Squirrels are athletic animals that can leap over five feet from the ground and navigate around power lines, trees and the roofs of buildings. Their physical prowess is well documented, but scientists are only beginning to understand the role that their sense of smell plays in their lives. The creature’s strong sense of smell is highly-advanced, but they also have keen hearing, exceptional eyesight and a spatial memory more developed than previously thought. Before contacting wildlife control in Markham, you can learn more about the squirrels’ sense of smell in these passages.
The Benefits of a Squirrel’s Sense of Smell
Unlike many of their relatives, squirrels are diurnal creatures that forage for food during the daylight hours. Before the temperature drops in late fall, squirrels frantically gather and hide food to prepare for winter. Their sense of smell plays a significant role in their hoarding activities.
If you have fruit trees or trees producing nuts, your yard is undoubtedly a popular destination for squirrels. Squirrels can smell the fallen treats when they’re inspecting a yard for food, and they’ll gather as much as they can before moving to another property. Although they can consume practically anything, they’re picky about their nuts. Squirrels smell their food to check for signs of rotting, and they also twirl the nut around in their hands to ensure an insect did not hollow it out. After they’ve inspected their loot, they hide their collection in a hole in the ground, or hollowed-out portion of a tree.
Since food is limited during the winter for squirrels, the creatures rely on their hidden stashes to feed them throughout the season. In the past, researchers believed that squirrels buried their food at random and used their powerful sense of smell to locate the stashes. However, new research has shown that theory to be partially true. They can smell nuts buried under dirt and snow, but it’s their memory that helps them locate their multiple hiding places. Scientists believe that they use landmarks like trees and buildings to remember where they hide nuts. When they return to an area they recognize, they inspect it with their noses to pinpoint the stash location.
Squirrel dens are typically made of members of the same family, but how do squirrels recognize their relatives? Both male and female squirrels have scent glands they use to mark their territory, and each squirrel can detect their kin from the unique scent. This benefits the breeding process and prevents the squirrels from mating with family members.
When Squirrels Invade Your Property
Squirrels are entertaining to watch when you’re relaxing at home, but you may not be so fond of them if they attempt to use your house as a habitat. Squirrels are attracted to food odours, and they’ll target your home if it offers plenty of sustenance. The animals have sharp, powerful teeth that can gnaw through wood and plastic to gain access to your attic to build a den. Keeping your yard clean and free of fallen nuts and fruit can make your property less appealing to squirrels. Keep your yard free of food waste, and use sturdy trash cans with lockable handles to reduce food odours.
Squirrels can leap from tree branches to your roof, but you can trim back the limbs near your house to make the jump more challenging. If you have a plastic or wood attic vent, you can attach steel mesh over the vent to block access to the attic. When you spot a nest in your home, you can count on Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control for safe and effective squirrel removal. Contact us today for a squirrel-free home.