During the fall, animals start to prepare for the winter. While birds are travelling south to warmer temperatures, and your pet is growing a thicker coat, squirrels will be getting busy storing their nuts and fattening up to face the cold. Here’s what to know about squirrels and the winter, and why you might need wildlife control services to get rid of these destructive rodents.
How do squirrels survive cold temperatures without going into hibernation?
Hibernation is a period of inactivity, in which an animal’s metabolism slows down to survive the cold. Bats, turtles and even bumblebees hibernate to get through the winter without moving somewhere warmer. While many other species around them are sleeping, squirrels stay active during the winter – using food stashes and den sites to keep warm and fed.
What do squirrels do during the winter?
Squirrels spend more time in the winter in their den, coming out on warmer days to search for more food. While inside their warm den sites, squirrels will enter torpor – a temporary sleep state that allows them to store their fats. They may have multiple dens, which helps them avoid predators and bad weather. However, your home will always be an especially inviting place to make a den, because your attic is warm and uninhabited. They may even make their way into the wall cavities of your home for warmth and access to various rooms of the home. Although squirrels are less active in the winter, they do start mating in late January. If you think you have a squirrel living in your attic, you want to get professional squirrel removal before they start having babies in the spring.
Where in my home will a squirrel store nuts?
Squirrels have different methods of storing nuts. Some squirrels hide nuts anywhere and everywhere. They’re called scatter hoarders. You may find nuts stored in a car, under the tree where they found them, or in your attic. Squirrels aren’t too picky about where they hide their stash. Some ground squirrels stash their food in piles that aren’t necessarily hidden but well-defended. Your attic can become such a place, as can your basement. Any space that doesn’t seem occupied can become a food stash for squirrels.
How can I deter squirrels from my property in the winter?
Like most rodents, to deter squirrels from your home, you need to make it less attractive. If you have nut or fruit trees, you’ll want to remove the food source every day to keep them from thinking your home is a safe place. You should also make sure your trash is secure because squirrels and raccoons will consider your trash can as an invitation to feast.
Some people put up repellants or decoys, like owl or hawk figurines that deter squirrels. Motion-activated lights or other sensors can scare squirrels away at first, but they do have limited use. Squirrels are fairly intelligent and will soon realize that nothing dramatic happens, and stop running away. You may also want to use scent-repellent. Smelling the aroma of a coyote or other dangerous predator can keep squirrels away.
If you have squirrels in your home, don’t try to take care of them on your own. Rodent-control is not a DIY project. Their nests carry ticks and fleas and possibly other dangerous contaminants. The squirrels can be quite aggressive when trapped, especially if they have babies. Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control has technicians who are trained to safely and humanely remove squirrels and clear up any mess that is left behind. Once the squirrels are removed, we advise you on how to prevent future infestations. We want to make sure your home is safe and clean for you and your family. Contact us for a professional and humane squirrel removal process.