Eastern Gray Squirrel

eastern gray squirrel


11.21.2003 - This is an Eastern Gray Squirrel, a common critter throughout the United States, and a common pest critter found in people's attics.  These highly capable and adaptable animals are able to thrive in the woods and in the suburbs and even the middle of the city.  They live in trees, attic, anywhere they can find a safe place to den.   Thus, they commonly come into conflict with people, who wish to have them removed from the attic or property.  I will now address some recent emails that I've received about squirrels.

Dear David, We found a baby squirrel that came right up to my son. By what read in the internet it should be 6 to 7 weeks old. I would like to know where we can take it to be cared for. I really don't know where to go or what we should do with it. Here in Florida we are weathering a tropical storm. So I didn't want to leave it out in the rain. Please let me know what we can do or where to take it. Thanks, Damaris

Damaris - You can bring it to a local wildlife rehabilitator. Tell me what town you live in, and I can give you the name of a good local person who will care for the squirrel and raise it until it's ready to survive on its own. - David

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Hi David, I have 4 baby Squirrels that fell out of their nest...The Mother never came for them. It began to rain so I decided to provide them with shelter. I have been feeding them for a couple of days but I do not think that I will be able to care for them the way that they need to be cared for. Any Suggestions??? They are all covered with fur, however, their eyes are still closed and they sleep A LOT! I do not want them to be mistreated. I just need to find someone who is willing to take on and raise 4 babies and release them when they are ready. Help! Trish

Trish - See above answer. A lot of people are finding orphaned baby squirrels! - David
Hi David, I have heard and now seen squirrels in the soffits of my house possibly attic? I have heard them for a while, months, thought they were just on the roof and gutter area, usually in the am. saw at least a dozen all sizes all over my roof, just staring me down for a long time. I am out of town but my 23 year old son lives there, but works every day 8:30 to 6:30. I would like to get you over to take care of this issue and seal the entry or entries ASAP. I had roof rats last year but got rid of them and everything was suppose to be sealed, now squirrels? It is in Waterford Lakes. Please call my cell so we can get going on this. I can give you my cc info. over the phone, etc. Thanks a lot, Mike

Mike - No problem, I can solve your squirrel problem. I do a complete inspection of the house, find any and all points of entry for squirrels (and anything else), and I seal everything shut, except for the main squirrel exit. I set a special one-way exclusion door on the hole to remove all the squirrels inside, and I set traps at that area to capture and remove and relocate the squirrels so that they don't try to chew their way back in. I remove any nests of baby squirrels from the attic, I inspect for attic damage such as wire chewing, and after I am done,I clean and deodorize the attic if necessary. - David
The Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), is one of the most widespread nuisance animals in the country. It lives throughout most of the United States. It is arboreal (likes to live in trees), but just as commonly atticeal (likes to live in attics). It's a member of the rodent family, and is prone to chewing and gnawing. Squirrels are active during the daytime, particularly morning and evening. They are active year-round. They give birth to two litters of young per year, in late summer and late winter, commonly inside buildings they've chewed into. They are very agile and great climbers, and are active animals. They are cute, but often destructive, especially when they enter an attic.

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These squirrels are medium sized between 380-500 millimeters in length while their tail is around 120- 255 millimeters and they can be classified as tree squirrels. There is no difference between how male and female eastern gray squirrels look. They have fur on the back of their bodies that differ in color and range from pale gray to a darker tone of gray, and some might even have tones of red fur. Their tail is of a lighter shade of gray while their ears are either white or light gray. The same can be observed for their underparts. Some eastern gray squirrels are completely black and are usually found in parts of Northern America.

They can quite often be confused with fox squirrels but there are a few things you can look for to differentiate between the two. Firstly, fox squirrels have fur that is white-tipped while eastern gray squirrels have fur that is red-tipped. Also, fox squirrels are much larger as compared to others.

Eastern gray squirrels are usually found in the eastern parts of the United States of America to the western part of the Mississippi River. They can also be found in the northern parts of Canada. Other parts of the world also host these squirrels such as Italy, Ireland, and even England. However, in these areas, they are usually considered a pest and find themselves head to head with the local European red squirrels.

Eastern gray squirrels usually reside upon the tress and hence prefer mixed forests that are dense. The dense trees cover them. They are attracted to forest canopies that are continuous because it provides an upper layer consisting of branches and big leaves. This gives them the advantage of traveling from one tree to another without any obstruction since they prefer trees to the ground. Staying up on the trees shelter them and keep them away from the eyes of predators. Eastern gray squirrels are naturally drawn towards forests that fulfill their necessities of food. Forests with high production of food is a factor that majorly impacts which forests they choose to live in. Some of the foods they look out for include walnuts, oaks, and even pines. These items can easily last the entire winter season. The trees are also selected very carefully as this is where they build nests out of leaves amongst the higher branches. The holes in the trees are also used by the eastern gray squirrels to build nests and feed their young ones.

When it comes to mating with the female squirrels, the males compete by asserting their dominance. They are polygamous and hence, may mate with more than one female at a time. Their breeding months are around December-February. Female eastern gray squirrels gestate for an average of 44 days and can start reproducing when they are 1.25 years old. They can give birth twice a year and can continue doing so for an average of 8 years.

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