Many people find red squirrels to be cute and furry little critters. While their outer appearance may be appealing to the eyes, the behavioural patterns of these squirrels can be shocking, and a little bit strange. The spirited rodents are usually characterized as playful, but can pose a serious problem if they decide to seek shelter in homes, decks and or sheds. As a result, professional squirrel removal services are always the recommended option for not only removing them, but deterring future squirrel infestations. Here’s what you need to know.
Red Squirrels 101
An omnivore, the red squirrel is also referred to as the Eurasian red squirrel and is commonly found throughout Great Britain, Ireland, Italy and North America. The past few years Europe has witnessed a drastic decline in the population of these animals. This is attributed to the grey squirrel being introduced by North America but also due to loss of habitat. The red squirrel has quite an interesting and unique look with their red coloured fur, curved, sharp claws and long fluffy tail.
Scientists from the University of Alberta have recently conducted a study that found that male red squirrels will kill the babies of their male rivals in times when there is an abundance of food. Termed “sexually selected infanticide,” the behavioural pattern was discovered by accident when a scientist noticed a male squirrel entering the territory of the females, grabbing a pup and killing it instantly. After several tests, it was determined that the culprit was not the father of the pup; it belonged to one of its male rivals.
At a later time, it was discovered that the same culprit had already fathered a new set of offspring with the same female squirrel. It had gained an advantage over its rival by killing the pup. Additionally, it was also discovered that female squirrels can actually breed quickly after their first litter is killed.
When Does This Happen?
The study was conducted during a period when there was an abundance of a primary food source for squirrels – white spruce cones. White spruce trees are known to produce vast amounts of cones annually, though there are also years when cones are produced only periodically – called “mast years.” Red squirrels can apparently accurately tell when these mast years will happen, even though they happen rarely. Female squirrels will usually have two litters during these years as well.
Plagued by Red Squirrels? Get in Touch with Skedaddle
Red squirrels are intriguing by anyone’s criteria, and even some of the more shocking behaviours provide a valuable insight into their habits and nature. Problems can arise though when this behaviour starts taking place around your property. Not only are dead pups a problem by default, but their carcasses can be a serious health hazard. Additionally, they can attract other insects and wildlife to your home.
The safest and most effective solution to the problem is the professional approach. While you can try to discourage squirrels from visiting your property with DIY prevention techniques and other forms of deterrents, getting in touch with a company like Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control is the best choice. Skedaddle has been solving wildlife infestation problems humanely for almost three decades. Get in touch with the company today and let experienced professionals take care of your squirrel problem.