Have squirrel problems or an infestation? Learn all about squirrels, including the many different species of squirrels you may find near your home or business, and your options to eradicate and prevent them using squirrel traps and trapping techniques.

Quick Facts

  • The front teeth of a squirrel never stop growing

  • During winter, squirrels can find their buried food beneath a foot of snow

  • To avoid predators, squirrels run in a zigzag pattern

  • Their caches of food are often raided by other squirrels

  • Squirrels sometimes pretend to bury food to mislead potential thieves from taking their forage

  • They don’t always recall where they buried their nuts; this leads to new tree growth

  • Their long ears help them stay cool

  • When Tree squirrels do not hibernate, but tend to store great quantities of food, often in excess of that needed the run, they can reach a top speed of 18 mph

  • Tree squirrel diets vary by species and are determined by their habitat and season of the year

There are around 285 species. Squirrels are generally small animals, ranging in size from the African pygmy squirrel and least pygmy squirrel at 3.9-5.5 inches in total length to the Bhutan giant flying squirrel at up to 4 ft in total length, and several marmot species, which can weigh 18 lbs or more. Squirrels typically have slender bodies with bushy tails and large eyes. In general, their fur is soft and silky, though much thicker in some species than others. The coat color of squirrels is highly variable between-and often even within-species.

Eastern gray squirrels are excellent foragers, searching for nuts, seeds, and other plants. Like many squirrels, the eastern gray squirrel stores its food in preparations for winter. They have a very keen sense of smell, which they use to locate their buried food caches.

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What You Need To Know About The Eastern Gray Squirrel

  • What do eastern gray squirrels look like?

    • Dark gray to light gray fur with hints of red

    • White belly and white-tipped tail fur

    • They don’t have a white ring around their eye like other species

    • Body length ranges from 14-20 inches

    • Tail length ranges from 5-9 inches

  • What do eastern gray squirrels eat?

    • Favor nuts, seeds, flowers, and buds from trees

    • Will eat corn and wheat

  • Where do eastern gray squirrels live?

    • They primarily live in the eastern part of North America

    • Mostly in woodland areas

What You Need To Know About Eastern Gray Squirrel Infestations

  • What are the signs of an eastern gray squirrel infestation?

    • Notable presence on your property and seeing them get food from sources such as bird feeders

  • Why do eastern gray squirrels invade my home or business?

    • Availability of shelter, food, and water

  • How do I get rid of eastern gray squirrels?

    • Before undertaking reduction control of squirrels, it is essential to check with the local wildlife or conservation agency because some species are threatened, endangered, or protected in some states

    • Live trapping is one way to get rid of squirrels

Tips To Prevent Eastern Gray Squirrel Infestations

The western gray squirrel is another aboral (tree) rodent that lives in forested areas of the western part of the United States. Their habitat range is much smaller than that of its cousin, the eastern gray squirrel. This species however is known to be much more timid and shy than its eastern counterpart.

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What You Need To Know About Western Gray Squirrels

  • What do western gray squirrels look like?

    • Dark-gray top coat

    • Pure white belly coat

    • Long bushy tail

    • 17-24 inches long

  • What do western gray squirrels eat?

    • Will eat berries, nuts, seeds, and the eggs of small birds

  • Where do western gray squirrels live?

    • Habitat extends from California to Washington state

    • Lives in nests built into trees

What You Need To Know About Western Gray Squirrel Infestations

  • What are the signs of a western gray squirrel infestation?

    • Notable presence on your property and seeing them get food from sources such as bird feeders

  • Why do western gray squirrels invade my home or business?

    • Availability of shelter, food, and water

  • How do I get rid of western gray squirrels?

    • Before undertaking reduction control of squirrels, it is important to check with the local wildlife or conservation agency because some species are threatened or endangered or protected in some states

    • Live trapping is one way to get rid of squirrels

Tips To Prevent Western Gray Squirrel Infestations

The American red squirrel is one of a handful of squirrels classified as pine squirrels. They feed primarily on conifer cones, and much of their territorial range centers around where conifer trees are found. However, they are very territorial and do not get along well with other squirrel species. One example of this is that while conifer trees cover the pacific coast, the American red squirrel avoids this area due to the presence of the Douglas squirrel.

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What You Need To Know About American Red Squirrels

  • What do American red squirrels look like?

    • Small size (11-14 inches in length)

    • Reddish fur and a white underbelly

  • What do American red squirrels eat?

    • Mainly grains

    • Tree buds, insects, bulbs, roots, bird eggs, seeds of pines, and spring-fruiting trees

    • White spruce seeds, mushrooms, and berries

    • Lives in nests built into trees

  • Where do American red squirrels live?

    • Their territory covers the east coast to the great plains

    • Lives in nests built into tree

What You Need To Know About American Red Squirrel Infestations

  • What are the signs of an American red squirrel infestation?

    • Notable presence on your property and seeing them get food from sources such as bird feeders

  • Why do American red squirrels invade my home or business?

    • Availability of shelter, food, and water

  • How do I get rid of American red squirrels?

    • Before undertaking reduction control of squirrels, it is important to check with the local wildlife or conservation agency because some species are threatened, endangered, or protected in some states

    • Live trapping is one way to get rid of squirrels

Tips To Prevent American Red Infestations

The fox squirrel is the largest native tree squirrel species in North America. Due to the color of their fur and ability to coexist with other squirrel species, the fox squirrel is sometimes mistaken for a red squirrel.

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What You Need To Know About Fox Squirrels

  • What do fox squirrels look like?

    • Large in size (17-27 inches long)

    • Large tail (7-13 inches long)

    • Brownish-gray fur with a brownish-orange underbelly

  • What do fox squirrels eat?

    • Tree buds, insects, bulbs, roots, bird eggs, seeds of pines, and spring-fruiting trees

    • In agricultural areas, they will eat corn, soybeans, oats, wheat, and fruit

  • Where do fox squirrels live?

    • Their territory covers the east coast to the great plains

    • Lives in nests built into tree

What You Need To Know About Fox Squirrel Infestations

  • What are the signs of an fox squirrel infestation?

    • Notable presence on your property and seeing them get food from sources such as bird feeders

  • Why do fox squirrels invade my home or business?

    • Availability of shelter, food, and water

  • How do I get rid of fox squirrels?

    • Before undertaking reduction control of squirrels, it is important to check with the local wildlife or conservation agency because some species are threatened, endangered, or protected in some states

    • Live trapping is one way to get rid of squirrels

Tips To Prevent Fox Squirrel Infestations

Before undertaking reduction control of squirrels, it is essential to check with the local wildlife or conservation agency because some species are threatened, endangered, or protected in some states. In areas where the squirrels are known to be possible disease carriers, particularly in the West, live or dead animals should never be handled without wearing protective gloves.

Wire screen cage-style box traps (such as the Kage-All® Small Animal Trap) are the most appropriate live capture and release trap for squirrels. Wire-screen cage-style traps are more durable than those made of sheet metal.

For best results, traps should be pre-baited for several days with the doors secured in an open position; when the bait is readily taken, the traps can be reset and baited.

Baited sets are the most widely acceptable and sure-fire of trap sets for catching nuisance squirrels.

Blind sets are most successful in the taking of squirrels. For example, if the squirrel is inside the building and uses only one or two small entry holes, a live trap can be fixed across the openings, leaving the squirrel no option except to enter the trap.

Open trail sets are generally ineffective due to the cautious nature of squirrels. When faced with a trap in its path, the agile squirrel will usually find a way to avoid the trap.

Be sure all the target squirrels are removed before the repair of the entry hole(s). A squirrel can do extensive and unnecessary damage to escape or return through a premature repair job.

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