Anyone who lives in North America or has even visited has most likely seen or heard of squirrels. Squirrels are one of the most commonly found animals across the the world, residing in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Most of the squirrels you see outside your home are not going to present a problem. It’s when they invade your living space that the real nuisance starts. Squirrels can be a problem in buildings due to nesting and reproducing in vents, attics, and other small spaces, and they’re known to carry diseases that can harm people. Squirrels are pests and If not addressed, these furry creatures can become a real nuisance. To protect your home or business from squirrels,, first learn about these pests, their behaviors, steps for prevention, and contact Stellar Pest & Wildlife should an infestation occur.

What Are Squirrels?

Squirrels are quick, small, bushy-tailed rodents found almost anywhere throughout Texas. Squirrels are in the same family as prairie dogs, chipmunks, and marmots, and they can look similar. There are more than 200 species of squirrels, fitting into one of three categories: tree squirrels, ground squirrels, and flying squirrels. Squirrels range in size from 3 to 36 inches long, but in North America, the most common squirrels are 15 to 20 inches long, weighing about a pound. Squirrels eat mostly seeds and nuts, but sometimes they’re attracted to fruits and vegetables and even occasionally eat insects or small vertebrates.

How Do I Identify Squirrels?

All squirrels have long bodies covered in short, thick fur and four legs. Their hind legs are longer than their front legs, and they can sit up or scurry around on all fours. You may see them running around on the ground, eating with their front feet, or climbing trees. Squirrels are strongly vegetarian and feed mostly on a wide variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, buds, bark, and leaves. Their vision is sharp, and they have “vibrissae” or specialized hairs on their head and limbs, which afford them an excellent sense of touch. Several species of squirrels make their home in Texas, but the most common squirrels in Texas are gray squirrels and fox squirrels. Gray squirrels can be easily identified by their white underbelly and whitish to gray fur. These are medium-sized squirrels, similar in size to fox squirrels. Not as numerous as fox squirrels, gray squirrels live in dense live oak stands and bottomland areas, with the Austin area in the westernmost part of their range. Fox squirrels, which are slightly larger than gray squirrels, have rusty or reddish underbellies and may appear striped with gray and pale gray. The fox squirrel prefers open woodlands of mixed trees and areas along rivers and streams, and makes its dens in hollow trees or nests made of leaves.

How Did I Get Squirrels?

Squirrels in North America are well adapted to human beings, so they’re common in urban as well as rural areas. Food and shelter attract these pests, so they may come into your home or business through small openings that allow them to nest and make a new home. These critters are also attracted to food that falls from trees, such as fruit and nuts. Since they’re not afraid of humans, many squirrels come right up to you and beg for something to eat. Feeding them is not wise, as they’ll return again and again if they know they can get food from you.

How Do I Prevent Squirrels?

Preventing squirrels from invading your home or business in the first place is the biggest key to protecting yourself and your property. The best way to discourage squirrels is if you never feed squirrels that show up in your yard or around your business. Be sure to rake up fallen fruits, nuts, or other food that could attract them, and keep garbage cans tightly closed. You can scare them away if you have a dog or a cat that likes to chase them. If you don’t have pets, a few well-placed plastic statues could spook them and keep them from returning. Squirrels don’t like certain kinds of flowers like daffodils, snowdrops, allium, and hyacinth. Planting these flowers might deter them, and if that’s not enough, you can make squirrel baffles to go around trees or put netting around plants. To keep them out of your building or house, look for openings, cracks, or weaknesses that they could squeeze through or chew on to gain access. We also recommend checking the roof and eaves and make sure to repair any holes quickly so they can’t get in.

How to Prepare for Our Visit

To prepare for a Stellar Pest and Wildlife’s bed bug treatment of your home or business, you should gather the following information:

* A list of any places that you have seen squirrels on your property

* Any scurrying or noises at night within your home

* The location of any droppings or nests

In order to prepare your home or business, you should:

* Make sure that all food that is not in a can or jar is stored in the refrigerator or heavy plastic container during service

* Repair any holes in walls, or doors that don’t seal properly

* Keep all pets in a single room of your home away from the area the squirrel is residing

* Cover or remove all garbage or garbage cans

* Cover or remove all valuable possessions and antiques around the area the squirrels are residing

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