In folklore, squirrels are often notable for their noisy and aggressive behavior. They may be instigators of trouble or otherwise nuisances, but do they deserve these attributes? The American red squirrel might. This surprisingly small animal is known for being aggressive and territorial. Legend has it that black squirrels were introduced to the Battle Creek, Michigan, community to destroy the red squirrels, but that story is only a myth. American red squirrels are also not endangered, unlike their European counterpart, also known as a “red squirrel.” The two species are not the same, although their names are. Learn more about the American red squirrel and why you should call professional squirrel removal in Durham to have them removed from your home if you find a nest.
5 Types of North American Squirrels
Whether you live in a rural setting or urban community, squirrels are a common mammal. Although these rodents are small, regardless of the type, they can cause trouble. Get to know the varieties in the area so you can identify what you are dealing with.
- Red squirrel – The smallest North American squirrel only weighs about 200 to 250 grams with a body length of 18-20 centimeters and a tail 10-15 cm. They prefer conifer tree seeds. Their coats come in many shades, from a grey-brown to rusty red. They generally have a white ring around their eyes.
- Fox squirrel – Brown-grey, brown-yellow or brown-orange fur highlights these larger rodents that can have a body of up to 70 cms. They can weigh up to a kilo. They prefer forests with oak, walnut and hickory trees.
- Eastern gray squirrels – These squirrels are generally gray but do have color variations. They have a body length of up to 30 cm, with the tail often as long as the body. An adult can weigh between 400 to 600 g. These squirrels are the most common in Ontario.
- Black squirrels – All black squirrels are a mutation of the gray squirrel. Brown-black squirrels have one mutant gene and one normal gene that determines the color of the fur.
- Western gray squirrel – The Western gray squirrel is usually found on the west coast of the North American continent. These tree squirrels can weigh up to 1 kg, with a body length of 50 cm. These squirrels prefer to live in trees. They come to the ground to forage and are shy around humans.
Characteristics of Red Squirrels
Red squirrels have a big attitude, which might be due to their size. They’re one of the smallest squirrels, so they have to act big. They don’t hibernate during winter, but they may stay in their nests for extended periods of time. Red squirrels prefer conifer seeds, which aren’t always available during the colder months. These rodents have to protect their food source, which can make them very aggressive. Although squirrels typically have a varied diet, the red squirrel has one of the most limited.
Red squirrels use their bushy tail to intimidate rivals. During the mating season, two males may chase each other to get the attention of a fertile female squirrel. Essentially, the two males are competing to mate. Once the female chooses, the pair may also chase each other in a mating ceremony of types. If you are watching two squirrels chase each other, you may be able to notice the signs of love when the chasing seems to be seductive and lazy, rather than aggressive.
A female red squirrel raises her litter on her own. In fact, adult males present a hazard to baby squirrels. A mother red squirrel will be quite protective of her young. Most litters have three to six kits, born in the spring, with a potential second litter born in the summer. Like all rodents, squirrels must chew to keep their incisors to keep them from getting too long. This can cause them to wreak havoc if they nest inside a roof or attic and gnaw on electrical wires as well as housing materials.
Professional Squirrel Removal
If a family of red squirrels moves into your home, they can cause a lot of damage. Contact Skedaddle Wildlife Removal for professional squirrel removal in Durham.