Squirrel Biology and the Home
The average squirrel has a 3-5 year lifespan. Typically, squirrels will mate between February and March and also between July and August. This results in the average adult female squirrel bearing two litters annually with 1-3 infants per litter. The young will stay in the nest for about 10 weeks.
Of course the squirrels’ teeth are continually growing. All squirrels have 22 teeth. As said on the homepage, these rodents will chew and gnaw on almost anything. Also, they even grind their teeth in their sleep. Actual cases of damage are evident. New York City government officials blame at least one power outage each day to squirrels. Actually, squirrels cause more power outages than even lightning in some states. For example, in the state of Georgia in 2006, squirrels caused 16,750 power outages. Some of these electrical outages were caused by the squirrels’ chewing on the wires. But, some were also “contact electrocutions.” This is caused by contact with the metal wire after the squirrel chewed through plastic wire covering and the squirrel was electrocuted, which can result in a fire.
Most animals communicate by scent. Squirrels have scent glands located in their feet. This means that as they run, they leave scent trails for other squirrels to follow. The pheromones (animal scent markers) in rodent urine can last up to two years! So, squirrels leave scent trails into your home and urinate, leaving scent attractants in your attics.
Tree squirrels seem to love to inhabitate in attics. Attics are warm, dry and safe from predators. However, unfortunate human attics are not equipped with squirrel toilets. Squirrels overlook this problem and urinate and defecate everywhere in the attic. An attic where squirrels have been residing will have raisin-sized dung everywhere. The insulation will be matted down and stained with and smells of urine. It is terribly nasty to homeowners but not to the squirrels.
Again, the urine and glands in the squirrels’ feet leave pheromone trails. These are like a welcome mat or for future squirrels. This is why squirrel trapping, poisoning, or house sealing sometimes needs to be a continual process.