Grandmothers around the globe place plates full of peanuts and pecans on their porches, waiting for hungry squirrels to make off with nutty nourishment. As the weather chills, these scrappy scroungers turn from taking nuts back to their nests to securing them in many underground holes. To humans who sometimes have a hard time finding their car keys, burying nuts seems like a fool’s errand. However, at Skedaddle Wildlife Control in Milwaukee, we’re experts at everything from raccoon wrangling to squirrel removal and we have the inside scoop on what’s really going on with this nut hoarding business.
Method in Madness
When homeowners watch squirrels scurrying around the backyard digging in the ground to bury some freshly-fallen acorn, it’s easy to think such antics can only lead to a lost cause. Squirrels have a keen intellect as anyone wishing to keep their feeders for the birds can attest. Their mental magic doesn’t stop at problem-solving, either. In reality, squirrels are more like pirates than common hoarders, securing their stashes in secretive locations they can return to later. Their incredible memories make it easy for them to not only plot the layout of their patrolling area but also to remember precisely where they’ve stashed their goods.
As an added insurance method many squirrels will lick their food before burying it to act as a scent-based beacon that helps them find their special spots.
Of course, no rodent is perfect, so many of these nuts get left behind. This is great news for forests since buried acorns are ready to start sprouting as the weather warms. Many scientists attribute forest renewal to the industrious nature and forgetfulness of squirrels. It’s not just their own failings that can help dwindle a carefully-hidden nut supply. Some squirrels hide in wait, watching as their chosen victim buries its winter’s feast only to swoop in and steal it once the coast is clear. Thievery is so common, it’s one of the reasons why squirrels spend an amazing amount of time secreting their hoards.
A Place for Everything
Mind mapping isn’t just for remembering where hidden stockpiles are located. Squirrels have a system that not only helps them hide their hoards but splits them up based on size, quality, type and possibly even nutritional value. A squirrel won’t simply take a nut and stash it. It groups its gatherings, hiding similar nuts in specific places so it knows where prime food is saved throughout the winter. Called scatter-hoarding, this means squirrels have several different spots that they use. Reducing the risk of a complete loss if the stash is found, this instinct has also lead squirrels to hide their less-favorable finds out in the open while keeping the good stuff safely hidden away from prying eyes.
Not every bushy-tailed bandit is a scatter hoarder. Some, such as the red squirrel, have a single spot to house their goods. Homeowners can identify these locations by listening for tiny screams this red variety elicits to warn them away from their hoard. This does make it easier to keep track of food supplies during the winter, but it also leaves the stash vulnerable if a determined thief decides it would make a great meal.
When it comes to squirrel removal, Milwaukee residents should note that handling these creatures without proper training is dangerous. Once a hoard is found, it’s best to leave the squirrel’s eviction to the professionals.
Few backyard buddies are as active and interesting as squirrels.
If you have problems with these holiday hoarders, contact Skedaddle today to learn more about safe and effective squirrel removal in Milwaukee. With years of know-how, our team is ready to help you handle wildlife in the safest way possible for everyone involved.