Busy Squirrels

Have you noticed how busy the squirrels are?

Ground-dwelling squirrels are busy creatures. During the four to five months of spring and summer, they are feverishly raising a family of four to 14 kits, while at the same time trying to put on layers of fat. They will need that fat to get them through the next eight months of true hibernation where body temperature, heart rate and breathing all drop significantly.

The good news, like beavers, ground squirrels  are ecosystem engineers. As squirrels create extensive tunnels underground, they move and aerate tons of soil. This in turn improves water infiltration, reduces soil compaction, improves soil fertility and increases plant production. Their digging also brings buried seeds to the surface, improving plant diversity.  So looks like they could be good for our course

PREVENTING AND ADDRESSING CONFLICTS

Here are a few suggestions that make living with squirrels easier.

  • Per previous articles on this site – Don’t Feed Squirrels

Squirrels that are fed by humans can lose their fear of people and become aggressive when they don’t get food as expected.  Many of you might remember the squirrel down by the putting green who was very aggressive with trying to find food in golf bags

  • Remove bird feeders if squirrels are a problem. (Remember to use the right bird seed if you have a bird feeder)
  • Eliminate Access to Buildings

Squirrels without young can be encouraged to leave attic spaces by introducing light and noise, such as a radio. Human presence is often enough to cause the squirrel to leave.

There is a rumor in Charbonneau that a fire was caused by a squirrel getting into an attic and chewing through wiring.  This is just a rumor, but we still need to do our part in  home protection, so that there are no easy openings for squirrels to access

  • Repair or replace loose or rotting siding, boards and shingles.
  • Close openings to buildings with heavy 1/4 to 1/2 inch wire mesh.
  • Cover the dryer vent with a commercial vent screen designed to exclude animals without clogging lint.
  • Install approved roof-vent caps that are designed to exclude squirrels.
  • Trim limbs and trees to 6 to 8 feet away from buildings to prevent squirrels from jumping onto roofs.
  • Remove vines or other plants that provide a squirrel a way to climb structures.

 

It’s fun to watch the wild life in our neighborhood, but remember they are wild and designed to find their own food, so please enjoy them but don’t feed them and protect your home.

  • Disclaimer: I used the joke of a squirrel asking for food to get your attention, but it was just that, a joke not an endorsement to feed them

Happy Spring

 

 

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