From seeing them in movies to spotting them running around your own front lawn, everyone is familiar with the adorable little friends we call squirrels. These furry, funny and fantastic creatures are one of the most commonly found animals around the globe and the team at SOS Wildlife has few interesting facts that you should know about squirrels!
Types of Squirrels
When the thought of a squirrel comes to mind, many people often imagine a small creature known as the tree squirrel. However, there are a total of over 200 different squirrel species found throughout the world that many people are unaware of! Among these different species, squirrels can be categorized into three main categories: tree squirrels, ground squirrels and flying squirrels.
Among the various squirrel species, tree squirrels are prominently the most recognizable. They are often found scurrying, climbing and leaping from branch to branch and tree to tree. Despite their incredible ability to climb, these squirrels do not spend all of their time up in the trees. One of the main reasons for returning to the solid ground is to gather and collect food. A few favourable foods among tree squirrels include acorns, tree sap, nuts, flowers and fresh fruits such as berries.
Unlike tree squirrels who spend most of their time up among the trees, ground squirrels prefer to live both on and underneath the ground. Common places for these creatures to settle in include burrows and tunnels underground where they are able to stay warm and cozy throughout the cold winter season. These squirrels have a diet that generally consists of nuts, roots and small animals like caterpillars.
Flying squirrels are quite an interesting group of creatures. In addition to the traditional and natural habits squirrels generally embody, flying squirrels have adapted other habits and behaviours that mimic those similar to birds. Despite the fact that their name is misleading as they are incapable of actually flying, these squirrels are able to jump great distances and glide in the air, providing the illusion of a flying squirrel. They have flexible flaps of skin under their arms that allow them to soar through the air.
Interesting Squirrel Facts
- Squirrels are born deaf and blind
Similar to other mammal species, squirrels are initially born unable to both hear and see but begin to develop their sense of hearing and sight as they mature. However, the period they spend deaf is shorter than the period they spend blind. Once they have reached three weeks of age, their ears open and they slowly begin to be able to hear. Once they reach five to six weeks of age, their eyes open and as they mature, their eyesight exhibits extensive development, giving these squirrels the ability to see and skillfully climb trees and scurry away from danger.
- Baby squirrels are less than two inches long
Baby squirrels are born at the size of roughly one to one and a half inches long. That is incredibly small! In fact, baby squirrels are almost twenty times smaller than human infants; the average newborn (full-term) human is born at approximately 20 inches in length. Also, these furry creatures are born weighing about half an ounce. That’s lighter than a slice of whole-grain bread!
- Although they can’t fly, they can glide
As described in the flying squirrel section above, selected squirrels are born with extended flaps of skin known as patagia that serve as a natural parachute allowing the squirrels to glide as they jump from tree to tree. To also aid with the gliding process, these squirrels also have flatter furry tails that act as a rudder. Cool right?
- Squirrel teeth never stop growing
A similar characteristic present among squirrels and other rodents is their sharp front teeth that never stop growing! Squirrels have two sets of front teeth -four in total, that constantly grow to prevent them from breaking down and weakening, which may be consequential considering that these creatures are known to gnaw on tough material including acorns.
- Squirrels are sneaky and smart creatures
They plan for the future. Prior to the approach of cold winter weather, these rodents scavenge for food and thoughtfully burry them in piles scattered across the ground. This allows them to have a hidden stash of food easily at their disposal when the snow makes it difficult to find food off of trees and on the ground. How do squirrels find their food once it is buried under the ground and snow? They use their amazing sense of smell that track and make the job of locating their food an effortless task. They are also sneaky creatures. To avoid thieves from stealing their food, squirrels dig then cover up holes without planting their food underneath. They do this an extensive number of times while only placing food in selected areas. This gives the impression that there is food being buried in all of the holes when there isn’t.. Squirrels have the cute looks and the brains too!
All in all squirrels are fascinating creatures with a number of different skills and capabilities! They’re definitely a treat to watch however, things can get tricky once they’re on your property, and hiring a professional wildlife control company will be the best humane and effective solution.
If you notice signs of wildlife in your house give us a call. At SOS Wildlife Control Inc., we provide squirrel control services for residential, commercial, and industrial clients, guaranteeing effective results every single time. Let us help you solve your wildlife problems. Taking action before it’s too late will help eliminate animal damage repair costs. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year for emergency services, and can easily be reached at 1-800-981-0330. Don’t wait, call us to schedule an appointment for a thorough inspection, removal and prevention to help evacuate all your unwanted wildlife guests in the most humane way possible.
Call SOS Wildlife 1.800.981.0330!