Squirrels of Colorado
The Fox Squirrel is has a more reddish fur. This species has two litters per year after maturity is reached. A baby squirrel can fit into a teaspoon and it weighs only 14-18 grams! They love eating seeds from bird feeders and often become a nuisance for people who wish to keep them out of their bird feeder. As food sources become scarcer, squirrels will adapt their diet to include leaves and even bark from oak, currants, hackberry and others. These creatures are commonly seen digging holes in the yard and storing nuts for another day. Researchers have actually witnessed squirrels pretending to hide nuts in the ground in an apparent attempt at fooling others who may be watching where the food is hidden.
The American Red Squirrel is much smaller than the Fox Squirrel. It weighs typically only 7 – 8.8 ounces! It’s length is (average adult) is 7.4″! It typically mates with between 4 – 16 males during estrous. Gestation is 31 – 35 days with typically a single litter per year. It has been documented that these species will sometimes skip a year and other times have two litters per year. Litter sizes range from 1 – 5 young. This species is most at home in coniferous forest conditions of which Colorado has plenty. They have been known to also start to move into territories with hardwoods as well though. Nests (clutches) are sometimes referred to as “Witches Brooms” due to their appearance. They are both nest builders and cavity seekers. They do cause problems inside homes and structures and will seek human-made structures for nesting.
We specialize in the removal of animals that have gotten inside structures. We often use a variety of traps and equipment based on the situation we find during the inspection and after discussing the options with the client. Squirrels also leave a pheromone (scent) behind that will continue to draw new problems to the structure. Following our recommendations will help reduce the chances for further problems down the road.
Squirrels inside the attic will soil insulation, mat or displace insulation (reducing R-Value and increasing heating & cooling costs), chew wiring, create disturbing noises, have young inside and create a real problem for homeowners.
One thing is for sure, these creatures sure are crafty. Squirrels nest in leaves, cavities in trees and even sometimes in your home! They are part of nature and they are just trying to survive as best they can, but they certainly don’t belong in human structures. Here are a few tips that can help to ensure that living side by side with these creatures is a good experience.
- Eliminate bird feeders or if you’re a birdwatcher like me, then place the feeder at least 6 feet from the ground and any nearby trees or structures, hang the feeder by piano wire that hangs at least 4 feet from the tree branch and use a squirrel baffle that can be purchased at your local hardware store. * Remember that you will probably never be able to completely outsmart them! Here’s a great link from a colleague in the industry to better understand bird feeding rules and tricks and tips for reduction of non-target issues Bird Feeding Guide.
- Do not put bread or other food items on the ground.
- Trim tree branches so that they are at least 10 feet away from your home.
- Place a good quality stainless steel chimney cap on all chimneys and use vent guards on all vents!
- If all else fails, call us for assistance with getting them out and keeping them out!