If you see squirrels scurrying around on your property, they are probably gray squirrels, so you are probably pretty familiar with this species. But how much do you know about them?
The following traits can identify gray squirrels:
- Medium-sized, ranging between 9 to 12 inches with an 8 to 10-inch tail
- Mostly gray coat with a lighter-colored underbelly
- Narrow, furry tails
- Short ears that stand up
Most people tend to forget that squirrels are rodents and can cause more problems than just raiding your bird feeder. But while some people pay these critters no mind, others leave food for them.
Don't let squirrels take over your Merrimac property. Instead, keep reading to learn more about this pest and what you can do to prevent and remove them with assistance from pest control experts.
Are Gray Squirrels Dangerous?
You need to worry about two things when it comes to gray squirrels on your property: damage and disease. One characteristic that all rodents share is that their front teeth never stop growing. And to keep their teeth from overgrowing, they need to chew things. Unfortunately, your home can provide many materials for gray squirrels and other rodents to gnaw on.
Gray squirrels can chew through drywall, insulation, wood, pipes, and wires. If they get into your home, they will not only damage it but may also use its materials to build nests so they can reproduce.
On the other hand, gray squirrels can also carry and spread numerous diseases and parasites, including rabies, salmonellosis, tularemia, and leptospirosis. Squirrels are common hosts for fleas and ticks, leading to Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, plague, tapeworms, typhus, and many more.
If the information above has convinced you not to underestimate gray squirrels, you can find prevention tips from experts below.
Can I Prevent Gray Squirrels?
The best way to prevent gray squirrels is by removing access to the factors attracting them to your property. You can do this by utilizing the following tips:
- Clear your yard of organic debris like excess foliage, leaf piles, acorns, pine cones, and grass cutting.
- Keep your grass cut short.
- Remove bird feeders from your property if squirrels can access them.
- Promptly harvest fruits and vegetables from gardens and trees.
- Use garbage cans and compost bins with tight-fitting lids.
- Don't leave food out for wild animals.
- Remove birdbaths or other water sources.
If you are worried about gray squirrels getting into your home, you can do the following to remove access:
- Trim tree branches so they are not touching your home as squirrels can use them as highways to your roof.
- Place mesh covers over vents and cap chimneys.
- Inspect your home and outbuildings for any potential entry points; this should include along the roofline. Make sure to seal these points so squirrels can't get inside.
- Keep doors and windows without screens closed when possible, including sheds and garages.
While these tips will help reduce gray squirrel populations on your property, they will not help remove this pest if it has infested your home. If you have this problem, you shouldn't try to remove this animal on your own as it can be a dangerous process. Instead, seek professional help.
Who Can Help With Gray Squirrels?
For more advice or assistance when it comes to gray squirrels, contact the pros at Freedom Pest Control. Gray squirrels are covered under our wildlife pest control plan.
We always have our customer's safety in mind when we humanely remove wildlife like gray squirrels. Give us a call today at Freedom Pest Control to learn more about our services for Merrimac residents.