What Do Squirrel Holes Look Like?
Squirrel holes usually are five centimeters or less in diameter and do not have soil surrounding them. The holes are often shallow and may be filled with food for the winter. However, some species of squirrels dig deeper holes and create tunnel systems in the soil to build nests. Here are some things to look for in squirrel holes:
Ground squirrels dig shallow holes
Although the reason ground squirrels dig shallow holes may be attractive to most homeowners, they are not aesthetically pleasing. Although they help plants grow and naturally aerate soil, the holes can also signal the presence of a squirrel infestation. Ground squirrels are especially attracted to manmade structures during the winter. These little creatures have sharp teeth and can gnaw through drywall and roofing. They may even build nests in your attic or crawlspace.
If you have a ground-squirrel infestation, you need to take preventive measures. Aside from preventing them from gaining access to your home, plant some plants that ground squirrels like, such as daffodils. Also, store your garbage in tightly closed bins to avoid them getting into your trash. They also enjoy food scraps, so keep them out of reach of children and pets.
They store food
Squirrels have a unique ability to remember where they buried their food without a map. You’ve probably placed things in a certain spot, but then forgotten about them. You might think they use their sense of smell to find food, but recent research indicates that memory plays a much larger role in food retrieval than you might think. By providing your squirrels with a place to store their food, you’re providing them with a valuable resource and a benefit to their local population.
While we may eat from grocery stores and restaurants, squirrels use tree holes to store food for the winter. It is important to remember that plants produce edible products only certain times of the year, so squirrels must set aside these foods to survive during the winter. The trees are filled with nuts that they store away for the winter. This keeps them from starving or going hungry. During the winter, squirrels also bury their food to prevent predators from stealing their supplies.
They can carry parasites and diseases
While squirrels may not have a large population, they can still transmit parasites and diseases to humans and pets. Some of these diseases include Lyme disease, encephalitis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Because of these risks, keeping a close eye on squirrel activity around your home is essential. Keep a healthy environment by maintaining squirrel-proof structures. Listed below are tips on how to keep your yard free of squirrels.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: The resulting holes in the brain tissue make the victims demented. The victims of this disease were 56 to 78 years old and came from different towns, so there’s no way to know if they were related or not. There’s no known cause for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, but the disease is transmitted through consuming infected brain tissue.
They can wiggle their way into your home
There are a variety of reasons why squirrels might be gaining access to your home. They may find holes in siding, foundations, and chimneys, and make their nests inside them. A squirrel’s favorite entry point may be a branch overhanging from the roof. When it’s winter, a squirrel may seek refuge in your home, and a hole in the roof can allow them to enter your home.
Squirrels love sunflowers. They’ll nibble on seedheads on the outside edges. And they may even bury nuts inside of potted plants. Taking these steps will help protect your home from this type of pest. However, you should be wary of squirrels if they do find a hole in your home. Make sure you check your windows and doors frequently and use plastic owl decoys to scare them away.
They can be controlled by baiting or trapping
Baiting or trapping can be used to control squirrel populations in your yard. Baiting squirrels can involve placing a trap in a known area where they frequently visit. Bait can include nuts, fruit, or citrus. Place baited traps near burrows or areas of high activity, such as trees and shrubs. Bait for these traps can also be used as rolled oats, peanut butter, or cracked grain. Make sure that the bait is secured with wire or stakes and the trap is not moved around often.
Once inside the hole, bait the animals with peanut butter or similar food. If they eat the bait, they may abandon the young, and then start chewing on the hole. Bait the traps well and don’t let birds see them. Bait them hard the first time. When baiting traps, make sure the traps are covered to avoid seeing birds. Bait should be left out all year.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.