How to Identify Different Types of Squirrels

Common Squirrel Species

Over 200 species of squirrels are found in great abundance worldwide. Species of squirrels in the United States fall into one of three categories: tree, ground, or flying squirrels. Despite differences in nesting habits and behavior, most of these pests share the same basic characteristics of bushy tails, short arms and legs, sharp claws used for climbing and foraging, and pointed ears. Flying squirrels are unique as they have membranous webbing between their limbs that facilitate their ability to glide through the air.

Flying squirrels can glide distances of over 150 feet making openings on homes easily accessible, and tree squirrels utilize their climbing abilities to gain access to homes. Ground squirrels are commonly seen causing destruction to yards or gardens.

Tree Squirrel Species & Appearance

Tree squirrels are the most easily recognizable group of squirrels, and three species are prominent throughout North America: the gray, fox, and red squirrels. Gray squirrels live in northeastern and western states. Despite their name, these pests are commonly gray, brown, black, tan, and even red. Fox squirrels also live in the Eastern United States. They are typically reddish, have tan bellies, and sometimes have prominent black ears and feet. Red squirrels live in forested, northern areas of the country and have fur that changes color from grayish-red to orange-red with the seasons. They are smaller than other species of tree squirrels and have tufted ears.

Ground Squirrels & Flying Squirrels

Ground squirrels and flying squirrels make up a smaller portion of the U.S. squirrel population. Both maintain similar diets as tree squirrels but live in different settings. Ground squirrels, the smallest of all squirrel species, burrow into the ground and set up dens underneath the soil. Flying squirrels live in trees in the northern and southern states. Unlike tree and ground squirrels, flying squirrels are nocturnal. Locating and identifying the creatures can be extremely difficult.

Damage & Removal

Squirrels inflict costly and extensive damages on manmade buildings by burrowing under foundations, shredding insulation, and chewing through electrical wiring. Ground squirrels also disturb, tear up, and destroy gardens and flower beds, while every species of the pest leaves behind droppings wherever they feed and nest, which aids in the spread of disease. Any suspected infestation should be handled by calling pest specialists like those at Critter Control.

Learn more about squirrel removal.

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Brandon was out to please and make out lives easier with out bat situation. Above and beyond of the call of duty and got the job done. Thank you!
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Bat removal. Very knowledgeable and dedicated.
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Squirrels and chipmunks were in our attic. So we called Critter Control to do an inspection. Their representative climbed all over our very steep roof and found several places where squirrels had entered our attic.

Upon inspection of the attic, evidence of bats was also found. The Critter Control team came on time to completely caulk the entire perimeter of the house and create an exit strategy for the squirrels and bats.

Because bat droppings can cause histoplasmosis, this also required total removal and replacement of our attic insulation and sanitizing the space. Not a small job in a 1,300 sq. ft. attic! While Critter Control’s cost was high, our homeowners insurance covered most of it. Everyone representing Critter Control was professional, courteous and timely. I would highly recommend them to anyone who thinks they might have unwelcome guests living in their attic
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On recommendations from a nearby pest control company, I called Critter Control for suspicious bat droppings.

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We noticed droppings on our brand new deck - we were given their number from our contractor. They came the next day. Brian looked at it and said - yeah, bats!! He then checked every area in our attic and he explained exactly what needed to be done.

He found evidence of a mice infestation, provided a referral and they are helping us as well. Great service, very informative, very professional! We are very satisfied and would recommend them to anyone who has any issues with any critters!


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