The gray squirrel is the cute creature you see all over Reading, dashing in front of cars, racing up and down trees, and scavenging food and nesting materials. Squirrels have good eyesight despite being born blind and can only see in black and white.
Squirrels eat flower buds and leaves from sugar maples, nuts, bird seeds, berries, bird eggs, bark, garden crops, and insects. The gray squirrel likes to remain alone until mating season, typically in December, January, or June.
When looking for a den to give birth or to get out of cold weather, squirrels take advantage of holes and cracks in your home. They chew until it is big enough for entry. Chewing is a squirrel’s trademark. Their four front teeth continue growing and can get up to six inches. To prevent this, squirrels chew and gnaw on hard materials. A persistent squirrel can chew through your vinyl siding, wood structural beams, and drywall to enter your home.
Other hard materials are siding, soffits, electrical wires, drywall, wood beams, ducts, pipes, screens, and more. Squirrels have sharp claws, too, and will shred insulation, strip bark from trees, break shingles, and dig holes in your yard.
Fox and gray squirrels are listed as game animals that require a license for hunting unless they are a nuisance. However, you don’t want to get rid of squirrels alone. They can become aggressive and attack when they feel threatened. Squirrels carry Lyme disease, tularemia, salmonella, and leptospirosis.
Wildlife experts have safe and humane equipment, know the regulations to follow, and know if squirrel species have protection in Pennsylvania, such as the Northern flying squirrel.