How Can I Identify Squirrels?Weighing between 16 and 24 ounces, the common gray squirrel is the type most likely invading your backyard. While the name suggests they are always gray in color, gray squirrels actually come in a variety of colors including tan, light brown, black and dark brown. They have white stomachs and tails that measure approximately 10 inches in length. The tail is one of the grey squirrel’s most recognizable features, known for being bushy and thick. With their excellent sense of smell, squirrels are masters at finding hidden berries and nuts. Bird feeders filled with seeds are a key squirrel attractant. Most of these rodents are known to take seeds found in bird feeders and bury them, often choosing to dig in potted plants or the garden.
How Much Damage Can Squirrels Cause?While squirrels are small, they can cause a lot of damage to your yard. They love digging up spring bulbs to eat, and then use the holes the flowers were planted in to store other food they find. Whether your bulbs are planted in a potted plant or your garden, squirrels will find them. They can cause considerable damage elsewhere as well if left to take over your yard:
- Tree damage: Squirrels gnaw on tree bark when they can’t find other sources of food. Squirrels can cause a lot of damage to young trees. Bark stripping is a serious threat for trees that are less than a year old. Excessive gnawing from squirrels can prevent saplings from fully developing and can even cause premature deterioration.
- Lawn holes: Squirrels dig deep holes to hide the fruit and nuts they find. Holes are not only unsightly, but they also wreak havoc on the health of your lawn and pose a threat to trees and plants trying to find the proper nourishment to grow.
- Plant destruction: Squirrels also commonly eat and uproot plants and flowers. Flowers destroyed by squirrels can cost you a lot of money to replace if you have a large flower garden or an extensive collection of potted plants.