squirrel extermination

The White-tailed Antelope Squirrel

Many people pay particular interest to the white-tailed antelope squirrel of all the ground squirrels that live in the desert. This is probably because these squirrels are commonly seen out in the sun no matter how hot the day is. This drives people curious about what they are really doing at such hot days. In general, these squirrels are relatively small; their eyes are lined with a white "ring" and the rear of their bodies also shows an obvious white mark. The back portion of their bodies appears dark and in most cases it is black in color, while their limbs are covered with bronze fur. The cheeks of the white-tailed antelope are bright and contrary to its name, most of them have black tails (but the underside is white). These squirrels use their tails as a form of sunshade so majority of the time, their tails are raised up.

These squirrels are named white-tail not because their tails are plain white. Like what has been said earlier, their tails are generally black but because they keep their tails raise up as a sunshade, the underside portion of their tail becomes obvious and visible, thus the name white-tailed. They have been distinguished from the Harris Antelope Squirrels with the use of the term "white-tailed" because both species practically look the same, with this specific characteristic as the major exception. Many of the white-tails can be seen in the Colorado River (the western portion) and their close relatives, the Harris Antelopes, reside in the eastern portion of the river. Since they live in deserts where food can be scarce, it is very common to see these squirrels "begging" for food to the tourists that come near the river. Many squirrels "beggars" are also found in the Nevada side of the Hoover dam.

The white-tailed antelopes also look like chipmunks, the very reason why many people often confuse them with the latter. But with a closer look, one can immediately notice that the two squirrels differ in the shades of their fur. The white-tailed antelope has brightly colored fur in the cheeks while the chipmunks do not. The antelopes also have a shite stripe on their side while the chipmunks have solid colors (with the exception of their chests). Moreover, the two squirrels do not habituate the same areas; antelope squirrels live in deserts with low elevations while the chipmunks prefer the mountains. Because the antelope squirrels live in the desert, they are most comfortable living underground where the temperature is cooler. They would dig their own burros which have openings that measures about 3 inches in diameter. If you see holes in the desert that are about this size, and then expect that the animal responsible is the antelope squirrel.

Scientifically speaking, these squirrels belong to the order Rodentia which is the order of all animals that gnaw like rats, mice, etc. The scientific name for the squirrel family is Sciuridae. Physically, both male and female antelope squirrels look the same. Unlike other species that have bigger males, male antelope squirrels are virtually of the same size as their female counterparts. Their tails measure about 3 inches in length only and their entire body is only about 6 inches. An average-sized antelope squirrel weighs about 5.5 ounces. Overall, these squirrels have 22 teeth and each female has 10 nipples (which suggest that it can support up to 10 infants at a time).

These squirrels normally breed during spring and summer. They would begin during the late spring season and then end at the beginning of summer. They can give birth to a maximum of 14 infants but in most cases, the maximum number of infants that survive is only 10 because they only have 100 nipples that can produce milk. Young antelope squirrels spend 6 to 7 weeks inside their underground nests and after this period, they would come out to start foraging. These squirrels stay with their parents for a year and then set out to start their own families.

Since these squirrels live in the desert, if they do not receive food from visiting tourists, they would feed on leaves and bugs which are plenty in their habitat. They are very good at locating bugs under rocks and even underground. They are considered as omnivore animals because they feed on insects and anthropoids too. Some of them where seen eating carrions. Apart from these, they also eat seeds, nuts and fruits -- depending on what is available around them. In general about 60% of their diet is composed of green vegetation, the rest are from bugs and insects. However during autumn, this dependence to green vegetation reduces to 20% and their anthropoid dependence would sour to about 35%. They are most active during day time and would normally stay inside their burrows at night. Amazingly, these squirrels can withstand temperatures that soar up to 180 degrees! That's enough heat to cause serious and fatal burns to humans. They are able to do this by using their tails as sunshades and by pushing their bellies into the ground. They are able to release the heat inside their bodies into the ground to cool down.

Life Patterns

White-tailed antelope squirrels are diurnal animals, meaning, they belong to the group of animals that do their activities during daytime and rests during night time. They are most active as the winter season is approaching, busy storing enough fats in their bodies as preparation for the hibernation that they would have to go through when the temperature drops to freezing point. They are extremely active at midday when the temperature is about 30 degrees Celsius. They begin their activities 1.5 hours after sunrise and continue to forage until about 1.5 hours before sunset. Experts were able to find out that the squirrels reduce activities by about 40% during winter season in order to save energy. The best habitats for these squirrels are in desert scrub, Joshua tree, pinyon-juniper, sagebrush, bitterbrush and the alkali desert scrub.

How to Keep Squirrels off Your Car Covers

How many times have you caught a squirrel chewing on the covers of your car? Just like rats and mice, squirrels also chew on almost anything and everything that their front teeth can penetrate through. If you are one of these annoyed car owners then this article is perfect for you. But before we go through the steps which you can undertake in order to stop squirrels from chewing your car covers, make sure that you have all these stuff:

1. Cayenne pepper, rodent repellent, moth balls and ammonia
2. Bait
3. Traps, trash can lids, loud fog horn and motion activated misters
4. Rags and socks
5. Floodlights

Step #1:

Remember food and water will only lure squirrels into your car and thus to your car covers. Having known that these things can attract their attention, you must be vigilant about leftover food and trash which sometimes find their way close to your car. As much as possible, do not park in places where your car will be a few meters close to a pile of garbage, or even to a vegetable garden. Squirrels might be present in these high-risk areas and transfer to your car if they are close enough. If fruit-bearing trees are planted along your driveway, make sure that you routinely remove ripe fruits from the tree in order to discourage squirrels from climbing up. In many cases, squirrels that end up chewing the covers of your car come from these trees. Although it is not good to cut down these trees for the sole purpose of sparing your car covers from the squirrels, it is wise if the fruit-bearing trees are not planted along the driveway in the first place. Moreover, in order to completely remove all possible squirrel food sources, you must place all your trash bins in an area that is distant to your driveway. Bird feeders and pet food should also be kept far from the driveway.

Step #2:

Do you know that nocturnal squirrels hate too much light? Although most of these rodents are diurnal (forage by day), there are some species that also lurk at night. These are the same squirrels that chew on your car covers when you are sleeping or sitting on your sofa watching a football game. However, if you install a floodlight that has a minimum power rating of 100 Watts, you will definitely discourage these critters from ever coming near to your car. If you don't find floodlights energy-efficient, you can also try motion detectors that would only switch the light one when it senses movement around your car which is usually caused by squirrels. An instant flash of light is enough to scare away the squirrels and keep them that way for the entire night.

Step #3:

Now, although squirrels feed on almost anything, there are some types of food which they really detest. Item number 1 in the list given at the beginning of this article cites some of them. Seeds or nuts coated with cayenne pepper with a heating value of 90,000 BTU can serve as "landmines" which you can put around your car. Squirrels will feed on these seeds and nuts and get the full blast of the bombs in their mouth! A single cayenne pepper coated seed is already enough to burn squirrels tongue and scare it from going any further into your car. You can also try sprinkling cayenne pepper powder over your car cover. When the squirrels climb up or jumps down into your car, the powder will stick on their paws and once they start licking their bodies (including their paws), they will get a taste of the pepper and experience the same thing that the squirrels who have eaten coated seeds have felt.

Step #4:

You can also buy non-toxic squirrel repellents which you can buy from a pest control store or so an ordinary hardware. These repellents work just like cayenne pepper and some other natural squirrel repellents. The only difference is that these products are pre-processed and are ready to use; they are also stored in fancy containers which aides in easy dispersion of the product. You spray your car cover with these repellents and expect that the squirrels will no longer want to come any more closer to your car (perhaps because of the smell or the sensations that they get whenever they touch your car cover). Some of these non-toxic repellents are based on the smell of fox and coyote urine. These two animals are known to be great squirrel predators and in the wild setting, squirrels are naturally inclined to avoid areas already marked by a fox or a coyote's urine smell.

Step #5:

Squirrels do no like getting wet so if you install a motion activated water sprinkler close to your car, you will definitely frighten any of these critters that might attempt to come close.

Step #6:

You can also use mothballs to scare away squirrels. Make use of the fact that squirrels hate the smell of mothballs. Simply fill some socks with moth balls and place these socks around your car. You can also use pieces of rags, just soak the rags in ammonia and place the rags around the car. Mothballs and Ammonia basically have the same effects to squirrels.

Step #7:

You can also try "training" the squirrels to not go near your car. But in order to achieve this, you need to spend a little more time waiting for squirrels to indeed come near your car. Now, every time that they do so, all that you need to do is to bang two trashcan lids together (or any material that can produce the same sounds). If you are persistent and consistent, the squirrels will eventually get the idea that if they come near your car, they will hear annoying sounds.

Step #8:

Lastly, you can use traps to catch the offending squirrels. If you do not find this task easy, you can hire a professional squirrel control specialist to do the job. But if you are more inclined to try doing it on your own, all that you need to do is to set up the trap near your car and use baits to lure the squirrels into the trap. You just need to be patient though and wait up for the squirrels to come.

How to Preserve Squirrel Tails?

Be it known that the things that squirrels in movies or in television shows do are far from what they actually do in the real world. These cute and furry little animals might have made it big in Hollywood but the opinion of those who have experienced at least one squirrel "attack" in their entire lifetime will definitely not change to favor them that easily. Although we do no discount the fact that these rodents can be really friendly in real-life, their foraging and nesting behaviours still give them away as pests that need to be controlled and eradicated.

But, even though these animals are considered as pests, people still find a good use for them (but only after they are killed). For example, many restaurants are already serving squirrel meat; some super markets are already selling raw squirrel meat too. Squirrel fur is also use in different textile application. High quality furs are made into expensive jackets and other clothing items while some squirrel pelts are processed to become home decorations. Even the squirrel's tail has been used for different applications. Some use the tails as fishing baits while some use them to make fine make-up brushes. On the other hand, art enthusiasts make use of squirrel tails in their art projects and creations.

However, squirrel tails also need to go through a process before they can be used in any of these applications. The tail can't be made into a fishing fly or a fly tyre if is "fresh" and "unpreserved. Tackle-making hobbyists and artists can't make use of such tails either. So, this article will be about squirrel tail preservation. I will teach you how to make a perfectly preserved squirrel tail whether with the bone intact or not.

Preserving Squirrel Tail with the Bone Intact

There are many reasons why you would want to preserve the squirrel tail with the bone still in place. For one instance, the tail bone would make it easier for you to use the tail for fly tying. This method of tail preservation is way easier than the boneless one as it takes three steps only. These are:

1. Cut off the tail from the squirrel's body. Now that you have the tail, remove all the flesh attached to the tail bone but leave the bone intact in the tail.

2. Get a handful of borax and rub it throughout the squirrel's tail. Get enough borax to coat the end of the tail that exposes the bone.

3. Put the processed tail in a warm and dry place. The tail should dry-out in 7-10 days. Until then, do not remove the tail from where you placed it.

Preserving Squirrel Tail without the Bone

A boneless tail has more application. These are the tails that are used as baits and as make-up brushes. These are also the same tails that usually find their way on art works and creations. The process is a bit complex but it is very doable even if it is your first time to do it. The steps are:

1. Just like what you did in step one above; you also need to cut off the tail from the squirrel's body. In order to not damage the tail, you should cut the tail starting from the underside of the tail. Make an incision in this area using the tip of a sharp knife and slowly slide the knife upwards until the entire tail has been cut off.

2. Next, you need to run the tip of your knife between the skin and the bone of the tail. The skin and the bone are held together by a thin membrane. Cut this membrane down to about 1/3 of the tail so that you can distinctly make the separation between the bone and the skin.

3. Now that 1/3 of the bone is skinned, you will have enough space to grab the bone with your one of your hands. You need to slowly pull the bone while holding the skin in place with your other hand. Pull until the remaining 2/3 of the entire skin has been removed.

4. Expose the flesh-side of the skin and rub a generous amount of salt into this side. Make sure that the entire exposed surface is already covered by salt before you leave the tail for 8 straight hours.

5. After 8 hours, you will have to wash away all the salt from the tail. Use paper towels to remove all the excess water in the tail.

6. Next, you need to rub borax all over the tail skin before you lay it flesh-side up on the board. Use Brad nails to hold each corner of the tail in place, make sure that nails are evenly spaced. The nails are important to keep the tail from twisting as it dries.

7. Before you set the nailed tail aside, rub some more borax into the tail. Make sure that you place the board in a warm and dry place. Do not touch the tail for 3-5 days (even more in some cases when the temperature and humidity is not cooperative). Once dry, you can now unfasten the skin from the nails and brush off the excess borax on the tail.

More Ideas

You can pursue squirrel tail preservation as a mere hobby or as a business. There are many people who do not want to go through the trouble of processing the tails but are fond of using squirrel tails in many different applications. However, preserve squirrel tails are not readily available in hobby shops or in crafts stores. You can actually make a good living out of these tails by buying squirrel tails from restaurants and super markets that sell squirrel meat (the tails considered as waste), preserving these tails on your own and selling them in an online store.


Of course, there are squirrels which are protected by the law because of their scarce population. Make sure that you don't kill these squirrels for their tails.
squirrel extermination