Getting to Know About Squirrels and Why Some Love Them and Some Don’t
Many folks have had bad experiences with squirrels. Wild squirrels in your attic are indeed a nightmare of gigantic proportions. They will tear up your insulation, make a nest, have babies, and defecate in your attic. But it all depends on the “glass half full or glass half empty” attitude. Because many people just adore squirrels. And there are several interesting facts about squirrels to support their claims.
The following article will explore a few of the famous squirrels in history to today’s Instagram stars. And then we can get into the facts about squirrels making some people big fans. That said, if you ever have unwanted squirrels in your house o, attic, or basement, call Covenant Wildlife Removal for help as soon as you see them. Where there is one, there is bound to be more.
The History of Squirrel Love
Did you know the word “squirrel” comes from the Greek for “shadow tail?” According to TreeHugger.com,
“All tree squirrels belong to the genus Sciurus, which comes from the Greek words “skia” (shadow) and “oura” (tail). The name reportedly reflects tree squirrels’ habit of hiding in the shadow of their long, bushy tails.”
Interesting, right? Well, here are some fascinating squirrel facts to learn more about. Let’s begin with the 18th and 19th centuries when squirrels were fixtures as American children’s pets. In fact, they were the most popular pets as they were reported to be easy to keep. Their popularity grew from the 1700s when squirrels were sold in markets to the wealthy and their children. Some were even paraded around on gold leashes. Most of those were of the American Grey Squirrel variety, but some had Red Squirrels and Flying Squirrels.
And in 1851, the books were published on Domestic Pets, squirrels being favored over rabbits. Then more publications followed, encouraging squirrel owners to give treats to their pets and nuts to crack and store.
Some of the Most Famous Squirrels
Around 1722, Benjamin Franklin wrote an ode to a pet squirrel. You see, a pet squirrel named Mungo passed away at the teeth of a dog when Mungo escaped his enclosure. Franklin wrote the following. You can read its entirety here, from the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
“Alas! Poor Mungo!
Happy art thou, hadst thou known
They own felicity.
Remote from the fierce bald eagle,
Tyrant of thy native woods,
Thou hadst naught to fear from his piercing talons,
Nor from the murdering gun
Of the thoughtless sportsman.”
And it goes on to say,
“Thou art fallen by the fangs of wanton, cruel Ranger.
Ye who seek more liberty…”
… stating furthermore that their restraints may e their protection. It was moving and heartfelt, although a bit funny, letter written to a woman as she suffered her loss.
But Ben Franklin was not the only squirrel aficionado.
- President Harding had a pet squirrel named Pete.
- John Singleton Copley painted “A Boy with a Flying Squirrel.”
- And Hans Holbein painted “Portrait of a Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling.”
- Bob Ross had a pet squirrel named Peapod.
Then the tides changed in the 1920s through the 1970s. Wildlife conservation and exotic pet laws prohibited keeping squirrels as pets. Albeit, squirrels do have a finicky diet, need a lot of space and those sharp claws. So, when not cared for properly or wild animals get in, it can be a bad situation.
That is when the expertise of a professional, safe and humane wildlife removal company is called in to save the day and the animal.
The Instagram Famous Squirrel
Deserving a brief mention, if you have not seen Jill, you must. She is an internet sensational squirrel that sleeps with a teddy bear. This squirrel was rescued after Hurricane Isaac and has fully integrated into the family she lives with. And Jill is way too cute.
Interesting Facts About Squirrels You May Not Know
Besides the fame and glory that comes with being a famous squirrel, there are other interesting facts to consider when getting to know all about squirrels. Here are a few of the more intriguing.
- Squirrels are brilliant.
- They will eat the insects in your garden or yard. While they prefer nuts and berries, they will eat small insects and invertebrates.
- Did you know they plant trees? Nuts buried and left behind for too long often grow into trees.
- Squirrels are very acrobatic. In fact, to sit on the porch and watch them building a nest or transferring nuts is a sight to behold as they jump impossible lengths and hang onto wires and tiny branches.
- And squirrels even clean up our parks. They take care of the food and waste folks leave behind.
- Their teeth never stop growing. In fact, they grow at a rate of about 6 inches per year.
- Squirrels come in gray, red, all black, and all white.
- Some of the ground squirrels make a rattlesnake scent from skins. They chew up the skin of a rattlesnake and create a fragrance to rub all over to detract predators.
- Squirrels are very talkative. They chatter amongst themselves in chirps and tail wags that convey a message.
- Some squirrels hibernate, and others don’t. The simple store up enough food to survive the winter.
- Most of them live alone, but they will cuddle up when it is a bit too cold.
- Flying squirrels do not fly but rather glide.
- And finally, squirrels are very friendly. However, that does not mean it is okay to feed them. First, they can accidentally bite you, and they will come to rely on humans. They really need to forage for their food and stay with their own kind.
Damage They Can Create in the Home
As much fun as these critters can be to watch, they will create a lot of danger if they get into your attic or home. Here is what we mean.
- Stealing bird seed from your yard’s bird feeders.
- Destroying attic and wall insulation to make nests.
- Soiling rooms in your home with their urine, droppings, parasites, ticks, and shedding fur, all of which can be severe health hazards.
- When squirrels die in wall and ceiling voids, soffits, and other inaccessible areas, they may be challenging to locate. And there will be a horrible odor that occurs that is unbearable.
- Squirrels cause thousands of home fires per year. They will chew on wood, cables, sprinkler heads, and electrical wiring. Stripping the insulation from the wires increases the chances for a short and the risk of fire.
- Squirrel’s carcasses become the perfect breeding place for flies and diseases.
- They’re very noisy in an attic and may bite when someone corners them.
- Squirrels dig up gardens and landscapes.
- They strip the bark of ornamental plants and trees on your property.
Additionally, like any rodent, squirrels may have fleas. The ticks associated with this squirrel may, in fact, carry an infectious disease that can be spread to humans. It is called Borrelia bacteria and can cause Lyme Disease. And Lyme disease can affect the nervous system, and joints, and heart.
If these pests are making a mess of your home, contact Covenant Wildlife Removal to remove the squirrels and relocate them where they should be nesting.
Wildlife Removal with Covenant Wildlife
Covenant Wildlife Removal comes in to save the daytime from the chatter and scurrying noises in your attic or ceiling. The most common way to remove these interesting squirrels is to trap them. Poison is not recommended because the animal can die in the home and create additional issues. What’s more, the poison is dangerous around children and pets.
However, you need not worry about that. At Covenant Wildlife Removal, we will find the entry points, seal them up, remove and relocate the squirrels, and clean up after them. We are fully equipped and experienced at getting to the source of the problem and eradicating the wildlife.
Squirrel Removal Service includes:
- Trapping, Removal, and Relocation
- Clean Up
- Odor Removal
- Repair of the area
Covenant Wildlife Removal is a top-rated local family-owned, full-service wildlife trapping, removal, and repair service. We can remove a squirrel or other rodent infestation before it becomes an extensive problem for you and your family.
Contact us or call 205-850-5760 to set up an inspection.