- Common Name(s): Squirrel, Eastern Gray Squirrel
- Order: Rodentia
- Family: Sciuridae
- Common Species: Sciurus carolinensis
- Commonly Confused With: Other Rodents
How to Identify?
The Eastern Gray Squirrel is a large rodent typically found lodging in trees. They range between 1-1.5 pounds. They have fur that appears gray or tan in color but is actually a mixture of gray, black, white, and brown.
Where do they live?
Squirrels live outdoors in forests or other wooded areas, but they can find their way into structures, such as homes, storage sheds, outbuildings, stores, granaries, etc. Outdoors, they either live in tree holes, nests (made of leaves and other material), or other cavities/openings on the tree.
What do they eat?
These rodents are particularly fond of acorns and other tree nuts, but they can eat flowers, buds, or grasses for sustenance. On occasion, they even eat various insects or other small animals.
What do they do?
These rodents are a nuisance to homeowners throughout the United States. They may be found harassing birds to take food from their feeders, and they often find their way into attics. The most common way squirrels find entry into attics is through builder gaps that have not been properly sealed. Once inside, they can chew on wires, pipes, or other materials in the attic causing extensive damage and even fires!
“Gray squirrels do not hibernate but instead rely on their fat reserves and cached mast stores to survive the long, cold winters” (Pennsylvania State University, 2013). This lack of hibernation is one of the things that can drive them indoors. They are trying to escape the cold winter months by seeking shelter in homes or other structures.
- Pennsylvania State University (2013, October 13). Virtual Nature Trail at Penn State New Kensington– Eastern Gray Squirrel. Retrieved November 30, 2018, from https://www.psu.edu/dept/nkbiology/naturetrail/speciespages/graysquirrel.htm
- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources–Wildlife Resources Division. (2010). SQUIRREL FACT SHEET [PDF] (p. 1). Georgia. Retrieved from https://georgiawildlife.com/sites/default/files/wrd/pdf/fact-sheets/2005_squirrel.pdf
Author: G. Wyatt West– B.S.E.S University of Georgia 2017; Board Certified Entomologist
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