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Pest Guide > Rodents > Gray Squirrel

Gray Squirrel

Sciurus carolinensis

Gray Squirrels usually live in wooded areas and make their nests in trees. They usually enter homes in the late fall as the evening temperatures drop to nest for the winter. Their playful nature and early rising are what gives them away as homeowners either hear them scurrying around in the attic or coming and going at dawn.

Color: gray with white under belly
Legs: 4
Shape: small rodent with bushy tail
Size: Head & Body length 9 to 11 inches, Weight - 14 to 21 oz
Antennae: No

Habits

Gray Squirrels are hoarders by nature which means they may have hundreds of food caches in their foraging area. They use landmarks to note the location of the food supply and use their keen sense of smell to perform the final location once they get close to the cache. They will normally have two litters of young per year in the late summer and early spring. The number of pups per litter will vary but there are usually between 2-6 pups per litter. They feed on nuts, seeds, bulbs, insects, fruit and other items.

Habitat

Gray Squirrels make their nests out of leaves and dry twigs and may use spanish moss on occasion. They will also enter and nest in the attics of homes and sometimes in an exterior wall or between floors using insulation as nesting material.

Threats

Gray Squirrels can do considerable damage to exterior trim and siding as they widen a current hole or make a new hole to enter the structure. Once in the structure they can and will gnaw on electrical wiring possibly causing a short and causing a fire. They can also be carriers of fleas and other unwanted organisms that will infest the structure after being brought in by the squirrel.

Prevention

Gray Squirrels are protected game animals in many areas. They can be prevented from entering the structure by performing exclusion methods. Exclusion methods entail using metal flashing or metal mesh to cover any and all possible entry routes while the animal is out foraging during the day.
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