Squirrels are a member of the small to medium rodent family Sciuridae and includes over 250 species with many subfamilies and subgroups. Native to the Americas, Eurasia and Africa, they were introduced to Australia. Many of these rodents are active from dawn to dusk with the exception of nocturnal species such as the flying squirrel.
Breeding several times a year, they give birth in three to six weeks to two to eight offspring. Squirrels diet mainly on protein, carbohydrates and fats such as nuts, fruit, fungi and seeds. During the Spring when food for these mammals are scarce, they are known to forage for other foods such as insects, eggs and even smaller rodents and snakes.
Always wanting a safe place to live, such as trees, these rodents can invade your home. They enjoy nesting in attics and under foundation and can be found scurrying around during the day. Although cute to some people, they can cause expensive and serious damage to your home by ruining the foundation, chewing holds into siding, disturbing vegetation, shredding insulation and probably most dangerous, chewing electrical wiring. However rare, it is important to note squirrels can carry disease such as rabies.
To avoid these bushy tailed rodents in your homes, make sure tree branches are trimmed back at least 6 feet from your house and openings such as holes, chimneys and vents are covered.
Should you hear or find them nesting in your home and prefer to eradicate them on your own, first determine their nesting location. Non-guaranteed remedies include using ultrasonic rodent repellents, radio, light or strobe, one way door traps and sealing off the points of entry. Trapped squirrels should be moved a minimum of 10+ miles away. When self trapping, check your local laws for release prior to releasing them back into the wild as some laws will not allow for the 10+ mile release.
Whether safely removing the squirrels on your own or if you choose to use a professional pest control service, make sure the nesting area is checked for babies and ensure they are relocated with the mother as they are dependent on their mothers for up to 3 months and could die in the nesting area causing other issues.