Grey squirrels, or Sciurus Caroliniensis, are the most common species in the squirrel family to cause the most problems for home owners and bird watchers. Squirrels can cause damages in attics of homes in many ways. Many times a small damage can eventually lead to one big problem. Squirrels, like most rodents have a chewing or gnawing problem. However their bad habits of chewing or gnawing serve a very important purpose. The fronts of their teeth grow constantly approximately up to 6 inches a year. Therefore, the squirrels by nature have no choice but to constantly gnaw or chew on objects to keep their teeth filed down to a comfortable length. If a squirrel were not able to file its teeth down, it could eventually starve to death. When infested by squirrels, the squirrels may chew through electrical wires, creating a possible potential for a house fire. Squirrels can also chew through any kind of flat surfaces or gutters causing leaks which could also lead to further damages. Many times squirrels may chew through water pipes creating water damages. Other times they could even damage the insulation in homes reducing thermal efficiency of homes. Squirrels may also cause damages on stored food or create a bad odor inside of a home. Damages are not only caused indoors by squirrels, but outdoor as well by digging up random holes on lawns to uncover the food they had once hidden. Squirrels are also big pests for bird watchers who leave bird feeds in their yards. Many times the squirrels will try to get into the birdfeed for food, often times destroying the bird feed or scaring the birds away.
Squirrels in the attic can be suspected if chewing and shuffling is herd during the daytime. Squirrels are not nocturnal animals and are usually active during the day. If chewing or shuffling around in the attic is herd during the night it is most likely to be spotted as raccoons, rats, mice, or in some cases flying squirrels, for these are all nocturnal rodents that like to forage into attics.
Grey squirrels can grow to be about 18 in long from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail. They weigh an average of 1-1.5lbs. Most grey squirrels are grey with bits of tan hairs and either a buff or a white colored belly. Sometimes in the summer grey squirrels will shed their coats into a yellowish brown color. Squirrels have small ears and large bushy tails that curve upright behind them. Their tails are used for shade, balance, warmth, communication, and to slow their fall from trees (similar to the usage of a parachute).
Squirrels are very intelligent and curious creatures. They are naturally shy and are active throughout most of the day time. Squirrels do not hibernate during the winter and are considered the cleanest animal in the rodent family. A male tree squirrel usually takes as much as two times longer than the female squirrel to groom itself. Squirrels also have an excellent sense of smell which is very important for them in finding food and identifying marked territory.
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