GraySquirrel

Sciurus carolinensis pennsylvanicus

gray squirrels

Description   

Weight: 1-2 lbs

Breeding Seasons: Two times per year Jan/Feb  and May/June, young are born 44 days after conception.  Young are able to move around the nest at 6-7 weeks.

Activity: Year around (they do not hibernate) and diurnal (They are active in daylight hours). Acorns ripen in Early September.

Mating: Males do not help raise young. Females raise 3-5 young

 

Habitat-

Hardwood tree forests, dingles etc., attics, suburban and urban areas in the Eastern half of the U.S.

 

 

Damage

 

House Damage

 

Squirrels like all rodents must continue to chew on objects in order to grind down their continuously growing teeth. This means that sometimes they chew on your house. Typically, the damage occurs on wood siding, louvers, soffits or any place there is an edge they can get their teeth onto. I have even seen them chew wooden stairs.    

 

Solutions

Essentially, you must reduce the ease of access to your home or remove the offending squirrel.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER close a hole without knowing with absolute certainty that the hole is no longer being used by wildlife. If you are not absolutely sure, simply cork the hole with newspaper. Wait several days, depending on weather and the species, if the newspaper doesn't move when the animal under normal circumstances should be moving then you can have a reasonable assurance (not certainty) that the hole is no longer being used.

 

Landscape Damage

Diseases

Not known to be major carriers of diseases. But they can be responsible for a few.

Pox: a disease characterized by brown crusty tumors that typically afflict the eyes but can be found over their whole body. West Palm Beach Fl. recently had an outbreak there 7/99. Scientists say the disease is specific to squirrels and is transmitted by mosquitos. The tumors usually cause the squirrel to be blind and thus die a rather cruel death. There is no known cure. (see article "Tumors Plague Squirrels in Florida" West Palm Beach, Fla, AP-NY-06-19-99 1742EDT)

Also known to carry various ectoparisites: Some are host specific (can only affect certain species) other can infect humans. These would include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, human monocytic ehrlichiosis, and others.

Bibliography

Barkalow, F.S., and R.F. Soots, Jr. 1975.  Life span and reproductive longevity of the gray squirrel, Sciurus c. carolinensis Gmelin. J. of Mammalogy 56:522-524

Barkalow, F.S., R.R. Hamilton, and R.F. Soots, Jr. 1970.  The vital statistics of an unexploited gray squirrel population. J. Wildlife Management; 34:489-500.

Corrigan, Bobby. "The Pest Significance of Tree Squirrels" Pest Control Technology, May 2003 pp. 111-112.

Flyger, V. 1956.; The social behavior and populations of the gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis Gmelin)  in Maryland. Ph.D. dissertation, The Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, Md. 97pp.

Hamilton, J. C., R. J. Johnson, R. M. Case, and M. W. Riley. 1989. Assessment of squirrel-caused power outages. Vertebr. Pest Control and Manage. Materials, ASTM STP 1055, 6:34-40.

Roccker, R. M. 1950. The biology of the northern gray squirrel,Sciurus carolinesis leucotis (Gapper) in central New York. Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y. 116pp.

 

"Providing responsible and effective solutions to animal damage problems"

 

11/10/03

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