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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Customer Reviews

Kirk D.
It has been very effective at reducing the number of mice, lizard, and snake sightings. During one visit Edgar removed a rattlesnake he came across. We may see a snake maybe two to three times during the spring and summer months, but it has been far less than before.

Serivces: Wildlife & Rodent Control in San Diego
Robert B.
Full service. Excellent job of extracting raccoon, cleaning all animal waste, sanitizing, and spraying anti-parasitic substance. They closed all potential ports of entry, though the work did not match the vinyl, and it looks kind of tacky. They added blown insulation, which added a lot to the cost. They provide a one year warranty against animal intrusion, with an option to extend the warranty at the end of each one- year period. They were willing to work with me one the price. I will probably extend my warranty, and will definitely use them it the future.
Gene F.
I was really impressed by these guys. Got a call within a few hours of making an inquiry. Had a rep out to inspect the situation by the end of the week, and when they laid out the timeline they kept if not exceeded listed times.

Rob, Travis, and Jim were all professional, polite, and courteous and after months of hearing squirrels in my ceiling they are gone and the repair to my flashing looks excellent. Can't recommend these guys enough.
Bob I.

Jeff was incredibly professional and helpful. I'll use them again and would recommend them to anyone.
-Detroit, MI
Richard L.

Critter Control did a great job of evaluating our house for sites of entry after we found bats and a squirrel in our attic. They completed their work promptly and professionally.
-Seattle, WA
Kenneth H.
We heard some noise from the corner of our house. Concerned that it could be inside we called for an inspection. Jessy arrived as scheduled and conducted a complete inspection of our home. Based on a recording we made he determined we had a tree frog on our roof. I was pleased that we didn’t have any rodent in our house. And his inspection could a few spots I can tighten up around my house. I am very happy with the outcome.
-New Hampshire
Lee F.
We have a vacation home in Western Mass and haven’t been there much during the pandemic as we live and work in Atlanta, GA. On our most recent visit we noticed that we had some rodent intrusion as well as some un-welcomed wildlife who decided to make our vacation home their home.

We contacted Critter Control and Mr. Cahoon was quick to set up an appointment as we wouldn’t be in town very long. He came out and assessed our issues. He informed us of our options to both eradicate and control future intrusions. Keeping in mind that wildlife is wildlife! He quickly got to work eradicating the rodents and wildlife from our home and addressing the intrusion issues. We feel much better leaving our vacation home for periods at a time knowing that Mr. Cahoon and Critter Control did their job and did it right! Thanks again!
Mary L.
We bought an old cabin last spring , it was used for years as a summer vacation cabin, therefore maintenance wasn’t a priority. After our project to remodel started, we found evidence of mice droppings.

We immediately called Critter Control and they came and gave us a reasonable estimate to remove all remnants and insulation. They sanitized and replaced with new insulation and sealing up points of entry .

Seeing their professional work made us feel confident and secure that the problem was solved ! Everyone we worked with continued to show professional and respectful work. Highly recommend this company! We continue to use critter control monthly to be sure we are mice and bug free!


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