a nail etc. so they cannot be dragged off. Use live traps in the area of activity (in attic, garage, on roof, trees, etc.)
    • Place the traps along runways between the entrance hole and nesting site.
    • Check the traps daily to re-bait, reposition, and to remove trapped or dead squirrels.
    • Peanut butter is the best bait to use when baiting any type of trap.
    • Be sure to check local laws before trapping.

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