There are over 200 species of squirrels around the world, with the exception of Australia.
In Iowa there are four species:
- Red squirrel
- Fox squirrel
- Grey squirrel
- The rare southern flying squirrel
Black squirrels (seen in western Iowa) and white-tailed squirrels (seen in northern Iowa) in recent years, are variants of fox squirrels, not a separate species.
Are Squirrels Rodents?
Yes, tree squirrels, ground squirrels, and chipmunks are all members of the sciuridae family of rodents. Like all rodents, their front teeth never stop growing to prevent wearing down from constant gnawing.
HOW DO I KEEP SQUIRRELS FROM NESTING IN MY ATTIC?
Squirrels typically prefer to nest in trees, but sometimes they will make use of the security of our homes.
Prevention is the best option: close off access through any gaps in the roof and foundation, paying close attention to soffits, vents, dormers, etc.
If there are already squirrels in your attic, there’s a very good chance it’s a mother and nest of babies. Trapping and removing only the mother will leave the babies to starve to death. Furthermore, squirrels will almost never enter traps (humane or otherwise) placed in an attic.
The best way to remove squirrels is to contact a professional wildlife expert who can trap the mother at the access point and hand-remove the young squirrels to relocate them together.
I FOUND A BABY SQUIRREL, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
IF the baby squirrel has fur, leave it alone for an hour or two, but keep watch. The mother should retrieve the baby once she’s aware of it’s absence.
If the baby squirrel is hairless, the situation is more critical, but still stay back and watch for a few minutes.
If the mother doesn’t return for the baby, or the baby appears injured, gently put the baby in a shoe box, or other small container, with ventilation holes and nesting material such as paper towels or t-shirt fabric to keep it warm. Avoid handling the baby as much as possible. Contact Team Mojo or another licensed wildlife rehabilitator for further advice.
DO NOT FEED OR GIVE THE BABY WATER!!! Baby squirrels require a specialized diet and around the clock feeding. Any other food may cause serious harm and possibly even death.