As winter approaches, squirrels like most wildlife are readying their resources for the more barren months ahead. Some animals prepare for this period by gathering enough food until close to spring or until frost is no longer creeping. Some animals use this time to check their homes for unwanted visitors and call in professionals for squirrel removal and wildlife control in Madison. Some animals may hoard and then hibernate, but squirrels remain primarily active for winter. They gather food and bury it in locations to go back to during the winter. Instead of hibernating, they sleep longer and go through spurts of eating when they dig up a few of their buried food treasures. If they can find them, that is.
Squirrels take a substantial amount of time and effort to bury their winter goodies safely. They go to great lengths to conceal their hiding place from potential thieves. If a squirrel senses it is being watched, it will continue to dig a hole and pretend to drop something inside and close it back up. Quickly running away, it will move even further from the original spot to then actually bury the winter’s bounty. The thief will attempt to dig up the trick burial only to find nothing in its place. Squirrels also choose multiple hiding places to ensure that theft and damage are minimized. This is an intelligent strategy, save for one big problem.
Squirrels hide their winter treats in so many different places that they can sometimes fail to go back and locate every one. This can happen if a burying session was particularly stressful with increased predators or watchful eyes attempting to steal the stash. While squirrels have a mnemonic device to relocate nuts and seeds called spatial chunking, it can only do so much work. Having a significant number of locations in combination with stress can affect how memories are stored, thus limiting the squirrel’s access to returning to every burial location.
Thanks to spatial chunking, squirrels can still find a large percentage of their buried goods. In many cases, they can retrieve every piece of food from a burial site before being disturbed. However, sometimes, it is a fight to get any nuts or seeds thanks to hungry competitors who see that there is food to be had when they previously had none. This can be a disappointing loss for a squirrel who has worked so hard to prepare for winter, but the process will often correct itself, and squirrels will find that they have another hidden stash somewhere else to benefit from.
Since some seeds will inevitably remain unfound in the dirt with no choice but to germinate and sprout, squirrels are ultimately responsible for populating areas with more trees. Just a few lost winter squirrel dinners can produce the opportunity for the prolonged survival of many tree species in that area. This is especially true because many seedlings and nuts will generally fall directly under the tree from whence they came, which is not an ideal opportunity to propagate. When squirrels carry them out to new areas with light, sun, and more space, they are given a unique chance to grow. Many different trees depend on squirrels and their defensive burying techniques to continue repopulating: pine, hazel, oak, chestnut, and beech trees, to name a few.
If you happen to find several piles of nuts and seeds in the corner of your attic, this is a sign that squirrels are stocking up for the winter months, and whether or not you need more trees in your area, the upstairs is not the place to start repopulating a forest. Call Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control today for squirrel removal in Madison.