February is the month of love. The 14th is the time to share your feelings with that special someone. While people know February as Valentine’s month, humans are not the only species getting into the love-making spirit. Towards the end of the month is squirrel mating season, meaning it is a perfect time to contact squirrel removal in Oakville to get some nest prevention tips.
While squirrels do not have the same concept of love as people, they do have an innate drive to reproduce. The mating process can become quite aggressive, too, depending on the number of females available in a specific area.
Mating Process and Ritual
The squirrel mating process is all about timing. A female squirrel is not open to any pursuer unless in estrus heat. Male squirrels can sense when a female is approaching estrus and begin to gather around her territory. Typically males will wait for the female to become receptive. However, if they are not patient and approach before she is ready, she will become violent and aggressive, defending her territory.
When the female is ready, she will engage with the males in a chase around her territory. The dominant male is usually the first to mate with the female, but not always. Females are only in estrus for a few hours, and copulation can take between one and 25 minutes, so sometimes lesser males win out.
Because there are often many males pursuing a single female squirrel, males become pretty competitive and potentially violent towards each other. Some males have adopted the strategy of waiting for a female to stop the chase to mate with a dominant male and then pouncing and attacking the male. When attacking in this manner, the fighting can unintentionally injure the female.
Younger and less aggressive males might ignore the chase, sitting on the sidelines and waiting a turn. It is possible that a female may choose a younger male, depending on the area of her territory she finds him. There are so many squirrels that a dominant male in one area of the female’s territory is not dominant in another area. Therefore, some younger males play the odds.
The gestation period of a squirrel depends on the species. Larger species like the tree and flying squirrels, typically have gestational periods of 38 to 46 days. Smaller species such as fox and gray squirrels, usually gestate for fewer than 38 days. For instance, ground squirrels tend to gestate for 29 to 31 days. However, some tropical and African species can gestate for up to 65 days. Therefore, most squirrels have a gestation period of between one and two months.
When a female squirrel is ready to produce her litter, she will make her way to her nest. Depending on the species, the nest can be in a burrow or tree; however, some mother squirrels find their way into attic spaces.
Most female squirrels will produce litters of between three and five babies, but some can produce up to nine squirrels in a single litter. The babies are hairless, with closed eyes and ear flaps folded toward the skull; they are helpless. They will nurse for approximately nine weeks, at which point they will begin to leave the nest.
Squirrel Removal Services
While many people feed squirrels or admire them closely, you must remember they are wild animals. If you come across a nest or a baby squirrel, do not touch it. Contact a humane wildlife control service for professional assistance.
Do you believe you have a squirrel nest in your attic, or do you have a significant squirrel population around your property? Contact Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control and schedule a home assessment to determine the extent of your problem.