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Gifted aerial acrobats at home in virtually any tree in your neighborhood, these nimble, light-weight mammals make a trapeze artist’s tricks high overhead look tame. Fox squirrels have an orange-brown appearance with a lighter belly and a bushy tail; red squirrels, as their name implies, sport a red-brown coat, again with a lighter stomach color. Red squirrels are slightly smaller and lighter than fox squirrels, which generally weigh in just below two pounds. Both squirrel species are equally comfortable searching for food both on the ground and high overhead, in the trees. Hickory nuts, berries, acorns, seeds, and more are among their favorite foods, although they’re certainly more than happy to visit a local birdfeeder, too. Living in nests constructed of leaves and sticks in tree branches, squirrel homes are readily visible in the winter, when leaf cover is gone. Of course, they’re not reluctant to move into a comfortable attic, when circumstances permit.

Energetic and entertaining to watch through all seasons, squirrels normally live about four years in the wild. So what sort of animal control problems can these furry daredevils cause? Take some time to watch a squirrel in action, and you’ll get the idea. It’s a good bet you’ll witness them digging holes in the lawn, either to hide their prized nuts or to locate another squirrel’s hidden stash.

Squirrel habits are more than a mere nuisance. Frequent travelers along electrical lines, squirrels can short out transformers, leaving entire neighborhoods in the dark for hours. They’re also capable of defending themselves when threatened, with both a painful bite and sharp claws tailor-made for climbing trees.

You can learn a little about some of the common squirrel species that you can found around the country here:

Red Squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
This small pine squirrel is easily identified by to its small size of 12-15 inches from nose to tail, making them slightly larger than a chipmunk. Their size might make you think that they are a juvenile fox squirrel, but this is not the case. Their color is a solid reddish brown with a whitish underbelly. This species is the most prominent species that chews holes in roof eves to gain access to a comfortable attic or wall in homes.

Females raise 2 litters/year - each containing 2-8 young. March-May and August-October. (Varies by Geographic Location)

Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger)
A large tree squirrel that is commonly observed in yards or traveling electric lines. They range from 18-27 inches from head to tail, and are the largest squirrel species to be found in your neighborhood. Their color can vary, but they are generally a grey/brown with a orange underside.

Females raise 2 litters/year - each containing 1-5 young. February-March and June-August. (Varies by Geographic Location)

Gray Squirrel (Scierus carolinensis)
This large tree squirrel measuring 16-20 inches is slightly smaller than their larger counterpart - the Fox Squirrel. Color varies but they are generally grey and may have a reddish cast to their coat. They may be a little less common in most neighborhoods than the red or fox squirrels.

Females raise 2 litters/year - each containing 1-5 young. February-March and June-August. (Varies by Geographic Location)

Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus)
The flying squirrel is another common species found in attic space - but in large numbers. They are rarely seen due to their nocturnal habits. This species can be identified by its flattened tail and the excess web of skin that is between its front and rear legs. These squirrels can occupy bird houses too. There is a Northern Flying Squirrel and A Southern Flying Squirrel.

Females raise 2 litters/year - each containing 3-8 young. March-April. (Varies by Geographic Location)

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