squirrel extermination

Useful General Information about Squirrels

It is natural that when you would have to deal with something, you would have to learn more about it before you can deal with it. Say for example you are going to deal with house damages and that you would have to do some house repairing in some of its properties; naturally you would have to take some time to look at the issue and assess the amount of work that has to be done. You will have to evaluate the amount of damage and what are the necessary preparations you would have to come by in order to successfully deal with the problem. In the same way, the problem about squirrel pests works the just like that. Before you can ever get rid of squirrels you would have to pause first and try to evaluate the information that you need in order to really get rid of them. You can just jumpstart into getting rid of them without knowing how to get rid of them at all. That is just practically illogical and would definitely result to failure. A wise person would always take his time to know his enemy first before he or she would ever engage into battle with it.

Of course, you are not just going to learn just for the sake of learning. The idea of it is to learn only the things that are necessary. That would simply imply that there is information that is relevant and there are those and obviously, you need not have to learn those that are not important. Learning the unnecessary would just definitely waste your time and effort over something that wouldn't be of use to you. Come to think of it, would you really take some time to include those things that wouldn't be helpful to you anyway? An average reasonable person wouldn't do such and would resolve into really gathering that information that would prove to be pertinent in his or her goals and endeavors.

In the light of dealing with squirrels, the same thing has to be applied as well. There is information that you need to know about squirrels and there are those that you don't really have to. Therefore, in this article, we are going to discuss about those information that will truly be of use to you. We're not going to talk about the super specifics though because that would already be rocket science. What we're going to talk about though is the general information about squirrels that any homeowner would have to learn in order to deal with his or her squirrel infestation problem at home. With this information, you will have an idea now where to start the evaluation process and hopefully you will be able to deduce a plan or a method to deal with the squirrel infestation out of it. You will need some personal values though, that would only be naturally occurring to yourself. These are the values of critical thinking and analysis. If you are truly critical enough in assessing the problem at hand, you will be able to devise the most potent methods or approaches that would really make things a lot easier to you than taking the long path of trial and errors. While, it is normal to go through the trial and error process and to learn from experiences you will get out of it, it is still better to effectively deal with the problem right away with less segues that would take you longer than what you expect to be the time duration in dealing with the issue.

So what is the necessary information that you would need to know when dealing with squirrels?

The answers will be discussed through this article and we will also give a brief description as to why it is important to learn about it. Hopefully, you will find the information in this content useful and would truly help you out in your undertakings in the squirrel infestation that's been going on. It's also absolutely okay if you're just a passer-by and just practically reading anything you think is worth reading. The information you will acquire through reading this article will definitely help you when the occasion rises you would have to face the problem of dealing with a squirrel invasion.

General Information about Squirrels

The Most Common Grey Squirrels

If there's any squirrel most common to be seen infesting inside the households of US Citizens, it's definitely going to be the famous and at the same time infamous grey squirrels. They almost inhabit two thirds of the United States areas. Usually, the grey squirrels would come in variety of colors, from grey, pure black and pure white with stripes or color shades in them. These stripes are usually found at the back. Grey squirrels are quite small and very light making them quite agile in terms of escaping the beholding homeowners and thus making them a bit more difficult to catch. They don't hibernate, therefore that would mean they are quite active the entire time.

Every type of squirrel will have a specific approach in order to deal with them. It is important that you know what type of squirrel you commonly found in your home infesting so that you will know what sort of squirrel control method or approach you would use eventually.

How Squirrels Communicate

Squirrels are definitely not the silent type of creatures. They are extremely vocal and loud. They communicate through screeches, barking, chattering, screaming and even purring. However, they do produce a different kind of purr than the usual purr you hear from cats. Surprisingly these purrs are loud and therefore audible. When they flash their tails or stomp their feet, those would also mean that they are communicating.

The communication process would entail a sense of indication of them being around. Knowing what they are communicating all about would definitely help you track them as to where they are and where they will be.

Squirrel Common Diet

Squirrels don't eat human flesh. Contrary to some childish beliefs that they are carnivorous, actually they are not. They are absolutely vegetarians (well, except insects) and they would like to feed on vegetation like nuts, seeds, and fruits. However, they do bite when they feel threatened and you would have to really worry about it if ever you will get bitten. It is because that they have the possibility to communicate diseases as well which may prove to be fatal if not treated properly.

The Range and Habitats of Squirrels

Naturally, squirrels all have their own natural habitats and range as to which parts of the continent they cover and which areas they are usually found. These two are crucial factors in effectively identifying the type of squirrel that is infesting your house. You have to understand that squirrels are not naturally occurring to live in human homes. They are just lost along the way that's why they found themselves in habiting a weird looking tree which happens to be your house. This is usually the case every time there is a squirrel infestation. Because they think all properties inside your house is a part of the gigantic piece of wooden tree (of which they perceive your house to be) they begin to gnaw everything in it. That's why you regularly see gnawing damages in your house furniture, properties, and electrical wiring. Because all the squirrels inside your house assumed they are made out of wood as to what they are commonly used to when they are in a tree. They also roam around as what they naturally do a lot even when they are their natural habitat. So don't blame them if they do the things that they do, they are just being what they are. The only problem to that setup is that they are definitely at the wrong place. However, you can actually be able to help to set things right for them and place them back in the right locations.

With the help of what you are going to learn from this article, you will be able to effectively identify the type of squirrel you are dealing with and where to relocate them in case you will have to relocate them in a safe place. Of course you can choose to exterminate them if your state allows you to, but it would always be better if you can save their lives at the same time get rid of them. You'll never when they might become extinct and when they do you are partly to be blamed for it because you have been less thoughtful about preserving them. Losing them as well in the entire ecological balance would definitely have its devastating negative effects and when it takes toll, it would also compromise us human beings and that wouldn't really be a good idea at all. You'll be surprised; humans are no longer on top of the food chain.

In this article, we will be discussing about the range and the natural habitats of squirrels across the state depending on what type of squirrel. This is important because it will serve as a guide to knowing where to place the squirrels properly each time you would have to relocate them far from your house so that they will never cause any property damages anymore. It is important to place them to their right locations for the obvious reasons. One there are specific environments unique to a particular type of squirrel. If you do place them wrongly, you would risk of endangering their existence; that they may not live properly, lest survive at all. It would also help to know their specific environments in order for you to implement the right habitat control methods for squirrels such that they will be prevented from ever coming back inside your house. All these considerations are important and should be underscored properly for an effective humane approach to squirrels. This should be the way to go ideally and it should not be absolute extermination. After all, squirrels have an important role in the ecosystem that we can't just disregard. Taking out even just one of them would make you an accomplice to an apathetic spree of environmental killing that has been regrettably going on since time immemorial.

Range

One of the most common types of tree squirrels is the fox squirrels and they are usually found in the eastern and central parts of the US Continent. There are certain areas in the west that they are also found since they were also introduced to those places.

Along with the common fox squirrels are the also common eastern grey squirrels. They also happen to thread along to the same range with the fox squirrels. However, they don't occur in the western areas of the fox squirrel's ranges. Since they are eastern, they are only naturally occurring or endemic to the eastern parts of the continent.

Western grey squirrels are also strictly confined in the western areas of the states. Usually found in the west coast states and in the western Nevada areas.

Pine squirrels on the other hand are usually found in high places of the earth since these areas are the usual locations where pine trees grow. Pine trees are the natural resources for pine squirrels as their name implies. They feed on almost everything that pine tree produces. Therefore, pine squirrels are endemic in the Appalachian Mountains and the Rocky Mountain ranges. They also inhabit the west coast areas.

The common red squirrels are usually related to the coniferous forests and Douglas squirrels are naturally found in the west coast areas and in the southwestern British Columbia. They also extend to as far as the Sierras and northern parts of Baja California.

The northern flying squirrels extend in the northern parts of the Appalachian Mountain ranges and the Rockies. While the southern flying squirrels naturally occur in the central areas of the states.

Habitat

Fox squirrels and grey squirrels, since they both have the same ranges, they also happen to inhabit the same type forests which are the coniferous and hardwood forests, also since these are the most common types of forests within their range. Grey squirrels have larger populations in the areas that are forested and in the certain areas where there is only a 10th that is forest covered; their populations would be the same. Tassel eared squirrels are more than half the time associated with their common tree food source Ponderosa pine. As pine squirrels they prefer a lot coniferous forests over hardwood forests.

Important Traits for a Homeowner Squirrel Exterminator

In any undertaking, especially when dealing with pests and getting rid of them for good, it is understood that a process would have to be gone through before one would ever be able to get to his or her goal. This process are often arduous and time consuming therefore, it would definitely take quite an amount of determination to get there. Plus the trials and errors that one would have to come by would definitely make another consideration for anyone who will have to engage through the process of pest riddance. Therefore, to be able to successfully get rid of any pests or squirrels in particular, a person or a homeowner would have to cultivate some traits or values within him to really become a truly efficient squirrel exterminator when the occasion rises.

The process of dealing with pest squirrels is really a call of duty. It would take some hefty amount of traits for a person to have in order to become successful pest exterminator and that is what we're going to talk about this article; the traits on how to become truly efficient in dealing with the infestation problem at hand. Hopefully, the future squirrel exterminator reading this article would find the information useful and would definitely help him out become what he ought to be in the face of duty. He has to read this article with hearth though, as the discussions would not take any effect at all if it’s not absorbed thoroughly by the reader. The values that will be discussed in this article are the most importantly noted values of anyone who wishes to persevere in a designated task and therefore they are absolute and infallibly useful to anyone. But only if they are fostered and practiced that they will become truly useful. If you are just going to read through them without really understanding or app
lying them at all, they are utterly useless information. But if you get to find the heart to absorb the values that will be discussed in this article, you will definitely find them ultimately helpful in becoming a very efficient person, especially in the light of dealing with squirrel problems inside the house.

Why rid of squirrels?

To think about it, it's pretty much the same reasons why you would have to get rid of mice or rats or any pest on that matter. Squirrels are quite harmless creatures if they are in their natural habitats or if in the house, left alone. But they do have their own caveats we would all have to prepare of and therefore, it is wise to stay out of the risk as much as possible. And the perhaps the only way to do that is keep ourselves apart from the squirrels by keeping them apart from us. The caveats we are talking about is the possibilities of disease communication and property damage in different levels.

Disease communication is among the primary concerns why a person would have to get rid of the squirrels that are roaming inside the house. Contracting the diseases that squirrels carry can go in two ways. One is when you get bitten by a cornered squirrel. Through their saliva and bodily fluids they can transmute the disease they carry to you. Another way is through contamination through the food or the air we breathe. Some viruses that squirrels carry can be so thriving that they can be airborne. Usually they are carried from the infected squirrels feces to the air and thus to a human's system. Contamination could also be when they salivate the food that we eat. Both of those means of communicating the disease would really catch us off guard and the propensity of it penetrating through our system is quite high. It is jus wise not to take the risk.

Knowing the reasons why we should prevent squirrels from our homes, we could now move on into assessing what traits would need to be cultivated in order to become a truly efficient squirrel exterminator.

The Important Traits

The most important traits could actually be summed up into three general traits that anyone would need to have to become successful in his goal to become a squirrel exterminator. By exterminator we mean not necessarily someone who kills squirrels but some who is able to get rid of them in a very efficient manner (a.k.a "humane squirrel removal"). And for one to become like that, he or she would have to posses the following traits:

1. Patience

Patience has always been a virtue needed by anyone. Especially in these present times where everything seems to be so automated, we are starting to cultivate the culture of impatience. We become impatient when we see that the job isn't accomplished right away. We lose our nerves already when we see that something is taking too long or has already incurred too many setbacks. However, the value of trial and error is to learn from it. And that's where patience becomes a determinant. Any method or approach has the potential to be truly effective if it's compounded with patience; the patience to wait and see the desire output and not to rush things right away as to one thing is for certain, haste always makes waste.

2. Perseverance

To some it's just a word but it should be taken as a value. Perseverance is the words for the ability of a person to keep on going even if there have already been many setbacks that are taking place. This value is usually the compound for patience. When you are patient, you would have to persevere; to be persistent in becoming monstrously resourceful in finding ways in order to deal with the problem; to find the better solution to get things done.

3. Determination

Everybody knows what determination is but they don't really know how to apply. People often easily lose faith over something when it fails once. When they lose faith, they lose the zeal making them so easy on giving up. Determination would spell out the difference of someone who will succeed from someone who is doomed to fail. Determination is the value that gets you to your goal; to determine the endpoint of a process and determine the effort you will put forth to get there.

How to Modify Squirrel Habitats

One of the most important considerations whenever you would have to get rid of squirrels out of the house is to know where their habitats are nearby your place. This would help a lot in distinguishing the locations of the squirrels inside your house. If you know where the squirrels in your house happen to live, you may know right away what sort of squirrel control mechanism you will use to quell them right away, you will also know where to apply the control mechanism for it work effectively and properly. Knowing the habitats of the squirrels that are infesting your house would definitely spell the difference between a successful attempt and an unsuccessful attempt to get rid of these tree rodents for good.

You may be able to find the locations of the squirrels by doing some investigative works by yourself. Trust me; you don't need to have some professional assistance to guide you through this process. Most of the process would only require you to be critically analytic in figuring out the way-points of the squirrels. You can do that by paying close attention to the squirrels that get inside your house. If you somehow are able to monitor their movements, you will find out where they go after leaving your house after foraging inside it. You need not have to follow the squirrels every step of the way, besides, most likely you won't be able to catch up with the squirrel anyway. So therefore, the best thing you can do is to run some checks on the background of your home in search of the trails of squirrels. That could be done by searching for the food residues leftover by the squirrels that have visited your house. Where you find the leftovers, you may also most likely find out where the squirrels are hiding. Also, you have to make sure that you do something about that place you've discovered to be where the pest squirrels are frequenting or even residing.

Now that you've found out where the squirrels are living, or in other words, their habitat, you now have to do something about it by altering their habitats such that they will be forced to depart and stay away from your house. Therefore, the key approach as to how you would be able to effectively relocate squirrels from the house or even from your precious lawn. The question now would be how would you exactly modify the habitats of squirrels such that they will really stay away from your dominion? The answers will really shock you as to how surprisingly simple they could get. They are so simple that you really need not have to put that much effort in altering their habitats. With simple relocation and alterations from there to there, those pestering squirrels will truly be driven out away for good and you will finally live in peace in your lovely homes. What you need to have though, are two very important components to truly become efficient in the task that you're about to do.

Key Components

The key components to the successful execution of the task of modifying the squirrel habitat (a.k.a "squirrel relocation") are not really some specialized technique or machinery to get the job done conveniently. What the entire process would actually need is something that would naturally come from you. These are actually the traits of patience, perseverance and determination. These three traits are so important that if you lose at least just one of the three, you will most likely fail in your present undertaking. The entire process may be easy, but it doesn't necessarily say that it's not arduous as it would entail some amount of effort coming from you. However, it is not really complicated at all as it is downright simple. You would just have to make sure that you do them right. The perfect execution would definitely spell out that efficiency out of the effort that you will be making. Without these approaches, you will surely fail. Make sure that you foster these values or traits within yourself to make sure that you wouldn't experience any setbacks along the way. It's always best if you would set your best foot forward in the execution of the task.

Now the Steps

The steps of modifying the squirrel habitats are quite easy as what was said earlier. You would just have to execute things properly as per instructed. It will be from the appropriate execution of the task that the desired output will be achieved. Failure to do so in any level of aspect would potentially mean failure and you can't afford to have such a downward spiral in your efforts. Here are the steps on how to alter the habitat of squirrels to change pestering situation of infestation in your home.

1. Once you have relocated the squirrels make sure that you will plot a demarcation line between your territory and the squirrel's territory. This boundary may just be imaginary or materialize. When you materialize, it would mean the use of fences, walls or what not, particularly squirrel repellents to keep them off a specific line. That may not come easy at first but it will work as soon as you have conducted a proper survey around the area. Then setup your boundaries as precisely as possible. You don't want an accidental inclusion of the wrong territories.

2. After, setting the line, go get your wood cutting tools to cut down or trim down the trees on those or barren the entire place to ensure that the squirrels will be forced to scurry away. If they don't have anything or any place to inhabit, they would be most likely be driven out from their original habitats. However, you have to make sure as well that you will acquire the necessary legal approvals before you can cut down the trees on that area. There are certain locations in a place that are often protected by city ordinances related to environmental rights.

General Classifications of Squirrels

You may think that there's only a single type of squirrel that's been infesting your home. However, to believe that is utterly wrong as there could be actually many types of squirrels that are infesting your home right now. It's also wrong to think that there is only one species of squirrels capable of infesting human households as all of them are capable, even the flying ones which are naturally only found in the wild forests and rarely in human homes. That's why therefore, there is a need for you to learn what are the general different types of squirrels that can be found in households and how they all normally look like for you to be able distinguish them properly each time they pay you a visit in your house. You can't be too overconfident about them do as they may be deceiving sometimes. You would be able to prevent this kind of setbacks from happening by learning more about them and applying the things you have learned into practice. Make sure that you are certain in your appropriation of the information you have acquired. Don't mistake a squirrel for a different one cause that might cost you something eventually.

The importance of knowing the general types of squirrels is simple. When you are able to identify what type of squirrel is currently infesting your house, you may be able to place the appropriate methods in order to effectively deal with them. There are certain specific approaches to each type of squirrels that infest a household and you can't just go on applying any methods at all. Doing that may mean failure on your part and squirrels that are infesting your house right now would continue to do so. Also, another important aspect in learning the general types of squirrels is for pre-emption. If you are able to forecast that type of squirrels that might enter your house, you may be able to prevent them from entering the first place. That's the main advantage when you are dealing with squirrels and you already know the general types that might come in to your encounter. Since you already the know what are the specific approaches to do, you are already assured that you will get them once and for all and even better, you will be able to keep them away without putting that much effort at all in repelling them from your house.

It's quite natural that there will be times wherein the approaches are a bit more exigent but you need to worry about that because it happens rarely. One thing as well is that since you have already learned and studied through the different general types of squirrels, you are most likely already prepared of the necessary prevention methods to be used when addressing a particular type of squirrel that is infesting your house. All you would probably have to do is to open your cabinet and take that prevention material to deal with your problem. Also there are general types of approaches that need not require specific types of squirrels to take effect. However, such approaches are less efficient and effective. Also the truly effective ones are rare and would often take extra miles to acquire.

Each type of squirrel has its own distinct characteristics that would enable you to truly and effectively identify them from the other. This is one advantage as well when you know already what type of squirrel you are already facing. To know the present type of squirrel because you already know what it looks like would also mean a faster response coming from when dealing with them. In this article we are not only going to talk about not only the types but the general classifications as well and under each classification are the types below it and a little description as to how they look like and their natural behaviors. We hope that the readers would find this piece of information useful in their attempts to get rid of the squirrel problems in their homes once and for all. After all, going through the ramifications of hiring a professional exterminator would definitely cost you a lot, so why not instead do things on yourself.

General Classifications and Types

There are actually four general classifications or groups of squirrels that are found in the world: the large tree squirrels, pine squirrels, flying squirrels and ground squirrels.

When you talk about the large tree squirrels you would be able to identify the fox squirrels as one of them. They are the most common type of large tree squirrels found in US and are also commonly found in homes dwelling and pestering human beings. They often catch the fear of a lot of people because of their somehow considerably larger sizes compared to their other relatives.

Fox squirrels are normally 18-27 inches in length measuring form nose tip to tail tip and about 787 grams. The color would however vary greatly depending on their location. For example, fox squirrels in Florida are usually all black and they would be silver-gray if they are found in Maryland.

Pine Squirrels have actually two main types of squirrels included in the group. We have the red squirrel and the Douglas pine squirrel. These two are the most common of all pine squirrel types. Pine squirrels would usually range in size from 10-15 inches and could weigh over 2/3s of a pound. Red squirrels are usually red in color and would have white underparts while the Douglass squirrels are usually grey in color with yellow underparts. These pine squirrels have small ear tufts and they also have a common black strip which separates their upper dark colors from their lightly colored bellies.

As you all commonly know there are also two main types of flying squirrels. One is the southern flying squirrels and the northern flying squirrels and they are found in the different hemispheres of the continent. It's even quite difficult to distinguish between the two but most likely, you will find one specific type of flying squirrel and identify it according to which location you have found it.

How to Remove Grey Squirrels in the Attic

Most people who dial a professional squirrel exterminator's hotline would ask for help in removing a grey squirrel invading their attic. This fact is not that surprising though because grey squirrels are quite abundant in many areas in the United States and in Europe, a number enough to make house invasions a common scene. These little critters make it to the attic by slowly chewing up the weak portions of the roof. These wooden portions might have been weakened by moisture or direct physical damage. They can also chew their way into the attic through the vents and the soffits. Grey squirrels would patiently make an entry into your attic because it is vital for their survival. Unfortunately, with the rapid integration of squirrel and human habitats, squirrels have figured out that it is more comfortable to stay in an attic where it is warm and predator-free than to spend time outside where it is cold.

However, no matter what the squirrels are really up to, the definite result of their actions is damage, at least in the point of view of the house's owner. While squirrels get the warmth that they want once they get into the attic, humans lose theirs. As squirrels continue to live in the attic, they will eventually shred up and destroy the house's insulation system which supposedly keeps the people inside the house warm. If not shred, they would make the insulation smell awful because of their urine. Worse, their urine will also stain the ceiling which will be visible from the inside of the house. This too will produce a very strong awful odor. The house owner has to worry about the feces that they deposit inside the house too. These by-products can cause serious bacterial and viral diseases when left un-cleaned for some time.

But none of the things yet mentioned constitute the most serious possible danger that squirrels in the attic can do. The most serious problem by far is fire hazard. Because these critters are nibblers like their cousins (i.e. mice and rats), they would not hesitate to chew on the electrical wiring in and around the house, which by the way are most common in attics. Squirrels do not really electrocute themselves to death once they chew on the wiring, what they do is that they chew on the insulation of the wiring, thereby exposing its live part out into the open. As a result, the once this exposed portion touches water or any conductive material, electrical short circuits will happen. This can either result to sparks which can start a fire or damage appliance which can start a fire as well.

But all of these could have been avoided if the house was squirrel-proofed in the first place. Grey squirrels will not make such damages inside a house if they have not been given the chance to get in. But for those who have realized this fact late, there's still hope. By following effective techniques in squirrel removal or by hiring a squirrel exterminator and squirrel-proofing the house thereafter, the house owner too can rest from worrying about such dangers from happening.

The first thing that should be taken into consideration when it comes to squirrel removal is their behavior. These animals are mischievous in nature so they are used to escaping. But, they so not have complex thinking too so they would also end up falling down into chimneys, walls and other holes. They will also get themselves stuck in wood-stoves and other places by squeezing into areas where they are not supposed to. These behaviors will help you get the clues that you need on how you are going to deal with the squirrel inside your house. If they are not creating "party" sounds in your attic, then they might be struck somewhere, of course this should be backed by a previous knowledge that squirrels are indeed living in your house.

Removing Grey Squirrels in the Attic

These squirrels are diurnal, or they are like most mammals which are active during day time. Grey squirrels are the common squirrels that we see in your backyard or in the road during the morning and in the late afternoon. They are considered to be the most destructive squirrels in residential places. The only effective way to remove these squirrels from your attic is to trap them and then squirrel-proof your attic to stop other squirrels from coming in. To trap the squirrel, you will need to purchase a squirrel trap which you can install in the entrance that they have made in your attic. Although you can try to catch them using nets and other stuff, the trap is most recommended because it can be left to work by itself and it can be used by anyone even those who do not have any experience in squirrel control. You can also call a professional squirrel exterminator and have them catch the squirrel for you. This might cost you some dollars, but it will also unburden you with the trouble of having to do the task on your own.

You just need to remember that squirrels are territorial animals. Thus, you can catch the squirrel that is currently living in your attic, but if you will not squirrel-proof your house, once the other squirrels have sensed that the previous occupant of your attic is already gone, they will compete to be the next resident and so your problem with squirrels will never end. To squirrel proof your house, make sure that you cover all possible entry points which they can use. Cut down all tree branches too that stretched too close to your house, since squirrels can use these are "bridges". You can also buy chilli sprays and use it in the weak portions of your roof and vent. This will make the squirrels avoid these portions because they do not like the taste of chilli. But if you are not really confident that you can do all these stuff on your own, simply call a professional and end your problems right away.

The Dual Nature of Squirrels as Pests and Pets

The dual nature of squirrels being pests and pets all at the same time has always been an issue among many people. For one thing, the increasing number of grey squirrels in some parts of the United States and in Europe has elicited strong support for their extermination in whichever way possible: hunting, poisoning, lethal trapping, etc. However, because of their attractive nature (chubby cheeks, furry tails, etc.) many people can't help but look at all these acts as acts against helpless animals, in the same way as hurting dogs and cats which are of course punishable by law. So, what happened is that some states allowed squirrel killings while some states make it a crime to hurt squirrels. These things strengthen the observation that we have established: squirrels will always have a dual nature; they are both pests and pets.

The Pest Identity

The conditions that define what pests are have been fluid these past few years. For example, some people have reached an agreement that pigeons are indeed pests; rats with wings they say. These people have agreed to label pigeons as such because of their destructive behavior in farms and even in some backyards. When animals reach a very big population, they will also consume more food and in most cases, since these animals are already in places where humans live, it cannot be avoided that they end up consuming what is meant for us. When mice, rats and pigeons eat and damage food that is intended for human consumption, they become pests. When they destroy human properties, they too become pests. Under these standards, squirrels can indeed be called pests.

Squirrels that come across human habitations will really have a hard time resisting the stuff that humans plant in their garden. In the wild, squirrels have an abundant supply of all the seeds, flowers, fruits and insects that they want, but in cities and towns, a human's garden is the only place where they can get this stuff. So, these critters end up eating tomatoes in the garden, or stealing chestnuts from backyard trees. They would also ravish flowers and eat the bulbs of the plants in the garden. They would dig into the landscaped yard and bury the food that they have collected there. All these acts are pestering humans, thus they become actual pests.

Squirrels do not just fall under the classification of pests because of their foraging behavior. Another thing that constitutes their pest nature is their way of destroying human properties. They would chew on the wooden past of the house to gain entry. Once inside, they will make the house their own jungle, urinating and excreting feces anywhere that suits them. As a result, the house will smell awfully and shredded materials will scatter on the attic floor. These animals will not stop from there; they will also make sounds that are both noisy and bothersome. They will make their presence obvious but they will give you a hard time catching them and sending them out; very pestering indeed.

Because of that, in some places people are encouraged to hunt squirrels in order to minimize their population. The squirrels are hunted for their meat too; some people even consider eating squirrel meat as ethical and right because it is their personal way of relieving the world from these pests. Some parade squirrel-fur clothing and bags in order to show their support to the clamor for squirrel control.

The Pet Identity

But what defines a pet? Of course, this can vary from one person to another since some might find Tarantulas cuddly while others would freak at the very mention of their name. However, no matter how diverse our definition of what a pet should be, we all agree on one thing: an animal which is tame and cute can be a pet, no questions asked. So, squirrels are pets right? They are tame animals, when you feed them, they will come to you, and they will not bite you or hurt you. They are cute, well who can resist their chubby cheeks? They even made it into the big screen (Alvin and the chipmunks) and were able to give the producers of the movie millions of dollars in return.

Their cuddliness does not stop there. Some towns are even naming their place as the home of this or that squirrel. For example, a handful of towns have made the white squirrel their official town mascot and system. Some market these squirrels to increase the tourism in their place. People are encouraged to touch the animal, to feed them and to care for them. Are these the very things that you do to loved pets?

In Arizona, more than two million dollars have been spent to make "bridges" for squirrels so that they can freely roam around without fear. Some towns would punish people who hurt squirrels whether by accident or not. For example, a certain cop was even punished after he sprayed pepper spray to a baby squirrel! All these things can only mean one thing, we love squirrels.

Conclusion

We can't really define squirrels as a pest or as a pet alone. These two identities have been associated with these animals for so long that it is almost very difficult to delineate between the two. Needless to say that we humans are fond of anything that is "beautiful" to look at. So, no matter how much damage squirrels will do to humans, we will still have rooms in our minds to think of these animals are simply rebelling pets. Well, it might be unfortunate for the mice and the rats to not have this duality in identity mainly because they are not as cute as squirrels. As for now, the best thing to do is to simply appreciate these animals for what they are. Fine, if these animals are really pestering you, go ahead and control them. But let those who enjoy keeping them as pets have their fill of satisfaction.

The Most Common Indications of Squirrel Infiltration

You can just jump-start into concluding that squirrels have infiltrated in your house if you don't have evidence. If you don't have evidence, it might be that there are actually no squirrels in your house of no pests at all. You may have gotten it all wrong and it might just be your kids messing around the entire place. It could be a problem if you assume right away that squirrels have infiltrated your house, because you may have already purchased and employed the most high end technologies, methods and repellents for squirrel infestations and have practically invested money on it, only to find out that they are not taking any effect as a solution since there is no problem to be solved anyway. That's the thing if you don't look for appropriate evidence of genuinely a squirrel infestation inside your house. You have to know the difference as well between a squirrel infestation and other pests' infestation that are particular of the same family as squirrels like mice and rats. Rodents as they all are they would have most likely exhibited the same characteristics in terms of the damage that they do and the behaviors they manifest when they forage. The search for food is quite a basic instinct to all animals inside and outside the house. It's their driving force to keep on moving (apart from reproduction of course), moving so much such that they could actually penetrate the dwelling of humans just to find what they need and want. You have to make it a point that they don't go that far, or if ever they have, it is your responsibility to identify and get rid of them.

Why you would have to get rid of them have many answers. One is that fact that squirrels are often dirty creatures as they are originally from the wild. When they are dirty it could also necessarily mean they carry germs and bacteria that can be potentially harmful to human beings inside the house. In other words, squirrels can carry diseases and according to statistics, history and researches, squirrels are often the vessels of the most dangerous types of viruses and diseases in the world, like monkey pox and rabies. Theses disease can be truly fatal to humans especially if not treated and if they are treated, the entire process of treatment would definitely cost a lot and would certainly hurt anyone's pocket. If it's not treated to, somebody's or someone's future will be destroyed for certain. Therefore, there is truly a need to keep them away from the house for good. You can of course do that by using commercialized repellents and anti-squirrel technologies today as there are being marketed. There a lot actually and most of them are actually considered to be truly effective in dealing with squirrel pest problems. Some of them are even quite cheap and some of them relatively expensive. You can use all or any of them. But one thing you have to make sure of when using them is to find the evidences or the identifications first of the squirrels that inhabit your house. You might end up buying squirrel traps and what not but in the end you found out that it's not really squirrels that are infesting your house but rats and mice which would require different sets of traps and whatsoever. That is why it is truly important to spot the difference between a squirrel's paper trails compared to that of the other pests that may come inside the house. It will definitely spell the difference of finding an effective solution or not.

But what are the specific indications that squirrels have infested your home? How do you effectively identify them without confusing or mistaking the evidences that they live behind to something else entirely different? How would you be able to distinguish between a squirrel's tracks to its close relative the rats and mice? These questions have to be truly answered first before we can move ever move on to identify that the one responsible for infiltrating and messing up your house are actually squirrels and not any other pests that infiltrate the house as well. For all you know you may have both but you only assumed that squirrels did all the crime. That would be quite bias.

First things first, you can identify the indications of a squirrel track by just merely looking at the droppings scattered in their favorite places. The favorite places of a squirrel are not much different to that of the favorite places of rats. These are usually the dark and damp secluded corners or places inside the house. They like to dwell in there because they somehow feel that they are concealed from human contact and they it would diminish the risk of encountering animals that could potentially turn them into preys. You look for these particular places inside the house and search for their droppings. You will be able to identify the difference between a squirrel dropping and a rat or mice dropping from how it looks. It could be identified through the textures though but that is something you shouldn't consider at all. You would risk yourself from contracting potentially deadly diseases carried by the pests and they can be communicated through their droppings. It will be a problem. The features of squirrel dropping are, one it's quite smaller than that of a rat's dropping or mice's, they are also much more rounded and less elongated. Rat droppings are usually moistened and elongated in shape as their species are normally relatively larger than squirrels.

Another specific indication of squirrels inhabiting your house is the presence of their tracks. The shape and size of their feet will significantly spell the difference between an ordinary rat's tracks. A rat or mice's feet track are usually intact and spread trident shaped, splayed toes tracks as how their feet would normally look like. However with squirrels, their feet tracks are much more spread and smaller.

Squirrel Damage Control

Squirrels are known to cause devastating amounts of damages if they are left untreated. Therefore, when you find a squirrel running around your place you best to do something about it right away or you might just end up regretting it. It is quite important that you take immediate consideration on applying squirrel control methods to get rid of them if you don't want to suffer more property damages from them. What usually happens is that a lot of people would fail to take into consideration the need for a control method when it comes to dealing with squirrels. Therefore, they would suffer oftentimes from property damages caused by squirrels. Absolutely, it is imperative to have a squirrel control method to prevent such damages. However, what if the damage is already been done? What will you do about it? Will you just careless and allow your properties to go that way? Or would you do something about it?

Of course, as a normal reasonable person, you will truly do something about it and recuperate from the damages caused by the pestering squirrels from your home. Of course it's best to prevent them from ever entering so that you won't have to go through the pain anymore, but if worst thing happens and they have already infested and damaged your home properties, you have to implement immediately some squirrel damage control methods to recuperate from the devastation caused by squirrels. One thing you have to understand about implementing squirrel control methods is that the methods never come easy and they would take ample considerations of time and effort and witty critical thinking skills to ensure that the damages done will be salvaged properly. Failure to do so may imply that you will a considerable amount of investments from the damages resulted from the squirrel infestation. You have to therefore, take immediate actions by dealing with the squirrels and knowing what to do about the damages they have already done.

There are initial steps on how to deal with squirrel damage control methods and one would have to be really careful in executing them as a simple lapse would ultimately mean the failure of your efforts. If you don't do things properly, you might just end up wasting your time on something you thought was repairing the damages of your properties. There has to be some careful preponderance to take place first imperatively before executing anything at all.

A property is the same thing as a money investment only that it has materialized. By saying materialized, it simply means that your money has taken a property asset form. If the materialized investment gets destroyed for any reason, it will become a loss of investment on your part and that would not be very good at all. Imagine, you have worked so hard for the investment; allotted a considerable amount of time and effort before you have achieved the acquisition of the asset and it will just eventually get destroyed. That's just absolutely preposterous and you must not allow such things from happening. Don't ever think of putting yourself in an inconveniently hapless situation of losing an investing over simple pests which you could immediately get rid of right away with the use of the newest methods of pest control right now. The same thing goes as well with squirrels. You have to ensure that the squirrel control methods are worth the while to implement. That can be standardized by saying or assessing the control technique to be effective and efficient and will truly grant you your desired output.

But before we discuss the damage control methods for squirrels, let's first discuss the important factors when implementing them. Let's first talk about the statistics or the frequency of the squirrel damages in the United States. The purpose why we need to know the statistical standing of squirrel damages in the US is for us to fully comprehend the gravity or the severity of the squirrel pest prevalence. Hopefully, once we get to understand how seriously alarming the rate of the damages caused by squirrels, we can therefore find it in our hearts to do something about the damages that they do.

Squirrel damages ranks 5th amongst the most damaging creatures that have brought about serious annoyance to a lot of homeowners across the United States. They usually attack power cables in power lines or telephone lines and they gnaw them into destruction causing thousands to millions of dollars of damage per year. The damages are not only suffered by the individual homeowners of private properties but as well as to the government through the repairs they would have to come by on the public power lines damaged by the pestering squirrels. The government is doing something about the problem though so as not to increase further the damages caused by squirrels. By slowly reinstating the environmental natural habitats of squirrels, these rodents would no longer have to go through the power lines anymore or infest any households. But the concurrent rise of commercialization has proven to be quite a debacle as well. As more and more land areas are being commercialized and urbanized, many squirrels are driven out from their natural habitat as it is being replaced by subdivisions or buildings that are designed and allocated for human dwelling or usage. That's the most difficult part for the government actually, since there is already what we call a conflict of interest. Although, animal rights and environmentalist advocates are strongly pushing and lobbying their endeavors to the government and vehemently making their voices heard in the public. As much as possible they are trying to invoke a sense of vigilance and awareness to what's really going on in the environment. In the light of that they also hope that they will be able to catch up with the call of times to effectively preserve the slowly endangered species of the planet including certain species of squirrels in the wild areas. This is truly a difficult task for them.

How Squirrels Penetrate Your Home

It's quite a big question as to how could squirrels find their way inside your house, especially if you think that your house is well garrisoned and covered with enough pest insulation. If the house is truly fortified with sufficient brick, wood and metal materials to prevent pests from entering you wouldn't expect squirrels to make any difference from all the other pests in your backyard. However, you have to understand that squirrels are quite clever and they could always find a way around your fortress and penetrate it like a piece of paper. That's how cunning they are and how quick they are in entering one's household. That's to the surprise of many homeowners in the world; they are still suffering from the problems of squirrel infestation despite their efforts to fortify their homes with sufficient fortification and pest insulation materials. It's only then that they realize that they actually need more than just material fortification to their houses, but they also need some kind of a repellent to truly keep the pest squirrels away from the house. This is the only way to prevent squirrels from every causing you any trouble inside the house. It is important that you implement one right away.

But let's go back to the question asked beforehand as to how squirrels are capable of entering a highly fortified house, granted that there's no usage of any squirrel repellents yet (as it is naturally assumed that their infiltration will be much more considerably inhibited when there are repellents applied). It is really a mind boggling question. The answer is quite simple. The answer as to why they are capable of penetrating or infiltrating the house of a homeowner is because they are quite small and they are truly small enough to fit inside the house holes that are regularly found in certain places of the house. You can't say that you're house doesn't have natural holes. You would have just said if your house doesn't have holes, there's no way that air could enter in your house. That's also like saying you live inside a safe vault, decontaminated from even the air that is necessary for us to breathe and live. While these holes exist to enable us to breath and live, it also serves as a passage route to squirrels in order to enter the house. However, that's just the general thing. There are more specific mechanisms for squirrels to really get inside the house. And that will be discussed thoroughly in this article. Hopefully, you will fully understand the ways on how a squirrel could successfully get inside your house and when you do, you will be able to do something about it by innovating the passage ways such that you will already prevent squirrels from entering them and at the same time not depriving yourself from the proper ventilation of air to breathe as you know this is quite truly important. You have to remember these key points so as not to put you and your family in serious danger.

If there are holes in your house, then squirrels would most likely find a way. Squirrels are willful animals, especially when they forage. The search for food could drive them to extend their limitations and would even decide to reach the extent of infiltrating human households to find resources. Of course, judging from a squirrel point of view, you wouldn't expect that they have deliberately planned this out. They would have probably thought that your house is some sort of another funny looking tree that would probably be the home to a lot of the things that they need, particularly food. You have to understand that the only ultimate and absolute driving force for any animal in this world is food. And when they do search for it, they would most likely go to the most unlikely places just to find them. We could even say the same thing with humans, especially when they go and starve, they would do everything that they can in their power to find food and even go to places they have never been before. They extend their coverage in order to adapt to the needs of the present time. Squirrels are not so much different as well. They would do everything they can to find food and find food they shall. We just hope we don't end up competing with them in our very own household ;-)

Now let's talk about the specific ways on how squirrels will get inside a person's house and how they are actually capable of doing certain levels of damages to our homes.

Attics... 

One of the specific way as to how squirrels could get inside the house is through the attic holes. The attic is normally neglected and left forlorn as no one would usually stay up the undertows of the roof of the house. It's hot and quite dark in there since it is just a small allocated portion inside the house. It would be really tight for any adult to come and stay there. You can compound that as well with the many movie and story portrayals that the attic is the home of a haunting ghost inside the house. You'd be afraid to find yourself in there. That's why more than half the time, unless it's general cleaning, only kids are found dwelling in the attic areas. So will squirrels, since they don't really find human ghost that scary. They couldn't understand even the phenomenon of the ethereal beings. So they find it truly convenient to pass through the attic windows normally situated on the rooftops. This all the more makes the entrance of squirrels convenient because the rooftop is always their access route from the tree branches to your house. Imagine, tree branches are usually swaying and reaching across the rooftops and squirrels would just have to jump over from the branches to the roof in order to reach your home. That's not really too difficult for them especially that they are more like agile leaping animals.

Excluding Squirrels from the Backyard

There are certain mechanisms or methodologies as to how you can effectively get rid of squirrels from your house. Or better yet, prevent them from ever entering into your backyard. If you can control the amount of restriction on your backyard, then you may be able to prevent any possibilities of squirrel infestation and you will be able to effectively safeguard your home from any property damages that may take place in any part of your house. There is an imperative sense of using squirrel exclusion or prevention methods to ensure that your house will stay safe and will experience a sense of longevity in a way that your house will last for a long time any mars or damages in any of its aspects. This kind of culture should be upheld every time by any homeowner to preserve the value of their house.

In order to do that, you would have to establish the prevention methods from the very beginning and in the locations where the squirrels would initially pass by when they head towards your house. And that location is none other than the exterior perimeters of your home. The exterior perimeters of your home are usually your lawn, garden or the ports. If you are able to establish successfully some squirrel prevention methods on these areas then you wouldn't have to worry anymore about squirrels reaching as far as your attic or basement. You wouldn't have to think about securing your leftover foods in the table because you fear they might get foraged by some small critters that roam around inside your house. You don't have to worry about squirrels at all anymore because you know that they will never ever be able to get inside your house in any way they can possibly think. Thankfully, they don't think a lot so there's quite a small room for you to think of options on how to prevent them from entering.

But what are the standards on how to effectively prevent or exclude squirrels out of your house? It's a standard question for anyone who wishes to expel the annoying rodents out of their homes. One would have to think of what kind of strategy or method to be used to truly effectively establish a garrison into their homes. Among the considerations is the consideration of what repellent brand to buy or what kind of trap to have around the house to ensnare the roaming critters. One would have to take into consideration as well the brands of the products they buy. The brands are implicative of the quality they produce. If you purchase a high end brand that is highly reputable and recognized by popularity then you have a greater chance of having an item that will truly be worth your investment. However, if you purchase an unheard of brand, and consequentially cheap, then you may have setbacks that will follow after.

Price is also indicative of the quality of the product you buy. More often than not, the more expensive the product you have bought, the more effective they are. Otherwise, you are in for some complications and issues that would come naturally with the cheap commodity. If ever you are to purchase a squirrel prevention method, repellent or technology, make sure that you don't settle for less. Always go for the highest standards to ensure that any monetary investment you have made will truly be worth the while. A return of investment is truly imperative when it comes to purchasing any chore item. Because if you don't have an ROI in what you purchased, then it may totally hurt you to realized you have just wasted your time, money and effort over something that doesn't work as well as you thought it would be, or worse, it doesn't work at all.

For you to be able to know what kind of brands that will truly be worth your time and investment, you have to do some home works first to know them. That could be achieved through research and study, and maybe even with a little mixture of experience. Research can easily be done through the internet. It can provide you with quality information. However, there are times that it doesn't and when it doesn't, you can always cross refer the sources you have read in the web. Scan and identify the information that are relevant and true and take out the ones that are bogus in the equation. You have to employ critical thinking on this matter. Without critical analysis, you may never be able to distinguish the difference between false and true information. A helpful tip in discerning information is to gather websites and cross examine the information and see to it if the information appears in two or more resources. If it's quite popular, (meaning it appears more than just twice), then there may be a shed of truth in it and it's definitely worth your try.

To exclude squirrels out of your house, you have to make sure that you have acquired professional or expert's assistance in placing the repellents in your lawn or garden. There are certain locations that are strategically conducive for capturing or repelling the squirrels. Usually, these places are the way points or routes of the squirrels when they get inside the house. It would take an expert's opinion these places. Unless of course if you are an expert yourself. The assessment process wouldn't cost as much as hiring the entire pest extermination package. Rest assured the following procedures can be manually done without the assistance of professionals anymore. However, it would totally be a different case if professionals were to handle the problem since they have more able facilities in getting the job done.

Lastly, to exclude squirrels means you have to habitually preserve the methods and not just leave them to work by themselves. You have to make it a point to monitory the devices or repellents every time and see to it that they are not hampered in any way. Make sure that they are still in optimal performance level to ensure the efficacy of preventing squirrels in ever entering your house.

Squirrel Value to Humans

Surprise! You might not be aware of it, but part of the tax that you pay to the federal government is used to study how the South African ground squirrels go about their sex lives. This year, the government has allocated $600,000 to fund the researchers of the said study. Last year, the government has funded a study that aims to find out how squirrels have evolved, along with the other funded researches which many critics think are not really beneficial to the ordinary taxpayer who pays for these researches. While it is quite obvious why these researches are attracting a lot of criticisms, still, the government pursues them.

The study needs this much money because the researchers have to travel back and forth from Africa to the United States. The study started out as a small research by a biologist who is fascinated with the sex life of squirrels. She asked for a grant and the government is generous enough to give her $600,000 cash. She thinks that the African Squirrels, especially the male ones are very friendly animals. She also explains that she wants to know why they only spend time with their female counterparts during sexual contact. She also wants to know why they do not fight over a female squirrel, contrary to what the squirrels in the United States do.

But, what does an average tax payer need of knowing why the male African Squirrels are the way that they are? If this research has been funded by a private firm, it should not be that much an issue. But the problem is that the money used to sustain this research comes from the pockets of taxpayers who do not even see the use of such a study in their own lives. According to the National Tax Payers Union, studies that are of no significant impact to the taxpayers should not be funded by the tax payers. Anyway, the researcher could have asked the help of her university, of private foundations or ask for private endowments. The federal government could have endorsed her research to these money-giving institutions too to spare the taxpayer's money from being spent on something which does not seem to be relevant.

(c) mammalwatching.com
Many of the taxpayers in the United States are not even aware where their money goes. They are compelled to pay so much to their government but the government seem to not value that money too much. Surprisingly, many projects that are aimed to help other sectors of society have been turned down by grounds of being not a shared interest. Examples of such projects are the building of more homes for the mentally ill, a research on developing medication for diseases such as schizophrenia, an OCD home for treating people with compulsion and so much more. Many of these projects have been turned down because they were found out to be redundant and so, instead of these projects, the government has funded many different projects which are seemingly useless.

Well, apart from the money that is spent on different "useless" squirrel studies, you might have heard of the efforts mankind has put forth in order to save squirrels from human cruelty. In fact, some local legislation even gave squirrels more rights that humans (i.e. traffic rights, territory rights, etc.). But, have you heard of what some of the squirrels are giving back to humans for all these efforts? Of course, we do not expect squirrels to think and contemplate on their actuals, after all their brains are only the size of a walnut. So, this article will simple cite examples of the crimes that squirrels have committed to mankind and to the other animals without any intention to make them pay for every bit of it. All the contents of this article is intended to show people of the kind of harm and damage that these animals can do, thus giving them a warning the next time that they encounter one in the street, in the part and even inside their own homes.

The case of Kevin McDonald Versus a Grey Squirrel

While shovelling snow in his yard, Mr McDonald was attacked by a grey squirrel. Using its sharp front teeth, the squirrel was able to give Mr McDonald a couple of wounds which need medical attention. He rushed to the nearest hospital and got himself treated. Meanwhile, they were able to catch the squirrel which was then brought to the Vermont Public Health veterinarian named Robert Johnson. He observed that the squirrel found showed no sign of intimidation in the presence of humans. Squirrels normally show signs of aggression before they attack a perceive offender, but that specific squirrel should none of these signs. The veterinarian is puzzled by this squirrels behaviour and formulated a theory that it might have been previously hurt by a human causing it to be aggressive to Mr McDonald.

Songbirds versus Grey Squirrels

Grey squirrels are now blamed for the rapid decrease in the population of Britain's most love birds, the Songbirds. These squirrels are reported to feast over the eggs of these birds. They also eat young birds which are still not capable of flying. It was found out that the widespread population of Grey squirrels in Britain is the main cause of the Songbird's possible extinction. Today, grey squirrels can be legally hunted down in Britain.

Car Drivers versus Squirrels

Squirrels are also notorious road crossers. Many motorists have found themselves in danger because of trying to avoid a squirrel that suddenly crosses a street. Now, the problem here is no matter if it is the squirrel's fault, the driver will still be liable for anything that would happen to the squirrel. SO, the tendency of the drivers is to really avoid the squirrel and in most instances this can lead to accidents.

There are so many crimes which squirrels have done to mankind, we have not mentioned about their hobby of destroying homes just yet. This brings me into thinking, why do we care so much about them?

Prairie Dogs are Squirrels not Dogs

In 1900s, the people from Texas called a type of squirrel a Prairie Dog. This name was given to these squirrels after a whole "town", about 100 miles by 250 miles wide was discovered to be "full" of these squirrels.

However, Prairie Dogs are not exclusively found in Texas. These squirrels are also found in Mexico and Canada, and in many US states. Prairie dogs prefer to live in places that are of higher elevation, popular examples are the Chihuahuan Desert and the Great Basin.

Prairie dogs are considered to be the most "social" of all the squirrels known to mankind. They live in a colony that is highly organized, where every member has to strictly perform a specific function and all these squirrels are impressively dedicated to the functions that they are tasked to perform just like all the popular social animals like ants, bees and termites. They are most related to ground squirrels and marmots which both live inside burrows dug unto the ground. But these squirrels are also related to Chipmunks which are known to live in trees and in houses. So far, scientists have named 5 squirrels that belong to the Prairie Dog family. These are:

1. The Utah Prairie Dogs - This specie is considered to be the smallest of the five and is generally treated as an endangered species. Its scientific name is C. parvidens.

2. Mexican Prairie Dogs - This squirrel is also considered as an endangered species and is exclusively distributed only within a few parts of Mexico. Gunnison's are now secured by the Mexican government, making its hunting and trade highly prohibited. The scientific name of this squirrel is C. mexicanus, for obvious reasons.

3. Gunnison's Prairie Dogs - Scientifically called C. gunnisoni, these squirrels are relatively shorted than its fellow prairie dogs.

4. White-tailed Prairie Dogs - These squirrels are normally found in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming, all in the western part of the United States. Scientific name is C. leucurus.

5. Black-tailed Prairie Dogs - These squirrels are not rare but they occupy only the narrow bands throughout Texas and Canada which are dry and highly elevated. The scientific name for the black-tailed Prairie Dogs is C. ludovicianus.

The main species comprising the Prairie Dogs family are the Black-tailed and the White-tailed Prairie Dogs. Between these two, the black-striped ones are the most common and are usually kept as pets. People are legally allowed to sell and buy black-tailed Prairie dogs because they are very common and are far from being endangered. Pet owners usually get their Black-tailed prairie dogs from pet shops or by catching a bay prairie dog in the wild. On the other hand, the white-tailed prairie dogs are not as easily encountered in the wild because they prefer to live at higher elevations compared to the other prairie dogs. They also hibernate during the winter season but unlike the black-tailed, they are less colonial when it comes to their habits and attitudes.

Common Description

(c) nationalgeographic.com
Prairie Dogs are quite fat when compared to other squirrels. They have broad bodies with rounded heads. They have short legs, but they also have very hairy tails. Prairie Dogs have 22 teeth! Their weight is slightly surprising if you come to consider their sizes. They are only about 11-13 inches long from the top of their head down to the bottom of their bodies but they can weigh as much as 3 pounds each. Their tails measure between 3 and 4 inches.

Overall, Prairie Dogs have a yellowish covering but they ears and bellies can appear whitish. Face-wise, it can be observed that Prairie dogs have a white patch on each side of its nose and there is a whitish ring around its eyes upper lips.

Noise and Sounds

Perhaps it is because of their call that the people from Texas called them Prairie Dog. These squirrels make a high-pitched call that sounds more like a dog's bark. One thing notable about Prairie Dogs is their ability to send-off different sounds to refer to different predators. They can create a distinct call for an approaching hawk, rave, ferret, coyote, eagle, snake or owl. They can also run fast despite their fat appearance, they can run as much as 35 miles each hour but only over a short distance, after running as fast as that, Prairie Dogs will become exhausted and would need rest. Nonetheless, this defence mechanism allows them to get away fast and hide from predators. This escape technique often works better than the complex escape techniques of some animals.

Behaviour of Prairie Dogs

All 5 Prairie Dogs are considered to be diurnal. They hibernate during winter and would only be a little active during cold days. They also follow a social order within a colony that is comprised of relatives. The entire colony only accepts new members which are offspring of the current female members. A colony's maximum population is 35 per acre of land.

These squirrels do not steal a burrow from other squirrels or animals; they always prefer to make their own burrows. They are excellent architects; they exhibit their skills in construction by building reinforcing dikes around their burrows which secure them from sudden rains and floods. They shape the entrance of their burrow as a funnel making it difficult to be accessed from the outside. The entrance measures about 3-4 inches in diameter.

Inside their burrows, these squirrels make different tunnels that can reach up to 16 feet long. At the end of each tunnel is a chamber which is used as a storage room, as nest or for some other purpose. Predators would find it very difficult to invade a Prairie Dog's tunnel because of its design. A single chamber can have a maximum area of as much as 100 feet.

Reminder

Prairie Dogs can be carriers of the bubonic plague, so you need to be careful with the ones that you interact with. Make sure that the one that you take with you is not infected with the bacteria that cause the plague.

Possible Breakthroughs in Human Hibernation through Squirrels

Human hibernation first gained ground in scientific studies after scientists have found the need to make astronauts "hibernate" during space voyages that might take months or years. While this idea may have sounded far-fetched in the past, scientists finally say some light as they started to study squirrel hibernation.

We might have heard of squirrels and other animals like bears sleeping away the cold winter days and wake up to feed on the first spring foods. But to think of this method of "rest" as something that is possible for humans is simply outrageous right? But, now that scientists have found their ways in the laboratories of bright minds, this wild imagination may be possible in the future!

But the applications of hibernation studies are not only limited to human hibernation; it can also be used to prolong the shelf life of internal organs used for transplant operation, which in itself is already a major medical breakthrough. That's not everything even. Scientists believe that if they can find a way to apply hibernation for human application, they it would then be possible to help humans deal with trauma situations. It can also be used for weight control as squirrels are able to gain and lose weight during the process without any complications.

The 13-striped squirrel is currently given the most attention because of its ability to lower its heart rate and slow down its metabolism during winter. These measures necessarily make its body temperature to drop making it feel less cold during winter. These conditions would have been fatal to other animals, much more to humans. However, for some reasons, hibernating animals are able to prevent their organs from malfunctioning despite the changes that the body is experiencing. Hibernation lasts for many months and it brings scientists to marvel at these animals ability to stay alive even without eating, drinking or moving.

Cooling of Human Organs for Transplant

Scientists also believe that the squirrels might be the answer to lifting human limitations when it comes to keeping vital organs used in transplants for longer periods. At present, the most that doctors can do is to preserve a liver for a couple of hours after it has been extracted from the donor. The liver can't be preserved any further in ice because it begins to "die" after prolonged exposure to cold. Squirrels have this ability to keep their organs alive and healthy after months of exposure to cold temperature which is supposed to be almost at freezing point, the same temperature at which the human organs are kept before the transplant.

Scientists are currently studying squirrels in the hope of finally uncovering the secrets of hibernation. A specific lab has extracted 20 livers from hibernating squirrels and compared the lifespan of these livers outside their host to that of a rat's extracted liver. The rat's liver lasted for 24 to 48 hours only while the squirrel’s liver showed no form of damages within 72 hours and lasted up to 96 hours without the appearance of any significant damages. For an organ to remain useful after four days is simply unbelievable and scientists are excited to finally discover how to apply this on humans.

However, the question that remains unanswered is this, how do squirrels do it? To find the answers, researchers and scientists have collaborated to examine the livers to their molecular levels. The goal of the collaboration is to examine the livers extracted before and during hibernation. The examination can extend to the identifying the proteins that are present in the cells comprising the livers. The foundation of all cells is mainly protein and if the scientists are able to find out what is happening in the proteins, they might be able to mimic the conditions and apply the process on human cells.

They found out that the protein complex in the liver of hibernating squirrels is comprised on two enzymes. One of the enzymes is responsible for the breaking up of the fatty acids stored in the squirrel's body. The energy released because of this process is used to fuel the bodies of the hibernating squirrels. The other enzyme is supposed to help the squirrel to conserve the glucose that is present in its body. However, the enzyme that prolongs the life of the squirrels' organs during hibernation remains to be undetectable. Even the enzyme that causes the sudden jolt that wakes the squirrel up from its deep slumber is not easily found.

The main problem of scientists is the lack of human organs to use in their experiments. Every year, thousands of humans die waiting for organ donors and scientists can't just take away an organ that could have saved a life for an experiment which may or may not succeed. Because of these limitations, scientists are left in a corner where they simply speculate and test their theories on animals or worse, in their heads.

Thus, to some extent, extending organ shelf life may seem to be out of the question when we all know that the number of organs meant for transplant is limited. What is there to store, anyway? If there are too few organs, what is the need of an extended shelf life? But scientists remain to be convicted in their studies. To them, it does not really matter if it is urgently needed or not, what is more important is that this technology is already present come the time that humans would need it. Anyway, the main goal of their study is to find a way to make humans hibernate and organ preservation is but a secondary objective.

In the end, the more important lesson that we should learn from this is that the animals around us are capable of things which humans, who are supposed to be the most intelligent of all creatures, cannot do. This gives emphasis on the point that we have so much more to learn about everything around us, even the squirrels which some might even consider as pests.

Noisy Squirrels called Chickaree

Chickarees are little squirrels which are mostly found in North America as well as in Alaska, Arizona and New Mexico. It is the name given to the three common squirrels that thrive in these places which are the Pine squirrels, the Douglas Squirrels and the Red American Squirrels. These squirrels are also called "Pillillooeet", a name which the Native Americans who live along Kings River have given them because of the sound that they make. Overall, Chickarees are lovely squirrels which have become more popular because of their fondness to human beings.

Physical Attributes

With a total length of only 30-33 cm from the tip of its ear to its tail, Chickarees are obviously smaller than the other squirrels which people normally encounter in parks and in their yards. These squirrels are also quite light, only 160-300 grams in total weight. The back coverings of Chickarees are normally rusty red but some are grey and brown while their chests are colored orange. Their feet turn grey during the winter but are colored brown during the other days of the year. One can clearly distinguish a Chickaree's upper and lower body because they are separated by a black or a white stripe.

On its own, a Chickaree's tail measures about 13 to 15 cm and it is more distinguishable than the tails of other squirrels because of its very bushy appearance. Without its fur, a Chickaree's tail is much more flat and thinner than the tails of the other squirrels. Moreover, the Chickaree's eyes are also rounded by a white ring.

Chickaree Habitats

It is very rare to find Chickarees outside the forest. In most cases, Chickarees that are found in parks or in houses may have just lost their way by following a human being (since they are really fond of humans) or maybe they are forcibly taken from the forest (i.e. for illegal selling, hunting, etc.). If left on their own, Chickarees will only choose to live in the forest, preferable in the northern boreal ones. Their more preferred habitats are coniferous trees although some of also live in other types of trees. Most of their population are found in deciduous woodlands, or in hedgerows. They also live in second-growth places.

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Like most of their cousins, Chickarees are most comfortable living inside tree cavities. They make their den by scraping out the decaying part of the cavity until it become deep enough to contain an entire Chickaree family. They would also steal from woodpeckers and forcibly evict these birds from their nests by barging into the hole. These holes can be as high as 60 feet above the ground. In cases when they do not live in tree cavities, Chickarees would also inhabit tree stumps which either come from fallen or logged trees. The centre of the stumps would often decay like that of a tree's cavity making it easier for the squirrels to make a hole unto the stump. Chickarees also make underground holes which they use to store food. But in rare cases, especially during summer, Chickarees would build a nest that is closely related to a bird's nest. It is made from leaves and different kinds of twigs which they construct in between big tree branches.

Diet of Chickarees

Among all squirrels, Chickarees are considered to be more notorious to birds because they like steal and eat the eggs which birds leave inside their nests while they hunt for food. Chickarees also murder young birds which do not know how to fly yet. They are carnivorous but in the same way, like most of the squirrels, they too are herbivores. In short, Chickarees are omnivores or animals that eat plants and animals alike. They eat anything that will come across their way: seeds, mushrooms, fruits, nuts, etc.

Chickarees are also known to be very industrious squirrels, storing large quantities of food which they eat both during autumn and winter. A single chickaree would store as much as 150 pinecones all for itself. Chickarees may have developed this trait due to the fact that it cannot store food inside its mouth because of its lack of cheek pouches. Other squirrels have big cheeks because of these pouches.

Reproduction of Chickarees

The mating season of Chickarees starts during the early days of February and usually ends somewhere in March or April. During their entire lifetime, female Chickarees can give birth about 4 to 6 times. Female Chickarees have to carry their young for 4 to 5 weeks before the gestation period completes. Young Chickaree litters are called Kits. Chickarees only get pregnant once in a year (some can be pregnant to at most two times) so the population increase rate of these squirrels are relatively slow compared to other rodents. But, since young female Chickarees can already reproduce at less than one year, there population remains to be stable and steady despite concerns such as illegal hunting and spread of diseases.

Behaviours of Chickarees

It is easy to imagine why some critiques call pep squads as Chickarees. These squirrels are noisy and they repeat whatever sound that they make endlessly. This routine call that they made is repeated every couple of minutes during daytime. They are mostly asleep during evening and are normally active from dawn to afternoon.

Like all the other squirrels, Chickarees also tend to be highly territorial. They will occupy as much as 10,000 square meters and would keep other Chickarees out of that territory as much as possible. Under normal circumstances, Chickarees only live in groups having members that all come from a single group of Kits born from a single mother. They are excellent swimmers and divers.

Conservation Status

Chickarees are listed as "Least Concern" animals by the IUCN; this means that the population of Chickarees is stable and safe. Despite their numerous predators like owls, foxes, lynxes, minks and hawks, Chickarees are able to keep their entire population safe from whatever form of dangers that might threaten their existence in the wild.
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