Nothing aggravates a bird lover any more than looking out at their bird feeders to see the squirrels getting into the food. There are reports of squirrels chewing through electrical wires and causing power outages, making nests (and huge messes) in the attic, or shredding through insulation to have babies.
In Florida, there are three types of squirrels.
A fox squirrel almost always has a black face and may have a black body or a lighter-colored body. It is much larger than the average eastern gray squirrel, sometimes even twice the size. It is named a fox squirrel because its bushy tail resembles that of a fox tail. These squirrels are found all throughout Florida with the exception of the Keys. The Fox Squirrel is a protected species.
Eastern Gray Squirrel
The eastern gray squirrel is the most common species of squirrel in the US. This squirrel is mostly gray, but can also be a common brown color or interspersed with black hair. These squirrels can grow up to 20 inches long.
This type of squirrel is one of the few that can actually descend a tree face first. They have excellent spatial memories and an amazing ability to balance, which allows them to get into the bird feeders no matter how well that feeder is designed to keep out the squirrel.
Southern Flying Squirrel
This squirrel is a nocturnal animal, which means it’s usually not seen during the day. They can be seen when the moon is out “flying” from tree to tree. They also make a high-pitched squeaking noise. Although they are named a flying squirrel, they really don’t fly. They actually have an extra flap of skin that allows them to glide short distances. These types of squirrels can be found in all of Florida except for the Keys.
The most common problem among Floridians is squirrels getting into the attic. When this happens, the first complaint is usually related to strange noises coming from up above. If you’re hearing noises during the day, it’s most likely a squirrel that has taken up residence.
If a squirrel is in your attic, there is a good chance that the squirrel is a momma with some babies. You really don’t want to evict the momma and leave the babies behind as the babies can do just as much damage as an adult squirrel. And if the baby happens to die, then you’ve got a bad smell to deal with. You must either wait to evict momma when the babies have left or you can trap them as a group. If there are no babies, a one-way trap can easily get rid of the pest.
After evicting the squirrel, make sure to seal all entrance points so that other squirrels don’t get have a chance to get in and make your attic their home. You might also ask an electrician to check out the wires in your attic as squirrels have a habit of chewing on electrical wiring.