Most people appreciate the beauty of nature and the wildlife that surrounds their home. When considering all the typical species encountered in a day, many people think about birds and squirrels. While squirrels can be a nuisance if they find their way into your house, requiring skilled experts in Milwaukee for squirrel removal, these animals often stay to themselves.
Unfortunately, the life of a squirrel is difficult, and most will not make it past the first two years. In fact, nearly 25% of the species die within the first year. That is why if you have a nuisance squirrel, it may not be around for long. It is rare for squirrels to make it past the two-year mark, and those that do can live to between six and seven years old. A lucky few may make it to twelve in the wild, but that is because they typically keep their distance from any predators, including humans.
Squirrel Life Cycles
There are two primary breeding seasons for squirrels: early spring and late summer. The average gestational period for pregnant squirrels is between 40 and 44 days, and a mother can birth between one and nine babies. Neonates, or baby squirrels, are born hairless and blind. They do not develop their sight until they are 28 days old or 35 days at the latest. The young squirrels will not even venture out of their nest until they are at least 42 days old, and the mother will not entirely wean the babies until they reach 50 days of age. Some babies stay close to their mother until after their first winter, especially if they were born in late summer, and this goes for all the squirrel species, including the tree squirrel.
While it may be hard to tell from their small size and high mortality rate, squirrels are quite intelligent and formidable. True, many do not make it past the first two years of life, but those that do acquire essential survival skills. Squirrels learn by watching. They study different species to understand how to survive. For example, they can learn to look both ways before crossing the street, and they can master how to forage and hide effectively.
Squirrels are also agile and quick. They are responsive and do not hesitate to make decisions. Unfortunately, their speed can result in their demise, especially when they flee into oncoming traffic.
Squirrels have several natural predators. Hawks and owls, wildcats and weasels, coyotes and foxes, and even snakes present significant threats to a squirrel’s survival. People and vehicles are also dangerous to the species, with many squirrels getting hit by cars or becoming too dependent on human feeding, which ultimately eliminates their natural foraging instinct.
While people often think of diet when considering threats to their own species, squirrels do not have the same concerns. Squirrels are omnivores, meaning they eat plants and meat, but their diets mainly comprise fruit, nuts, seeds, insects, small animals, and young snakes. They rarely die from heart complications or dietary issues because they eat a healthy and balanced diet. A squirrel’s primary cause of death is from predators or vehicular accidents.
While most squirrels do not live long natural lives, those that do survive can live to be upwards of twelve years old. If you believe you have a squirrel problem in your house or on your property, do not assume it is only for a few months. Contact our Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control Milwaukee team to assess your property and your concerns. We will send skilled workers to your home to remove the animals humanely and allow them to move to a safer space where they will have the opportunity to thrive.