A Profile on Red Squirrels
When you look out your window and see a squirrel, chances are that it is a grey squirrel, even if it appears reddish in color. These are the most prolific of squirrels in America, but they are far from the only kind. Today, we are taking a closer look at the small but mighty American red squirrel (not to be confused with the tufted-eared European red squirrel!).
As small but mighty implies, these are a smaller species of squirrel than their grayscale cousins. They are not much larger than chipmunks, only around a foot in length compared to the almost two-feet of the grey squirrel (including tails). Their fur is a bright reddish-orange, hence their name, but unlike their cousins, they also have a bright white underside.
These squirrels live across the majority of North America, and are most prevalent in areas with coniferous forests, as conifer cones are one of their favorite foods. They enjoy any grains, nuts, seeds or cones they can lay their paws on. In preparation for winter red squirrels will quite literally squirrel-away what food they can find, leading to extensive stockpiles, of which they are incredibly defensive. These stockpiles can be a serious concern if they happen to be within a human structure.
Mighty in small but mighty comes from the fact that these squirrels have no trouble ripping into human-made structures. This can be done for a variety of reasons, whether looking for a new territory, a new stockpile location, or a safe place to have babies. Speaking of babies, these squirrels can have up to two litters a year, one at the beginning of spring and one in mid-summer, resulting in typically three to four babies.
Once inside, it’s hard not to notice these little guys, as they are active from early morning into the afternoon, and their vocalizations are almost constant and often sound bird-like. Damage to structures can include holes, claw marks, and gnawing, including chewing on electrical wiring, as well as damage caused by their urine and feces.
If you think you may have a red squirrel problem, be sure to call in a professional (like us!) to trap and remove them before irreversible damage is done.