Squirrels’ behavior is often mystifying to humans. They climb into the attics of homes, requiring professional squirrel removal. They dart around in front of cars. They chase each other around backyards, parks, and other outdoor areas.
Some people are amused by the chasing behavior, while others may be unnerved by it, thinking that the aggressive display may be a sign of rabies infections. Rest assured, it is normal for squirrels to chase each other and does not indicate disease or ill health requiring wildlife control in Madison. While the behavior is natural, the reasons behind it may vary.
1. Play Fighting
Sometimes squirrels chase one another as a way of playing. Young squirrels are especially likely to chase one another as a form of play fighting, so if the squirrels seem to be smaller or less mature in some way, that is probably what they are doing. Many species of mammals engage in play when they are young, including some of the squirrels’ potential predators, such as cats and dogs. Play fighting helps young animals, including squirrels, to gain strength and develop coordination. Since squirrels routinely engage in aerial acrobatics to travel, find food, and evade predators, these abilities are particularly important to them. Play fighting does not result in aggression from young squirrels; they do not bite or attack one another if one catches the other. As with many baby animals, young squirrels often grow out of play fighting when they mature, but some maintain the behavior into adulthood.
2. Resource Guarding
Given how squirrels depend on stored food to make it through the winter, it makes sense that they try to protect reliable food sources. A squirrel with a well-established territory may chase other squirrels away when they get too close. The goal is not to catch and kill the other squirrel, merely to get it to run off and stay away. Not all squirrels are territorial in this fashion. The ones that are most likely to exhibit this behavior tend to be older and more dominant. Furthermore, the level of territorialism varies by species, with red squirrels and flying squirrels exhibiting some of the most territorial behaviors. If you see squirrels chasing each other in the fall as the weather is getting colder, this is probably the reason.
Squirrels have two mating seasons every year. The first is in the late winter to early spring, and the second is in late summer. Chasing each other is part of their mating ritual, so if you witness this behavior during these times of the year, that’s probably the reason. Male squirrels chase one another to establish dominance. The dominant squirrel gets to mate with the female. However, some males employ cunning and subterfuge to establish dominance. They find a hiding place within the female’s territory and wait for the female to begin the mating chase. At the point when the dominant male catches her, the other will attack him and try to get him to run away. If this is successful, the male that hid succeeds in establishing dominance and proceeds to mate with the female.
Once a male squirrel has established dominance, in one form or another, the female begins the mating chase. Taking a slow pace, she entices the male to chase her by running off. Meanwhile, the male checks the female’s scent while he follows her to ensure that she is ready to conceive. Squirrels have a brief window of a few hours in which to successfully reproduce while the female is still in heat. Mating takes place as soon as the male catches up with the female.
Skedaddle Squirrel Removal Services
Once squirrels have mated, they start looking for places to build nests and raise their young. They may seek shelter in your attic, where they can cause extensive damage. Call Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control to have the squirrels removed from your Madison home and keep them from coming back.