Squirrels are cute, furry and fairly friendly little rodents that can be a lot of fun to watch in your backyard. There are actually over 350 different kinds of them, but the one’s you have in your backyard will be the ones you’re pretty much stuck with, and they’re all similar in their diets and mannerisms. Some do live underground while others live in trees, but you’ll have the same friendly little creatures either way. Let’s take a look at how best to feed them, the types of habitats they like, and what to do if they invade your attic.
Squirrels Come In Many Sizes And Shapes
They range in size from about 3 inches up to about 15 inches, and can weigh almost 11 lbs., but mostly you’ll find they’re around 6 inches in the body with a longer tail. They have very soft fur, similar to a cat, it’s very silky, and thick. They can come in gray, black, gold or brown, and sometime stripes as well. Their large eyes help make them cute, and kids really adore them. Most squirrels live in the trees, but there are plenty that also live in the ground, like the golden mantle ground squirrel, and one species or another can be found in nearly every country on earth except the north and south poles.
These Cute Rodents Like Seeds And Nuts
They’re really partial to nuts, but can be found eating plenty of seeds, and are responsible for helping trees actually plant many of their seeds in the forests. Squirrels climb the trees, remove the seeds, packing the insides of their cheeks until they bulge. Then, run down onto the forest floor where they bury the seeds for a later meal. They do this all day long, forgetting where they’ve put most of the seeds, which end up growing into trees at a later date, thus helping the trees spread their seeds farther than the wind could carry them. If you want to add another element to fun with squirrels you could try getting a squirrel feeder like the twirl a squirrel feeder or picnic bench style. There are many interesting and entertaining ways to feed squirrels.
Baby Squirrels Are Called Kittens
Just like a baby cat, they’re called kittens, and they’re born completely blind for about the first 7 weeks of life. They’re very vulnerable to predators when small, they have no hair or teeth and their eyes are closed. At this time they’re totally dependent on the mother for milk, just like most mammals on earth.
If you find a baby “Kitten” that has fallen from the nest, it is possible to care for it and it may live, if done right. You’ll need a small box with some warm towels, it needs to be kept warm at all times, especially when feeding. A small shoe box is just the right size when packed with towels. Some people recommend you warm bags of rice in the microwave until they’re warmed through, then place them in the box with the baby, making an indentation in the middle where the baby can stay surrounded by warmth.
The little kittens can survive nicely on human baby formula, made to the same specifications then fed through an eyedropper. After each feeding the baby will need to be rubbed lightly on the abdomen in order to be stimulated to urinate and have a bowel movement. After that, it’s time to sleep until the next feeding. After about 5 weeks your kitten will open its eyes and start walking, so you’ll need a small cage to keep it in. It will be able to eat nuts at about 8 weeks or so.
If Your Attic Gets Invaded By Squirrels, There Is A Humane Way To Handle It
First, go to the pet store, or feed store, and get some repellent, it smells like fox, a natural predator. Moth balls have also been used in the same manner as well, then when all the little critters are out of your attic, it’s time to block all the entrances. It may take a couple of tries, but the repellent works quite well. Once they’ve for sure left, then take some hot sauce and squirt it around all the places where they’ve entered, you should have no more problems.
Having delightful little playful squirrels in your backyard is a real treat, and kids love them. If you feed them often enough you’ll have a nice little family that will become fairly tame and even allow some children to pet them, but always be cautious as they’re quite fragile and can’t take much abuse.
In our last post we did an article about another backyard favorite. The purple martin. You can read that post here.