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Red squirrel nesting habits

The American red squirrel jumps gracefully from branch to branch. They run along the top of the fence. Leap to another tree. With their mouth full of seeds or nuts. Cheeks bulging out as it climbs. It drops the food. Turns around. Heads back to start again. Red squirrels only have one place they keep food. Especially heading into winter. They will do anything to get back to their stash, but where do they come from?


Chewed piles of spruce cones are a sure sign of red squirrel activity

They generally live close to large collections of pine trees

Red squirrels are commonly found in forests or wooded areas with lots of tall pines trees. In cases where human development has reduced the size of boreal forest red squirrels have transitioned to nesting in other forests and people’s homes. They’re native to the northern half of North America where there’s a difference in climate during seasons or it’s cold all year round. Red squirrels can live in mountain ranges as high as 2,500 ft.


Red squirrel chewing on a roof vent. Red squirrels are able to get into house through the smallest of holes.

They build nests in trees and houses

Young red squirrels must find a territory before their first winter. They will compete for vacant territory, create a new territory or receive part of their mother’s territory. Nests are commonly made of grass, bark and sticks. Found in the branches of trees, dense vegetative growth, or cavities in tree trunks. Each squirrel has several nests. Females will move their babies between nests.

However, red squirrels will nest anywhere close to pine trees and store food in one central place. They can slip through small holes and enter homes at ground level. Once they have established themselves in a house they’re persistent in getting back to their winter food stash.  Insulation is one of their favourite human-made nesting materials.


Red squirrel walnut storage in an attic wall cavity

Red squirrel damage to your home

  • Destroy pine trees. They will eat anywhere from 60 to 100% of the cones, buds and bark.
  • Gnaw on wood and wires. Can cause major structural destruction to your home.
  • Damage insulation. Use it for nesting or contaminate it with droppings.
  • Break into your home. Red squirrels will do anything to get back to their food supply.
  • Bite you. If provoked they will try to nip.


Waterloo rodent removal services

Squirrels can severely damage your home. They will gnaw at wooden beams and electrical wires causing a fire or structural damage.

If you detect squirrel activity in your home contact Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control. They will safely remove any pests and reunite them with their babies outside your house.

Call us today! 1-888-592-0387

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About the author:Founder of Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control in 1989. Canada's largest urban wildlife removal and exclusion company. Industry leader and pioneer. Split, Scram, Scoot! However you want to say it, Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control has helped over 200,000 home owners and businesses safely and effectively resolve their wildlife issues. Happy to discuss business and franchising opportunities

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